Omar Rajeh / Maqamat Dance Theatre (Lebanon)
Concept and direction: Omar Rajeh
Performed by: Koen Augustijnen, Ziad Ahmadie, May Bou Matar, Moonsuk Choi, Youssef Hbeisch, Samir Nasr Eddine, Omar Rajeh, Ziyad Sahahb, Anani Sanouvi.
Choreographed by: Koen Augustijnen, Omar Rajeh, Anani Sanouvi, and Hiroaki Umeda
Music composition: Ziad Ahmadie, Youssef Hbeisch, Samir Nasr Eddine & Ziyad Sahhab
Percussion: Youssef Hbeisch
Voice: Nohad Rajeh
Scenography and costumes: Mia Habis
Sound engineer: Jean-Christophe Batut
Lighting design: Victor Duran Manzano
Technical director: Nadim Deaibes
Technical assistant: Salim Abou Ayyash
Tailor: Georges Jamo
Graphic design and video animation: Joe Elias/Nimslabs
Photography: Tony Elieh
Produced by: Maqamat Beit El Raqs
Co-produced by: BIPOD-Beirut International Platform of Dance, Tanzquartier Wien, Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg, CCN de La Rochelle / Cie Accrorap-Direction Kader Attou, Theater im Pfalzbau-Ludwigshafen, and Fondazione Fabbrica Europa
“With good friends… and good food on the board… we may well ask, when shall we live if not now?” – M. F. K. Fisher, The Art of Eating
Four choreographers and four musicians – with different artistic experiences and ideas, coming from different continents, cultures and countries – are meeting on stage over a banquet of food. They talk, drink, laugh, dance and prepare food together. A simple meeting that becomes a starting point to a more complex choreographic and conceptual performance structure. Beytna is an invitation to the home of the other, to the artist’s profession and choreographic construction. It’s an invitation that guarantees diversity, touches on forms and situations of the past, searches for a new rhythm, pattern, logic.
Maqamat is a Lebanese contemporary dance company that was founded by Omar Rajeh in Beirut in 2002. In a short period of time, the company has been able to emerge as a central organisation in the creation and development of contemporary dance in Lebanon and the Arab region. It is considered today as “the founder of a Lebanese contemporary dance scene”.
Since 2002, the company has been touring locally and internationally. It has also supported, produced and presented works for local emerging artists. In addition to the creative work, Maqamat, together with a network of international and regional partners, focuses on building an infrastructure for contemporary dance in Beirut. One of the most important achievements of the company was the creation of BIPOD-Beirut International Platform of Dance. Bipod celebrates its 10th anniversary in April 2014.
Omar Rajeh, choreographer, dancer and artistic director of Maqamat Dance Theatre is considered to be the architect of the contemporary dance scene in Lebanon. After his Theatre Arts studies at the Lebanese University and dance studies at the University of Surrey, England, he founded his dance company Maqamat Dance Theatre in 2002. Since then, the company has created more than 15 performances and has worked in co-production with internationally renowned venues and festivals around the world.
His choreographies deal with everyday questions, concerns and perceptions in a fascinating and captivating way. Omar’s work, intense and powerful, is continuously questioning the individual human experience and seeking an extraordinary physical presence.
Rajeh is the founder of BIPOD, one of the richest and most important contemporary dance festivals in the Arab world. He is also a co-founder of Masahat Dance Network, a regional contemporary dance network across Lebanon, Syria, Palestine and Jordan. In addition, he is the founder of Moultaqa Leymoun, a platform that aims to showcase and promote the work of Arab and Iranian talent.