Five minutes with Amel is an uplifting experience that breathes beauty and excitement into life. Dancing, singing and playing with Amel is a life changing experience for more than just your love of dance. This weekend we'll pack in as much community building, life beautifying, and soul healing love as we can get.
NOLAmazigh Weekend Workshop Schedule of Events
***All events take place at Crescent Lotus Studio unless otherwise stated
ALL WEEKEND LONG!!!
Carrie Meyer of The Dancer's Eye Photography will be available for outdoor photoshoots featuring the lovely backdrop of our delightfully beautiful city. A schedule will be made available shortly.
The Amazing Deal - $100/hour includes a photo-CD of six touched-up and finished images (blemishes removed, skin tone corrected, etc.). The high-resolution released images are suitable for portraits, business cards, and advertising, as well as web-posting. Adidtional high-res or low-res files can be pruchased for an additional cost.
Carrie will also be photographing the show. Talk to her if you want to buy additional images from your performance.
Friday, May 31
7p- 10p - HENNA PARTY AND TALK ON BEAUTY CARE OF THE MAGHREB
We will lay on cushions and blankets and eat hummus and baba ganoush and drink mint tea while listening to Amel speak on the beauty secret of the Maghrebi Women. Kryss and Laura will apply North African henna designs to the tops of hands and feet. Everyone will get a small design for the top of hands or feet.
Saturday, June 1 SOLD OUT!!
11a - 1p - SOUND VOICE AND MOVEMENT: FRAME DRUMMING, SINGING AND DANCE
After an introduction to the the sounds of the frame drum and some frame drum techniques using specific North African rhythms Amel will be teaching some vocal sounds and singing as well as some steps to accompany the drumming and the singing.The participants will be able to play while singing and dancing and having a lot of fun. Amel will also teach some clapping and stamping sound. Please bring, frame drums, tambourines and finger cymbals otherwise just come to sing, clapp and dance! So don't worry if you don't have a frame drum!!
1:30p - 3:30p - DANCING TO RAI
Rai music is a popular genre of world music from the Northern African country of Algeria. Rai is pronounced “rye” or “rah-AY” and translates as “opinion”. Rai music began in the late 1980s as a combination of popular music and traditional Bedouin desert music. Rai in the 1980s: when artists such as Ahmad Baba Rachid blended traditional Rai with modern pop sounds.
The tonal and instrumental influences of traditional Bedouin music, not to mention cultural and religious influences, are really a keystone of the Raï music genre. Rai lyrics are often somewhat bawdy and blunt, describing both the pain and joy of daily life. They are usually in Algerian Arabic and French. Translations of Rai songs often read much like lyrics that many would associate with American blues. Many Raï singers such as Khaled, Cheb Mami, live in France Many people are unknowingly familiar with the sounds of Rai, as Sting (formerly of classic rock band The Police) utilized the vocal stylings of Rai star Cheb Mami on his album Brand New Day, and Mami’s work was particularly notable on the song “Desert Rose”.
For Algerians RAI means ‘opinion’ or ‘advice’ but also embodies the concept of freedom of opinion. Rai music and dance are based on improvisation. Like ‘Ya Leyl’ in Egyptian music, the term Rai became one kind of ‘stop-gap’ when the singer lost the inspiration in his poetry.
Rai dance has the fluidity and the sensuality of Arabic- Andalusian roots, the strength and energy of the mythical Berber priestess, the earthiness of the African soul ,the inspiration of the Sahara-desert and the expression of the great Mediterranean seaport Wahran.
Amel TAFSOUT will teach a choreography and invite the students to improvise to the music. She also will give a background about the different Rai styles.
8p-10p Crescent Lotus Dance Studio and Salon de Danse presents...
"NOLAmazigh" - An evening of Belly Dance featuring Amel Tafsout and dancers from all over the Gulf Coast and Beyond
DOORS OPEN AT 7:30pm
Cafe Istanbul - 2372 St. Claude Avenue, New Orleans, LA
Tickets: $20 ($10 for workshop participants)
Sunday, June 2
11a - 12:30p BERBER SHIMMIES
This fertility dance comes from the North-Eastern Algerian Mountains of the ‘Kabylie’ and is performed with a long scarf while the dancer is doing very small and fast hip movements.The shimmy and the trembling movements are related to pregnancy and fertility, because they help the woman to give birth without to much pain.It is a very hearthy and proud dance. Traditional Berber dances are mostly ritual in nature. The dance is both a public and personal expression, rich in symbolic dimensions that deal with subjects such as the fertility of Mother Earth, the rites of marriage and birth, and the communication between the earthly and the Divine. The Kabyle Berber dances are drawn from this rich colorful dance tradition that has been sustained by the unveiled, earthy, powerful and proud women of the Kabylia.
1p-4p - SUFISM:BREATHING, MOVEMENT & HEALING
In Algeria it still is possible for women to meet one afternoon in order to release their problems, fairs, anxieties and frustrations in the dance.
“Dancing is not rising to your feet painlessly
like a speck of dust blown around in the wind
Dancing is when you rise above worlds
tearing your heart into pieces and giving up your soul.”
“Dance is the movement of those who try to shed off their earthbound bodily garb to leave the material centre of gravitation and to be drawn into a loftier, spiritual world; of those who leave the realm of confused everyday movements to whirl around the spiritual sun like dust motes, like atoms; of those who join the movement of the blessed in Paradise,....” -Annemarie Shimmel
This workshop is for people who have some knowledge about dance as a healing form and who are open to go in a spiritual journey.
For those who want to stick around...
5pm Early Dinner at Jamila's Tunisian Cafe, 7808 Maple Street
(Prices vary but Zagat lists the average cost as $31/person. Jamila's has had a Belly Dancer every Saturday night for almost 20 years. The LONGEST, still running, show in town.)
8pm French Quarter Phantoms Ghost Tour, 619 St. Phillip Street, Flanagan's Pub
($15, possibly less. I will be taking reservations for the tour throughout the weekend.)
Who is AMEL TAFSOUT???
The legendary Amel Tafsout, meaning ‘Hopes of Spring’, is an inspirational first source master dance artist, choreographer, instructor, frame drummer singer and one of the finest exponents of North African traditional and contemporary Maghreb Dance of our time. With two M.A degrees in Sociolinguistics and Romance languages, a research in dance anthropology, and a long training in various healing practices, Tafsout’s knowledge of her culture and her experience in many dance styles and music make her very unique.
Raised in Algeria among the finest traditional dancers and musicians, Tafsout was fascinated by dance and music since childhood. In her early twenties, Tafsout moved to Germany where she founded the Pan Arabic dance company 'Banat As Sahra'. In the late 80s, she moved to London, U.K. where she taught and performed at various dance and music festivals and founded 'The Tafsoutettes' Dance Company. While currently living in the U.S.A. she is still performing and teaching worldwide.
Tafsout is like a voyager between countries, culture and languages. Having worked and lived all over the world, unsurprisingly, migration has been a constant theme in her work. Fluent in 5 languages, she is always aware of the impact that cultures have in art and how that can be expressed in dance.
Amel has lectured, danced, taught, sung and conducted anthropological research in many countries. She has been featured in various TV programs in Europe and North Africa. She also published many articles related to dance and Maghreb women in academic and popular magazines. Her research focuses on the Ritual in Maghreb dances as well as looking at dance as a healing form. She explores the rich tapestry of movement and rhythm that has woven over time between Spain and the Maghreb, Africa and the Middle East, the Mediterranean Sea and Europe.
She had mesmerized audiences around the world with the earthy fluidity of her dance, her expression, her stunning stage presence and great spirituality