Al-Bahira Middle Eastern Dance Theater is a
professional Twin Cities-based troupe. Al-Bahira blends authentic Middle
Eastern dance with modern ethno-fusion and theatrical works to create
beautiful and exciting dance works.
Al-Bahira Dance Theater is dedicated to high-quality presentation, preservation, and education about the dances and music of the Middle East and surrounding regions, and celebrating these ever-evolving art forms, as relevant today in the U.S. as in their historical lands of origin. Employing creative storytelling and theatrical dance elements, Al-Bahira’s unique approach is contemporary yet deeply respectful of the rich traditions and cultural context of the original forms.
Artistic director and choreographer Mirah Ammal’s fascination with the central role dance, music, and oral tradition occupy in the culture and day-to-day lives of the Middle Eastern peoples guides the group toward creative theatrical works with an organic, story-based tone. The stories, humor, drama and beautiful dances are enjoyed by fans of all ages.
Al-Bahira’s performance troupe includes approximately 15 company members, corps members, and apprentices. In addition to performing for cultural events, the troupe produces theatrical shows, an annual autumn variety show, a dance festival, and quarterly “haflas” for student, avocational and professional dancers and musicians. Al-Bahira also offers weekly classes and special workshops in belly dance, Middle Eastern folkloric dance, and percussion through the Aalim School of Dance.
Al-Bahira Dance Theater’s work infuses authentic, traditional Middle Eastern dance with contemporary, cross-cultural and theatrical elements to create exciting dance works that are well-researched and respectful of the traditional forms. The organization’s mission is to:
Present and preserve the art through high-quality, artistic works rooted in the authentic dance, music, and storytelling arts of the Middle East, North Africa, Turkey, Iran and surrounding regions.
- Provide education about Middle Eastern dance, music and cultures for our students and the general public, to foster respect, understanding and appreciation of the cultures of origin.
- Create fully accessible works that present the form as a relevant, living, and ever-evolving art and a part of the daily lives and cultural stories of the people.
Use the dance to empower women and girls of all ages, body types, abilities, socio-economic statuses and cultural backgrounds, fostering cross-cultural community and appreciation of female strength, art and form.
If you would like to receive updates
about our performances and events, please contact Mirah at
Al-Bahira Dance Theater is a not-for-profit organization with fiscal sponsorship
through Springboard for the Arts. Al-Bahira project activities are made possible in part by a grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council (supported in part by an appropriation from the Minnesota State Legislature and the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund) and through the generosity of individual donors like you.