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Meeting #3: Gathering Workshop — Creative Tools for Collective Movement Facilitated by Samaa Wakim and Samar Haddad King of Yaa Samar! Dance Theatre

Helina Metaferia


June 1, 2024 at 2:00pm

Join Yaa Samar Dance Theatre (YSDT) Artistic Director Samar Haddad King and lead performer Samaa Wakim for a workshop and gathering exploring Palestinian culture, history, and resilience through the lens of movement and contemporary performance. Rooted in the narrative, multidisciplinary work of YSDT – which believes art should be liberating, transformative and accessible to all– this discussion and movement-based workshop will explore tools for collective liberation such as: multigenerational community building, reclaiming public space/spatial justice through creative projects, and imagination as an instrument for freedom.

Featuring examples from the artists’ personal work and documentation of original YSDT projects, the workshop will include conversation, a guided warm-up, improvisation, and play, culminating in traditional Palestinian dance and chant (dabke), which celebrates both culture and resistance. This workshop is open to movers of all levels and abilities. The gathering will end with reflections and discussion over Palestinian sweets and tea.

About the Facilitators:

Samar Haddad King, Artistic/Founding Director of Yaa Samar! Dance Theatre, graduated from the Ailey/Fordham BFA program. Her work has been performed in 18 countries on 4 continents, with commissions throughout the US and abroad. King curates mixed disciplinary performances of young Palestinian artists with a focus on performance in non-traditional spaces and frequently lectures on her transnational, cross-disciplinary work.

Samaa Wakim, a Palestinian artist and cultural activist, studied theater at Haifa University. She has performed in various international productions, and choreographed Losing it, a dance theater piece co-created with Samar Haddad King. She has been a member of Yaa Samar! Dance Theatre since 2014 and also performs with the Khashabi Theater Ensemble.

Yaa Samar! Dance Theatre (YSDT) creates invigorating performance and education programs that expand access to–and promote understanding through – the arts. Founded in 2005 by Samar Haddad King in NYC, YSDT has a repertoire of 30+ original works performed across NYC, regionally, and abroad in 18 countries across four continents. Since 2011, the company has worked transnationally between NYC and Palestine, and is committed to uniting diverse artists and audiences in the creative process, rooted in the belief that art should be liberating, transformative, and accessible to all.