Studio 8

“We enjoy sharing the joy of dance!”

Studio 8 is a Jordanian non-for-profit performing arts theatre company. It was founded in 2014 by a group of young artists aiming to shape and humanize dance art through innovation, experiment, development, exchange, education, and research.

It is at the heart of the Studio’s mission to increase access to dance, and to increase opportunities for cultural expression and awareness. In the past 10 years, the founders of Studio 8 have been working at different levels of dance performance and dance transmission and have witnessed the rapid disappearance of dance encounters of international, regional, and local dance performances and training, the struggle of local choreographers, performers, dance makers to sustain their individual or collaborative creativity.

In direct response to feedback from dance artists who expressed a need for more in-depth support for education, development, and dance professionalization of Amman, Studio 8 was born to tackle this creative crisis in the art of making dances.

For the past 9 years, Studio 8 has collaborated with more than 600 people of 43 nationalities in creating 10 original dance productions, giving more than 60 performances, and organizing more than 160 classes and workshops. Studio 8 has also made dance videos, facilitated art incubations, artistic residencies, dance inspired exhibitions, dance discussions, community art walks and street art fairs.

“We love being a part of something that is grassroots. When marginalzied people gain voice and center their own experiences, things begin changing.”

Since 2013 the originally small group of enthusiasts who wanted to create a 5-min-dance-short-film has grown into a central organization in the creation and development of dance, especially contemporary dance, in Jordan. ​ The choreographer brothers Abd and Anas Nahleh, and visual artist Ren founded Studio 8.

The three young artists have since then set the direction of the non-for-profit dance company: – bring culture to the people, instead of leaving it to the people to come to culture. – make stage dance a recognized profession in Jordan, make study it possible in our kingdom. ​

Our company started with nothing, with no experience in contemporary dance production. We know what it’s like to rehearse under difficult conditions and in our free time. We know what it’s like to teach ourselves and how long it takes to reach an internationally accepted professional level, not only in terms of the dance but also in terms of management. We know how fundamental it is to persist. This makes our company strong and viable.

Overall impact

Studio 8 aims to build an infrastructure for dance creation in Amman.

In the next 5 years, as an independent dance space – Studio 8 is striving to emerge as a central organization in the creation and development of dance, especially contemporary dance, in Jordan.

Through supporting, producing, and presenting works for local emerging artists, together with a network of international and regional partners, Studio 8 will serve as a platform for innovation, experimentation, and continuous development of dance culture in Jordan and beyond. We enjoy sharing the joy of dance, while reflecting the diverse communities it serves, creating space for a wide range of different voices to be heard. Studio 8 will continue to produces thoughtful and ambitious dance productions for the international stage. Studio 8 will also foster a welcoming environment that celebrates and embraces many forms of diversity. A biannual talent incubation program is created to offer crucial professional development opportunities to emerging choreographers, performance makers, producers, dance artists based in Jordan.

In the next 5 years, up to 50 performing-arts-interested-creative-individuals will be supported in creating 20 new performances that tell stories through dance that are compelling and relevant to the land and the people, taking human themes further – embracing and collaborating with different cultures and disciplines. Finally, through an Amman based biannual festival, national and international tour, and live performances and virtual performances, making and screening dance films, Studio 8 is aiming to reach up to 50,000 people.