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Leila’s Death, a stirring contemporary work by Lebanese choreographer and performer Ali Chahrour, delves into the fading tradition of professional Shiite mourners who give voice to sadness and loss at funerals and burials in South Lebanon.
Striking vocals by Leila are beautifully woven together with live music from “Two and the Dragon” and dance by Chahrour to shed light on a ritual that celebrates martyrdom and heroic death.
This practice merges religious and social customs, transforming a funeral into a grand and joyful event. Men and women mingle, dance and cry; poetry and Islamic prayers overlap; and life embraces death.
Chahrour expertly fuses religious practices with expressive contemporary dance and music to invite the audience into an experience that, while perhaps unfamiliar in content, is universal in emotion.
Choreography / Direction by Ali Chahrour
Performered by Ali Chahrour (dancer), Leila Chahrour (singer), “Two and the Dragon”: Ali Hout, Abed Kobeissi (musicians)
Produced by Haera Slim, with the support of Zoukak Studio and Houna Center.
“You hold your breath, not only to acknowledge the wonder of it being there in the first place, but in honor of the transcendental experience” Montreal Theatre Hub
Duration: 80 mins approx. (no interval)
In Arabic with English surtitles
Post-Show Talk: Sat 19 May