A dance performance by Al Zaytouna Dance Troupe
Running time: 70 minutes
Al Zaytouna Dance Troupe in collaboration with Hava Dance Group present Project 51, written and directed by Ahmed Najar. Project 51 – the Israeli war on Gaza in summer 2014 lasted 51 days- questions the unequal media coverage of conflicts and terrorism, and critically challenges the given perceptions of the Palestinian struggle through the western media. The play centres on a Gazan man trying to distract his daughter from explosions and the sound of drones and military aeroplanes. Creatively using the power of the traditional Palestinian folk dance ‘Dabke’ and blending it with modern dance and theatre – this typically inclusive, infectious and widely popular dance form is used in a satirical way bringing an eruption of joy and an affirmation of individuality and belonging.
Ahmed Najar is a Palestinian director, playwright, dabke expert and co-founder of the Al-Zaytouna dance troupe. The company fuses traditional Palestinian folk dance (dabke) with contemporary dance, theatre, poetry, music, and digital media to create inspiring pieces of dance theatre to tell powerful stories about Palestine, often focusing on identity and cultural resistance.
As well as a being a regular dancer with the troupe, Najar has also written and directed several productions. He wrote Between the fleeting words, which toured the UK and Europe in 2011.
Najar took dabke teaching abroad when he worked with the Hava dance group in Slovenia (2014), writing and directing Water and Salt (Slovenia 2015) and Project 51 (London 2016).