1001 ARAB FUTURES: 2021-2022 season
1001 Arab Futures
1001 Arab Futures contemplates imaginative visions, past reckonings, embodied truths and other future potentials from the Arab diaspora. A multi-faceted expression of imagination created in collaboration with by four SWANA artists who share Lebanese heritage as an intersection point. The project is currently expressed in many forms including: an intimate outdoor site-specific dance performance, a visual installation, and a re-imagined dance film. 1001 Arab Futures is inspired, i part, by Arab Futurism: a cultural movement imagining the future of the SWANA/Arab world infused with present day sociopolitical events. "Arab Futurism, writes the scholar Lama Suleiman, is the 'idea of actually revising the past in a way that is more imaginative.' The project’s title is also a nod to the 1001 Arabian Nights classic fantastical folk tales, often referenced as a precursor to Arab science fiction.
Co-created/Directed by: Yara Boustany, Mette Loulou von Kohl, Andrea Shaker
Concept/Collaborative contributions/Performance: Sharon Mansur
Sound: woolen lover
Costume: Angie Vo
Director of Photography: Sydney Swanson
1001 Arab Futures at festivals
Lebanon International Dance Festival, Tiro Arts Association
Online screening of 1001 Arab Futures live performance video, August 2021
Arab Film Festival, Arab American National Museum, November 2021
Frozen River Film Festival, February 2022
Midwest RADFest: Regional Alternative Dance Festival, March 2022
The Cowles Center & McKnight Fellowship for Dancers presents
SOLO: Six Dance Films - An Encore Showing: Renée Copeland, Yeniel “Chini” Perez Domenech, Sharon Mansur, Erin Thompson, Joseph “MN Joe” Tran, Elayna Waxse, May 2022 @8pm CST (rain date May 26)
Silverwood Park, St. Anthony, MN
The Cowles Center for Dance & The Performing Arts Presents: SOLO
September 18, 2021
Six world premiere solo dance films by the 2018 & 2019 McKnight Dance Fellows
Goodale Theater, The Cowles Center for Dance & The Performing Arts
Evening Length Live Solo performance sharings:
June 10-12, 2021
The outdoor campus at the Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts' home
at the Valéncia Arts Center, 1164 W. 10th (Vila) Street
Winona, Mni Sota Makoce/Minnesota, Dakota land
June 17-19, 2021 Online Viewing, + Watch Party/Artist Discussion June 19
Special online live performance recording viewing, with the option to join a group Watch Party with an Artist Discussion/Q&A immediately following, moderated by previous Cedar Tree Project guest artist, Leyya Mona Tawil.
Supported by Art of the Rural
June 1-28, 2021
Arab Futures Visual Installation: by Andrea Shaker
On view in MCA’s Galleria Valéncia
1001 Arab Futures was commissioned by The Cowles Center as part of their SOLO commissioning program, funded by the McKnight Foundation. It was commissioned on behalf of Sharon Mansur, 2018-19 McKnight Dancer Fellowship recipient.
Sharon Mansur, in partnership with the Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts, is a fiscal year 2020 recipient of a Cultural Community Partnership grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation by the Minnesota State Legislature; and by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional support was also provided by Art of the Rural, individual contributors and inkind donations.
Yara Boustany (she/her) is a Beirut-based dance /theater performer and choreographer. After graduating in Audiovisual, she continued her studies in Dance and Circus in Spain and is currently doing her Masters in Choreography at Codarts University in Rotterdam. She is the founder of Amalgam Studio, a dance and theater space in Beirut, Lebanon. Her interdisciplinary work is a poetic approach to the dilemmas of the human being in a rapidly changing society - technologically, scientifically and philosophically. She uses imagination and improvisation as tools to unravel the hidden layers of existence. She has toured with her shows notably in Lebanon and Beirut, and also in Stuttgart, Ankara, Warsaw, London, Manchester, Liverpool, Chalon sur Saône and Athens. Her new piece is titled “Noctilūca” (2021), is supported by AFAC (Arab Fund for Culture).
Mette Loulou von Kohl (she/her) was born from the orange at the center before the new world came. She is a wanderer, performer and cultural worker. Currently living on un-ceded Lenape territory, now colonized as New York City. Mette Loulou is a queer femme, of Lebanese/Palestinian and Danish ancestry. She has lived in New York, Romania, Morocco, Denmark and England. Mette Loulou is fascinated by the intersection between her personal identities as a jumping off point to reveal, dismantle and rebuild realities and dreams. She grapples with her past to complicate and better understand her present. Mette Loulou weaves movement and words into the exploration of her embodied histories. She exists in two places at once.
Andrea Shaker (she/her) grew up in a small town in Connecticut on Quiripi lands. After earning her BA from Georgetown University and MFA from the University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign, she moved to Dakota and Annishaabe lands, where she is a professor of art at the College of St. Benedict | St. John’s University. Andrea’s creative work is interdisciplinary, spanning photography, moving image, experimental film, and written and spoken word. As an Arab American, she explores the spaces between home & homeland and migration & diaspora. Through image and word, her work addresses how these spaces, and the movement of the body within these spaces, are imagined and experienced through the physiology of intergenerational memory.
woolen lover (they/them) is a queer witch mxther sound & movement artist living on the mississippi river. in 2016 they began developing their live-looping performances & have since recorded three albums. they have danced in pieces by Fischer Dance Company, Lisa Kusanagi, Erin Drummond, and Erinn Liebhard, & in 2020 created "the rituals we are searching for," their first solo sound & movement film. creating sound for 1001 Arab Futures combines their loves of interdisciplinary collaborations, inclusive & diverse movements, & site specific pieces. woolen lover strives to host & hold space that is braver, queerer, more inclusive, antiracist, honest, playful, & connected to the Earth.
Find albums & happenings at: www.patreon.com/woolenlover
Angie Vo (she/her) is excited for the opportunity to reconnect with Sharon Mansur on this project and to collaborate with her co-directors on the imagery for 1001 Arab Futures. Her last work Objet de Desir Inaccessible (2019) was performed by Threads Dance Project/Karen L. Charles in the galleries of Mia, her collaboration with the company continues in November at the Cowles Center for the Arts with Out of the Ashes/Tapestries 5.0 and designing with Macalester College for their dance department. She resides in Minneapolis where she has her design space, practices intuitive healing in bodywork and enjoys traveling through cooking until she is actually able to book a flight to wherever life opens. Angie Vo is a first generation Vietnamese-American, artist and fellow wanderer. Her family arrived in the United States after the fall of Saigon in 1975, her roots have taken hold in Minnesota because she loves watching the passing of time with the four seasons. Her meandering career path has lead her to discover, expand and remain curious along with keeping an open heart.
Leyya Mona Tawil (she/her) is an artist working with sound, performance, and hybrid transmissions. Tawil is a Syrian, Palestinian, American engaged in the world as such. Her 25-year record of performances have been presented in the US, Europe, Russia, and the Arab world. She is the director of TAC Temescal Art Center in Oakland-CA, and founder of Arab.AMP - a platform supporting futurist art and ideas from the SWANA diaspora, our region, and our allied BIPOC communities. @leyyamona @arab.amp