Ashtar Muallem, Palestina

Dancer: Ashtar Muallem

Director: Iman Aoun

Music creation: Rami Washaha

Light creation: Atallah Tarazi

Externa eye: Isona Dodero and Eirini Apostolatou

Production: ASHTAR Theatre – (Palestine)  

Coproduction: El Hakawati Theatre (Palestine), Espace Périphérique La Villette (Paris)

Supported by: Al Mawred Al Thaqafy, Archaos Pôle cirque de Marseille     

Running time: 50`

Ashtar Muallem is a Palestinian/ French artist  born in Jerusalem in 1990, in a family of artists who run the Ashtar Theater in Ramallah. From a very young age she participated in Palestinian productions such as the musical, Al Fawanees and the first creation of the Palestinian circus school, “Circus behind the wall”. A graduate of the National Center of Circus Arts in 2011 with specialty the aerial fabric, she plays in the show This is the end  directed by David Bobée. Ashtar then met Ericka Marury-Lascoux with whom she started contortion lessons. In 2013 she created “B-Orders” her first show with Fadi Zmorrod, a dance and circus duo produced by the Palestinian Circus. And in 2017 Enheduanna , a solo performance accompanied by the live percussions of Simona Abdallah. Creator but also interpreter in productions of dance, circus and theater.

Enheduanna, is a physical piece that combines aerial silk discipline and dance. It portrays different female characters, borrowing from mythology to present the current situation of women in the Arab World and the role of female artist in her society towards proposing change. Presented from the point of view of the Palestinian artist Ashtar Muallem who lives and works between the Middle East and Europe. Ashtar Muallem and Simona Abdallah are two Palestinian female artists who have chosen live art as their mean of  expression. Both became first in their professions, as a circus artist and as a percussionist playing the darbuka – a traditional instrument mainly played by men. Both continue to combat inside and outside of Palestine to simply practice their art notably without censorship.

I had to start by reading about women 30 thousand years ago in the Middle Eastern mythology. Being named after a goddess I already knew that at the time, women were goddess, priestesses and definitely artists too. Never the less they had their fights just like women today.

Ashtar Muallem