Wherever you sow grain, the grain grows
أينما زرعت القمح، ينمو القمح
Addò pastine 'o ggrano, 'o ggrano cresce

Andrea De Siena and Emily Jacir

Choreography: Andrea De Siena
Music: Luca Rossi
Dancers: Andrea De Siena, Emily Jacir, Momen Alqrby, Ali Khalid Obeid, Bakr Qaraqe, Lourian Ghnaim, Tamara Odeh, Elissa Mitwasi, Sandra Istefan, Lama Altakruri
Musicians: Luca Rossi, Nakhleh Sarras, Saif Hammash

This choreographic and musical piece was led by Andrea De Siena and Luca Rossi, it is a translation of their encounter with Bethlehem and our agrarian, musical and dance traditions. It was created through a collective process of exchanges with local participants.

The original music composition drew its inspiration from the traditional forms of the tammurriata or ballo e canto sul tamburo (the musical heritage of Campania linked to the worship and devotion to the Virgin Mary) and the dabka (the traditional Palestinian folk dance). In both of these traditions, the symbolic-gestural aspect is connected to the relationship of the body with the land. The choreography was based on these two choreutic and sound repertoires by reworking the elements directly connected with agriculture and working the land: the castagnette (musical instruments made of olive wood with which accompany the steps of the tammurriata dancers), the wrist movements that simulate the gesture of sowing, and the arm movements used in cultivation.

The piece was also informed by site visits to Bethlehem’s agricultural areas where the artists witnessed the impossibility of reaching one's own olive trees, the difficulty of harvesting, the longing to be on one’s own land, the history that binds the community together and the land’s profound cultural heritage. The majestic but painful presence of the olive trees created a visible horizon immediately familiar and shared. The olive tree is not the symbol of this work, it is the theme.

Part of Revolutionary Letter #7 curated by Emily Jacir, as part of Common Ground: an international festival on the politics of land and food, supported by the OSUN Center for Human Rights and the Arts at Bard College and the Fisher Center LAB.

Dar Yusuf Nasri Jacir for Art and Research
Al Khalil Road,Bethlehem, West Bank

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