We are proud to bring critically acclaimed dance practitioners and academicians from across the Middle East to join us in this 2nd Edition of Body Voices. View their information below.
Credited with establishing the dance movement in Jordan, Ms. Rania Kamhawi has occupied the position of Deputy Director at the National Centre for Culture and Arts of King Hussein Foundation since 1997.
Director of the Amman Contemporary Dance Festival, an annual regional festival, encompassing Lebanon, Palestine and Jordan. Director of Dance Department accredited by the Royal Academy of Dance, UK. Founder of MISK Dance Company that perform a genre of dance styles ranging from ballet to contemporary and Jordanian folk dance.
Awarded a Fulbright Scholarship as a Scholar in Residence at the University of South Dakota in 1998 with a focus on Culture of the Muslim World where she also premiered the performance Eyes to The East. Invited as International Choreographer to the 60th anniversary of the Ballet de Havana- Cuba, 2008 and to the American Dance Festival at Duke University, 1993.
Commissioned by the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington DC to choreograph the musical Walking the Winds: Arabian Tales, 2006. Other works include: Petra Rocks for a cast of 70 performers, Opera Abu Hassan featuring the Moldavian Orchestra, 2006; Fusion, a Jordanian/Finnish performance and the 1-2-1 Project in cooperation with the Royal Danish Opera. She has choreographed several works from the classical repertoire; including Coppélia, Scheherazade, Swan Lake and Giselle.
Born in Bulgaria, Dr. Ayrin Ersöz is a dancer, choreographer, and academic based in Istanbul, Turkey. She received her BA from the Dance Department at the School of Art and Design at Yildiz Technical University in 2003 and her MA in Art and Design, also from Yildiz, in 2006. Ayrin received her PhD from the Theatre Criticism and Dramaturgy Department at Istanbul University. She worked as a dancer for CRR Dance Theater Company and for Istanbul Dance Theater until 2007.
She has been invited, as a freelance choreographer, to present her works in national venues in Turkey and in Europe. In collaboration with U.S. American choreographer Julia Ritter, Ayrin created Frozen Dream (Donmus Ruya), an immersive dance–theatre production that was presented at the Energy Museum of the Santralstanbul as a parallel project of the 19th Istanbul Theatre Festival. In her most recent choreography, presented at the 20th Istanbul Theatre Festival, titled Epimeleia Heautou, Ayrin intersects the concept of self-care and dance.
As a dancer, artist, and scholar, Ayrin has been invited to present her research at numerous international conferences and has published in various national and international journals. Her research focuses on the connections of dance to political ideologies and systems within historical and contemporary societies. She has been awarded a Fulbright Research Fellowship to conduct research at Rutgers University, The State University of New Jersey. As a Fulbright Fellow, Ayrin will engage in a qualitative research project that explores the role that Islam plays in young Muslim college students’ perceptions of dance as an art form and their participation in dance as a recreational and/or artistic expression.
Dr. Ersöz serves as an Associate Professor within the Department of Music and Performing Arts at Yildiz Technical University in Istanbul.
Karima Mansour graduated with both a BA and a Masters degree in Contemporary Dance from the London Contemporary Dance School of London, England after having completed her BA in Film from the High Institute of Cinema, Academy of Arts in Cairo, Egypt. Upon her return to Egypt in 1999, Karima founded MAAT for Contemporary Dance, the first independent dance company to be established in the country. Since then, she has created 20 full choreographic works that continue to be performed in various international festivals, as well as more than 20 various collaborations in theatre and film.
Karima also formed MAAT Dance M.E.C.A (MAAT Movement for Egyptian Contemporary Art), an initiative that continues with MAAT’s work, developing dance through choreographic works and organized workshops taught by Karima and/or invited guests from all over the world, including film screenings and discussions that revolve around dance and choreography.
Karima has taught at various institutions: in 1998, at the Cairo Opera Dance Theatre Company; from 1999 to 2000, as an Assistant Professor at the Ballet Institute, Academy of Arts; and in the fall of 2010, as an Adjunct Professor of Dance in the American University In Cairo’s Performance and Visual Arts Department.
Under the umbrella of MAAT for Contemporary Art, Karima is the founder and current Artistic Director of the Cairo Contemporary Dance Center. She continues to works as freelance choreographer, performer, and teacher nationally and internationally while creating, performing, and developing her own choreographic work and language as an artist.
For more information on the artist visit: www.cairocontemporarydancecenter.com.
Teni Matian is a Dance Anthropologist, a registered teacher with the Royal Academy of Dance in London, a lecturer, and a choreographer of Armenian heritage, originally from Iran.
Born and raised in a country where dance is forbidden, Teni’s passion for dance was not easy to pursue. After graduating from St. Mary High School in Tehran, Teni decided to move to Armenia to continue her Postgraduate studies in Dance Pedagogy at the Armenian State Pedagogical University. In 2005, she moved to Great Britain to begin another BA in Theatre Dance at the University of Salford in Manchester. After graduating in 2007, Teni began a Professional Dance Teacher Training course with the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) in London. Upon completing her RAD certification in 2010, as a professional, registered dance teacher, Teni returned to work in Armenia as a lecturer at the Armenian State Pedagogical University Dance department through 2011.
In 2011, the Armenian Theatre and Cinematography University invited Teni to work as a lecturer and course leader for the Choreography department. She was chosen by the British Council in Armenia to be part of an exchange program with one of the world’s leading dance companies, Candoco. She was trained in London as one of the trainers to be part of the “Unlimited” project that aimed to establish the first inclusive dance company in Armenia.
In September 2014, Teni began another Master's degree in Dance Anthropology at the University of Roehampton in Great Britain. After graduating in 2015, she moved to Kuwait to be with her husband. There, she currently works as the head of the Dance Department at LOYAC Academy of Performing Arts (LAPA).
Svetlana Al Neyadi, UAE
Founder, Fantasia Ballet, Abu Dhabi
Alfonso Perfetto, UAE
Urban Dancer/Instructor, Abu Dhabi