Identities 2006 - 2011

Identities aims to research the process of putting  the socio-religious rituals of the Arab World -particularly in the previously-called The Levant region, and the mixture of religions it accommodates (Islam, Christianity and Judaism)- in the form of theatre performance.  This aim is to be achieved by researching a ritual’s movement vocabulary. With its form, indications and tokens; this vocabulary holds the possibility of being turned into an integral movement language that can eventually construct an identity of the Arab body.

Identities has three main components:

  1. Theoretical Research: to explore the socio-religious rituals of the Levant, including its three main religions (Islam, Christianity and Judaism.)
  2. Workshops intended for performers and people who work in any of the contemporary performing arts fields.
  3. Physical Theatre Performance Series to tackle these rituals.

The final results of theoretical research and practical experiences will eventually be compiled in a book.

Artistic Choices:

Working in alternative places, using senses (smells, sounds and tastes), involving the audience in emotional journeys rather than in theatre performances, basing the work on the actual mood of rituals, activating the audience’s role by sharing the playing space and proposing as much partnership with them as possible, and selecting performers by auditioning.

Identities was released in January 2006 in Damascus, within a scientific conference entitled “Body and identity: the representation of the Body in Arabic  Culture” organized by the French Institute of the Near East (Institut français du Proche-Orient - IFPO) and was chaired by  Dr. Hassan Abbas.

The participation of  Leish Troupe consisted in a lecture entitled “Body between religious ceremony and contemporary dance” and a workshop with the same title for dancers, and professional singers.

Identities project is dedicated to the memory of film critic Saeed Murad.

Identities is supported by:

(CCF) Centre culturel Français de Damas, Goethe Institute - Damascus, The Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (AFAC) – Young Arab Theatre Fund (YATF), German- French Elysse foundation, Hivos culture foundation .


Institut français du Proche-Orient - IFPO Damas, Teatro for Performing arts, Damascus Citadel, Al-Riwaq Gallery - Damascus, Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese - Homs, Le Pont Organization - Aleppo, Al-Aladeyat Society - Lattakia, Forty Martyrs Cathedral - Homs, Shibani School - Aleppo, National Museum - Lattakia

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