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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

Urban Karsilama: the Betrothal of the Youngest

Urban Karsilama: the Betrothal of the Youngest

A 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

Turkish Dervish: Tribute to Mevlaneh

Turkish Dervish: Tribute to Mevlaneh

Jallaleddin 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


Haggala Dance

When 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

Choufou El Arbiyya: Tunisian Women’s Dance

Choufou El Arbiyya: Tunisian Women’s Dance

Tunisian 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 Dance

In 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

Raqs Sharqi: Oriental Dance

Raks Sharki: Oriental Dance

Over 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

Moroccan Tea Tray Dance: Raqs Al Seniyya

Moroccan Tea Tray Dance: Raks Al Senniyya

Making 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 Shemadan: Candelabrum Dance

Raks al Shemadan: Candelabrum Dance

Before 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 al Assaya: Egyptian Women´s Cane Dance

Raks al Assaya: Egyptian Women´s Cane Dance

To 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