Friday, April 5, 2013

Tenth Arab Dance Seminar .... only 12 spots left!

This post may be totally repetitive, for many of you reading this are friends with me on facebook and are on my e-mail list. case someone doesn't know, I'm teaching traditional and modern Khaliji (Arabian Gulf) women's dances at the upcoming Tenth Arab Dance Seminar, to be held from November 1-3, 2013 ---- in Las Vegas.  Hosted by the cultural powerhouse Karim Nagi, this intensive weekend of dance instruction and cultural immersion has been a consistent sell out every year. As of today, only a dozen spaces are left. If you are interested, please visit the website - you can register right there:

This year the topic will be "Storytelling and Theater". As a writer and choreographer, this is one of my favorite subjects - how to bring storytelling into your dance as a soloist...and how to create group choreographies that bring Arab culture to life. Cassandra Shore, director of the Jawaahir Dance Company, has been putting on acclaimed full-length Middle Eastern themed dance theater productions for decades in Minneapolis. She is joining the faculty for this seminar. This is a unique opportunity to learn not only her amazing dance technique, but her take on this important topic. If you aren't in a dance troupe, there is a lot here for you, for we will also touch on how a soloist can tell a story with her dance, and how it's done in the Arab world. A very rich topic indeed.

At the Arab Dance Seminar, each teacher presents a three hour (!) session in his or her dance specialty. There are also panel discussions and classes in music, language and culture. At the end of the seminar, together we have a 'hadraa' and 'zar', a chance for the participants and faculty to meditate, try some Sufi breathing techniques and perhaps a little trancing, if the spirit moves.

We teachers are multicultural voyagers who love to share our adventures on many levels.
This year's lineup:

Karim Nagi - Dabkah (Lebanese line dance)
Amel Tafsout - North African
Cassandra Shore - Egyptian
Kay Hardy Campbell - Khaliji

In addition to our dance specialties, each teacher will contribute to discussions about music, culture and language. It's been a joy to be part of this event, starting with the first Arab Dance Seminar, way back in 2005. I feel that in this setting particularly, I can share many facets of my cultural knowledge and artistic passion in a friendly and fun atmosphere. All of the instructors love to take part in the ADS. The participants are particularly interested in the cultural frame and underpinnings of the dance, so that makes for a perfect atmosphere.

Here is the promotional video - filmed at the very first one that was held in New Haven, CT in 2005. Yes that is me teaching the 'Khaliji' class.The other teachers: Nourhan Sharif of New York, Karim Nagi, and Amel Tafsout.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Horsing Around Fez - Reposting from The View from Fez

The View from Fez is one of my favorite blogs. Below is the latest entry, about a horseback riding overnight outing one can take in the mountains near Fez. A link to the blog is here. I would like to sign up, right now!

Horsing Around Fez ~ A Photo Essay

Leave the densely packed Moroccan city behind and head for the hills on horseback, suggests Suzanna Clarke 

Horse riding is a leisurely and enjoyable way to take in the vibrant spring growth and spectacular landscapes of the Fez-Boulmane region. Our weekend expedition began on the top of Mt Zalagh - the mountain not far from Fez. On our obliging mounts, we meandered into the valley below, through olive groves and fields of flowers replete with gambolling lambs, kestrels flying overhead and friendly waves from farmers along the way.  

Our small party camped out overnight, and in the morning we were greeted with a sea of cloud below, which made us feel literally on top of the world.

Dinner and breakfast were locally produced fare. There are few things that enhance the appetite more than fresh air, a beautiful view and the prospect of another day's riding.  

Suzanna Clarke's horse riding trip was arranged through the Centre Equestre Ain Amyer. 
It included horse hire and equipment, a guide, food and accommodation and transfers to and from Fez. For more information, phone 06 61 174404 or contact