Dancer, US, Palestine

LeilAwa [Leila Awadallah] is an artist working with movement through embodied research and storytelling. She is a Palestinian-American who engages culturally and politically with her ancestral roots and the geographic soils in which they are growing. LeilAwa's lineages are Mediterranean, yet her body was born and lives on Dakota / Anishinaabe lands.

LeilAwa’s work manifests in dance pieces, durational performance installations, and short experimental film. Her dance examines the body’s resistance to settler colonial violence and systematic distortions and erasures, and the choreography of occupation in the context of Palestine. Her physical movement seeks connection to place, land, home and memory and is created within a framework of the Arab imaginary.

Leila is wearing a thobe - traditional Palestinian dress. This one is very old with faded red fabric and yellow embroidery. She is crouched in the corner of an outdoor staircase. A sliver of trees without leaves are visible. Her long brown hair covers her face. She pulls her knee towards her chest.

Body Watani

While at Camargo, LeilAwa plans to focus on a daily practice of body watani (Arabic for “my homeland") in order to build a clearer physical practice for future work and collaborations. She seeks to learn from land based, durational improvisation practices rooted in traditional dances of the region: baladi, raqs sharqi, and tarantella. The physical work will be paired with historical / cultural / spiritual research questions in order to merge what subconsciously manifests during the embodied practice, with active and reflective thought that helps guide the mind-body through the terrain of memory.

LeilAwa is in residence at Camargo from January 13 to February 12, 2020, in partnership with Jerome Foundation.