Mithkal Alzghair (b. 1981) is a choreographer and dancer from Syria. He studied between the East (Higher Institute of Dramatic Art in Damascus, Syria) and the West (Master in choreographic studies ‘ex.e.r.ce’ at the Centre chorégraphique national de Montpellier). Alzghair has performed for several choreographers and recently collaborated with the Italian company In-Occula on the European project CRACK. In March 2016 he created Displacement, a solo and a trio in which he questions his legacy in a context of exile. The performance won top prize at the international competition ‘Danse élargie’ in 2016, organised by Théâtre de la Ville and Musée de la danse, Centre Chorégraphique National de Rennes et de Bretagne. In the fall of 2016 Mithkal Alzghair founded the HEK-MA company.
Notes on Displacement
My research is centred on the heritage of Syrian culture, its physicalities, its trance, its dynamics, and its repetitions. I am attempting to understand the sources of the traditional dances; through which process of impregnation and contagion they have been built, taking into consideration the social and political reality that have contributed to the creation of this legacy: the military legacy, the legacy of dictatorship, the legacy of authoritarian regimes, revolution, war, and displacement.
The necessity of this creation is related to what I see today in the Middle East regarding the question of displacement and migration: violence, murder, massacre, conflict, and revolution. My objective is to explore the identity of the Syrian body, the legacy that has been inherited, lived, and built, and to understand how the events that shake our region have begun to write a new heritage that is linked to the current political, social, and religious conditions. What is the identity of a society formed under domination and colonial dictatorship? Is it any different from those that experience war and migration? Where is the space of freedom for these bodies? What are the constraints and the ideologies incorporated therein and how to deal with them? Thus, Displacement incorporates the research about what I’ve inherited as well as my desire to participate in rebuilding a legacy that is now underway.