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  • Published: 12 October 2021
  • ISBN: 9781623545130
  • Imprint: Charlesbridge Adult
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 240
  • RRP: $41.99

Dance or Die

From Stateless Refugee to International Ballet Star A MEMOIR



A Syria-born dancer offers his deeply personal story of war, statelessness, and the pursuit of the art of dance in this inspirational memoir.

DANCE OR DIE is an autobiographical coming-of-age account of young refugee, Ahmad Joudeh, who grows up in Damascus with dreams of becoming a dancer. Neither bombs nor family opposition keep him from taking classes, practicing hard, and ultimately becoming a Middle Eastern celebrity after success on a Lebanese reality show. But ISIS threatens him with death if he continues dancing, his father kicks him out of the house, and the war around him intensifies. Recruited by one of Syria's top dance companies, Ahmad persists in his dream, and gets a tattoo on his neck, right where the executioner's blade would fall, that says "Dance or Die."

A powerful look at refugee life in Syria, DANCE OR DIE tells of the pursuit of personal expression in the most dangerous of circumstances and of the power of art to transcend war and suffering. It follows Ahmad from Damascus to Beirut to Amsterdam, where he finds a home with one of Europe's top ballet troupes, and from where he continues to fight for the human rights of refugees everywhere through his art, his activism, and his commitment to justice.

  • Published: 12 October 2021
  • ISBN: 9781623545130
  • Imprint: Charlesbridge Adult
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 240
  • RRP: $41.99

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