As a choreographer, dancer, and artistic director at Lebanese dance company Maqamat, Omar Rajeh explores the social and political issues of modern-day Beirut through the gesturing body.
Rajeh earned his undergraduate degree in Theatre Arts from the Lebanese University before pursuing an MA in Dance Studies at the University of Surrey in England. In 2002, he founded his flagship dance company, Maqamat. "Through introducing new ideas and concepts of dance and 'the body,'" its mission statement reads, "the company anticipates a new phase of artistic and social productivity, creativity, modernisation and free expression." As the nexus of Lebanon's contemporary dance scene, Maqamat has also helped empower aspiring dancers and choreographers and built an infrastructure for contemporary dance in Beirut. Notably, the company created BIPOD—Beirut International Platform for Dance, which is now in its eleventh year.
Rajeh is also the co-founder of the Masahat Dance Network, which extends through Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Palestine, and Takween, an intensive training programme geared toward young dancers in partnership with Sasha Waltz and guest instructors. As if that wasn't enough, he also helped to establish Maqamat Beit El Raqs, a dance residency programme and multipurpose space located in the Chouf Mountains. He has toured throughout the Arab world and in Europe, as well as Canada and Korea.