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Festival Director Message

"And our Dance continues"

“And our dance continues” is the title chosen for the twelfth edition of the Ramallah contemporary Dance Festival.

And our dance continues through existence, survival and steadfastness.

Our story of steadfastness continues while commemorating a hundred years since Balfour Declaration:  a promise made from those who do not own land to those who are not entitled to have it.

We continue our steadfastness on the land of Palestine despite the 70 years that have passed since the Partition Plan to divide Palestine which paved the way for our main Catastrophe.

And our story continues through resistance in spite of the fifty years since the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, Jerusalem and Gaza have started and despite the repression, suppression, settlements and land confiscations. 
And our story continues, as we continue the struggle, while commemorating  thirty years since the Palestinian popular uprising…

And our story continues, we the people who have been displaced from their own land as a result of an international conspiracy,  have been uprooted from our origin and besieged in our  own land  under the control of  a racists regime  which  is more hideous than the apartheid system of South Africa… 

And our story… continues… as long as there is a child who dreams of the blue sea and still resists.

And our story continues as long as justice, freedom and dignity are our fixed destination.

With the continuation of our story, our dance, our poem, our play, our novel and our song continue as an essential part of the culture of resistance, and as an action against the occupation, oppression and repression.

It is the destiny and the choice of the Palestinian artist to be a happiness maker and to draw a smile on people’s faces, at the same time when his/her works represent resistance against the occupation .   

This year’s festival includes 27 performances for 21 dance companies from which 9 are Palestinian dance companies, 1 Arabic dance company and 11 international dance companies. The performances and the activities are located in Ramallah, Jerusalem, Jericho, Birzeit, Haifa and the Golan Heights.

The Festival will include many programs and activities like the Expo day for Palestinians’ performing arts which includes performances, workshops, and introducing the Palestinian organizations and companies who work in the performing art field, the dance map, the dance and society conference which will be held in partnership with the Arab Music Program at Birzeit University that aims at discussing the “The Prospects of Dance Education in Palestine”, and dance workshop. The festival will also host the international choreographer Herve Maigret from the NGC25 French dance company in order to organize a dance audition to choose Palestinian dancers to participate in a coproduction between Sareyyet Ramallah and NFC25 Dance Company. Sareyyet Ramallah will also launch the project “Palestinian Dance Data Base” which will provide a data base for the Palestinian dance sector through an interactive electronic website, which includes information about the Palestinian dance companies, dancers, choreographers, dance festivals, dance schools and dance productions to enhance the networking and communication between the workers in the dance sector, and to promote the Palestinian dance companies and dancers. Moreover, this year and for the first time, the festival will contribute in the production of three dance performances for three Palestinian dance companies.

The festival will host a number of festival directors, and production mangers, choreographers, and lecturers in the field of dance to participate in the discussions, sharing knowledge, exchanging of experiences and open prospects for future cooperation.
After 12 years since the establishment of the festival, we appreciate and value the role of the Palestinians dancers who developed a significant presence in the festival, and presented performances which are distinctive and indicate development and artistic maturity, in addition to the success of many of them in getting academic scholarships to complete their studies in the field of dance. Sareyyet Ramallah will also send 4 Palestinian dancers in January 2018 as stipulated in the agreement with the National Academy of Dance in Rome to study dance in Rome for six months. Also a significant number of Palestinians dancers were able to participate in the work of international dance companies, after participating in their auditions and excelling in them.

Ramallah Contemporary Dance Festival for 2017 is held in partnership with the  Ramallah Municipality and with the support of the Palestinian Ministry of Culture, the European Union, the Representative office of Norway, the Watanieh Mobile Company, A. M. Qattan Foundation, the National Beverage Company, Muna and Basem Hishmeh Foundation, and the Grand Park Hotel, also in collaboration with Birzeit University, the British Council, the Goethe Institute, Yabous Cultural Centre, the Palestinian National Theater, and with media partnership with  Palestine TV, the Palestinian channel, Radio 24 FM,  InterTech Company, and ELBARRIO for Video Productions.

With our partners, including governmental and nongovernmental organizations, teams and artists, we contribute to enhancing the dialogue and building bridges of knowledge, cooperation, exchange of experiences, and respect for pluralism and diversity.

We extend our gratitude and appreciation to everyone who believed in us and in what we are doing, and contributed to the support of the festival.

All the love, appreciation and respect to the festival staff members  and volunteers because with your efforts, contribution and smile our dance continues and our festival attains significant accomplishments and receives attention from the most important local, Arab and international dance companies.

Khaled Elayyan 
Festival Director