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26 maart 2021 | Nieuws

The Piket Art Prizes in times of corona (50): Zahira Suliman

Theatre makers, actors, visual artists, and dancers are much affected by government measures to keep the corona virus under control. What is the impact of these measures on the young (former) nominees and winners of the Piket Art Prizes? Part 50: Zahira Suliman, 2016 nominee in the Dance category.

Exploring creative expression

In these times of Covid-19, Zahira decided to move dancing and creating performances somewhat to the back burner. “I was so lucky, being just in time with my duet. The try-out took place when theatres were opening again and I was able to do all of the planned performances.” The piece in question was Anything but Opposites for Here We Live and Now, a duet inspired by the inner dialogue between the various layers within ourselves, nurtured by our thoughts and influenced by our feelings. “Generally speaking, I’m not the type of person who can always be creative. I need moments of rest, too. Now I also have the time to be creative in different ways, without being tied to a schedule. I’m taking more time to write, for instance. I see this as a creative exercise in shaping what’s taking place inside myself. I write about things that amaze and surprise me and try to find an artistic form for all this”, Zahira explains.

Photos Anything but Opposites Zahira Suliman.

Teaching dance and performing in times of corona

As part of the Jong Korzo-team (Young Korzo Team), Zahira teaches dance at a primary and a secondary school. “I’m doing a lot of teaching at the moment. Sometimes it’s online, sometimes it’s theoretical, about the place of dance in our own time. We’re not allowed to actually move in the classroom, you know. So then it’s more about ‘how to look at dance?’ It’s great to discuss these kinds of things with young people.” She finds her teaching job quite a challenge. “You’re surrounded by people who don’t necessarily have a passion for dance, but it’s nice to be drawn from your own bubble.” Zahira had not expected so many of the corona measures to be still be in force. “And now we’ll just have to wait and see whether we can ever go back to the way it was.” She misses ‘going live’ and interaction with others. “I took part in performances with only thirty people in the house. It was a strange experience, but I did like the sense of intimacy that emerged because every detail became visible.” Zahira finds it essential to do projects where she can be true to herself. “That’s something I’ll always aspire to.”

One’s own language

Zahira would like to discover and explore her own movement language. “I think my movement
language is very much my own. People often ask whether I did martial arts, but that’s not the case.” She would like to find out where these movements come from. “Get a firmer grip on it. That really interests me.” She doesn’t feel lost, even though theatres are closed now. “I have several irons in the fire. I also enrol for auditions, but that’s not so easy in corona times. Companies are more selective about whom to invite. But I do feel fortunate that I am able to practise my profession in various ways and things can continue”, Zahira concludes.