Dancer and actress / Choreographer, video artist, dancer and actress
- Performing Arts
“Miami is a city-paradox that draws in as much as it slips away. It is a body coping however it can with the news of a chronic, life-threatening illness, grappling with it now on a daily basis.”
Dalia and Marik each hail from a port city—Beirut and Port-Vendres—and they met in Alexandria, Egypt—another port city—in 2013. There, Dalia, a choreographer and filmmaker, was busy devising a project on women’s bodies and their place in the streets of Cairo. It was then that she invited Marik to join her in visiting a lingerie store, marking their first collaboration.
And so began a friendship, as the two delved into each other’s worlds through informal discussions. In 2021, they first brought their collaboration to life with the co-creation, in Port-Vendres, on the coast of Catalonia, of Incise Out, an immersive sound installation filmed at Cité des Arts de la Rue in Marseille and at La Cabine 134. Once again, their work revolved around the notion of the body in its environment, and connections with memory and disappearance. This gave rise to a more far-reaching project, which has involved researching the connection between disappearance and various ports around the world.
Dalia et Marik form an eclectic duo of actors, dancers, producers, and filmmakers; of author and choreographer. Their artistic exploration is not unlike a fascinating lab experiment, whose medium emerges and reveals itself over the course of the research.
The two also find great value in working with family, stating that they would be unable to create without the people in their lives. Their chosen kinship of artists and craftspeople enables them to construct and assemble their various experiments.
Dalia Naous is a French–Lebanese dancer, actor, videographer, and choreographer. Steeped in diverse cultures, her projects deal with the sensory impact exerted by an environment on the individual and on the group. Her videos and choreographed performances have been shown at numerous festivals and university conferences around the world.
Artist, performer, and producer Marik Renner has always focused her research on hybrid, living art with a blend of disciplines. A graduate of the École Supérieure d’Art Dramatique in Montpellier, she is a member of the permanent troupes at CDN Tours and Besançon, and has danced at the “Montpellier Danse” and “Sujets à Vif Avignon In” festivals. Marik, who trained as a documentary filmmaker at Ateliers Varan, is currently co-writing a play, Une Vampire au soleil (”A Female Vampire in the Sun”), which she will perform next season.
“How do we cope with our disappearing way of life? How do we contend with this life being built, soon to be built, or already built? What place do we give to it? Do we try to slow it down or would this merely be blindsiding ourselves to the inevitable? What trace does it leave in us and on us? And how do we protect ourselves if we are indeed to protect ourselves?”
These are some of the questions that Dalia and Marik wish to ask, conceiving of Miami as a body bearing traumas and scars, all while brimming with great energy and strength. They hope to spark a dialog between this strength and fragility, examining their contours so as to map out the very concept of disappearance.
“Have you seen this man?”
Dalia and Marik’s line of work is based on play, which is exactly what Miami inspires them to do. Following the approach of Chris Marker in Immemory—particularly, the idea of a memory itinerary existing as a kind of illusory land within us—they will use the collective imaginary and representations of Miami as the actual medium of their research. Quite literally playing detectives, their job will be to compile a detailed identikit of the suspect, victim, and witnesses to draw up their own itinerary and follow the trails of erasure.
“Why do we choose to show up here in a city-body on its way to oblivion?”
They will gather testimonies from the people striving to thwart this disappearance by creating all sorts of defenses; those attempting to explore, analyze, and prevent it; the specialists confronting it daily; and those who refuse to see it, preferring to pull the wool over their own eyes. They will also meet with the disappeared populations from neighboring lands, who have sought refuge on these coasts.
Through words, bodies, sounds, and images, they will attempt to chronicle this impending farewell, creating a private diary of Miami to record the echoes of human passage.
Dalia and Marik were drawn to Miami for its intrinsic connection with disappearance, which is becoming closer by the day. How has the city coped with its anticipated demise? What tools and strategies has it put in place?
They have written the city a letter to tell it about the things that unite them: their own excavations and visceral urge to act, set against the city’s frenetic pace of growth as it struggles blindly against its own collapse.
What is hidden beneath the veil of its flamboyant hustle and bustle?
Dalia et Marik have been struck by the images of towers forming a wall of resistance against an ocean that could engulf everything in a split second. These hark back to the rebuilding of Dalia’s native Beirut, with its trendy streets and apartments beyond the reach of locals; a never-ending spree of bodies reconstructed and/or concealed by cosmetic surgery. All it takes is a scratch of the city’s surface and bodies to see that all is crumbling and vanishing behind.
In Miami, the real estate boom shows no signs of abating, all while its streets and buildings are regularly swamped with water. Some are willing to fork out millions for an ocean view, even though they are likely the first to be hit by the already-present effects of climate change. Meanwhile, those living in poorer, more isolated and ‘secure’ neighborhoods are being bombarded with offers from promoters.
Miami is a city-paradox that draws in as much as it slips away. It is a body coping however it can with the news of a chronic, life-threatening illness, grappling with it now on a daily basis.
This is precisely what we want to investigate: this weakened body being rebuilt to the point of exhaustion (until becoming a phantom-body, perhaps). We want to get to grips with its current environmental, psychological, human, and social challenges in order to shed light on the poetic substance of our own paradoxes.