DAMASCUS, SYRIA (4:30 P.M.) – A young Syrian ballet dancer was photographed dancing in the streets of Old Damascus to convey a message of peace; stirring controversial responses.
Yara Khudair; a Syrian ballerina, has become a ‘phenomenon’ overnight when her photos dancing in public places were released on social media.
“For me, ballet dance is a passion. I give it all my time and effort to prove it is a fine art”, Yara said.
“I have seen refusal, denial and criticism in the eyes of people who watched me dancing in the street. I was even addressed with harsh words. Some laughed, others smiled admiringly, but I just went on. All I wanted to say is that dancing is a freedom and art, and that such differences amongst us is something beautiful:, Yara replied when asked about her experience.
The university student and dancer teacher hopes that what she did will act as an impetus for others to freely express themselves in defiance of the obsolete social constraints, making clear that the whole thing was totally improvised and not planned at all.
The public dance stirred controversial reactions from the Syrian people. While some viewed it as a ‘stark challenge for the social and religious norms’, others hailed the daring performance as ‘purely artist and sublime’.