Last summer we told you about the talented deaf-born Lebanese dancer Pierre Geagea and his ‘Mother Tongue’ performance, a unique project blending contemporary dance techniques and sign language.

Geagea is back this summer working on a reinterpretation of his self-choreographed solo dance performance - but he needs your help. He has launched a crowdfunding campaign on Zoomaal, aiming to collect $6,000.

“Beyond its performance aspect, ‘Mother Tongue’ delivers a message and seeks to stir a collective awareness about questions of difference and disability,” Geagea told “And apart from my initial need for funding, what I liked the most about the campaign is that the crowdfunding platform, Zoomaal, allows projects to be implemented through the solidarity and collective interest of individuals whoever they are and wherever they come from.”

“Mother Tongue is the cornerstone of a long-term project to create an artistic link between dance and sign language, and a social link between the world of the deaf and the rest of the community," Geagea noted. “But for this to happen, a basic foundation needs to be in place, and ‘Mother Tongue’ is the foundation."

After being unable to hear or speak for the majority of his young years, Geagea now uses an earpiece which allows him to listen to and interpret music. “I love teaching contemporary dance and sharing it with people, whoever they are. [I also love] the idea that dance is not only accessible to all but can also be combined with each person’s individual means of expression, like sign language,” Geagea explained.

But the 35-year-old dancer is faced with the constraints of the local creative industry. “The world of performing arts and especially dance is not a profitable industry when you’re not backed by large, blockbuster-type productions like the ones found in the world of television,” Geagea told

“[Dance] is a passion for which we live and for which we must constantly reinvent ourselves and find ways of realization. If your goal is to make money and live comfortably, then turn around as soon as possible. However, if you wake up in the morning thinking about dance, brush your teeth thinking about dance and dream about dance at night, then you have to go for it.”

Stress is starting to kick in as the end date of the campaign is approaching. “We’re less than 30 days away from the end of the campaign and we still need 80 percent of the funding to be able to proceed with the project. I’ve noticed that some people hesitate to make contributions thinking there is a minimum amount they should be paying but what people should know is that any amount of money, no matter how small, can make a difference,” Geagea explained.

The crowdfunding campaign was also shared on the the website of Live Love Beirut, an NGO that supports local initiatives through selling bracelets. “For every 3,000 bracelets that are sold, the submitted project with the most votes from the public receives funding. This is a way for everyone to make contributions, including those who do not have the means to give a sum of money,” Geagea noted.

In addition to teaching adult dance classes and coaching deaf children on the disciplines of dance at IRAP, a special educational institute for deaf children, Geagea is currently in the process of creating a sequel for ‘Mother Tongue’ in collaboration with a foreign dancer who recently moved to Lebanon.

Visit Zoomaal for more details on how to support ‘Mother Tongue’.

[All images via Zoomal]

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