Leyya Mona Tawil (b. 1975) is the Artistic Director of DANCE ELIXIR, a contemporary dance company (510c3) dedicated to presenting cutting edge contemporary dance and cultivating artistic communities through international and interdisciplinary collaborations.
Tawil’s work for DANCE ELIXIR has been presented in 9 countries throughout Europe and the Arab World, and 17 cities in the United States, including engagements in Beirut, Damascus, Ramallah, Cairo, Amsterdam, Montreal and New Orleans. They have an extensive record of production in New York City, Detroit and San Francisco/Oakland, as well as academic residencies nationwide. From 2007-2009 she was the Middlebury College (VT) Artist-In-Residence, during which time she choreographed and toured work to NYC, Montreal and Tabor, Czech Republic.
Tawil is engaged in a multi-national dialogue addressing identity and performance aesthetics. Since 2003, she has collaborated with scores of artists from diverse disciplines, including music composers Christopher Keyes (2003-2008), Mark Gergis (2009-2010) and Iraqi post-rock band The Lazy Sleepers. She also works with numerous musicians in the field of improvisation and new-form performance. Current collaborators also include Mike Khoury (Violin, Detroit-MI), Ava Mendoza (Guitar, Oakland-CA) and Lars J. Brouwer (Live Electronics, Amsterdam-NL).
Tawil received her BDA in Dance from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor; and her MFA in Choreography from Mills College-Oakland. Tawil has received the UMich Emerging Artist Award in 2008 and the Best of Oakland award in a 510Arts.com exhibition for her dance film “Quieting Heart: Attempt #5″. She is also the Director of Temescal Art Center, a venue for experimental performance in Oakland, California.
Leyya created “The Mechanic” for the August 2011 edition of Dances Made to Order.