Welcome to Al-Arz !
Lebanese Art Group

Al-Arz Lebanese Art Group is the only arts organization dedicated to the creation, promotion and dissemination of Lebanese performing arts in Canada.

For over 40 years, Al-Arz (which means cedar) has been keeping alive Lebanon’s rich cultural heritage through Lebanese music, song, dance and theatre. Its original dance creations and elaborate theatre productions have been experienced by thousands of spectators across Canada and abroad.

From its weekly dance classes, to annual stage productions and uniquely tailored zaffés, Al-Arz stands at the intersection between Lebanese arts and culture, connecting Lebanese communities in Canada and the traditions that define Lebanon. It is both here and there, straddling two worlds rooted in openness and diversity. Al-Arz is the cultural and artistic bridge between Lebanon and Canada.

DANCE

Al-Arz’s is best known for its creations in Lebanese dance. It is mostly through dance that Al-Arz has been successful in reaching a wide range of audiences in Canada and beyond its borders. The Yazbek repertoire includes unique vocabulary and unparalleled style that blends traditional form and new creations.

As Canada’s only reference in Lebanese dance, Al-Arz sets itself apart by the fluidity and energy of movement strongly rooted in the rhythms of the “table”. The choreographies are inspired by the vibrant colours of the dabké (social dance) that are boldly expressed in a contemporary setting yet set against a finely woven backdrop of folkloric scenery.

Stomping of feet, hip swings, pirouettes and zakhas are characteristic of Al-Arz’s originality of movement that attracts and transports to people to another place. One performance is enough to convince and captivate audiences.

THEATRE

Al-Arz Lebanese Art Group is invested in the remounting the theatre creations of the Lebanon’s most inspiring playwrights, musicians and lyricists, the Rahbani Brothers. Since 1976, operettas, theatre productions and multidisciplinary stage works have been at the heart of the Al-Arz’s mandate to preserve the ties to the Lebanese language and cultural references.

Nurturing more than 4 generations of theatre artists, Al-Arz is proud to share with Canadians the stories that were originally told by Lebanon’s greatest artists, including the world-renown Fairouz, Nasry Shams El-Deen, Philemon Wehbe, Antoine Kerbej, Houda Haddad, William Hesswany, Elie Choueiry, Joseph Nassif, Elie Choueiri, Marwan Mahfouz to name just a few. The company has produced over 11 variety shows and more than 20 musicals and operettas that have been produced and presented in Ottawa and numerous Canadian cities.

Zaffé

The Zaffé is a live procession of music and dance, and part of a typically Middle-Eastern wedding celebration. The energy that transpires from the zaffé, adds an authentic touch to a bride a groom’s special day. We offer this service in a variety of tailor-made packages that include a saber performer, percussionists, dancers and other joyful elements.

The Canadian zaffé is Al-Arz’s specialty and distinguishes itself thanks to the experienced artists that are able to adapt and deliver various types of zaffés to accommodate a diversity of cultures, religious and multi-faith ceremonies and weddings. We have celebrated with Algerian, Armenian, Egyptian, Indian, Iranian, Jordanian, Moroccan, Pakistani, Palestinian, Syrian, Turkish, Yamani and many more couples in cities in Canada and the United States.

School of Dance

The Canadian School of Lebanese Dance (CSLD) was founded in Ottawa in 1993 with a mandate to provide professional dance instruction in Lebanese dance (dabké) and baladi (belly-dance) to students and adults of all ages. The School teaches many styles of Lebanese dance in a learning environment that promotes artistic growth, personal development and creativity.

Classes offered to children and youth are based on a calendar year of 30 weeks that begins in September and ends in April. In May, a year-end performance is organized to celebrate the talent and achievement of young dancers. For adults, classes are condensed into two sessions per year ; one in the fall and the other in winter.

 

Al-Arz has just turned 40!

Come enjoy a sit-down dinner and wine along with an evening program of live Lebanese theatre, music, song, dance and video projections that will take you down memory lane. Celebrating with family, friends and long-time supporters of Al-Arz, the event promises to be a night you won’t forget. Join us!

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