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Under the Flesh by Bassam Aboud Diab is a contemporary dance performance, a personal reflection that investigates the way the human body reacts to situations of war and danger and how this survival instinct can be expressed in a dance with its own specific technique.

The performance is preceded by a speech with an expert on the relationship between dance and war.


Fondazione Nazionale della Danza informs, according to the DPCM of March 4th, 2020, on “Measures to combat and contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus on the entire national territory”, being evidently of absolute inapplicability the possibility to allow places of theatrical performance to respect the interpersonal distance of at least 1 meter, the SUSPENSION until April 3rd of all activities scheduled in its spaces.

Choreography and direction: Bassam Abou Diab
Performer: Bassam Abou Diab, Ayman Sharaf El Dine and a translator
Music: Ayman Sharaf El Dine

Co-produced by Maqamat Beit El Raqs
Duration: 30′

In 1996 the war came back and it was a long time since I had met my friends, the bombing. My friends this time were much more sophisticated and strong than previous times and it had been a long time since I had used the fall strategy. I took note of the change and elaborated the strategy again trying not to die.

The second strategy is to let your body go to the end, you take advantage of the moment to go to the extreme part of your body / the extreme boundary of your body and avoid the danger. Actually it is not a strategy but I was trying to celebrate it because I got a new pair of shoes from European aid. The best part of a war are the gifts, games and donations that we usually receive after every war but in that case my neighbor received more gifts because his parents died during the war.

During the year 2000 I changed. New ideas in mind about the relationship between cultures, the body, death and rituals. My new strategy is to bring together traditions and identities to create a particular taste and a whole new meaning for existence.

In 2006 things got more difficult. I was forced to use a huge number of strategies to survive. Pain and death were just music to me. I think the time is over and you are thinking that I said a lot of stupid things but the most important thing is that you try to discover your own strategies.

Bassam Abou Diab

He is an emerging choreographer from Beirut who has used the Moultaqa Leymoun platform to its full potential. His history and interest in theatre, folklore and contemporary dance soon pushed him into the regional and international dance scene. He worked under the guidance of Omar Rajeh | Maqamat, Gilles Jobin, Damien Jalet, Marco Cantalupo and other established artists. Cultural influences and adaptability create a captivating sense of wonder in his work. Bassam is an artist associated with Maqamat and is currently supported by Maqamat Beit El Raqs together with APAP for the APAP 2020 project.