Sarah Brahim - Our Cup is Broken

Riyadh-based choreographer and dancer Sarah Brahim performs live from a studio in the Saudi capital, creating a performance that conveys both the physical and ethereal body. In collaboration with Portland-based video artist Fernanda D’Agostino, the two artists create a liminal performance space which exists simultaneously in Saudi Arabia and the US, crossing borders and the limitations of the physical and geographical body. 

Small gestures are amplified through repetition and layering, conjuring up multi-faceted images of beauty. An atmospheric sound score and pre-recorded images add further texture to the live choreography. The artists’ fine-tuned sensitivity to the technology and each other’s practice create a unique vision of an intimately and mysteriously connected world. 

Our Cup is Broken is a bold and visceral piece of live dance in a country where contemporary performance has yet to reach a wider audience. 


The premiere of Our Cup is Broken is followed by a live discussion between all the artists of Shubbak’s Image & Movement programme. Sarah Brahim, Marwah AlMugait, Ahaad Alamoudi and Balqis Al Rashed discuss their personal interest in working with movement and performance, the role of choreography in their work, and the collaborative nature of their creative practice. The discussion is moderated by curator and artist Tara Aldugaither.

Ahaad Alamoudi grew up between England and Saudi Arabia. She graduated from Dar Al Hekma University in Jeddah with a BA in Visual Communication in 2014 and graduated with an MA in Print from the Royal College of Art in 2017. Travelling between the two kingdoms, Alamoudi’s work addresses history and representation. By studying the country's reforming ethnography and showcasing it in the work she produces, she pushes boundaries of Saudi Arabia’s history. 

Her most recent solo exhibition titled Heat Burns, Athr Gallery, Jeddah (2020) was presented during 21,39. Group shows include: Colour Bar, Maraya Art Center, Sharjah (2019); Screens Series, New Museum, NYC (2019); Public/Private, Historical Jeddah (2019); Out of Place, Athr Gallery, Jeddah (2019); Al Obour, SAC, Jeddah (2019;  Young Arab Exhibition, ArtX, NYC (2018); MANWAR, Hafez Gallery, Jeddah (2018); Refusing to be Still, SAC, Jeddah (2018); The Parallel Kingdom exhibition at the Station Museum in Houston; The Generation exhibition at Minnesota Street Project in San Francisco and in the Phantom Punch exhibition at Bates College of Art in Lewiston, Maine (2017 & 2016); We Need to Talk, Edge of Arabia, Jeddah (2012), Young Saudi Artists, Athr Gallery, Jeddah (2012) and others.

Tara Aldughaither is an independent curator, writer and artist. Her curatorial and creative practices are intrinsically tied, as both orbit around sound as an anchor of time and place. Soon after achieving a BA in Mass Communication with a special focus on arts and humanities, Aldughaither pursued an MA in Culture Criticism and Curation at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts, London. During this time, her interest in Arab Gulf contemporary representation in arts and culture was deeply ignited. The exploration moved towards the understanding of poetic images and oral tradition as performance which acted as the underlying catalyst to her current thinking.
Before moving back home to Khobar, Saudi Arabia, she lived and worked in Muscat, Oman where she conducted small-scale public interventions as well as experimented with a podcast titled TaraTalks, a platform to host discussions around independent arts and culture initiatives in the region. In 2019, Aldughaither curated Durational Portrait at Athr Gallery, the first survey of Saudi contemporary video art for Jeddah 21,39. Tara is currently taking part in Art Jameel’s 2020-2021 Hayy Learning Curatorial Fellows programme. Drawing from her own practice as a vocalist, she is researching the experiences of women’s singing practices and rituals in Al Hejaz, Saudi Arabia.

Marwah AlMugait is a visual artist from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. She has a BA in Business Administration from King Saud University, and pursued her MA in Photojournalism at the University of Westminster in 2012. While developing her visual perspective, AlMugait sought to capture intimate portraits of stories, presenting visual cues which reveal the subtle perspectives of her subjects’ internal realms. AlMugait focuses on exposition, shedding light on things that people overlook or discard. Her work encompasses a wide variety of themes but embodies the desire to explore the gap between different ways of communicating. 

Through different bodies of works, she emphasizes fluidity and turbulence and draws from a wide range of technologies to heighten the viewers sense of awareness, inviting her audience to pay attention to the delicacies of human interaction. AlMugait’s works have been shown in group exhibitions since 2011, including; Brunel University, London 2012, Emerge Art Fair, Washington DC 2014, Inlight Studio, group exhibition, Toronto 2014, Galerie Clairefontaine, group exhibition, Luxembourg 2015 and Epicenter, group exhibition, The Arab American National Museum, Detroit 2017.

