Medhat Aldaabal is a Syrian immigrant based in Berlin who translates his experience and emotion into captivating contemporary dance and choreography. Through expressive and experimental movement, he tells his own story, and encourages others to do the same in his dance workshops for refugees. Throughout his quarantine, Medhat has deepened his connection to his body, finding moments to dance through the mundane and move each day.
25 APR 2020 My name is Medhat Aldaabal and I was born in Damascus, Syria.
I studied theater at the Institute for the Performing Arts in Damascus. I worked with different groups in the Arab region including Enana Dance Theater, Syria (2009-2011), and the KOON Theater Group in Beirut, before moving to Berlin in 2015. Here I participate in numerous workshops for contemporary dance and teach dance for refugee children.
Since 2017 I have choreographed Davide Camplani’s production of Amal. And I have been dancing in the production Come As You Are by Nir de Volff, and others. Ali Hasan and I also collaborate on Sasha Waltz & Guests Dabke Community Dance workshops in Germany.
My work is built on the concept of physical touch. Because of quarantine, everything has changed. On the positive side, I finally have time to fix what needs to be fixed at home so that it feels like home instead of a hotel. I am also building a deeper connection with my body, so I have started to understand it even more.
Soon we will start global collaborations, streaming online classes to the refugees. We are working on doing the same for people in hospitals and elderly homes.
The negative side of the pandemic is that we have lost our work. There have been some moments where the war came back to my memories. I have found myself thinking I cannot believe I ran away from war to face another kind of war.
From war to face another kind of war.”
Never stop dancing. One minute while you are making your coffee is a good start. In one year you will have done 360 minutes of your own choreography—that’s 6 performances. We have never created 6 performances in one year.
Any action in our daily life can be a dance piece. Any movement we make can be considered a dance movement in your special way: tidying your bed, showering, dressing etc.
My family is the biggest inspiration in my life. They continually surprise me, especially in this situation now in Syria, with how much creativity they show every day to survive.
I really wish that we could find a cure for Covid-19 and come back to our normal life soon.