OF THE PALESTINIAN DIASPORA
New work by
Leyya Mona Tawil &
Supported by Knight Arts Detroit
& the Center for Cultural Innovation.
Premiering Fall 2020
Zombie Frequencies of the Palestinian Diaspora explores the experience of Palestinian Americans and their challenge to articulate identity in America today through choreography and electro acoustic sound. Violinist/composer Mike Khoury and composer/choreographer Leyya Tawil team up to present a performance that provides a touchstone for the Palestinian American experience. This new work is an expression that situates itself in the legacy of, and future of, the Arab Avant-Garde.
1/4 TIME GENOCIDE
Zombie Frequencies of the Palestinian Diaspora is an experimental performance work addresses the forced emigration and deliberate refugee status of Palestinians throughout the last 70 years - the slow motion genocide, veiled through time. The work is informed by our experience with those that have been victims of multiple generational conflict creating new refugees out of the old refugee population.
The Arab experience is vital to our work: we are first generation Palestinian-American (Mike) and Palestinian-Syrian-American (Leyya). Since 2006, have been create work and discussing topics in the field of Arab Experimentalism; as well, we have created central platforms in Detroit, Oakland and New York City to promote the work of other Arab Experimentalists working in the region and its diaspora.
Press for Tawil & Khoury
“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. She was a 2018
Kone Foundation Saari Fellow (Finland) and an AIRSpace Artist at Abrons Art Center (NYC). Tawil is the director of
ELIXIR and ArabAMP, a nomadic platform for the work of Arab Experimentalists.
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.