Visiting Choreographer
Choreographer, Spring 24 Dance Concert, Contemporary Dance


Leila Awadallah (she/her) is a dancer, choreographer, and film wanderer based between Minneapolis, Mni Sota Makoce and Beirut, Lebanon. Her research in dance centers movement that activates relationships to land / place / peoples, rooted in the context of her own skin as a body and soul that holds indigenous Palestinian, Arab-American, SWANA, Sicilian and mixed Mediterranean worlds and ways. She is the founder of the Body Watani (body-as-homeland) dance project and practice in collaboration with Noelle Awadallah. Body Watani’s first piece, TERRANEA is supported by National Performance Network, Goethe Institute, MSAB, ARENA, Links Hall and the Arab American National Museum and will premiere at Red Eye Theater in April 2023. Her solo work YISSH (2019) which was commissioned / presented by the Cedar Tree Project (Winona) has been performed at festivals in Lebanon, Egypt and soon: Palestine, and Italy. She is a McKnight Dancer Fellow (2023), Jerome Hill Fellow (2021-2023), and previously a Springboard 20/20 and Daring Dances Fellow. Leila’s works have been supported through research residencies and performances at the Hammana Artist House, Amalgam, and Lebanese National Theatre (Lebanon), Camargo Foundation (France), Diyar School (Palestine), Arab American National Museum (Michigan), and most widely across spaces and places in and around her home in the Twin Cities. Mentored by Ananya Chatterjea, she trained, taught and performed with Ananya Dance Theatre as a company member (2014-2019) and she is a founding member of the Kelvin Wailey dance trio (2015-2023). Leila has a BFA in Dance and minor in Arabic Language & Literature from the University of Minnesota.