MONDAY OR TUESDAY
CONTEMPORARY DANCE, PERFORMANCE
WORK IN PROGRESS // 2021 - ONGOING
Dramaturgical Consultant: Francesca Pedullà
Outside Eye: Karima Mansour
Musician: Zizi Ibrahim
> Supported by:
Canada Council for the Arts, LOJIQ
Circuit-Est (2022), Cairo Contemporary Dance Center (CCDC, 2022 - 2023), ArtsUnite UnMute Residency (2021)
> Exhibitions & Events:
upRising Up Festival (Puglia, Italy, 2022), Bancs d’essai (Circuit-Est, Montréal, 2022), Cairo Contemporary Dance Center (CCDC, 2023)
My inspirations include a myriad of women who have likewise gone through intense phases of emotional turmoil; some of which include Anaïs Nin, Virginia Woolf, and Louise Bourgeois. By reading their diaries and stories, I find a gentle guidance beyond time and space. While my essence is animated by waves of intensity, it is balanced by the mundane and repetitive events that fall on a typical Monday or Tuesday. The pages of my journals document my contradicting nature which the monotony of days fails to muffle.
“Look within and life, it seems, is very far from being ‘like this’. Examine for a moment an ordinary mind on an ordinary day. The mind receives a myriad impressions—trivial, fantastic, evanescent, or engraved with the sharpness of steel. From all sides they come, an incessant shower of innumerable atoms; and as they fall, as they shape themselves into the life of Monday or Tuesday, the accent falls differently from of old; the moment of importance came not here but there...”
- Virginia Woolf, Modern Fiction
Following the footsteps of those authors and artists, I keep a journal - the earliest of which dates back to the year 2000. This project was born out of a latent curiosity to revisit my past journals and a desire to create something in partnership with them in the present. In a process akin to psychoanalysis and intentional confrontation, I use them as resources for self-reflection, triggers of memory, and tools for creation. The process of getting intimate with my diaries and my past led me to a practice of healing, acknowledgement, and forgiveness.
Monday or Tuesday was presented as a work in progress at Bancs d’essai, Circuit-Est in Montreal, upRising Up Festival in Puglia, and more recently at the Cairo Contemporary Dance Center following a residency in collaboration with live musician Zizi Ibrahim.
This quest is inspired by the cyclical repetition of time and the transformations that unfold in the realm of the in-between. The journals allow me to go back in time to find my presence in an ever-shifting ground. I grieve many deaths and welcome many births, all my own. I expose intimate vulnerabilities and unveil layers of femininity, so I may eventually celebrate the entirety of my fragmented self.
PHOTOS BY: Roxanne Ross, Sima Ajlyakin, Adriano / VIDEO 001 BY: Hazem Madbouly & MUSIC BY: Youssef Abouzeid / VIDEO 002 & MUSIC BY: Youssef Abouzeid / ILLUSTRATION BY: Laila Ait B.
Mona El Husseini is a dancer and visual artist, based between Montreal and Cairo. She completed her dance education at the Cairo Contemporary Dance Center (CCDC) in Egypt and studied International Business and Contemporary Dance at Concordia University.
Mona choreographs and performs her own artistic projects, she collaborates with other artists as a choreographer and performer, and she also teaches contemporary dance, barre, and pilates. Her pieces have been performed in Egypt, Germany, Italy, and Canada.
At the time of writing, Mona is working on Creatrix, a dance duet with her mother, and on Family Portraits, a visual art series and a graphic memoir set to premiere at the MAI (Montréal, Arts Interculturels) in 2023. She is also developing Monday or Tuesday, a dance solo, and Rabbet Manzel // House Goddess, a visual art series - both of which were presented at upRising Up festival in Puglia, Italy, in 2022.
In 2018, Mona had a performing role in When Arabs Danced, a TIFF- and FIFA-featured documentary film by Jawad Rhalib, and in 2022, she was the lead actress in ‘Gigi’ and in ‘Mango’, two short films by director Randa Ali. That same year she choreographed ‘Mama,’ a theatre piece by Nathalie Doummar, which was presented at Théâtre Duceppe and at Festival Juste Pour Rire in Montreal.
Mona is the current recipient of the Conseil des Arts de Montréal (CAM) + Montréal, Arts Interculturels (MAI) Alliance joint support program.
In her artistic process, Mona goes beyond dance and traces the thread that connects the different art forms she practices including martial arts, visual arts, and writing. She is interested in how stories are transmitted, shared, and told through the body across generations. She finds the dance in the encounter between the intimate and the collective, the traditional and the contemporary, and in the space where the inner and outer meet.