Al Zaytouna, Britain's leading dabke dance troupe, will be performing the first adaptation of Ghassan Kanafani's "Ila Haifa" (Returning to Haifa), fusing music, traditional dabke, theatre and contemporary dance. The Director, Ahmed Masoud, explains "Dabke is an undiscovered form of art, not yet introduced properly to the West. It is found across the Arab world; in Palestine, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq. The Middle East is most commonly associated with belly dancing, and we want to show that this is not the only dance form we have to offer".
Oud master & singer Nizar Al Issa and singer Mohammed Diab, in his first performance since the break up of Al 'Ashiqeen Group, use their formidable talents to join the dance and dialogue in this powerful story.
This unique performance was conceived and devised by Al Zaytouna to help a British audience understand the events of the Nakba - the 1948 Palestinian catastrophe. The story tells of a young couple forced to abandon their home and baby in Haifa and leave Palestine. Twenty years on, they receive a permit from the Israeli authorities to visit Haifa, where they are reunited with their child, and face a shocking surprise.
Ila Haifa explores the themes of identity and homeland; real issues for many members of the group that contribute to the passion with which they perform.
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