A Universe Not Made for Us

performance by Yalda Younes & Khyam Allami (2019)

photos by Mohammed Zakaria during Sarab in Wadi Rum

The emerging picture of the early Solar System does not resemble a stately progression of events designed to form the Earth. Instead, it looks as if our planet was made, and survived, by mere lucky chance, amid unbelieavable violence. Our world does not seem to have been sculpted by a master craftsman. Here too, there is no hint of a universe made for us.
Carl Sagan

Can we remain in our place when constantly moved by unbelievable violence?

In the current global context of chronic depression and massive political failures, contemporary flamenco dancer Yalda Younes and multi-instrumentalist musician Khyam Allami explore a turbulent moment in our history through varying realms of the mind, remembering that we are a consequence and not the cause nor the center, of the Universe. 

Through unorthodox contemporary approaches to their individual artistic languages, their unique collaboration traces a confrontation between raw subconscious forces in a landscape of audio-technical vegetation.
Constantly oscillating between differing perspectives, A Universe Not Made For Us is a microcosm of organized chaos, random interruptions, illusions of order and all the while, a haunting and inescapable yearning for stillness.

choreography, dance, zapateado Yalda Younes music, sound design Khyam Allami set design Hussein Baydoun coproduction AFAC - Arab Fund for Arts Culture, Le Quartz - Scène nationale de Brest with the support of Ashkal Alwan,  One Hertz Studio duration 50 min

Pôle Sud, CDCN Strasbourg
Rencontres à l’échelle, KLAP, Marseille
Festival Lieux Mouvants, Hameau de Saint-Antoine, Lanrivain
Sarāb, Wadi Rum
Journée Chorégraphiques de Carthage, Tunis
Festival Irtijal, Ashkal Alwan, Beirut
27/02, 01,02/03/2019
Festival Dansfabrik, Le Quartz - Scène Nationale de Brest (CREATION)

Interview in L’Officiel Levant: L’être sur un Pas de Deux


“Celle qu’on avait découverte au Quartz en tentative de danseuse flamenco inspirée par Israel Galván, a su se démarquer de ses maîtres et inventer un style très singulier où la technique flamenca apparaît comme un moyen et non plus comme une fin.(...) une danse issue du vide, fascinante, comme une flamme qui brûle l’oxygène qui l’entoure”
(Danser Canal Historique, FR)

“The artists practice distinct forms but they’ve a shared aesthetic a pared down, deconstructed-sounding reworking of classical forms that makes the collaboration as intriguing as it is intense and energetic. As Younes navigates from one surface to the next, she never quite gives what the audience expects.Precise, percussive movement is complemented by long moments of stillness and stretches of silent motion. At various points she snaps her fingers, clicks castanets and, taking up a microphone, delivers a solo vocal in Spanish that sounds like a cross between crazed punk and flamenco cantor.
Allami’s composition oscillates from segmented bursts of oud that, after being interrupted by playback, coalesce into a dissonant melody that might be a synthesis of what’s come before. Oud and kettledrum solos play out in counterpoint to excerpts of prerecorded sound vocals, something like heavy drum’n’bass, finally a repeated, percussive note redolent of Arvo Part.
Silence is as integral to the score as stillness is to the choreography.”
(The Daily Star, LB)

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