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Festival of Oriental Dance text.
General Info | Schedule | Workshops | Free Events | Bios | Performances | Registration



All events on this page are free and open to the public!
They all take place in the Sun Room.

Daily Open Stage Performances
Thursday–Sunday 2:00–3:00
These four shows are open to all who wish to perform (or just watch!), whether or not you participate in the Festival in any other way! More info...

Hares in the Harem and Fantasies of Seduction (Shira)
Thursday 11:15–1:00 (lecture)
Have you ever wondered why stereotypes about Middle Eastern dance have persisted over 100 years to haunt today’s dancers? Have you wondered why the North American public still insists on believing these damaging misconceptions? The answer lies in mass media: motion pictures, television, and even children’s cartoons! Join Shira in examining the mass media that have kept these notions alive for over a century. More info at Shira's website.

Zambra Mora for Belly Dancers (Toha)
Thursday 3:00–4:00 (dance class)
Zambra Mora is a representation of what dance looked like in Moorish Spain, before the dance split into the two branches that later developed into Oriental Dance and Flamenco. Not a fusion of today's modern forms, it is an earthier, root form. Its primary focus is on the beauty of a woman's arms and torso. Toha has been dancing Zambra Mora since she was 15. She learned it from Mercedes Lois in New York. (Bring a long, full skirt if you have one.)

Professionalism in Oriental Dance: What does it mean today?
Thursday 4:15–5:45 (panel discussion)
Join Ava Fleming, Amel Tafsout, Ruby Beh, Cassandra Shore, Aliyah Sahar, Julianna, Melanie, and Mirah Ammal for a scintillating discussion of this significant topic. They will share their experiences on the path to becoming professional, including how they got started and how they set and achieved their goals.

Introduction to Arabic Music for Dancers (Tim O'Keefe and Laura Harada)
Friday 11:00–1:00 (lecture)
Tim and Laura, through drum and violin, discuss and demonstrate Arabic rhythms and styles that are important for dancers.

Oriental Dance in France and the Path to Raqs Sharqi (Andrea Deagon)
Friday 3:00–4:45 (lecture)
In North America, the danse du ventre that was made notorious by the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, 1893, was categorized as ethnographic display, then devolved into burlesque and hoochie coochie, and morphed into or was abandoned for Westernized oriental dance. But the dance was received completely differently in France. The ways in which Middle Eastern performers were understood and treated there enabled some of them to create their own artistic visions of oriental dance, so that the fusions of Eastern and Western forms were often managed by women of Middle Eastern descent for their own artistic purposes.

Stage Make-up Demo (Helen Voelker)
Friday 5:00–6:00 (demo)
Demonstration of stage makeup application from bare face to performance ready, from an up close and personal vantage point. Observe not only how to apply makeup but how much, where, and why.

Dressing a Dancer: Class Dress and Identity (Peg Deppe)
Saturday 10:00–11:45 (lecture)
Have you ever wondered why people dress the way they do, as a community? Peg examines the types of dress worn for belly dance classes and the motivations for dress choices made by students of all levels, from beginners to experienced performers, who are learning belly dance technique from professional instructors in dance classes, seminars, and workshops. She discusses how dress contributes to the expression of identity in belly dance class.

Introduction to Frame Drum and Arabic Tambourine (Riq) (Tim O'Keefe)
Saturday 12:00–1:00 (lesson)
Tim gives you a brief introductory lesson in Arabic/Middle Eastern frame drum and riq.

Remembering and Re-imagining Our Traditions (Hend al-Mansour and Afifa Benwahoud)
Saturday 4:00–6:00 (presentation and discussion)

Hend Al-Mansour and Afifa Benwahoud discuss how tradition informs their art, their work, and their daily lives. Hend, originally from Saudi Arabia, is a well-known artist who has created some of Jawaahir’s most memorable stage sets for its theater shows. Afifa Benwahoud, originally from Morocco, brings aspects of her traditional culture into her daily life and work. This topic has relevance to those re-imagining Middle Eastern traditions in dance. Hend will display some of her artwork. Panel moderator: Kay Hardy Campbell. Co-sponsored by the Arab-American Cultural Institute.

Belly Dance in Patriarchy: Escaping the Switzerland of the Soul (Andrea Deagon)
Sunday 10:00–11:45 (lecture)
I believe that belly dance is able to attain such vitality and complexity in the modern world precisely because it’s embroiled in serious cultural and personal contestations. It is precisely clashes of aesthetic values, conflicting paradigms of sexuality and gender, and economic as well as political inequities that strike the dance’s most beautiful notes. The cross-cultural dynamism of belly dance throughout the modern world is spurred as much by conflict as by brotherly or even sisterly love.

Flamenco for Belly Dancers (Colette Illarde)
Sunday 12:00–1:00 (dance class)

Dance in Egyptian Cinema (Shira)
Sunday 3:00–4:45 (lecture)
Explore how the role of “dancer” has been portrayed in Egyptian motion pictures from the 1930s through today. Learn the story behind well-known dance scenes, discover dancers you may not have previously seen, and learn how film portrayals of dancers changed over the years to reflect changes in Egyptian society. More info at Shira's website.

Kathak (North Indian) Dance for Belly Dancers (Derek Phillips)
Sunday 5:00–6:00 (dance class)
Kathak, the classical dance of north India, is among the six major classical dances of India and one of the most dynamic theater arts in the world. The word Kathak is derived from katha, meaning "the art of storytelling." Derek has been dancing with Katha Dance Theatre for over 15 years.


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