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I Lived Once


Commissioned by The Saudi Art Council

This large-scale video installation places the viewer amid a powerful group performance that translates processes from nature, including the reactive, unconscious defense mechanisms of organisms in danger. The artist has devised a physical language of cyclical and synchronized gestures with choreographer Lamees Al Saddique, drawing on diverse actions such as the ‘shimmering’ of honeybees and the Mimosa Pudica’s signature ‘touch me not’ folding movement. The abstract, fictional narrative considers modes of co-existence connected to and modeled on nature.

By observing and enacting these gestures, the film hints at alternative structures, shapes, and patterns, outside of the often hierarchical order of human society. By considering the balance and harmony inherent in nature, the ego fades into the collective. The absorbing and meditative motion quiets the tension and anxiety of individual human reason to suggest the power of the group.

The movements are not intended as literal defense mechanisms. More than straight-forward mimicry, they embody the psychological and emotional experience of protection and coexistence. The gestures suggest the ritual of 'manifesting,' which the artist offers as an invitation to rediscover physical presence through reconnecting with nature. The dance becomes an embodied teaching about growth and protection, feelings and expressions, stability and survival.


Devised via collaboration and mimicry, the work is a process of translation and exchange between the artist, the choreographer, and nature, as well as with group learning between the director, coach, artist, and dancers. Interrelations between dancers have been prioritized, drawing on the heightened state of awareness that exists within physical performances.


Noura AlAbdulaziz, Hanan Noah, Alaa AlZahrani, Nora AlSaif, Rahaf Ibrahim, Ashwaq AlEid, Ijlal AlSomali, Hala Hijazi, Nouf Al Yousef, Nouf Salamah, Hannah Meraki, Nora AlSubail, Norma Gray, Mona Hussein

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