whO IS yaraqa?
Inspired by the rich cultural interactions and transmissions that used to happen along the silk road, YARAQA - arabic for silkworm - is motivated by the same spirit of creative exchange and collaboration around dance!
YARAQA believes that the body in motion has potential and that dance and movement can serve the community as much more than just a performance art. Dance can instigate transformations, change moods and behaviours, symbolise emotions and intent, transmit values and meanings, alter perceptions, reimagine space and time, convey ideas, tell stories, discipline and redefine mental structures, raise empathy, heighten sense of artistry and refinement, enhance agility and coordination, connect and engage people. Dance can inspire different people in different ways!
In being innovative and open to new ideas, new people, new places and new ways of working, YARAQA aims to accelerate and explore the application of dance in different venues, fields, and amongst diverse publics. It does so, by designing and facilitating creative dance/movement-led experiences for individuals, organisations, and companies, placing the dance/movement artists at the heart of the work and focusing on collaboration.
The mystery and magic of silk lies in the metamorphosis of the silk worm larvae—YARAQA in Arabic—that weave silk-webbed cocoons around themselves as they literally transform into their full potential. The secret of silk production was carried to Lebanon from China along the Ancient Silk Road, and developed into a flourishing industry in 19th and early 20th century. The trade route not only provided rich economic opportunities for Lebanon, but also facilitated and encouraged rich political, religious and cultural interactions and transmissions.
Today, Lebanon is speckled with the remains of silk factories dating back over a hundred years. These beautiful, large buildings of a particular architecture, witnessed the 19-century silk production boom in Lebanon. In 1912 alone, there were over 100 silk factories dispersed across the country. These numerous factories are now in ruins, many are forgotten and most are unknown. Only a few have been recently renovated and reintegrated into the contemporary landscape.