Leymoun 2011

arab dance platform | 2nd edition

20th - 24th April 2011


This second edition of the platform was organized in Beirut during BIPOD 2011 and presented 29 established as well as young emerging artists. The platform served as a showcase that promoted and presented the works of Arab dancers and choreographers. Over 150 international presenters from across the globe came to Beirut to attend the festival and expressed great curiosity and interest to know more about what is happening in the Arab World as such possibilities are rare, especially in such a time of great regional change. 

Maqamat focused on two main objectives that have been very well achieved in the platform. The first was to show the high artistic and creative development of contemporary dance that is taking place in the region and the emergence of a well-established contemporary dance scene. The second was to develop in parallel to this artistic achievement a philosophical and theoretical context that could be a starting point for further research, in-depth investigation, and critical writings. 


1. Performances: Four four days, more than 20 performances were presented in four different theatres in Beirut (Babel Theatre, Theatre Monnot, Al Madina Theatre, Theatre de Beyrouth). 

2. Studio presentations: Nine short pieces, work in progress, or presentations of concept ideas for new creations took place at Maqamat Studio in the early afternoon. Studio presenters were able to present short pieces and then discuss their works with the audience in an intimate environment.

3. Fostering the Future: a two day seminar sharing ideas and developing a framework for a future performance training program in the Arab region moderated by Simon Dove. The two sessions: Exploring Current Models and Devising a New Framework sessions attempted to examine current dance and performance training programs in the Arab region. What is working, and why? What is not? Artists, dancers and students together discusses the critical elements 
that need to be developed, and what will best meet the needs of emerging artists in the specific context of the Arab region. 

4. Leymoun network meeting: A meeting of the Arab Contemporary Dance Network to discuss future plans and projects. 

5. Mushrooms and Fig Leaves photo exhibition: The photographs in the exhibition were the outcome of a collaboration between photographer Rima Maroun and Maqamat Dance Theatre Company for an eponymous dance installation that attempted to estrange, alienate and deconstruct the body in order to re-discover it again. It is important to note that Rima Maroun is also a member of the Takween Collective.

7. Takween Presentations: Students from Takween–Beirut International Dance School presented short works on stage and in the studio that were the continuation of works that they developed in the program five months prior. The experience proved fruitful for the students as it offered them the opportunity to show their dance skills and creativity to a critical public, many of for who this was the first time and normally would not be exposed to such an audience. Additionally, considering that many members of Takween are the future generation in regional contemporary dance, their works gave keen incite into the outcomes of dance education in the region and a general idea of what to expect from up-and-coming talents.

6. Wine Tour: The last day of the festival, interested presenters, artists, choreographers and dancers all went to the Bekaa Valley to enjoy a wine tasting tour and a traditional lunch outside of Beirut. This gave everyone the opportunity to ‚get to know one another‚ and network and in a fun and informal environment outside of the festival environment.