"Performing Trauma: Dance as a Medium of Political Resistance, Transformation, and Healing"

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Egyptian Choreographer, Dancer, and Writer Nora Amin Is Valeska Gert Visiting Professor at Freie Universität during Summer Semester

No 083/2018 from May 01, 2018

The Egyptian choreographer, dancer, and writer Nora Amin is the Valeska Gert Visiting Professor at Freie Universität Berlin during the summer semester of 2018. She is teaching a seminar entitled Performing Trauma: Dance as a Medium of Political Resistance, Transformation, and Healing. The opening event is public. It will be held on Monday, May 7, 2018, in the Akademie der Künste (Pariser Platz 4). In addition to Nora Amin, Gabriele Brandstetter (Freie Universität), Dr. Thomas Engel (ITI-Deutschland/Deutsches Zentrum des Internationalen Theaterinstituts), and Nele Hertling (Akademie der Künste) will contribute to the English-language program. Admission is free.

In the seminar Nora Amin will investigate the physicality of traumatic experiences with students and explore performative practices of reenactment and representation. The students will be assigned to develop choreographies that either take a public position on trauma or transform trauma into an aesthetic sphere of attachment, transcendence, and empowerment. Amin’s goal is to give students a new perspective on dance that deals with the role of the body in conflict and trauma.

Nora Amin (born 1970 in Cairo) has been active in the independent theater and dance scene of Egypt since 1993 as well as in the field of contemporary Egyptian literature. Since her directorial debut in 2000, she has been a key figure in the new Egyptian theater. She was a founding member of the Cairo Opera House’s Modern Dance Company and worked as a lecturer and translator at the Cairo Art Academy. In 2000, she founded her own independent theater group in Cairo. In the group, which she called Lamusica, she developed her own choreographic style for physical theater, dance, and pantomime. Beginning in 2001 Amin extended her work to the international scene.

In dance and choreography Amin focuses on authentic movement and physical and emotional memory. Her goal is to create a personal vocabulary that can function as a living and physical witness of identity and memory. In this context she has worked with victims of torture, violence, and sexual assault, as well as performers who are able to translate these experiences into dance and movement. Her latest ongoing project is research on "performing trauma," in which she examines the emergence of a choreography based on the experience of a traumatized body. This work deals with communicating pain and trauma through movement and physicality, overcoming the original experience, and following a healing process through performative practices.

Amin has published three novellas, four collections of short stories, and an audio book. She has translated 15 books about theater and dance and was the first writer to publish an Arabic-language book on theater and human rights. In 2007 she co-hosted a storytelling workshop for female victims of the civil war in Sudan.

The Valeska Gert Visiting Professorship is hosted jointly by the Institute for Theater Studies, Freie Universität Berlin, the German Academic Exchange Service, and the Akademie der Künste.

Times and Locations

Opening Event

  • Monday, May 7, 2018, 6 p.m.
  • Akademie der Künste, Pariser Platz 4, 10117 Berlin (subway and S-Bhf. Brandenburger Tor, Bus TXL, Bus 100, Bus 200)

Final Event

  • Monday, July 2, 2018, 6 p.m.
  • Akademie der Künste (Blackbox) Pariser Platz 4, 10117 Berlin (subway and S-Bhf. Brandenburger Tor, Bus TXL, Bus 100, Bus 200)