Leila’s Death

  • Dance
  • Show
The 2016 archive

Ali Chahrour


Leila’s Death © Christophe Raynaud de Lage


In Lebanon, there aren't many mourners anymore. They can still be found in the south of the country, and in the Beqaa Valley, in the east. They are nonetheless the cornerstone of a ritual that serves both a religious and social purpose: condolences. During those ceremonies, they lament and recite poems they have written to commemorate the lost, determined to make their friends and families cry, as dictated by Shiite tradition. “An aesthetics of the private” that wars and the economic situation have transformed; families are now made to celebrate the heroism of collective figures, thus substituting duty for emotion. Mourner, such is the job of Leila, whom Ali Chahrour invited to come onstage with him and his musicians, in an attempt to come back to the regional roots and references of his dance. He asked her to share her experience by singing her relationship to death and, through it, this culture of mourning. For this duo, the choreographer has taken the time to observe in Leila “what makes her move, her whose body carries this sadness.” He then imagined a delicate score, able to slide between the interstices of this poetic lament which soothes souls.


Choreography and direction Ali Chahrour
Music Ali Hout, Abed Kobeissi
Dramaturgy Junaid Sarrieddine
Design stage Nathalie Harb
Lights Guillaume Tesson
Costumes Bird on a Wire
Assistant director Christel Salem

With Ali Chahrour, Leïla Chahrour
and the musicians Ali Hout, Abed Kobeissi


Production Haera Slim, Ali Chahrour in collaboration with Zoukak theater company
With the support of Houna Center, French Institut of Beirut and BNP Paribas Foundation
In partnership with RFI, France 24 and Monte Carlo Doualiya 

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