Casbah at Riverside Dance Festival – Nov., 1986 (Arabesque)

Morocco & the Casbah Dance Experience at Riverside Dance Festival

New Yorkers once again had the opportunity to see Morocco and company when they appeared at the Riverside Dance Festival on Nov. 6, 8 & 9. The repertoire of the evening was a panorama of dances that were not only colorful, but proved to be an informal lesson in geography as well. Countries “visited” by way of the more traditional dances included Morocco, Tunisia, Turkey, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia. Interspersed was an occasional diversion to a number which had been inspired by and created within the framework of Middle Eastern dance and music.

Especially praiseworthy were Danita, Djinii, and Fatima. The company also introduced Tarik abd el Malik, a welcome addition not only to the ensemble but to the profession of Middle Eastern dance. This young man appears to have all the potential of mastering the folkloric arts in particular. His work was particularly outstanding in a number entitled Fella/Fellaha where his subtle movements and miming of playing the musical instrument, the rebabah, gave a distinctive portrayal of male dancing in the Saidi (Upper Egyptian) style.

Sergio, billed as guest artist, performed two numbers: the Moroccan Tray Dance and Raks Sharki. In the latter, he was his usual ebullient and entertaining self, and the audience was with him all the way.

As for Morocco, she appeared in one group number and performed two solos: Raks al Chemodan (candelabrum dance) and of course, Raks Sharki (Oriental dance). In both these numbers she ignited the stage with her Madame Abla creations and looked ravishing. Her dances were beautifully executed and left her fans wanting more.

Other performers on the program were: Suzanna, Varvara, Leora, Anissa, Shashi and Zanna Lanfray. Bravo, Morocco, and congratulations to the members of the Casbah Dance Experience.