Author: Joumana
Joumana Mourad is a Dancer, Choreographer and the Artistic Director at IJAD Dance Company.



Audiences, artists and performers: IJAD needs you!

For those who have been with us on this journey so far, you’ve
witnessed our new discoveries and the evolution in our themes and methods of creating and producing. We’ve been using social media to interact and collaborate with fellow performers and audiences alike, creating performances out of these interactions. And now we’re taking the level of collaboration up a notch, and we need your help. Read on to find out how…


For those of you who don’t know, we’ve been focussing on three ever evolving parallel universes:


·      The Personal


·      The Universe


·      The technology of sharing and interacting on the web

Interact with us

Where before we were asking for Tweets that would be incorporated into
our performances, today we are asking for your tweets to interact with
us, to inspire and effect and create the performance itself.

So whether you’re joining us again or new to IJAD, welcome to the
latest exploration in the In-Finite series…


 So what’s it all about?

In-Finite Space is all about, you guessed it, space. And space in all
its forms. For this performance we’re asking you to think about the
existence of 2 types of space and your relationship to it:


–       the space you experience as ‘personal’
–        the space we consider to be ‘the universe’
For example you might think of The Universe as gravity, the big bang
and the stars in the sky. By contrast, we experience a more personal,
perhaps more tangible type of space which is closer to our everyday
lives – the personal space we form in the buildings and rooms we live
in, or the space within our dreams… The third kind of space, the
digital one, is where we hope to see your imaginations at work. We
believe that the digital space we exist in can help us get closer to
imaging the other types of space… Through sharing ideas and creations.


 How can I get involved?


With IJAD the traditional one night stand performance is a thing of the past.

We’ll be having  the conversation from today! You can join us at any
time to give your creative ideas, or comment , or watch. Over the next month, we’ll choose a theme from the above and ask you to give us your take on it. You could send us a photo, write a
twitter poem, sketch or paint your response. We don’t mind what form
it comes in, as long as it’s original and produced in response to one
of our posts.

You’ll find the posts on facebook, twitter, Pinterest and Vine and you
can tag your response with #InFiniteReach.
To get you started here’s your first post, it falls under the theme of
The Universe:


A ripple from the past undulates away from my centre where all
memories are resting, into the extremity of my skin,
Manifesting itself through giggles, games, imagination a world filled
with fairy and astronauts dust, allowing me to take time and space to
recreate a new reality to my imagination.
We’ve also been working on a Pinterest board which you can follow here:

 Need some inspiration? Last year we received this tweet:

sky is
at the end
of my fingertips
As I reach upward
Where I stand
And finishes
eyes closed
in the far corner
of my imagination



and we danced this…..



 Who is IJAD?

We are a performance company dedicated to exploring new ways of
bringing audiences closer to our performances. Over the years we have
done this through digital technologies, live-streaming, photography,
durational and interactive performances. These days you’ll mostly find
us on one of our social media channels – Vineing, Pinning or Tweeting,
and of course, dancing!

We look forward to creating with you!




Yesterday Artistic Director, Joumana, went to the TEDx event at the Albert Hall.

‘Inspirational doesn’t come close. Most of the day was based on people who had visions springing from Prince Albert who helped to establish the cultural centre in Kensington & Chelsea or, as we learnt, Albertropolis. The collection of cultural sites and educational institutions would work to support all human progress in culture and science. This TEDx location was an ideal setting for an event that explored art and science and how they fit together in the modern world.

The speakers were a variety but they came together in their belief in their own internal powers and their cutting edge practice in their respective field.
The speaker who blew me away was Jessica Thom. Her creation, Touretteshero is incredible. Nicholas McCarthy’s talk was also a great example of people defeating physical nature in order to be more than functional, to be incredible.

A few of the speakers were inviting people to be creative, to indulge in their hobbies and for me this has never been more relevant. You only have to look at the #TEDx feeds on Twitter to see the conversations that inspirational stories can spark. The use of Twitter at the event made the experience even richer. This is the kind of engagement that we want to encourage through the In-finite Space project at the Science Museum. We are inviting people to be creative through Twitter (we are @IJADdance by the way) in order to provide our artists with a new foundation for their response. Overcoming physical limitations was a theme of TEDx that got me thinking about the existence of a more universal limitation for humans. Does digital interaction lead to richer social and cultural experiences? Can we learn, from these inspirational examples, how to bridge the gaps between the physical and the digital space we inhabit?’

Follow us on Twitter to find out about why the In-Finite Space performance won’t work without you!

Turning Social Media into Creative Media

Turning Social Media into Creative Media

Today we ran our Turning Social Media into Creative Media workshop alongside the Plan d school of Dance, Barcelona with the help of Twitter, Skype and some great ideas!


‘Hoy, junto a Joumana Mourad dictando un workshop entre Barcelona y Londres en simultáneo..! IJAD Dance Company junto a Pland Centre de Dansa. Que buena experiencia!!!’ Juan Leiba


The collaberation between the two countries would not have been possible without the support of technology. And what we’re seeing is the potential of the use of technology to create artwork that is accessible. Creative director, Joumana is working with cross platform dance performers, aiming for the creation of transparency between virtual & real: ‘today we managed to incapsulate two countries and different groups of dancers in a bubble of time where sharing was crucial. I’m excited that we’re starting to explore the migration between physical spaces and virtual maps.

Thanks to everyone who made it today and look out for our next social media project!

