Told By My Mother
This is the story of a family, repeated across many other families in Beirut and its outskirts. It is the story of a mother’s love — told, sung, and danced by Ali Chahrour and his family.
Told By My Mother is the story of Fatima, Ali Chahrour’s aunt, who spent the final years of her life searching for her son Hassan, lost in the Syrian war. It’s also the story of Laila and her son Abbas, Ali Chahrour’s relatives, who are on stage with him and lend their presence to the mothers and sons who are no longer present. It’s a story of big and small wars; of collective and private victories and losses.
Whitin these family hardships, Ali Chahrour finds a cultural heritage dedicated to the expression of love. The music in the performance — performed by Hala Omran and the electro-acoustic duo Two or The Dragon (Ali Hout & Abed Kobeissy)— draws from the songs sung at home, on occasions of grief and joy. With gestures and movements heavy with history, the performers tell, sing, and dance their stories in order for memory to survive.
On 25 November, the show will be followed by a talk with Ali Chahrour and the Palestinian researcher Shahd Wadi, moderated by the journalist and cultural activist Carla Fernandes. The talk will be in English.
Direction & Choreography Ali Chahrour Performers Hala Omran, Leila Chahrour, Abbas Al Mawla, Ali Hout, Abed Kobeissy, Ali Chahrour Music Two or The Dragon: Ali Hout & Abed Kobeissy Scenography Guillaume Tesson, Ali Chahrour Light design & Technical director Guillaume Tesson Sound design Woody Naufal Photography Myriam Boulos Lettering Khajak Apelian Layout Chadi Aoun Copywriting Isabelle Aoun (English) Translators Labiba Chaiban (French), Shahd Wadi (Portuguese) Subtitles Shahd Wadi Assistant director Chadi Aoun Production managers Chadi Aoun & Christel Salem Produced by Ali Chahrour In Co-production with Studio Zoukak, the Arab Arts Focus with the support of Stiftelsen, Studio Emad Eddin & Ford Foundation, Napoli Teatro festival, Saadallah & Lubna Khalil Foundation, Kunstfest Weimar, Zurich Theater Spektakel, Mahmoud Darwish Chair/Bozar Supported by Arab Fund for Arts and Culture ”Afac”, The French Institute of Beirut, Beit el Laffe, Barzakh, KED, Mezyan, T-Marbouta, Tawlet, Eid Press.
About the artist
Ali Chahrour (Beirut, 1989) is a dancer and choreographer. He studied theatre and dance in Lebanon and at various schools in Europe. His work explores the deep relationships between the body and movement, tradition and modernity, inspired by the political, social, and religious context of Beirut, where he lives and works.