18 February 2023–19 February 2023

STEPPING FORWARD: Performance Research and Practice, Here

Alserkal Arts Foundation

A public program of talks and performances bringing together artists, curators, academics, practitioners, and the general public.

Starts 18 February 2023

Ends 19 February 2023

Venue Alserkal Arts Foundation

Warehouse 50/51

Register Now


Day 1 | Saturday 18 February | 421, Mina Zayed, Abu Dhabi | REGISTER

Day 2 I Sunday 19 February | Warehouse 51, Alserkal Avenue, Dubai | REGISTER

View the full program here.

421, Alserkal Arts Foundation, and New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) present Stepping Forward: Performance Research and Practice, Here, a convening that brings together artists, curators, academics, and practitioners to consider critical questions around performance practice emerging from the MENASA region. The symposium features two days of talks, panel discussions, workshops, and performances that unpack, extend, and liberate contemporary performance practice towards frameworks that better serve regional contexts and concerns.

Presenting the work of artists and researchers outside the conventions of existing institutional models, Stepping Forward: Performance Research and Practice, Here serves as a collective ground on which to construct new models for performance beyond the hegemonic vocabulary of canon/outsider, center/periphery, or the “decolonial” as a blanket term.

The program includes contributions from artists, performance practitioners, academics, and researchers including Ammar Al Attar (artist, United Arab Emirates); Mays Albaik (Programs and Community Initiatives Manager, 421); Lawrence Abu Hamdan (artist and researcher, United Arab Emirates/Lebanon/Jordan); Nujoom Al Ghanem (artist and filmmaker, United Arab Emirates); Katia Arfara (Assistant Professor of Theatre & Performance Studies at New York University Abu Dhabi); Eva Bentcheva (art historian, Associate Lecturer at the Heidelberg Centre for Transcultural Studies, India); Chinasa Vivian Ezugha (artist and scholar, United Kingdom/Nigeria/United Arab Emirates); Nikhil Chopra (artist, India); Reem Fadda (Director, Cultural Foundation at Department of Culture and Tourism, Abu Dhabi); Alia Hamdan (artist and researcher, Lebanon); Mohammed Kazem (artist, United Arab Emirates); Abhishek Majumdar (playwright, United Arab Emirates); Rabbya Naseer (artist, Pakistan); Venuri Perera (artist, choreographer, and curator, Sri Lanka); Ugoran Prasad (researcher, Indonesia); Ho Rui-An (artist, Singapore); Pushpamala N. (artist, India); Sofiane Ouissi (artist, Tunisia); Nada Raza (Director, Alserkal Arts Foundation); Tina Sherwell (Director, MFA Arts and Media, New York University Abu Dhabi); Joanna Settle (Professor of Theater and Associate Dean of Faculty Affairs and Social Impact, New York University Abu Dhabi); Rattanamol Singh Johal (researcher, India/USA); and Tanzim Wahab (curator, Bangladesh).

‘Stepping Forward: Performance, Research, and Practice, Here’ is conceived, produced, and presented collaboratively by 421, Alserkal Arts Foundation, and New York University Abu Dhabi.

If you have any questions, please email

Performance shot of The Alphabetics of the Barista Part II, 2021, by Moza Almatrooshi at Le Guepard, Alserkal Avenue