Performing secrets – the process

Performing secrets – the process

I set out choreographing for In-Finite by asking dancers to interpret their own secrets. We had lengthy discussions about the impact of a secret on our lives and the kinds of feelings we might be putting to movement. We talked about the experience of keeping a secret, the associated emotions, the overwhelming impact secrets can have on our daily lives and the possibility of forgetting a secret completely. What we didn’t talk about was the secrets themselves.

Because the word secret has taken pride of place for this project. We must have used it a million times by now, in rehearsals, in our online discussions, in our everyday chats. We’re twisting it round and turning it inside out and inspecting, exploring and interrogating it as inspirational tools and choreographic elements. But the word itself can only go so far. If words are signs then secret is the perfect word – it’s purely a symbol.  Any creative response to a symbol is going to be detached, to lack authenticity.

As we’ve been writing, talking, dancing and tweeting about secrets, it has become clear that it’s a pretty hush hush area. This area where me as a choreographer will not invade as a sign of respect to the dancers privacy; this hush hush area became problematic a stumbling block, as I was unable to push the choreography further.  There is a secrets comfort zone and no matter what you happen to be talking about, one major thing is true – you’ll not divulge the actual secret. The secret is the unsaid thing. The secret elephant in the room. We could talk for hours about the sheer devastation caused by a secret or about the empowered feelings of owning one – we’re happy to dance around it, explore the feelings related to it – but we’ll not word the secret itself. I worked with the dancers on their secrets but we worked on the associated feelings and the words surrounding the secret. Imagine 8 dancers in different parts of a room. Moving separately with their own secret, like satellites of secrets. In the first 2 weeks of rehearsals, not a single secret was told.

So I started to think about the ingredients needed to take the dance from a floating concept of individual journeys, to a collaboration.

Lou Cope, the dramaturg collaborating on this project, suggested what I think we’d all forgotten, our own secrets. While this part of the performance involved interpreting our own secrets, the next stage would be interpreting others. Lou was right, how could I ask my audiences to open up for the first time about something so deeply personal and not offer my end of the bargain. How could we expect engagement when we weren’t prepared to put ourselves on the line too?

What followed was perhaps the hardest part of this process, for all of us. As a choreographer I felt this tremendous burden – would my dancers be willing to share? What responsibility do I have towards them and the audience? Would I be willing to share my secret in return? This was last Thursday and the change to the rehearsing space was intense. I’ve always promoted transparency in our rehearsals and processes but this was more, we were equal, together. We all had secrets but instead of keeping them to the silent movement space in our areas of the room – we owned each others. We shared. As a result the movement became more vulnerable, more honest and less dramatised.  It was as if, in sharing our secrets, we’d reattached to honest emotions…

Now our job turns to the audiences and how far we share our secrets with them. As independent and personal a secret might be, sharing is not a one way street. If you’ve followed our progress over the last couple of weeks, you’ve seen us ask audiences for secrets. We’re now seeing how many people want to share but don’t quite feel able to. The word secret teases us, it gets us wondering what it might be like to not keep it a secret anymore, it tickles our need for truce. What does it take to put it into words?

Joumana Mourad is a Dancer, Choreographer and the Artistic Director at IJAD Dance Company. The In-Finite project comes to London on March 8th and tickets can be booked here. Joumana tweets at @JouDance.

Dance meets technology

Dance meets technology

IJAD dance company has been looking at the role of technology in the dance world since 1999.  The company constantly poses questions about the best way to move forward with technology and dance and whether this could help to blur the boundaries between audience and performance.

Working with scientists, researchers, animators and technology companies over the years IJAD has worked with sensors, film and audio-visual technology. Here are just a few of our projects.


Labyrinth of the Senses

Here IJAD worked closely with multimedia experts to shape a new relationship between live performance and film. Multimedia projections provided a visual, virtual city – much more than a backdrop to the performance. The multimedia artists created computer generated graphics that responded and reacted to movement, in a true integration of technology, theatricality and raw physicality.


Little Red Riding Wolf

This was a site-specific performance held in a Japanese winery in Hwalian, combining machines and movement.
The derelict building came to life with music created by electrical saws, and lighting emitted from car headlights. In this piece time took another form, and space took another meaning – both lost their habitual references.

We continue to work closely with research and development in technology to push the parameters even further.  The current project looks at social media and the changing world of communication and interaction. Now more than ever, the lines between public and private, between audience and performance can be blurred, imagined and explored.

Can dance inform technology? How can this empower audiences? Join the conversation and find out how you can get involved in our next project (in just a couple of minutes!) over on Twitter @IJADdance.

Secrets and untold stories collection ongoing until the end of 2012

Secrets and untold stories collection ongoing until the end of 2012

IJAD Dance Company is inviting you to contribute to the development of its new multimedia performance, In-Finite, to be performed online and physically from July 2012 until November 2013.

How can you contribute?
Donating anonymously your untold story or secret, leaving a comment on our website:, (the email address does not need to be a genuine one…)

We can accept your secrets in the following formats: text, music, video or image.

If you want to see our latest work in progress using your secrets keep an eye on our website: containing links to all our social media sites

Why secrets?
Secrets can take many forms, outlines, patterns; they can be overwhelming, funny, empowering, silly, meaningful, passionate; they can connect us to our deepest humanity and they are a powerful tool of inspiration.

This is an example of a secret donated in 2011.