The shows at NYUAD never fail to impress. This one was called “Badke”, a play on words/letters from the Palestinian dance called “Dabke”. When it was initially explained to me I understood it to be a fusion on Palestinian folk dancing and the more contemporary styles of dance, but it was much more than that. It wasn’t just a series of cool dances and super difficult moves to pull off, it was theatre than a dance show.
The show starts out in total darkness and all you hear are the footsteps and heavy breathing of the dancers. The footsteps slowly shape up to create music and you’re free to imaging what the dance would look like, but again, there’s no music playing. When the lights slowly come on you’re greeted with individual dancers each performing their own contemporary style solo, but again, still no music. Pretty confusing for a dance show right? When the music kicks in its quite welcome as the silence makes you hold your breath. It sounds like a recording taken from a Palestinian wedding with the MC asking someone to move his “Mitsubishi Jeep” that’s blocking the way every once in a while.
Without giving away anymore of the show I’ll tell you this; its not your regular entertainment. It took me a while to get that. Its got deeper meaning pertaining to the struggle of the Palestinian people being trapped in the same place and going through the same circumstances over and over again. Keyword over and over and over again; and the performance really makes you feel how annoying it is to be in the same situation over and over again. However, it also shows you that each individual copes with that reoccurring, never ending situation in their own personal way.

Well, at least that’s my interpretation of it. Here’s what I captured

Ps. All photos on Fujifilm X-T2. This is quite a testament to the continuous autofocus and low light performance of the camera

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Waleed Shah
Official Fuji-X-Photographer
Instagram: @shahwaleed
Snapchat: @shahwaleed