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Shaabi to Sharqi (Folk to Classical)

How surprising it is to find a strong connection between the earthy exuberant and celebratory Shaabi dancing of the village peoples of Upper Egypt, the Saiid, and that which we call Sharqi or Classical, the dual form of Courtly and Modern Raqs Sharqi.  This dance filled week, in its peaceful setting of the Retzhof, is an ideal opportunity to explore that connection.P1000217.JPG

Residential Dance Week in Austria

20 – 25 March 2016

The Old Bishop’s Palace of Retzhof,  Dorfstraße 17,  Leitring nr Graz,  Styria 8430   Austria

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Astrid Pinter

We will focus on finding an easy transition from the Sha’abi form to the understanding and enjoyable dancing of the little known Courtly Classical This was a style developed by Suraya Hilal in the 1980s and 90s. As there are practically no records of how women danced to the old classical music of the Arab world we have to assume that the movements that were used were those that best expressed the delicacy of the Kanoun (zither) and Riq (small frame drum).  It is a beautifully refined and very feminine style in which the dancer can be exquisitely simple in her dance or intricately inventive according to her mood.

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Liza Wedgwood dances Modern Sharqi

During the week there will be time also to contrast this refinement with the flow and expansion of its opposite, Modern Classical, the Sharqi dance of the 40s and 50s.With  live music by  Tim Garside if there are sufficient dancers!

For information about cost, booking and other queries please contact Astrid Pinter

Email   office@astrid-pinter.at  Tel  0043 (0)650 5 602  Visit   astrid-pinter.at

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Schloss Retzhof

0043 (0)3452/82788-0

www.retzhof.at

The Calendar has now been up-dated!  Please click on tab above for details of workshops, courses and intensive days of dance in Germany, Austria, Italy and the UK.

On 16/17 January the 2016 dance year will start with a ‘Moods and Archetypes in Baladi’ weekend in Berlin. This will be followed on the 24th by a Beginners workshop in Stroud, Gloucestershire, and workshops in Munich during the last weekend of the month. 

Munich and Dursley courses this year will explore the themes of Sha’abi and the Charisma of the Ghawazee (click on Raqs Sharqi tab above).

Workshop

Saturday 13 February 2016  1.00 – 6.00pm 

SPOTLIGHT ON SHAA’BI AND THE CHARISMA OF THE GHAWAZEE 

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The Courtyard Clinic Studio 

The Old Post Office, Parsonage Street, 

Dursley, Glos. GL11 4DR  UK 

(Opposite The Courtyard Cafe and next to the church.  The studio is at the back of the small car park)

Cost:   £35 (conc. £25)

The Sha’abi form of Raqs Sharqi is the dance found around Luxor in the Sa’id (Upper Egypt).  Literally it means ‘of the people’ as in ordinary people or country people.  Old music from the villages, as well as modern day pop, allows for simple, joyful dancing using repetitive movements.  Included in this genre is the dance of the professional dancers, the Ghawazee.  Much loved, they brought colour and entertainment to village and family celebrations, and dance to this day to the multilayered Sa’idi music played on instruments unchanged over the centuries.

Technique, costumes and a bright smile are not enough to express this dance.  Eventually the evocative Sa’idi music, coming down the centuries, calls us to find something deeper, richer.  It calls us to find an archaic authentic response and invites us, in the excitement of repetition, to dance effortlessly from our stable centre. 

Excitement characterises Sha’abi but so does stability, and these two attributes are not necessarily understood by us dancers in the west as we search for that certain something which takes us to the heart of both dancers and audiences alike, and makes the dance so compelling to watch.  They would appear to be opposites.  In fact the melding of the two is the essence.

The year’s course will help us to understand these opposites. It will bring us closer to the culture in which this dance flourished, the dance of the Sa’id which is so pertinent to our lives today.

BEGINNERS WORKSHOP IN STROUD, GLOS.

SUNDAY 24 JANUARY 2016   2-5pm

The Blue Room, Centre for Science and Art (opposite the library) Lansdown, STROUD, Gloucestershire GL5 1BB 

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Relaxed and thoughtful teaching by Liza Wedgwood gives an opportunity to learn a beautiful feminine art.  Suitable for complete beginners, dancers who wish to refine their technique and those coming from a different style.  All ages welcome!

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Cost £15       

Information and    Booking   Tel  01453  757140

     Please share this with anyone who may be interested. Thank you

In this workshop, and using both modern and traditional music, we will explore very simply some of the danced archetypes of Egyptian culture and their responding moods.

How we dance has almost more impact than what we dance.  Although technique is important, it is often not enough as an expression of the music, the culture and who we are as dancers. Music from Egypt and the Arab world with it’s yearning melodies and earthy, often exuberant rhythms, sometimes beautifully simple, sometimes richly complex, is why we dance and how we dance.    So there comes a time when we want to come closer, in a deep and creative way, to that what we love about Raqs Sharqi.

