Behind the Scenes with Beirut Contemporary Ballet

by LBTAdmin

Beirut Contemporary Ballet (BCB) is a pioneering dance company known for its innovative and impactful creations on both stage and screen. Since its inception, BCB has made significant contributions to the local and international dance scenes, creating a unique blend of traditional and contemporary dance forms. We go backstage with Jana Younes, co-founder of BCB, to learn more about the group, its achievements and its upcoming performance at Metro Al Madina.


What can you tell us about Beirut Contemporary Ballet?

Beirut Contemporary Ballet (BCB) is a powerhouse of dance that creates and develops cutting-edge productions for both stage and screen. While we are involved in international projects, Beirut remains the heart of our operations. It is the city where we generate and develop the foundation of our work, and it is central to everything we do.

How did it all start?

BCB was established in 2018 by myself, Jens Bjerregaard and Wafa Bouti after a period of development with a core group of dancers and the successful screen dance production “And So Do I,” which won several awards globally. Since then, BCB has been active both locally and internationally, creating site-specific performances, full evening shows, dance films, advertisements, music videos, screen dance collaborations, training programs and offering free daily classes for aspiring dancers.

What have been your greatest achievements to date?

One of our greatest achievements is creating an environment that focuses on originality and development. We are particularly proud of “Bodies of Water” from 2022, a full evening performance that, with only four dancers, captivates the audience from beginning to end with its choreographic flow.

How would you describe the ballet scene in Lebanon?

The ballet scene in Lebanon has great potential but suffers from a lack of understanding of the fundamentals. Dance, as an art form, has no shortcuts.

What are the major challenges you face as a dance company in Lebanon?

While we have talented dancers and strong foundations, we need more resources to create stability for our team and to increase the number of performances in Beirut.

What are your upcoming projects?

We have an upcoming performance called “ASWAD,” which is taking place at Metro Al Madina on 17, 18 and 19 July. The three-day event will allow the audience to connect with the passion, talent and soul behind BCB’s work. Before “ASWAD” takes center stage, there will be two screenings:

• “Making Movement” – A short documentary that follows the creative process of BCB artistic directors Jana Younes and Jens Bjerregaard during the final days of rehearsal as they recreate their repertoire piece “Bodies of Water” with the Ballet Contemporáneo de Camagüey, Cuba.

• “One for the Dreamers” – In a machine-like arena, where hopelessness and monotony reign, everyone is in a routine that requires a relentless push. Amid this desperation, there is a longing for a world outside the ring: a world for travelers and bearers of dreams.

We are planning a large project in Lebanon in 2025 called “Azzifaf.” Interestingly, the audience will be invited as wedding guests. We also have a performance project in Berlin centered on one of our core dancers Anthony Nakhle. Additionally, in 2025, we will launch the second edition of Project Bedrock, a development initiative for young talented dancers that leads to their first choreographic projects.

Tickets for ASWAD can be purchased here.


If you liked reading this, check out our article on what is happening at Beirut Holidays 2024.


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