1000 Gifts of Dance is a community art exchange between the movement artist, who performs an improvised dance in a public space, and a passerby who volunteers as a smartphone video artist. A total of 1000 exchanges will be initiated throughout the Jebel Lweibdeh and Abdali neighborhoods by numerous movement artists. The compiled video recordings will be screened publicly, promoting a culture of generosity, play, and community. Anybody is welcome to join the project as a movement artist or video artist regardless of experience level, genre, style, age, gender, or ability.
How can dance act as a bridge to build common experiences and communion in a neighborhood? How does inclusion of a volunteer video artist in the creative process influence the experience of the video artist or the performer? How can dance in public spaces shed new light on spaces of habitual activities?
Ryuji Yamaguchi (dancer, choreographer, educator), currently based in Madaba, Jordan, was born in Japan and spent much of his early life between Japan and the US. After graduating from Harvard University in 2003 with a degree in East Asian Studies, Ryuji moved to New York, where he presented his own work, performed with various artists, and worked extensively with Yoshiko Chuma and the School of Hard Knocks. In 2007, Ryuji was invited to Jordan as the dean of residential life and director of dance, to open a new coeducational boarding high school, King’s Academy. Since then, Ryuji has collaborated with numerous Jordanian and Palestinian artists, and has invited over 40 Japanese and American artists to Jordan. As assistant director and producer to Yoshiko Chuma, Ryuji has created six major productions in Jordan and Palestine. His latest project “Vibration,” a duo with Hungarian dancer Rita Gobi has been presented in Hungary, Japan, the Netherlands, and at Amman Contemporary Dance Festival 2018.
Alaeddin Rahmeh is a Palestinian Jordanian artist specialised in Hip-Hop and performing arts. He started his journey in 2005 in the streets of Amman. Later on Ala found himself performing in contemporary and theatrical dances. Today Ala is a performing arts activist, choreographer, and founder of Underground Amman, where he creates spaces for new and non-traditional expressions of art.
Asem Al Khoja began his artistic career in 2014. After completing his degree in architecture, and while pursing graphic design, he discovered movement arts, especially breakdancing. Finding the capacity in his body to do power moves, he began exploring acrobatic movements. His repertoire includes stilts, unicycles, slackline, diabolo, cyr wheel. A master of juggling, he is currently working on 5 clubs. Asem is also involved in the Red Noses International Jordan since 2018, where he is clowning in different hospitals. Co-founder of Circus House Jordan, he manages a space dedicated to circus, and teaches circus skills to children and adults.
Concept/Direction: Ryuji Yamaguchi
Co-Directors: Alaeddin Rahmeh, Asem Al Khoja