Who are we?

Yaraqa is a cultural enterprise that offers creative & novel experiences for individuals and companies based on dance / movement practices. In collaboration with a network of creative and dance experts, we use our growing knowledge in dance to design and facilitate interactive and engaging solutions for a diversity of projects in fields such as but not limited to tourism, advertising, education, etc.

We are constantly exploring and accelerating applications of dance at the crossroad of disciplines, spaces, and publics of all ages. This allows for dance and movement to serve the community as much more than performance art and to bring about social, cultural, and economic change for the dance experts as well as the community at large. 

Why dance?

Dance experts are far more resourceful and knowledgeable than they are credited for. Dance is an equally rich and powerful tool much more than imagined. It can animate spaces, materialize time, connect individuals, coordinate teams, raise empathy, increase self-awareness, communicate values, convey thoughts, strengthen mental processes, heighten sense of artistry, enhance agility. Therefore we believe, dance can inspire people in many different ways! 

Our values:

  • Innovation and openness to new ideas, new people, new settings and new ways of working
  • Collaboration as a way of working that is integral to dance
  • Inclusivity/accessibility as we are not limited to a dance style or form or sector and are always looking for ways to include others
  • Professionalism, reliability and sustainability in all three pillars of the word
  • Entrepreneurship – creatively, strategically and financially

Our offerings:

We produce our own in-house concepts as well as offer our services to companies, cultural and academic institutions, and individuals of all ages: from ideation to delivery - concept design, project development, and production & organization. In our projects: 

  • Dance experts are placed at the heart of the work
  • New approaches and models are developed as required to deliver artistic quality
  • Safe and responsible dance practices are adopted in workshops with a well-thought pedagogical frame
  • Dance solutions are integrated within the project scope and framework of your institution / community

Select projects we did:

Our projects are versatile and take on different form depending on the need - workshops, to productions, to events - crossing disciplines as diverse as heritage conservation, tourism, film, visual arts, fashion, and technology. Our audiences and participants have come from all ages - kids, youth, adults. Our clients and partners have included a number of cultural, commercial, academic, industrial, and public sector institutions. We have collaborated with more than 80 local and international artists from the dance and non-dance worlds.

Some projects: (VISUALS WITH PAGE LINKS WILL COME HERE)

  • Move It: Movement workshops for workplace wellbeing & team bonding: 
  • And So We Move: Movement workshops for nature discovery:
    • 5 editions were self-initiated
    • 2 editions have been commissioned with Municipality of Tannourine & Institut Francais
  • A Living Heritage: Movement workshops for heritage discovery
  • Dance Speaks: Dance & multimedia productions for communicating branding messages:
    • GWR Consutling: commissioned
    • Ministry of Tourism: commissioned
    • Crochet + Dance: partnered
    • While We Weave: self-initiated
  • Two Step Fore: Dance evenings for social integration and accessibility:
    • Swing nights: commissioned

Our mission:

In designing and producing our projects, we care about the impacts we carry out on economic, social, and artistic levels. On a long term, we aim to:

  • Encourage a culture of movement within the youth and adults by making dance benefits visible and accessible. 
  • Contributing on the long run to a better recognition of the dance sector as a creative sector that employs so many players and brings economical impacts on a local and national level.
  • Creating job opportunities for dance experts and facilitating opportunities for new partnerships with creatives and experts from various fields and openness to new audiences 
  • Introducing and spreading dance as a vital tool for the development of individuals and communities on all levels.

Our impact measurements: 

  • Awareness/discovery: MISSING TEXT FOR LATER
  • Employability: MISSING TEXT FOR LATER
  • Economic development: MISSING TEXT FOR LATER
  • Accessibility: MISSING TEXT FOR LATER
  • Democratization: MISSING TEXT FOR LATER
  • Community engagement / development: MISSING TEXT FOR LATER

What does Yaraqa mean?

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.

Inspired by a similar spirt of interaction, we adopted the name YARAQA. Motivated by a spirit of creative exchange and collaboration around dance, we are constantly weaving connections between different communities: creatives, artists, dance experts, and audiences at large. 


DID YOU KNOW?

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.