Amaara Raheem is a choreographer and performer who works across dance, performance, writing, and visual art. Her practice is performance. Troubling terms such as ‘personal’ and ‘authentic’ her projects combine movement, and words to create autobiographical performance, and personas. She has long been working with myth to produce contemporary dance / performance. The last work she made in London, before departing for Melbourne, was a solo performance: Hestia (Asia House, 2014). Hestia is an ancient Greek deity best known as Goddess of the Hearth and lesser known as Goddess of Architecture. Opening her body, her voice and her breath Amaara called Hestia into the room, into her senses, into her peripheral vision, into pathways of dancing (performing) and moving (a home, a life). Presiding over the hearth and over the polis (city, citizenship) Hestia was often called upon by the ancient Greeks to perform the function of lighting public, domestic, and colonial hearths. Wearing a long, white linen dress covered by a white, woolen shawl, Hestia quietly enters the space and takes her place by the hearth, sitting upon her throne - a handcrafted wooden stool. Her hands as always, busy with knitting, weaving, darning. In time, she may sing you a long and drawn out story that has not much excitement nor adventure. She has come to teach you the complex rituals of how to make, unmake and remake the home fire, the craft of which lies in the fine art of the exhale.
Amaara was most recently awarded 'Twenty-Three Days at Sea: A Travelling Artist Residency', curated by Access Gallery (Vancouver) where she was in-residence on a container ship sailing from Vancouver to Shanghai in approximately 23 days. She also performed in Xavier Le Roy's Temporary Title, 2015 in Carriageworks (Sydney, 2015) and Centre Pompidou (Paris, 2016). She will be in residence at Critical Path (Sydney) and UNSW in 2017, seeding a new dance/science collaboration, with neurosurgeon - Dr. Brindha Shivalingam.
In 2013 Amaara completed a Masters by Research in Choreography and Performance at University of Roehampton where she also worked as the Dance Network Coordinator. Her role was to curate a fluid and responsive programme of activities for students and independent artists working at the intersection of practice and research. She is currently undertaking a practice-based PhD at RMIT University, in the School of Architecture and Design, based in the Interior Design Department and her practice-research is focused on the term "in-residence", with the broader aim to transmit modes of thinking that are inherently choreographic in contexts other than dance. Amaara has been the recipient of several commissions including Diversity '13 (Ovalhouse, London), 23 Days at Sea (Access Gallery, Vancouver) and Responsive Residency (Critical Path, Sydney). Her work has been shown in Australia & New Zealand, Canada, Sri Lanka and throughout Europe. She has performed for choreographers and artists, Tino Sehgal, Gaby Agis, Florence Peake, Xavier Le Roy and Mick Douglas.
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What-Now 2014 by Amaara Raheem & Stefan Jovanovic - Motio Journal