Sarah Brahim is a movement artist passionate about creating meaningful work with artists of varying mediums. She grew up studying, choreographing, performing, and teaching jazz, ballet, and tap in Portland, Oregon. She studied at the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance and in 2016 she graduated from London Contemporary Dance School (LCDS) and holds a BA Honors degree in Contemporary Dance. At LCDS she further explored the depth and resonance of movement, discovering her passion for improvisation, collaboration, choreographing, and healing through movement. Since graduating she has worked professionally performing, choreographing, and directing movement. 

In 2018, she was a resident at Spaceness Artist Residency, New Expressive Works 6-month choreographic residency, produced two shows premiering an original piece Dream of a Common Language, created an original performance for Portland Design Week, performed an original show with Portland Tap Company, and was artist in residence at 33 Officina Creativa in Italy. She created Coyote Collective with writer Michelle Overby, a night during which artists of different mediums pair up to collaborate and perform original work together and also performs regularly as SSL, a band composed of a drummer, dj, and tap dancer. In 2019, she has been awarded the American Dance Festival Studio Subsidy Grant and a Professional Development Grant from the Regional Arts and Culture Council with which she will begin to create her first evening length work.

Balqis Al Rashed is a multidisciplinary Saudi artist based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. She spent much of her childhood in Beirut, graduating from the American University of Beirut with a BFA in Graphic Design. Due to this upbringing, her practice examines questions of power either through mobilization of the body, her hypersensitivity to the audience or via representations in mythmaking, icons, or space.

Al Rashed first exhibited at Athr Gallery in Jeddah in 2011 as part of the exhibition Collage / Assemblage, and in 2015 took part in the March Project Residency at Sharjah Art Foundation. She was the first international artist in residence at the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art in 2017, and later that year participated in their Cities of Conviction exhibition. Most recently, she performed Norms of Life in Dubai’s Alserkal Avenue.

Fernanda D’Agostino is a public art and new media installation artist based in Portland, OR. USA.  D’Agostino has exhibited nationally and internationally with video installation, large scale public art projects, and performance. Her work has been featured in numerous public art and new media festivals, and exhibitions, and she strives to share what she has learned with others. Most recently, she has collaborated with Collection Action Studio, led by Curator Justin Hoover, to produce large scale outdoor projection works in San Francisco and Hong Kong. Her Borderline series of installations was exhibited in 2018-19 at 1A Space Hong Kong, Disjecta Contemporary Art Center, Open Signal, and Portland Art Museum. (all Portland, OR.) D’Agostino works between sculpture, installation, creative coding and video mapping on several programming platforms. 

The connecting thread in all her work is creating an immersive, interactive environment that places viewers within the work. D’Agostino’s work has been recognized by the Flintridge Foundation, Bonnie Bronson Fellowship, Andy Warhol Foundation, Oregon Community Foundation, Ford Family Foundation, 4Culture TechSpecific Award, National Endowment for the Arts and with the Oregon Arts Commission Artist Fellowship. D’Agostino is co-founder and co-director with Sarah Turner of Mobile Projection Unit. MPU is a creative platform, curatorial platform and a supporter of social justice movements through volunteer tech support.

تؤدي الراقصة ومصممة الرقصات المقيمة في الرياض سارة براهيم عرضًا مباشرًا من أحد الأستوديوهات في العاصمة السعودية حيث تقدم عرضًا ينقل للمشاهد صورة الجسد ببعديه المادي والأثيري، وتتعاون سارة مع فنانة الفيديو المقيمة في بورتلاند "فرناندا داغوستينو" في ابتكار مساحة أداء حديّة تتواجد في السعودية والولايات المتحدة في الوقت ذاته وعابرةً للحدود وقيود الجسد المادي والجغرافي.

تتضخم الحركات الجسدية البسيطة من خلال التكرار وإضافة الطبقات على نحو يستحضر الصور متعددة الأوجه للجمال، وتضيف الصور المسجلة مسبقًا والموسيقى التصويرية الجمالية والعاطفية بعدًا إضافيًا للرقص الحي، وتخلق حساسية الفنانتين المرهفة للتكنولوجيا ولتجربة بعضهما رؤية مميزة لعالم مترابط بغموض وحميمية.

" Our Cup is Broken" عرض فني جريء وحيوي من الرقص الحي في بلد لم يصل فيه الأداء الفني المعاصر إلى جمهور أوسع نطاقًا.


العرض الأول لـ ‘كأسنا مكسور‘ سيتبع بنقاش حي بين جميع فناني برنامج شبّاك ‘صورة وحركة‘. سارة ابراهيم، مروة المقيط، عهد العمودي وبلقيس الرشيد يناقشن اهتماتهن الشخصية في العمل مع الحركة والأداء، ودور تصميصم الرقص في عملهن والطبيعة التعاونية في نشاطهن الإبداعي. تتم إدارة النقاش من قبل منسقة المعارض والفنّانة تارة الدغيثر.

Our Cup is Broken has been commissioned by Shubbak Festival.


On demand

Until Sat 17 July 2021

Tickets: £0, £3, £6

75 minutes.
Suitable for 12 years+
BSL interpreted.