Tawil & KHOURY
Atlas presents an urgent sonic experience where silence is as meaningful as the nervous but minimalist
vocabulary raining down. Atlas is concerned with the negotiations of burden – who holds what. It teases
assumed agreements between performer and audience – using immersive physical sonic states to press
weight upon the room. Atlas is a score of disorientation that places the performers at the mercy of their
Atlas premiered at New York Live Arts/Live Ideas Festival 2016 and has toured: After the Last Sky Festival
(Berlin), The Lab (San Francisco) and Irtijal18 (Beirut).
“The propulsion of the hand and heel was connected to arcs throughout the body.
You could liken the rolls to waves and tides of the sea. You could also feel them as
helpless searches for a point of rest..the plight “Atlas” expressed became larger
than that of one individual.” – Alastair Macaulay, New York Times
“It was disturbing, uncompromising, and awe-inspiring.” – Lizzie Simon, American Theatre
“crushing relevance” – Astrid Kaminsky, TanzRaum Berlin
TAWIL & KHOURY is the duo of Leyya Mona Tawil and Mike Khoury. They work with sound and movement
practices, and are community leaders in the field of Arab Experimentalism. Tawil & Khoury operate within
the diaspora; narrating identity on their own terms. They began collaborating in Detroit in 2006, and have
since toured nationally and internationally with their performance scores.
LEYYA MONA TAWIL [b.1975] is an artist working with dance, sound and performance practices. Tawil is a
Syrian Palestinian American, engaged in the world as such. Leyya has a 23-year record of choreographies
and performance scores that have been presented throughout the US, Europe and the Arab world;
highlights include Irtijal18 (Beirut), After the Last Sky Festival (Berlin), New York Live Arts: Live Ideas
(NYC), The Lab (San Francisco), Bimhuis (Amsterdam) and Soap Factory (Minneapolis). She was a 2018
Kone Foundation Saari Fellow (Finland) and an AIRSpace Artist at Abrons Art Center (NYC). Tawil is the
director of DANCE ELIXIR organization and ArabAMP, a nomadic platform for the work of Arab
MIKE KHOURY (b. 1969) is an improvising violinist, researcher and economist. His primary work involves
the application of quantitative methods from the social sciences to improvisation. Khoury has performed or
recorded with Faruq Z. Bey, Dennis Gonzalez, Wolfgang Fuchs, Simply Saucer, and Alex Cline. He currently
performs with The Redford Civic Symphony Orchestra, Inscribe, in duo with Leyya Tawil, in duo with Ben
Hall and as a member of the group Devotional. Khoury is the author of a chapter in an anthology of the Arab
Avant Garde and is the curator of the Entropy Stereo label and performance space. He currently records
and produces artists from his Redford, MI studio and laboratory.