Danza o muori
Preface by Roberto Bolle
Dance or Die is the story – told in the voice of its protagonist – of Ahmad Joudeh, born in 1990 to a Palestinian father and Syrian mother, and raised in the Palestinian refugee camp Yarmouk, in Damascus, Syria.
Passionate about dancing from an early age, Ahmad attended dance lessons in secret because of his father’s opposition, who clubbed him in the legs to prevent him from dancing.
To make everything even more difficult, the war (bombs destroyed his home, his neighbourhood, and killed five members of his family). But Ahmad Joudeh continued to dance and to study dance on the roof of his friends’ house, a wall as a barricade, amidst the bullets and explosions not too far away, and to give dance lessons to the children in the camp.
In 2014, he participated in the Arabic version of the reality show ‘So You Think You Can Dance’: he made it to the semifinals, but did not win because he had no nationality. His appearance on this programme made him famous both in Syria and abroad but earned him the hatred of extremists.
But not even this has stopped him and in recent years Ahmad has performed on stages all over Europe, bringing his message of peace everywhere with various performances dedicated to the many artists less fortunate than him who are forced to remain in Syria.
His dream is to found and direct the Syrian National Ballet in a finally free and pacified Syria.
Dance as a universal message of peace. A touching and true story. A book about courage, determination and resilience.
A soli 28 anni il ballerino siriano palestinese Ahmad Joudeh ha una storia da brivido, oltre che un curriculum artistico che parla da sé. Il suo sogno di diventare un professionista della danza classica e la sua determinazione gli hanno permesso di vincere su tutto: sulla resistenza e sulle violenze domestiche del padre, sulle bombe della guerra in Siria e le minacce degli estremisti. La sua storia ha fatto il giro del mondo. Ora vive ad Amsterdam con lo status di rifugiato, grazie alla fondazione The Dance for Peace Fund, creata per sostenerlo negli studi e aiutarlo a realizzare il suo sogno.