We came to dance

“Tables project”

Second table



What does it mean to be a dancer when dancing is prohibited? How do you feel when forced to refrain from doing something you have dedicated your entire life to? Starting from these questions, Iranian playwright Nasim Ahmadpour and director Ali Asghar Dashti create a breathtaking performance.

On stage, two completely immobile dancers describe the movements they would have made if they could dance. These descriptions of a hand gesture, of a step to the side, entrust us spectators with reconstructing a choreography that is no longer possible to create. The detailed and touching account intertwines with episodes from the recent past, like the story of theatre director Hamid Samandarian.

Banned from working in theatres in the early 1980s, his company decided to open a restaurant together. When their first customers entered, the performers felt the same stress as if this were an audience entering the theatre hall. Can anyone stop being who they are? In another episode, an imprisoned director wonders if, by making his fellow prisoners act, he could stop being a prisoner for a moment.

Taking its title from a song verse, We Came to Dance is a theatrical gem and a love letter to the stage.


Presentation: Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Beursschouwburg


Director: Ali Asghar Dashti | Writer and dramaturge: Nasim Ahmadpour | Performers: Hamid Pourazari, Ilnaz Shabani | With the presence of: Nasim Ahmadpour, Ali Asghar Dashti | Choreographer: Mostafa Shabkhan | Video: Mohammadreza Rahmati | Lighting designer: Niloofar Naghibsadati | Graphic designer: Farhad Fozouni | Technology: Jafar Hejazi | Assistant director: Fatemeh Rouzbahani

Production: Don Quixote Theatre Group & Interdisciplinary Cultural-Artistic Institute Names and Signatures | Coproduction: Kunstenfestivaldesarts

27 to 31 May 2024, Brussels