dance, music, body wisdom from egypt
Marie has been dancing since her early youth and has learned various dance techniques and forms of physical training in Europe and the Arab speaking world. She studied Egyptian dance with Suraya Hilal from 1989 to 2004, holding a diploma from the Hilal School in London and subsequently working very closely with her as a dancer of the Hilal Dance Company and as a trainer certified and licensed at the highest level by the Hilal Art Foundation. She has traveled extensively in Middle Eastern countries since the age of 15 and gained her in-depth understanding of Arabian art and culture through her academic studies (diploma in the Arabic language INALCO - Paris and Aesthetics of Arabic Art - Université Paris I Pantheon-Sorbonne). She is a certified Somatic Movement teacher in Body-Mind Centering and a professor in Wutao. Thanks to more than 25 years of experience in the dance field, she has contributed to reviving this ancient dance language with a somatic approach and a traditional, contemporary energetic art of movement. With her talent, knowledge and expertise, she is a sought-after performer and teacher throughout Europe and Egypt.
Her company Compagnie Al Fajr founded in 2005 to research Egyptian dance and music, contributes to creating a contemporary form of Egyptian dance that takes traditional aesthetics as a point of departure. Based in Cairo and Paris, Marie Al Fajr's work has always raised questions regarding the politics of aesthetics and the production of temporalities. Her choreographic investigation challenges our notions of beauty in contemporary dance, and questions ownership of culture(s). Her productions reject market-generated aesthetics and Western-centric performance codes. The work of Marie Al Fajr does not take ethnology or cultural anthropology perspectives as a starting point, but is rather rooted in living and embodying everyday knowledge and in a long, in-depth experience of the dance traditions in Egypt.
Marie Al Fajr has created and danced in numerous stage productions. Her latest choreographic projects are Schemm en nassim – une odeur de brise (2004), Roda ou le jardin des désirs (2009), Zohor al rawd - Les fleurs du jardin (2011), Shagarat mussafira - Travelling trees (2015). Marie Al Fajr frequently works with the well-known Egyptian-Armenian composer Georges Kazazian, who shares a similar artistic path. Thanks to their innovative creativity, both transcend tradition without separating from it.
Since 2011, she has been part of research meetings and performances held by HaRaKa (platform for dance development and research) in Egypt, which recently held production in Berlin and New York featuring her latest solo piece Shagarat Mussafira to great critical acclaim.
Marie Al Fajr and her company have performed at New York Live Arts Theater (New York, USA), Hebbel Am Uffer (Berlin, Germany), Town House Gallery (Cairo, Egypt), Rawabet Theater (Cairo, Egypt), Bilbiotheca of Alexandria (Alexandria, Egypt), Institut du Monde Arabe (Paris, France), Théâtre Mandapa (Paris, France), Tanz Haus NRW (Düsseldorf, Germany) among others.