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Movement Research Festival 2024

Opening Date: Feb 28, 2024

Closing Date: Mar 09, 2024

Movement Research Festival 2024 Show Site Icon

Playing @

Various Locations/Boroughs

Site Specific Location New York City, NY 10003

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The 2024 Movement Research Festival is curated by Marýa Wethers, Director of the GPS/Global Practice Sharing program at Movement Research, with a focus on the artists and partnerships developed through the GPS MENA (Middle East & North Africa) Exchange program. MR Festival events, happening from February 28-March 9, 2024, include artist talks (GPS Chats and Studies Project), movement workshops and performances at Movement Research at the Judson Church and Danspace Project (for the first time since 2019!)

The 2024 Festival presents an exciting lineup of extraordinary and dynamic contemporary dance artists from the MENA/SWANA region. Featured artists include Sahar Damoni (Palestine), Lori Kharpoutlian (Lebanon), Charlie Prince (Lebanon) and F.M. Sayna (Iran). These remarkable artists are shedding light on important issues of global significance, from abortion and women’s rights to exploring forced displacement, the body as archeological space and the politics of waiting. Occuring simultaneous to the genocide of Palestinians under ongoing occupation, the 2024 Festival uplifts the creative practices and artistic work of this cohort of dance artists as a necessary and felicitous expression of the complex and contradictory realities of our lives and times. 

Performances include:
Movement Research at the Judson Church
Artists: Lori Kharpoutlian (Lebanon), F.M. Sayna (Iran), Sahar Damoni (Palestine), Charlie Prince (Lebanon)
Monday, March 4 @ 7 PM
Judson Church (55 Washington Square South, NY, NY 10012)
This MR@Judson evening features solo works by Lori Kharpoutlian and F.M. Sayna and culminates in a group improvisation with the festival artists. Lori Kharpoutlian will offer a work-in-progress presentation of looping, loading, falling out of time (working title). It is an excerpt from a set of musings into the politics of waiting as it manifests in digital algorithms, economic and political strategies and the design of everyday objects and services. Through a process of sampling and juxtaposition, formatting and reformatting, the work explores the temporal, psychological and spatial tensions this bodily condition creates. F.M. Sayna will present a new short dance film about leaving your beloved land through forced immigration. The displacement is like being trapped behind walls but in a larger prison. The work honors an Afghan friend of the artist and all people who are forced to choose between leaving their homeland or staying in prison’s dictatorism.

nasa4nasa / Salma AbdelSalam & Noura Seif Hassanein
Thursday, March 7 @ 7:30 PM
Danspace Project
(131 East 10th Street, NY, NY 10003)
NO MERCY by nasa4nasa navigates their daily virtual and non-virtual modes of feelings. During this 45-minute DJ set, nasa4nasa explores the limits of sensuality and desire and its interplay with violence. The two female bodies navigate the gaze, referencing their repertoires of body image, pop, rage and intimacy. nasa4nasa will lure you in, disarm you and in the process unravel in their own drama.

Eat Banana and Drink Pills
Sahar Damoni
Friday, March 8 @ 7:30 PM
Danspace Project
(131 East 10th Street, NY, NY 10003)
Eat Banana and Drink Pills is a contemporary dance performance about abortion among single Arab Palestinian women. The work focuses on the physical and emotional experience and the social dimensions of this experience. The work analyzes ramifications of this choice and the stigma, trauma and social violence it carries. About this work, Idit Suslik of The Contemporary Eye wrote: “The traumatic moment engraved in the psyche is translated into an uninhibited immersion of the choreographer in the body, in a way that merges the past with the present into an unfiltered ‘now,’ and only at the end does the understanding sharpen that this shared and exposed time with the audience holds the possibility of healing.”

Cosmic A*
Charlie Prince (Lebanon)
Saturday, March 9 @ 7:30 PM
Danspace Project
(131 East 10th Street, NY, NY 10003)
Cosmic A* (2021), created and performed by Charlie Prince, is a 45-minute solo performance concert that observes the body as an archaeological space and engages this body in rituals of excavation, revealing new and unbound mythologies, allowing for a limitless agency of self-representation and rootedness. Created in response to the multiple crises in Lebanon between 2019 and 2021, this new stripped-down version for the MR Festival is a meditation on the last three years, looking back, looking in and forward as a transposition of the work for a different context and time. The body as a site of being. It is matter that is shaped, deformed, that ascends and emerges. It is a site of revolution, of oppression. Of representation and mis-representation. Of wholeness and fragmentation. It is the surface where ideas and action meet. It is the container of manifestos, of traumas, of unanswered questions and fragile answers. The body has never crystalized. It is always becoming. Over and over again.

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