FTA: Moving Tales in Told By My Mother

Group of people touching DU TEMPS OU MA MERE RACONTAIT Avec Abbas Al Mawla, Ali Chahrour, Leila Chahrour, Ali Hout, Abed Kobeissy, Hala Omran Choregraphie et mise en scene Ali Chahrour, Musique Two or The Dragon (Ali Hout, Abed Kobeissy) Scenographie Ali Chahrour, Guillaume Tesson Lumière Guillaume Tesson Assistanat a la mise en scene et à la choregraphie Chadi Aoun

Last night the FTA started its 18th edition with the compelling performance Told by My Mother by the Lebanese choreographer Ali Chahrour.

Through song, music and dance, this performance takes us on a journey of maternal strength and tells us about the poignant events his family has experienced. Chahrour’s aunt, Leila, who has performed in several of his creations, dances with her son Abbas. She has a masterful presence and touches us with her interpretation of a mother who is losing her children.

It is this exceptional aesthetic of the choice to work with non-professionals that gives a deep charge to the intimate stories told by Ali. One feels that these artists have been chosen for the authenticity of their way of being, which moves us even more.

Overall, this creation asks us a profound question: Is it possible to exorcise misfortune?

The answer is not easy to find.

In the piece, Chahrour invites us to witness two stories that his own family experienced. First we witness the moving story of Fatmeh, who lost her son Hassan in Syria. Hassan is never found and is probably buried in a mass grave. Fatmeh is desperate and after searching for her son for a long time, she too dies.

The strong music accompanied the beautiful vocals that sing, whisper and shout about Fatmeh’s mourning. This testimony touched me deeply especially because of the shared emotions and the presence of a strong mother, who represented the loss and despair with dignity.

The second story tells of another mother, Leila, who is saving her son Abbas from the fate of martyrdom. The highlight is Leila’s dance with Abbas, surrounded by the musicians and accompanied by rhythmic clapping! The gestures in this performance are minimal, but they are enormously effective. Sometimes the movements go as far as immobility, like stones from memory. The intensity of the glances between the artists connects us to their story, which therefore becomes ours.

This experience is like an opera, where love and death become one. This show goes straight to our hearts.

Told by My Mother is part of the FTA and runs May 22 – 24 at the Monument National. Tickets are available HERE.