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© Zyad Ceblany

May He Rise and Smell the Fragrance

Ali Chahrour

The Lebanese choreographer Ali Chahrour presents a primitive ceremony of staggeringly incandescent intensity. Between the sacred and the profane, the funeral procession begins.

Details

A priestess keens her grief. Her voice scrapes the soul. Three men emerge from the bowels of the earth. The Lebanese choreographer Ali Chahrour composes a primitive ceremony of staggering intensity. Between the sacred and the profane, the funeral procession begins with furious vitality.

Heartrending chants, coded dance, secular rhythms; the life-affirming power of the funeral ritual is explosive. The final piece in a trilogy about death and funerary rites, May He Rise and Smell the Fragrance confers an anthropological dimension on an intimate tale. Aimed primarily at the people of Lebanon, the choreographer plunges into Arab myths underlying Shiite rituals. The title refers to Ishtar, an ancient Mesopotamian goddess who descended into and returned from Kur, the underworld. Music provokes a state of trance in both spectators and the goddess, whose emancipation comes at the cost of everlasting affliction. In a world of perpetual warfare, men die, women cry. Their tears and wailing laments pierce the night. For eternity.

Credits

Produced by Ali Chahrour
Choreographed by Ali Chahrour
Performed by Ali Chahrour + Hala Omran
Dramaturgy Junaid Sarieddeen
Music composed and performed by Two or The Dragon (Ali Hout + Abed Kobeissy)
Lighting Design Guillaume Tesson
Sound Design Khyam Allami
Costume Design Rayya Morcos
Communication Coordinator Zyad Ceblany
Graphic Design Nadine Helwe

Coproduction fabrik Potsdam
With the support of Goethe-Institut Beirut+ The Arab Fund for Arts and Culture + Houna Center + Zoukak theatre company + Institut français du Liban + Al Akhbar + L’Orient-Le Jour (Beirut)

Presented in association with Place des Arts

Written by Diane Jean
Translated by Neil Kroetsch

Premiered at Al Madina Theatre, Beitur, on February 16, 2017

 

© Thibault Montamat + Didier Olivre

Ali Chahrour (Beirut)

A priestess keens her grief. Her voice scrapes the soul. Three men emerge from the bowels of the earth.

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