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Displacement: Mithkal Alzghair at the Invisible Dog Art Center

How does a body react when its movement is forced or it is halted? Which physical and cultural knowledge do people internalize in a country that is characterized by turmoil? With Displacement, Syrian dancer and choreographer Mithkal Alzghair examines the Syrian body in the context of war, migration and revolution.

Migrating from an isolated figure to a group of three male dancers, Displacement is defined by conflicting emotions; the hope of escaping versus the uneasiness of knowing that to return is impossible. As well as being a highly topical choreography about the civil war in Syria, this poignant piece is also Alzghair’s investigation into the folklore of his homeland and how it has been shaped by its political reality. Drawing from traditional Syrian folk dances, he highlights the paradox of a deeply-rooted culture forced to migrate. The dancer and choreographer, who was trained in Damascus and Montpellier, looks into the influence of social and political reality on traditional dances: do these reflect the military and dictatorial heritage of Syria? Do the experiences of war, misery and emigration have an effect on them? Displacement provides a striking reflection upon the experience of fleeing and the uncertainty of life in exile.