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Zahira Mous

The Netherlands

Zahira headshot red RTG dress.jpg

Zahira Mous holds a Master of Fine Arts in Dance and
a Graduate Certificate in Women’s & Gender Studies
from The University of Oklahoma (US) and a Bachelor
of Theatre in Education from Noordelijke Hogeschool
Leeuwarden (NL). Zahira is the director of dance
theater company Project Zahira, based in Amsterdam,
the dance education outreach program Changing
Lives Through Dance, and is the founder of the
Healing Arts Foundation. Zahira’s choreographic work
has been shown in the United States, the
Netherlands, Brazil, India, and Greece.

Inspired by the late German choreographer Pina Bausch, Zahira creates works that seamlessly merge
dance and theater. And with an interest in creating empowering experiences, she derives from her
dancers’ personal stories. Overarching themes of identity (the search for or the peeling away of) seep
through Zahira’s dance-theater works - with an emphasis on social awareness regarding gender identities,
gender (in)equality, and women empowerment.
Zahira’s aim is to facilitate connection through dance; via her professional dance productions, such as
Reclaiming the Goddess and Who am I without my Story? as well as global dance education outreach
programs. Zahira’s contemporary modern dance classes are Humphrey-based and focused on
successional movements and efficient breath use, especially in fall-recovery. She approaches her class as a
metaphor of life: falling and getting back up, sometimes rigid, sometimes fluid, something gasping for air,
sometimes free-flowing. But at the top of her list is that dancers may discover their authenticity and
become more seasoned artists.
To Zahira, dancing is an inquiry into and with the body. Over the past 12 years, Zahira developed her
method called Art in Motion; a healing practice of movement & creativity, which she utilizes with her
dancers when creating new work. Zahira also offers this as a workshop for (pre)professional dancers to
connect with their creative flow. More recently, she developed a training called the Presence Process for
Performers, during which she coaches professional performers, facilitating the creation of a foundation
for the performer’s self-knowledge, self-development, and self-worth. Beyond her work as an artist, Zahira
is a writer. She wrote for the Dutch Dans Magazine for seven years as a dance critic and dance reporter
and since 2020 writes as a freelancer, mostly for Theaterkrant Magazine. She has written her memoir The
Voice of Silence; the book is predicted to be published at the end of this year.
Zahira is a nomad at heart. She has explored artistic and spiritual practices across the globe, extracting a
deeper understanding of varying cultures and languages and how they influence the arts, finding a
common ground in humanity.

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