The Odor of Elephants After the Rain is a dance film presented within a solo dance and lecture performance.
It is in a context of political, economic and health crisis that ‘The Odor of Elephants After the Rain’ was created. This dance solo, which also features a film shot in Beirut in 2021 shortly after the August 4th explosion, testifies of the experience of deep-rooted pain, loss, and disillusion. Dear places reduced to ashes, disfigured memories, trampled dreams, and dashed hopes.
In 2019, Omar Rajeh, the choreographer, begins a series of explorations that will lead him to unprecedented questions: The forced dismantling of Citerne Beirut, a performing arts space of which he is the founder, the political and economic collapse of Lebanon and the civil unrest after October 17th, followed by the global Covid-19 crisis, and finally the tragic explosion at the port in August 2020, which destroyed half of the city of Beirut, killing and injuring thousands of people.
What voice do we insist on having after being silenced? What body do we walk around with when we are drowned in pain? What do we do with our memories when they deceive us and fail to resemble reality? What hopes do we carry when we are far from our struggles and dreams?
A production of Maqamat | Omar Rajeh Film commissioned and co-produced by the Edinburgh International Festival, with funding from the British Council Co-produced by CN D Centre national de la danse à Lyon Supported by Maison de la Danse, Lyon dans le cadre d’une mise à disposition studio, CCN2 –Centre chorégraphique national de Grenoble, dans le cadre de l’accueil studio, Tanzfabrik Berlin in the frame of apap - Performing Europe / Production Studio Berlin / EU Creative Europe Programme", D Beirut, Forum de Beirut, Citerne Beirut
Special thanks to all friends, families and children that contributed to the creation of this film.
Concept & choreography Omar Rajeh
Music composition (stage) Joss Turnbull
Technical Director & Light design Christian François
Technician Blandine Laennec
Administrator Bruno Viguier
Film Directed by Selim Mourad
Music composition Charbel Haber
Director of Photography Talal Khoury
Editor Sandra Fatte
Sound Design Rana Eid
Dancers Mia Habis - Charlie Prince- Omar Rajeh
Guest Speaker Rana Khoury
Additional Camera Anthony Faye/ Danc.Cin.Lab.
Executive Producer Tarte aux Poires Experiential /Ricky Dakouny- Michael Hanna
Colorist Chrystel Elias
Assistant Editor Dikranouhi Kurkjian
Sound Artist Marita Sbeih Foley
Recording Patrick Chakar Foley
Re-recording Mixe Lama Sawaya
1st Assistant Camera Luna Abi Raad
Drone Operator Kameel Rayyes
On-Set Sound Patrick Chakar
Key Production Assistant Adel Serhal