You need Flash player 8+ and JavaScript enabled to view this video.
© Christophe Raynaud de Lage

كما روتها أمي – Told By My Mother

Ali Chahrour

Perhaps the strongest voice in Lebanon’s contemporary performing arts, choreographer Ali Chahrour draws on song, music, and dance to exorcise sorrow and extoll the power of maternal love in two stories lived through by his family. His relative Leila managed to save her son Abbas from a martyr’s fate; his aunt, the late Fatmeh, lost her son in Syria. In the flowing, gyrating movements of Chahrour’s choreography, Leila and Abbas embody both of these poignant stories with utter sincerity, easing the vertigo of loss. Stark gestures lead to moments of stillness when the silence of frozen time vibrates with the intensity of the performers’ gazes.

After May He Rise and Smell the Fragrance (FTA, 2019), Ali Chahrour and his remarkable team of musicians and performers are back with Told by my mother, a work of memory rooted in reality that soothes sorrow and nourishes hope. Love and death go hand in hand, touching our hearts.

General info

About the artist

© Lea Skayem

Ali Chahrour (Beirut)

Born in Beirut, Ali Chahrour studied theatre because no dance programs existed. He later learned Western dance conventions, but quickly left these behind. Instead, his reference points and sources of inspiration are the people and culture of his own country, whose forgotten stories he tells.

Full biography

Media Coverage

“A poignant tribute to women and mothers of Lebanon.”

Mini Muringatheri, The Hindu (India), 08-02-2023

“This latest piece is rooted in intimate and heartfelt chronicles, iconic stories of mothers and their families, some of whose members are lost or missing.”

Nada Ghosn, The Markaz Review (United States), 18-07-2022

“The band is not only an artistic foundation of this work, it also rocks. The drums, buzuk, and Omran’s powerful voice create an atmosphere between a rite and a rock concert. Admittedly, with this much satisfaction, at times the piece comes off as voyeuristic.”

Wesley Doucette, (United States), 25-07-2022

“An intimate and heartfelt dance performance.”

T Ramavarman, The Times of India (India), 07-02-2023


“There are many mothers who are still looking for their missing sons or trying to save what remains. As a choreographer, I’m trying to save the story itself. I believe that individual stories can sum up a context and that choreography can rewrite forgotten stories and history itself.”

Read the interview