Location: Palestine/New York City
Past: Samar Haddad King, Artistic/Founding Director of Yaa Samar! Dance Theatre, graduated cum-laude with honors in choreography from the Ailey/Fordham BFA program in New York City under the tutelage of Kazuko Hirabayashi. In 2005, Samar formed Yaa Samar! Dance Theatre (YSDT), a non-profit dance theater company based between NYC and Palestine. Her work has been commissioned in the US by the Ailey School, Configuration Dance, Hubbard Street 2- where she was the recipient of the National Choreography Competition- among others, and has been performed at various venues such as NYC’s Joyce SoHo, HarlemStage, Citigroup Theatre, Chicago’s Harris Theater, and Jacob’s Pillow. Commissions in the Arab world include Catching the Butterflies, an evening length performance featuring live hip-hop, Arabic music, dance, and theatre commissioned by Zakharef in Motion in Amman, Jordan (2010); From Dust for the Ramallah Contemporary Dance Festival (RCDF) (2012); Playground, a site-specific work for the international /si:n/ festival in Ramallah (2013); Bound for RCDF, a collaboration between Sareyyet Ramallah and YSDT, supported by A.M Qattan Foundation and New York Live Arts (2014); Not/Tob for the Qalandia International festival as part of Khalil Sakakini Cultural Center’s The Mapping Project (2014). She is also co-directing with Jorge Crecis min tala, a pan-Arab dance company. After the success of her education/ site-specific project, non/static aesthetics, with young Palestinian dancers, she is developing more sustainable dance education programs for the region.
Current: Samar is currently working on a musical theatre production directed by Amir Nizar Zoabi. Additionally, she is developing a series of artist meetings with curator, dramaturge, researcher and writer, Sandra Noeth with support from the Goethe Institute, Palestine.