Raqs Sharqi has infinitely more colour than the smiling, jolly persona that is the usual depiction in the West.  There is the possibility of subtle feelings which the music invites us to express, our genuinely joyful celebration but also our sense of beauty, wisdom, drama, sorrow, femininity, courage, contemplation and others.  Taking a few of these, this workshop is for everyone to enjoy who has some basic experience or who comes from another style of Arabic dance.

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Saturday 5 December 2015  1.00 – 6.00pm

The Courtyard Clinic Studio (Beautiful warm studio with mirror!)

The Old Post Office, Parsonage Street, 

DURSLEY Glos. GL11 4DR 

(Opposite The Courtyard Cafe and next to the church.  The studio is at the back of the small car park)

Cost:   £35       Please contact me to book 

WHAT IS COURTLY CLASSICAL AND WHO WERE THE AWALIM?

October is the month when Erna Froehlich and I teach the Autumn Dance Week in the glorious setting of the Austrian Alps.  This year attending a course abroad is especially attractive for us in Britain owing to the strength of the pound.

It will be the 21st year of teaching our October week, and in the same place which we love dearly, a family run cosy old farm house. It provides us with all the comfort dancers need to learn, relax and to enjoy each other’s company.  There are beautiful walks, delicious vegetarian food, a spacious dance studio and even sauna.

Every October so far we have sunbathed on the flower filled balconies and terrace, stocking up on rest, warmth and sunshine for the oncoming winter ahead.  I hope that you will be tempted to join Erna, Tim and me for this wonderfully international event.

 RESIDENTIAL DANCE WEEK

11 – 17 OCTOBER 2015

WITH LIZA WEDGWOOD, ERNA FROEHLICH AND MUSICIAN, TIM GARSIDE

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In the houses of the wealthy, family events were celebrated with dancing, music and song.  Downstairs in the street or courtyards the Ghawazee (gypsy dancers) enthralled visitors and the menfolk with their colourful and exuberant dancing.  Upstairs, unseen, the women of household would watch from behind mashrabiiya, screened balconies and projecting bay windows where women could peer out and see the activities below while themselves remaining invisible.  These women often had their own entertainers, the Awalim, women who in their heyday were renowned not only for their refined talents as singers, poets, musicians and surely dancers too, although there does not appear to be records that they were.  As well as being exponents of these refined arts, it was the Awalim who brought into the confines of the women’s quarters news, gossip and popular songs about life outside.

We will explore how these protected women and the Awalim might have responded with their dancing to the arts of Ottoman Egypt.

A chance to immerse yourself deeply in dance and to meet international dance lovers of all levels.  The week will be taught in German and English

Venue   The Gruberhof, Jochbergthurn 9, 5730 Mittersill, Austria  www.gruberhof.info

Cost   408 Euros for accommodation in a double room to be paid in Euros at time of arrival.

           plus 475 Euros for teaching to be paid when booking.

Information and booking contact Liza or Erna tel: 0049 89 342435 email: erna@taqsim.de

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FREE TAHTIB WORKSHOP FOR MEN 

THE GOLD ROOM, CENTRE FOR SCIENCE AND ART, 13 LANSDOWN, STROUD, GL5 1BB

SUNDAY 1 NOVEMBER 2-4PM 

Funded by Stroud Festival and part of the Stroud Dance Festival  15 October – 1 November 2015 this is an opportunity FOR MEN TO TASTE FOR FREE the exhilaration of dancing with the stick in the ancient ritualised combat dance of TAHTIB from Egypt .

The several years training in both Karate and Tai Chi gave me insights into the basic concepts of many martial arts – relaxed but focused attention, a low centre of gravity, balance, centredness and a peaceful attitude.  During my long experience as a dancer and in my teaching and study visits to Luxor I came to understand how these elements are the basis for the improvised dance form, the TAHTIB, and how it is highly relevant to the dance shy men of the West.  We will use large sticks and evocative music played on instruments unchanged over centuries to explore an art which goes back to pharaonic times.

The workshop is non contact and suitable for all men.  You do not have to be especially fit, nor have experience in dance or in the martial arts, just an open and curious mind, and a willingness to have fun.  Sticks will be provided.

PLACES ARE LIMITED.  PLEASE BOOK BY CONTACTING ME.  CLICK ON contact.  Thank you.

See stroudartsfestival.org for the dance programme

 

PERFORMANCE OF RAQS SHARQI

by international performers and teachers, Liza Wedgwood, dancer, and Tim Garside, musician and percussionist.  

Sunday October 25th at 6pm The Gold Room, Centre for Science and Art, 13 Lansdown, STROUD, Glos. GL5 1BB

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Tanzwoche-Mittersill_2This is for the curious, for the adventurous, for dance lovers, and musicians of Middle Eastern music. Driving rhythms, yearning melodies, the refinement of courtly classical as well as the earthy complexity of the Egyptian ‘Blues’, it is all in this unusual performance showing the rich but rarely seen diversity of Raqs Sharqi.  

In the improvisational magical moment does the musician inspire the dancer or is it the other way around?

Tickets £7, Cons. £5 from Trading Post, 26 Kendrick Street, Stroud, GL5 1AQ Tel 01453 759116

or from Liza (click contact)