Defying borders in the Levant: Contemporary dance and the internet

Hanna Kreitem

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Countries in the Levant have a common culture that values dance, with evidence of dance teaching as old as 1780 BC. Dances, particularly Dabkeh, performed as part of social events to date. Dance in the Levant moved from being participatory in nature to performance dances, particularly after the rise in need to conserve fading heritage due to political events storming the region and causing socio-cultural shifts. These events caused the space between populations of the region to increase, separating the countries more and more, adding hurdles to communication and mobility in the region, particularly between Palestine and both Lebanon and Syria.

The shift in dance towards performance art allowed for more creativity and introduction of modern dance in a dance movement that shared roots and expanded with exposure to international dance movements and with online exposure to Contemporary Dance. Dance troupes in the region started experimenting with new forms of dance, what developed quickly to organized efforts and productions renowned worldwide, with the main driver being four leading cultural centres and groups.

These centres and groups joined forces under Masahat Network for Contemporary Dance to overcome challenges they faced, financial and societal, utilizing the Internet as the main media for communication and coordination to develop dancing in the region through stronger relationships between individual artists, dance associations, and companies.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCon la Red / En la Red
Subtitle of host publicationCreación, Investigación y Comunicación Cultural y Artística en la Era de Internet
EditorsLidia Bocanegra Barbecho, Ana García López
Place of PublicationGranada
PublisherUniversidad de Granada
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9788433860101
Publication statusPublished - 30 Dec 2017


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