Clement Dazin + Ashtar Muallem's Cosmos at Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Clement Dazin + Ashtar Muallem’s Cosmos at Edinburgh Festival Fringe

The UK premiere of a funny, moving and transgressive new show Cosmos Solo for a contortionist is a collaboration between French circus artist Clément Dazin and Palestinian aerial acrobat and actor Ashtar Muallem. The premiere will be at Edinburgh Festival Fringe Thursday 1 to Sunday 11 August.

Emotional, self-deprecating and provocative, Cosmos is the latest in a series of works that French circus artist Clément Dazin has made with other artists. A collaboration with the Palestinian aerial acrobat and contortionist Ashtar Muallem, the show premiered in France in 2021 and a version in Arabic was presented in Ramallah in September 2023. The UK premiere in English at Summerhall is the first time the work of either artist will be seen on the Fringe since 2015.

Clément Dazin and Ashtar Muallem take their audience on a journey – a journey through the existential questioning of a city-dwelling woman in her thirties, through her multiple attempts to find spirituality and the energy that connects our emotions to our bodies. As Muallem dances, stretches and bends, she weaves memories – the show is partly inspired by her grandmother – and fiction, blurring the lines between what is real and what is invented. Her extraordinary elastic body spirals into beautiful and eye-popping places, echoing a life lived between two countries, two languages, two cultures, between solitude and togetherness.
In her performance, Muallem portrays the dramatic circumstances of her homeland, skilfully conveying the intricate reality of a nation disappearing before her eyes while maintaining a veneer of levity and humour.

Clément Dazin says: “I first met Ashtar Muallem in 2009 at the Centre National des Arts du Cirque, where we studied for three years. I was fascinated by her. She was a strong woman and an amazing artist. At that time, it was incredibly important for her to use circus as a platform to express her Palestinian identity. Ten years later, I approached her with the idea of directing her in a solo performance. It quickly became clear that we would collaborate on writing a show together, blending themes of spirituality and Palestine in a humorous and feminist manner, showcasing her circus abilities. We delved into her life experiences, emotions, and aspirations, playing with words, contortions, laughter, and tears to create a deeply resonant performance.”

The work of both artists was last seen at the Fringe in 2015 when Clément Dazin presented Bruit de couloir in collaboration with Crying Out Loud and Ashtar Muallem co-devised and performed in B-Orders.

Visit to learn more and book now.

Clement Dazin + Ashtar Muallem’s Cosmos, photo Christophe Raynaud de Lage