Hind Benali Explores Personal History And Moroccan Culture In IDENTITY


“IDENTITY Kennedy Center – Part 1”

[Pittsburgh, PA] – Moroccan-based choreographer and dancer Hind Benali explores her personal past and African roots while addressing the culture, history, and gender politics of Morocco in her new work IDENTITY at 8 p.m. on Friday, October 10 and Saturday, October 11 at The Alloy Studios. A post-show discussion follows the Friday night performance. IDENTITY is the second presentation in the KSTmoves series this fall.

A native of Casablanca, Hind Benali is a performer, choreographer, dance teacher, and the artistic director of her contemporary dance company Fleur d’Orange . Benali began classic ballet training at the age of six and later studied at Ballet Theater Zinoun in Casablanca and at Choreographic National Center of Montpellier in France.

Benali and Fleur d’Orange perform the new work as part of a tour with Center Stage, an initiative of the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The exchange program creates cultural connections between American and international communities through the performing arts.

Benali invites several artists to collaborate with her on IDENTITY, including Moroccan-based hip hop dancer, Soufiane Karim who performs and helped create the piece. Lyrical calligraphy by Moroccan artist Yacine Fadhil will be projected on the stage and dancers. The piece’s soundscape is composed of live and recorded music by multi-instrumentalist Mohcine Imrharn, interwoven with found sounds.

Layering these sounds and striking imagery with dramatic movements, IDENTITY retraces Benali’s origins, experiences, and the obstacles she faces. Inspired by the interactions with other artists and the women that influenced her, Benali hopes to encourage cultural exchange and participation. The project pushes the boundaries between Morocco’s traditional and contemporary culture and creates an intimate space to examine the complexities, stereotypes, and paradoxes of her identity.

As a theater rooted in East Liberty — one of Pittsburgh’s most diverse neighborhoods — we are proud to showcase international talent,” says janera solomon, executive director of KST. “Our programs examine the questions that define and inspire us as individuals and communities. We hope Benali’s new work sparks conversations about art and social change.”

In the past six years, KST has demonstrated its ability to bring the world to Pittsburgh. The KST stage has hosted productions from more than 11 countries and a multitude of American projects with international themes and connections.

Join us for a pre-show mixer both nights at 7 p.m.


Master Class with Hind Benali – Contemporary dance and the traditional Lens
Thursday, October 9, 10–11:30 AM :: The Alloy Studios :: $5

Join Moroccan dance makers Hind Benali and Soufiane Karim for a class that focuses on the incorporation of traditional motifs and structures as a means to developing a bold and articulate personal kinetic vocabulary.

Class is limited to 20 students. Registration is required. A free lunch for all participants follows from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Register online at kelly-strayhorn.org

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