Irish Premiere | Lebanon
Leila’s Death, a stirring contemporary work by Lebanese choreographer and performer Ali Chahrour, delves into the fading tradition of professional Shiite mourners who give voice to sadness and loss at funerals and burials in South Lebanon.
Striking vocals by Leila are beautifully woven together with live music from “Two and the Dragon” and dance by Chahrour to shed light on a ritual that celebrates martyrdom and heroic death.
This practice merges religious and social customs, transforming a funeral into a grand and joyful event. Men and women mingle, dance and cry; poetry and Islamic prayers overlap; and life embraces death.
Chahrour expertly fuses religious practices with expressive contemporary dance and music to invite the audience into an experience that, while perhaps unfamiliar in content, is universal in emotion.
"You hold your breath, not only to acknowledge the wonder of it being there in the first place, but in honour of the transcendental experience" - Montreal Theatre Hub
Choreographer/Director: Ali Chahrour
Performers: Ali Chahrour (dancer), Leila Chahrour (singer), “Two and the Dragon”: Ali Hout, Abed Kobeissi (musicians)
Dramaturgy: Junaid Sariedeen
Assistant Director: Haera Slim
Scenography: Nathalie Harb
Light Designer: Guillaume Tesson
Costumes: Bird on A Wire and Creative Space