• Choufou El Arbiyya: Tunisian Women’s Dance

    Choufou El Arbiyya: Tunisian Women’s DanceTunisian women have a solidarity stronger than in most other countries. In many countries, the strongest bond is between the mother and her eldest son (because he is culturally obligated to take care of her, should anything happen … Continued
  • Fella / Fellaha

    Fella / Fellaha DanceIn Saidi or Upper Egyptian style, to a song made famous by Metkal Kenawi, the most beloved and well-known Saidi singer and rebaba player. Nowadays, his son sings more modern songs… This is a “tableau” or story dance … Continued
  • Guedra: Benediction & Betrothal

    Guedra: Benediction & Betrothal DanceTrance ritual of the “Blue People” of the Sahara Desert, (from Mauritania through Morocco all the way to Egypt). Hands trace mystical symbols, spreading love & peace, thanking Earth, Water, Wind & Fire, blessing all present in spirit … Continued
  • Hagallah

    Haggala DanceWhen done there “authentically”, it is performed by one heavily-veiled woman dancing before a line of clapping, chanting men (called “Keffafeen”), who do not dance at all, except for one man that the Haggala chooses from among them. … Continued
  • Moroccan Tea Tray Dance: Raqs Al Seniyya

    Moroccan Tea Tray Dance: Raks Al SenniyyaMaking and serving mint tea is an integral part of Moroccan hospitality. The Tea Tray dance (Raks al Seniyya/ Danse du Plateau) is traditional, rather than folkloric. Like the Candelabrum Dance, it was started by an enterprising performer. … Continued
  • Raqs al Assaya: Egyptian Women´s Cane Dance

    Raks al Assaya: Egyptian Women´s Cane DanceTo show the dancer´s dexterity, balance, charm & highlight her hipwork. In Raqs al Assaya, although the woman dances with a masculine/macho symbol, in her hands it becomes transformed – feminine, flirtatious: “I can dance with your symbol.  … Continued
  • Raqs al Nasha’al: Saudi Women’s Dance

    Raks al Nasha'al: Saudi Women's DanceRaqs al Nasha’al /Raqs Samri is done at all-women Gulf parties, especially at weddings. It’s a Saudi/ Kuwaiti women’s dance where they used to wear special diaphanous overdresses full of gold sequins (thobe al nasha’al) and  swirl their … Continued
  • Raqs al Shemadan: Candelabrum Dance

    Raks al Shemadan: Candelabrum DanceBefore these too “conservative” times, it was a traditional dance, performed mostly at Egyptian weddings where the artist leads the bridal processional (zeffa) with a flaming candelabrum on her head to light the way of the happy couple, … Continued
  • Raqs Sharqi: Oriental Dance

    Raks Sharki: Oriental DanceOver 3,000 years old, the faster parts of this beloved folk & social dance demonstrate the joy of life. Two of the slower movements imitate the movements of labor & childbirth. It is done by both sexes on … Continued
  • Schikhatt

    Shickatt DanceIn Classical Arabic, sheikha is the feminine form of sheikh: a person of knowledge,  experience, wisdom. Sheikha can mean a woman of knowledge and experience, the wife of the sheikh or both. In Darija (Moroccan Arabic), sheikha denotes … Continued
  • Sulukule: Istanbul Inner City Roman (Gypsy) Karsilama

    Sule Kule: Istanbul Inner City Gypsy KarsilamaThis urban Karsilama (9/8) of the poor, much-harrassed inner-city Istanbul Roma combines tableau elements with authentic dance movements. It is not your tambourine-shaking, skirt-flinging Hollywood fantasy – this Romany woman is “fed up” with dancing for tourists, but … Continued
  • Turkish Dervish: Tribute to Mevlaneh

    Turkish Dervish: Tribute to MevlanehJallaleddin al Rumi, known as Mevlaneh (teacher), was the founder of the Mevlevi sect of whirling dervish. Originally from Persia, he went to Turkey & today, the main Mevlevi mosque is in Konya, Turkey. The sect was much … Continued
  • Urban Karsilama: the Betrothal of the Youngest

    Urban Karsilama: the Betrothal of the YoungestA combination of folkloric and “Oryantal” to the joyous 9/8 Karsilama rhythm. This is a “tableau”- a theatrical story-dance exercising artistic license and not a totally authentic folk dance. In this instance, three older, married sisters are surprised … Continued
  • Your Program Possibilities

    It’s obvious to anyone who reads newspapers, watches TV or listens to the radio that the countries of the Near and Middle East and North Africa affect an ever-increasing portion of today’s world-shaping events, sometimes affecting our everyday … Continued