Music for Story Performance

A project I worked on with Thresh as part of a pilot program for the Adyan Foundation

As part of the ​Stories in the Age of Lebanon​ project, Alwan Project has partnered with award-winning New York based performing arts company Thresh to produce a series of exciting performances based on selected stories. We believe that stories can be presented in many different ways—with the aim of bringing generations together and fostering understanding between communities.

For each story, the Lebanese composer Wajdi Abou Diab Composed the music based on the narrations of the Lebanese elder’s stories, and then award-winning Indian choreographer Preeti Vasudevan created different choreographies and performances based on Wajdi’s music and the stories! and the result: a cross-cultural collaboration between artists around the world—each one responding to the elder’s story in their own way.

Check Wajdi talking about his process and creative choices in developing music for the three stories (in Arabic and English) on his page on Tresh website

The story of Safiya’s House

A story of a mother, Safiya, who takes care of her six children amidst a brutal war. When food supplies become scarce, she takes to baking for her family and the community around them. Throughout it all, she maintains a sense of pride for her homeland, Lebanon, and reflects on how the war forced its citizens to take care of one another. “If you find your brother weak, help him.”

Documentation: Mohammad Rida (Lebanon)

Choreography and Performance: Preeti Vasudevan (India/USA)

Music: Wajdi Abou Diab (Lebanon)

Illustration: Shreya Mehta (Belgium/USA/India)

The Story of Charlotte Haddad Farhat

A story of a woman, Charlotte Haddad Farhat, who flees the war-torn country of Lebanon with her three children. They go by boat to Cyprus and by plane to France, where they eventually settle after months of struggling to find education and work. After her children grow up, Charlotte returns to Lebanon, where she gives connects with an old friend to give back to the country of her birth.

Documentation: Angela El-Khoury (Lebanon)

Performer: Lilach Orenstein (USA)

Choreography and Performance: Preeti Vasudevan (India/USA)

Music: Wajdi Abou Diab (Lebanon)

Illustration: Shreya Mehta (Belgium/USA/India)

The Story of Mohammad Najib El-Zein

A story that follows a young boy, Mohammad Najib El-Zein, as he comes of age. Surrounded by siblings, Mohammad must find work to support his father and help provide for the family. Mohammad tries different jobs – making shoes, selling oil – before he eventually joins the army to support both his family and the country he loves, Lebanon.

Documentation: Hani Youssef (Lebanon)

Choreography: Preeti Vasudevan (India/USA)

Music: Wajdi Abou Diab (Lebanon)

Illustration: Shreya Mehta (Belgium/USA/India)

find Thresh  on


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IG: @threshdanceco

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Published by wajdiaboudiab

Wajdi Abou Diab is a composer of classical contemporary music, musicologist, educator, and conductor who believes in music as a way to build our cultural future while keeping us connected to our cultural history.

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