Join us for a special evening of performances by Kiori Kawai and visiting performers Concetta Cariello and Marwan Ghunaim, choreographed in response to the artworks in the gallery. With music by Aaron Sherwood.

The works of Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh, and Hesam Rahmanian continuously transform themselves – they replicate and mutate through movement, gesture and dance to offer new narratives. Performance is at the heart of their practice and often marks a starting point for exploration.

The artists invited dancer and choreographer Kiori Kawai to choreograph descriptions for a series of sculptures in the current exhibition, Parthenogenesis.

This event is presented as part of the inaugural edition of Ramadaniyyat, a diverse, week-long series of events ranging from live talks to performances and exhibition tours. The program is hosted jointly by NYUAD’s three public-facing institutions: The Arts Center, The Art Gallery, and The Institute. A suhoor will be served nightly after the events at the East Plaza throughout the week.

Learn more about Ramadaniyyat here


Kiori Kawai

Kiori Kawai (Japanese, b. 1978) is a dance performer/choreographer, interactive installation artist and an educator.

As a dance performance artist, she seeks to merge her body and coexist within nature and all environments. Started her career in New York, she has worked with Carman Moore/Skymusic Inc., Elaine Summers Dance and Film, Lincoln Center, Tribeca Performing Arts Center, Brooklyn Museum, Serraves Contemporary Museum (Portugal), Mesa Arts Center (AZ), Transformation Festival (Denmark/U.S), Megaron (Athens, Greece), touring nationally and internationally. She’s built up her own improvisatory movement vocabulary based on the techniques of meditation, Kinetic Awareness, Contact Improv, yoga, and various dance/movement trainings. This led her to designing interactive installations that include human body movement within kinetic sculptures.

In 2011, she founded Purring Tiger with Aaron Sherwood. Purring Tiger is a multi-cultural, multimedia, interactive installation/performance group dedicated to bringing people together in the context of Art, in a subtext of Wonder. Their pieces have been commissioned and appeared at Burning Man Arts Festival, Brooklyn Museum, Federation Square (AUS), Tribeca Performing Arts Center, Telfair Museum, Cameron Arts Museum, Scottsdale Public Art and many more. magazine said “Not only does their art challenge us…, but it’s also beautiful.”

She teaches performance workshops with interactive installation and Contact Improvisation based classes.

Learn more about Kiori here:

Concetta Cariello

Maria Concetta Cariello is a freelance dance practitioner, performer, and contemporary dance educator.

Her creative interest falls on the body wisdom as the source of every creative process, organically drawing from within by tuning into the elements of breath, vocalization, movement, and stillness.

As dancer, Concetta has performed various works by Gil Kerer, Willi Dorner, Marie Keiser-Nielsen, Azul Teatro Company, La Fura dels Baus Company, Contact Dance Company, and others.

As an emerging dance creator, she choreographed I Cannot Walk Around My Body, I Cannot Leave It Behind for 5 dancers (2018); her own solo research PRIMA MATERIA: A Study On My Bodies (2019-20); the solo Non-Linear Body/ies for the company ZfinMalta Dance Ensemble (2020); and co-created with the Lentua Collective ’21 “A Nature Corner” commissioned by Joutsentanssi Festival, Finland (2021).

In 2021, she directed and produced her first independent short dance film GIRGENTI – Timeless Dances On The Hill for and with 3 dancers, presented in Malta, Italy, and Finland.

Originally stemming from a ballet background, Concetta has realigned her focus training in contemporary dance and obtained a BA in Dance Studies at the School of Performing Arts, University of Malta, jointly with an Erasmus program at the BCDA – Budapest Contemporary Dance Academy.

Her previous background in Building Engineering-Architecture has provided her with a passion for architecture and design, which also enriches her approach to dance and space composition. Drawing from this, in 2018, she started ‘Archi-Humans Go Public’, a research project that puts in conversation dance and public spaces, funded by Arts Council Malta.

She is co-founder of Sirius Dance Collective (2019) and Nomadic Dance Collective (2021).
She is part of the Co-Creation Center, a multidisciplinary research group aiming to develop a methodology and a model of Conscious Co-Creation to accompany teams towards the manifestation from the source by accessing the unified field.

Learn more about Concetta here:

Marwan Ghunaim

Originally from Palestine, born and raised between the U.A.E and Jordan. He began his career in Human Resources Management in the U.A.E in 2004, which continued in Qatar from 2013, Marwan traveled extensively across continents during his work with HR, recruiting 1000’s employees from different parts of the world. Along with his career, Marwan practices Capoeira as a lifestyle and has been teaching it since 2013, which also led him to travel to more places to learn more about its culture, history, and philosophy. Capoeira helped him develop a passion for social wellbeing, alternative education, and community living systems. Through these domains, combining his work experience with his passion, Mystic Earth Wellness Festival was founded in 2014. Marwan is currently developing The Synergy Projects which offers social events and training programs. Marwan is also aiming to build a sustainable community based on alternative ways of living.

Aaron Sherwood

Aaron Sherwood (American, b. 1977) is an interactive media artist/musician creating large-scale multi-sensory installations and performances. Exploring consciousness, cosmopoiesis, embodiment, entropy, and semiotics, he plays with patterns of emergence in seemingly chaotic systems. His pieces usually find their genesis in small building blocks, which, when scaled up in number, combine to create complex systems of interdependent ebbs and flows. People are often placed in the center of these systems, positioned in-between micro and macro worlds. People are not mere spectators, but directly influence the complex systems Sherwood creates, enabling the systems to come alive. This mutual “making/forming” allows participants to experience their relationship to Environment in new ways.

Sherwood’s work has been shown at Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, Cameron Arts Museum, Federation Square (Australia), Telfair Museums, Google, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, Future of Storytelling conference, Scopitone Festival (France), Burning Man Arts Festival, Bonnaroo Music Festival, Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art (Portugal), Festival of Curiosity (Ireland), Currents New Media Festival, the Tribeca Performing Arts Center, and many more.

Sherwood is Head of Interactive Media and an Associate Arts Professor at New York University in Abu Dhabi. He holds a masters in Interactive Telecommunications from New York University and a B.F.A. in Jazz and Contemporary Music from the New School University in New York.

In 2011, along with Kiori Kawai, he founded Purring Tiger, a non-profit, multi-cultural, multimedia, experimental performance group dedicated to bringing people together in the context of art, in a subtext of wonder

Learn more about Aaron here: