A wife and a husband, two thespian lovers, walk us down memory lane in a city with wounds wide open. Remnants of their life journey on stage, and through all stages of their life. All that remains of happiness and a dance performance before the curtain falls.
Their city is wavering, yet still pulsing with unbending love, and ablaze with infatuated eyes.
A city springing alive with every story unfolding in the heartbeats of a mother’s and father’s love.
This performance was inspired by a personal pondering over the past few years on what it means to age in a country like Lebanon. The idea of this performance came to life, exacerbated by a constant worry about our parents and elders growing old in Beirut, their chosen city of life and death. A city that is crumbling time and again before their helpless eyes, as they keep trying to piece together all that is fading within and without, with old age as their only witness.
The work brings together the ever united Hanane Hajj-Ali and Roger Assaf, two ageing thespian lovers who are a couple in real life as on stage. They have watched the rise and fall of cities under the Mediterranean sun, warmly mapping their faces with every meaningful city street, every memory and every disappointment. Alone at the dawn of their city’s almost fall, they cling to what remains. The stage carries them together as they dance their failures, victories, and their unbending love story.
The choreography highlights what is left for an ageing body to give, at the edge of its limitations. Challenging the movement to dance and express, therefore relying on the power of gestures and the depth of bodies that carry within the intensity of personal stories as well as the overwhelming weight of years in the local and regional socio-political scenes.
Roger and Hanane are accompanied by musician Abed Kobeissy, assistant to the direction and production manager Chadi Aoun, light designer Guillaume Tesson, sound engineer Benoit Rave and myself. At the rehearsals, we meant to dream a small new world of what we would like the outside world to resemble. There is us, the stage, the dance, the love and the passion.
This is what remains when all around us seems to be almost falling.