Samaa Wakim: Losing it

4+4 Days in Motion Festival

Co-Created by: 
Samaa Wakim & Samar Haddad King 

Choreography and performance by: 
Samaa Wakim 

Samar Haddad King

Performance by: 
Nancy Mkaabal 

Lighting by: 
Cord Haldun 

Song by: 
Turathy (Album: Autostrad) 

Prayer by: 
Mounira Wakim 

Produced by: 
Yaa Samar! Dance Theatre, Khashabi Theatre, and Theaterformen Festival

45 min

English friendly


“You still hear the bombing? I do.”

Growing up in a war zone means living – and literally breathing – politics. Palestinian choreographer and actress Samaa Wakim questions how this experience affects her identity. In a solo performance, she explores how the trauma of previous generations manifests itself in her body and how it is transmitted from generation to generation. On her way to the moment when she began to fear the loss of freedom, she delves into memories of the occupation she grew up in. She addresses the conditions in which she lived and the fantasies she created under the influence of fear and the need for hope in order to survive. As fear gradually overcomes her, her world begins to crumble: the floor loses its solidity, sounds distort, and a world emerges in which reality and fantasy merge.

Losing It is about finding balance amidst wartime life’s illogical, bizarre, and twisted realities. The performance’s soundscape is composed by Samar Haddad King, who incorporated field recordings made in Palestine in 2010. The vocals, performed by Samay Wakim, ring out in dialogue with the live accompaniment. Sounds that once evoked fear and those that provided comfort become intertwined and flow into a moment when the past and present overshadow the future.


Samaa Wakim is a performer, choreographer, and cultural manager working in Palestine. She received her degree in acting from the theatre faculty of the University of Haifa. She has participated in several international projects, including the dance performance Badke created with the participation of the A. M Qattan Foundation, KVS, and Les Ballets C de la B in Belgium (2012 – 2017). Losing It was created as part of the project “Un|Controlled Gestures?” (2019-2020) by the Goethe Institut.  

Samar Haddad King is a writer, choreographer, composer, founder, and artistic director of the Yaa Samar! Dance Theatre, a group of New York and Palestine-based artists founded in 2005. Their mission is to create energetic performances and educational programs that help make the arts accessible and promote understanding through the arts. Samar studied choreography at Ailey/Fordham under the direction of Kazuko Hirabayashi. In 2019 she choreographed the musical We Live in Cairo (American Repertory Theater, Boston), and in 2018 she co-authored a chapter on dance in the Arab world in the second edition of Contemporary Choreography.


The performance takes place as part of the 4+4 Days in Motion Festival.


Foto: Mohab Mohamed
Photo: Christian Altofer