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Dash Arabic Series

New music, theatre and contemporary dance.

Arabic Series

Launched in 2010, the Arabic Series presented new performance works by artists from across the Arabic-speaking world. The series included three major new commissions, premiering at venues including Sadler’s Wells and the Roundhouse, and a wider programme of free events at the Dash Café.

Working with artists from North Africa, the near East and the Arab Diaspora, alongside key partners in the UK and abroad, the Arabic Series presented innovative theatre, music and dance of classical richness and contemporary vitality. It was a powerful celebration of Arabic artistic identity that challenged pre-conceived notions of Arabic culture, offering new perspectives and unheard voices.

The Series began with Babel (words) at Sadler’s Wells in May 2010: a new contemporary dance work conceived and created by Sidi Larbi Cherkoaui, Damien Jalet and Antony Gormley, exploring visual, physical and spoken language. Read some of the fantastic reviews.

In the Autumn of 2010 we continued with Lyrical Alliance at the Roundhouse: an international collaboration between hip hop artists from the Middle East, North Africa, Europe and the United States that has ancient traditional Arabic verse at its core.

In June 2011, our new theatre production, One Thousand and One Nights, premiered at the Luminato, Toronto Festival of Arts and Creativity. Directed by Tim Supple and adapted by Tim and Hanan al-Shaykh, it is a radical new staging of the classic Arabic folk story-cycle, known in Western cultures as the Arabian Nights. Following Luminato the production then played at the Edinburgh International Festival in August 2011. A UK and international tour is planned; further details to be announced.

Accompanying these commissions and throughout the Series, the Dash Café programme has presented gigs, films and talks from artists and thinkers from the Arabic world, and we also showcased the results of an extensive community-based participation programme.

For full details of the Dash Arabic Series in Arabic, please email