Alexandra Handal with poets Karen Alkalay-Gut and Nathalie Handal

       Alexandra Handal's multimedia installation, Dance, is based on a joint poem written by Israeli poet Karen Alkalay-Gut and Palestinian poet, Nathalie Handal. A digital animation of the poem, which becomes entirely legible only at the end, is projected onto the floor. While watching the projection, the viewer experiences the words of the poem transform into abstract shapes that resemble lightning, needles, feathers, and webs. As they are colliding, moving past and against each other, the words begin to emerge as lines of a poem, then stanzas, breaking the fear of sharing the same space in order to dance together. Dance is a space which invites the viewer to gather round and experience - through movement, color, and rhythm - the pain, frustration, fear and joy involved in taking the first steps towards negotiating our present, ourselves. Dance compels the viewer to ask: how can we not dance together?

       Alexandra Handal is a Santo Domingo-NYC based Palestinian artist whose installations, drawings and digital media focus on issues of transnationality, cultural migration/displacement, representation, and memory. Her work has been represented in exhibitions in NYC, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, and Sydney, Australia. Currently, she is a Visiting Artist Lecturer at the Escuela de Diseno in the Dominican Republic, affiliated with Parsons School of Design. Karen Alkalay-Gut was born on the last night of the Blitz in London to refugee parents who brought her to the United States after the war. She has spent her adult life teaching poetry at Tel Aviv University, writing, and trying to get people to listen to each other through poetry. Her 20 books include five poetry books in Hebrew, a biography of the American poet, Adelaide Crapsey, an e-book of magic poems called Avracadivra (2002). Nathalie Handal is a Palestinian poet, playwright and writer who has lived in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, Latin America and the Middle East. She is the author of the poetry book, The NeverField, the poetry CD, Traveling Rooms, and the editor of The Poetry of Arab Women: A Contemporary Anthology, an Academy of American Poets bestseller and winner of the Pen Oakland/Josephine Miles award. Nathalie Handal currently teaches at Hunter College in NYC.