San Francisco, California
London, United Kingdom
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Raqs Layali: A Night of Belly Dance
Dates/Times for Shows:
March 22 – 8 pm
March 23 – 8 pm
March 24 – 6 pm
In advance - $15 adult, $10 child/senior
At door - $17 adult, $15 child/senior
Mahsati Janan, Lisa Zahiya, Teejei Brigham
What is Raqs Layali: A Night of Belly Dance?
From romantic images of the pyramids and deserts sands, to wandering performers, and even modern glitz and glamour, the word belly dance conjures many different images in our minds. Raqs Layali takes you on a journey through the many styles of belly dance and its folkloric roots. Dancers from North and South Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee have come together to share their passion for these dance forms through this show. Principal dancers and choreographers Mahsati Janan, Lisa Zahiya, and Teejei Brigham, and the many other show performers will be performing some exciting numbers that connect the roots of this dance with the many modern branches of the belly dance tree.
Which Belly Dance Styles are Included?
• Egyptian Raqs Sharqi: This is the classical nightclub celebration style popular in Egypt through the 1930s to present. Raqs Sharqi focuses on layered interpretation of classical Arabic music.
• Turkish Oryantal: The classic nightclub celebration style popular in Turkey. This style is very active and energetic with a focus on lively movements and a powerful attitude.
• American Orientale: In the early part of the 1950s, there as a boom in multi-ethnic nightclubs where the Amerabic music style was developed. This melting pot of multiple styles was heavily influenced by Turkish, Armenian, Syrian, and other recent immigrants from the near and middle east. The dance style incorporates movements, music, and gestures popular from all of these component styles.
• Saiidi: A folkloric dance style from Upper Egypt (southern), Saiidi refers to the common dance styles with movements based on the men’s tahtib combat dance and nods to the region’s famous dancing horses. This raqs al assaya, or cane dance, uses a traditional Saiidi rhythm and a modern popular Saiidi song.
• Ghawazee: The Ghawazee dancers of Egypt have been performers for as long as we have written records of modern history in Egypt. Unfortunately, in the current social climate, there are fewer Ghawazee dancers who are willing to perform in public. This dance is in the Banat Mazin family traditional style.
• Khaleegy: This women’s party style is based on celebratory dances from the Gulf region, specifically Saudi Arabia. Women perform this kind of dance in women-only parties for each other. The traditional costume for performance is the Thobe Nashaal, a large, loose, and colorful caftan. This dance is characterized by more upper body movements, including dramatic hair tosses.
• Zeffat al Arous: A ‘zeffa’ is a procession, and the zeffat al arous is one of the key types in Egyptian social occasions: the bridal procession. The procession typically includes dancers, drummers, family members, and the bride and groom.
• ATS/American Tribal Style: The American Tribal Style of belly dance was developed in the 1980s in San Francisco, CA, by Carolena Nericcio. This style is based on movements and costuming elements from traditional belly dance, flamenco, and dances of India. As a modern fusion, ATS approaches the dance in a different way with a focus on synchronized group improvisation.
• Tribal Fusion: When ATS is fused with other styles of belly dance or more Western dance styles like Modern or Jazz, tribal fusion is born. As it can be fused with many different dance styles, tribal fusion is always a new experience with the dancer’s ability to combine the styles into a cohesive performance as one of the most important aspects of their creativity.
• Hip Hop Fusion: Another dance form that has strong isolations, Hip Hop is a wonderful match for fusions with belly dance. The strong attitude and movements of Hip Hop and the more subtle aspects of Belly Dance come together to give a very nuanced performance.