Hairwork (Kawleeya), Performance, 2016

Kawleeya is a performance, which contains coloring the hair with Henna and performing a local gypsy head-hair dance. The hair is the main element used to dance Kawleeya. In this dance I swing my hair in circles, whip it back and forth and violently shaking my head in silence for long time. The Kawleeya (gypsies) of Ahwaz always try to hide their origin to avoid discrimination. I choreographed this piece in a light hearted way to show how the performer pretends to be from the city and other people don’t believe her but they still need her presence; she brings joy, fun and dance to their life. The piece shows that the Kawleeya are a part of our society and they share joy and sorrow with people in their daily lives. The Middle East of today has become a very hard place for the Kawleeya to live and practice their lifelong tradition of earning a living through dance and music.

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