Video art and Visual research in "Adagio" by Petra Serhal
Adagio by Petra Serhal (2018 – ongoing) is a dance research project that explores the dance and body training practices that were imported to Lebanon from the West since the 1940s, and their influence on the history of body movement in Lebanon.
In a series of talks, Serhal aims to share her findings with the public through a series of videos produced for the project to open up a discussion around the history of dance in Lebanon.
In the first talk of this series, Serhal discussed the beginning of ballet practices in Lebanon with a focus on the ballet teacher and choreographer Salwa Aoun El Khatib. As depicted in the videos filmed with El Khatib, Serhal questioned the potentials of the aging body with the 83-year-old dancer and the role of the individual approach and the local language in understanding, shaping, and restructuring imported dance moves and codes.
In this second talk, "Adagio: the movement of dance in Lebanon on a slow tempo," Serhal continued her research with second and third generation dance teachers in Lebanon to further push this interrogation and review the process of learning and teaching dance. Serhal also delved into the process of conducting her practical research with a focus on looking at movement through a fragment. This talk also focused on the main reasons behind the slow development of dance in Lebanon.