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TransDance 2012- Body Documents from 1960’s Reda Troupe Dance


In this talk, Sawsan Gad explores the body as a site of documentation of race, gender and class in the work of the 1960’s famous Egyptian Dance company ‘The Reda Troupe’, whose work was influenced by the rise of the nationalist and Arabist discourse set within a Nasser regime. The work of the troupe choreographically traced pre-existing dances from centuries ago, and distilled it through reenactments that are staged (or presented in film) defining an epistemological break through displaced choreographies. Their ‘body documents’ stand as an activated document, in constant friction with the context that surrounds them in Egypt, through the present. Sawsan Gad’s lecture is accompanied by screenings of dance sequences from the Reda Troupe repertoire.

ABOUT SWANSAN GAD Sawsan Gad works as a mapper in the field of disaster recovery. She also co-founded HarassMap, a mapping tool that aims to change the social tolerance of sexual harassment in Egypt. Through her work she deals with questions related to behaviour, perception and the will of masses from a grassroot, often gender-based, but always individualistic perspective. With HaRaKa, Sawsan has acted as an Associate Researcher, presenting research on the market control of beauty perception as well as curators' control of artist selection; both conditioning a culture that they indeed wish to challenge. Her work has been presented as lectures, text, and in live performance contexts.

TransDance is Egypt’s only international festival for contemporary dance, choreography and performance. It is set within transdisciplinary contexts and invites artists to question the mobility of practice and medium. TransDance is produced by HaRaKa for Dance Development and Research. The festival is curated by Adham Hafez, in collaboration with dramaturge Ismail Fayed and managed by Ahmad Moez, the festival takes place in theatres, galleries, lecture halls, public buses, gardens, work studios and kitchens between three continents. It curated by Adham Hafez, celebrates its fifth edition this year with its largest program ever in Cairo, and includes satellite events in Alexandria,  Marseilles, Minia and New York City. The festival hosts an international program of performances, talks, workshops, panels, installations and film screenings




This program is co-presented as part of the New York edition of TransDance with ArteEast and HaRaKa, and in collaboration with Residency Unlimited and the Center for Performance Research.