Ballet Beyond Borders: Palestinian dancer pursued his art from Syria to Europe

Cory Walsh

For judging purposes, this dancer was identified only as Competitor 218 when he stepped on the stage.

The competitor was in the Dennison Theatre on Thursday for a solo competition, professional age division, at Ballet Beyond Borders, the annual dance and diplomacy event.

Karmil Suliman, a Palestinian dancer, performs at Ballet Beyond Borders at the Dennison Theater in Missoula, Thursday, Jan. 12, 2023.

Using his full wingspan, Karmil Suliman executed a portion of “Chroma,” by Wayne McGregor of the Royal Ballet. He enacted some of the required moves slowly and deliberately, demonstrating graceful, patient strength, even placing his hands on the ground in a prone position, then raising his left leg in the air, and tilting across his back before flipping entirely.


Ballet Beyond Borders continues through Saturday, Jan. 14, in Missoula.

BBB Gala: Friday, Jan. 13, 7:30 p.m.: See dancers from around the world and highlights from the competition. Dennison Theatre, UM campus. Tickets available at

Diplomacy Conference, Saturday, Jan. 14, 9 a.m.-noon: Panels and performances about “dance as activism, impact and global diplomacy.”  UC Ballroom, free. Go to for more information.

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