Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

The Joy of Dancing in a Small Space

I am sitting in the Black Book Cafe in Stroud catching up on emails and general computer led admin. It is such a pleasure to be in this welcoming quiet cafe, to be among  people and yet not be disturbed by them.  I can work here without the feeling of isolation which is the down side of working at the computer at home.

I recently performed at a gathering at Buckland Hall on a very small dais which had been used for a speaker sitting on one chair, beside him a small table for a vase of flowers.  For the celebration evening I was to dance on such a small space, admittedly only a single 6 minute piece and with the chair and table removed.  Was it possible?  What if I fell off?!  I have always maintained that much of the magic of Raqs Sharqi lies in what I called its ‘verticality’, that this dance developed in a relatively small space and that it was only later when ballet brought with it the idea of filling space (a stage) that in the Modern Classical form the dance expressed itself more horizontally.

In teaching the tradition one of the hardest concepts is that of this ‘verticality’ because we are so programmed in this forward (horizontal) energy, goal oriented, the next appointment, preoccupation with the future rather than the Now.

So this was the test, a six minute dance in a tiny space!  I chose a very simple and traditional Ashra Baladi piece, starting with a beautiful meditative taqsim followed by the usual awadi and maqsoum and finishing with an exuberant driving tet.  All the basic principals I have been teaching for years somehow became incapsulated in those six minutes.  A wonderful experience indeed.  The warmth and enthusiasm of the 170 people in the audience caused the magical reciprocating cycle between performer and audience which all performers, who stand exposed on stage in their art, desire most.

Please click on the CALENDAR tab above for workshop dates in 2018 and the countries where they will take place.IMG_2881

Anne Marie and Eva

Read Full Post »

LEAFLET /POSTER/ANNOUNCEMENT  TO PROMOTE  WEEKLY CLASSES IN GLOUCESTERSHIRE UK.

 

Image may contain: 3 people, people dancing and people standing

There is a Traditional Egyptian Dance Class in Rodborough on Wednesday evenings 7.45-9.15pm where I teach the old form before this dance was influenced by a Western interpretation. I have a long and full time professional career as dancer both as teacher and theatre performer of this dance and feel myself part of the revival of a tradition which is little known in this country. In the class we learn how to dance without effort, to dance from our inner stability, from our love of the music and our authentic joy of movement. Once we have learned some basic traditional movements there is tremendous sense of freedom to improvise and express ourselves. I love to share this beautiful art form and the sense of well being it brings to our life.

For more information and a Free Taster Class please use the contact tab

 

Read Full Post »

THIS IS A LEAFLET /POSTER/ANNOUNCEMENT WHICH I HAVE WRITTEN TO PROMOTE  WEEKLY CLASSES IN GLOUCESTERSHIRE UK.

 

Image may contain: 3 people, people dancing and people standing

There is a Traditional Egyptian Dance Class in Rodborough on Wednesday evenings 7.45-9.15pm where I teach the old form before this dance was influenced by a Western interpretation. I have a long and full time professional career as dancer both as teacher and theatre performer of this dance and feel myself part of the revival of a tradition which is little known in this country. In the class we learn how to dance without effort, to dance from our inner stability, from our love of the music and our authentic joy of movement. Once we have learned some basic traditional movements there is tremendous sense of freedom to improvise and express ourselves. I love to share this beautiful art form and the sense of well being it brings to our life.

For more information and a Free Taster Class please CONTACT

http://www.berlin-orientalischer-tanz.de

It is said that when we dance to Baladi (the Blues of Egyptian music) we dance the archetypes of women’s experience.  However what does this really mean? It is a subject which continues to fascinate me, and is an exploration I will be returning to again and again in workshops throughout 2018. 

In traditional Egyptian dance these archetypes roughly speaking are understood as

1)The Young Woman or girl, perhaps unmarried or without the responsibilities of married life. 

2)The Mature Self Possessed Woman, often the boss of an undertaking in Egyptian society.

3)The Wise Woman who has suffered yet survived the travails of life and learned from them.

As dancers we must be careful not to dance these archetypes just as an idea (See ** below).  The beauty of Baladi music is that it is nuanced and in order for us to express it we have to respond ‘in the moment’ as that music evokes our changing motions.  Much as a poet uses her skill in the art of poetry so the dancer uses the language of her dance form to instinctively express joy, sadness, strength, playfulness and other feelings in all their shades and depths.

Dance 23 Oct15 14

Despite this the core of Baladi is its essential simplicity and stability, and is therefore ideal for the less experienced. These characteristics of simplicity and stability give an earthiness and grace and ‘hold’ us as dancers, and we return to them constantly.

For the more experienced, stability and simplicity give a self confidence and foundation.  Once they are established we can explore with freedom and curiosity the many rich layers to be found in this very Egyptian urban art.

**  I am writing here more about improvised rather than choreographed Baladi. However even when dancing a choreography we need to feel the feelings that arise with the music authentically and not put the emphasis too much on perfecting choreography and technique. 

 

Baladi is a wonderfully rich form of music and traditional Egyptian dance which evolved in the 50s and 60s and earlier.  Then as today country people left their villages to find work in the jostling teeming streets of Egypt’s cities. For respite and to further business opportunities they spent time in crowded smokey cafes.  Travellers too and musicians from other parts of both the Middle East and from much further beyond would gather to be entertained and to make music, often with a dancer.  For music and dancers in cross-cultural exchange this was a platform to experiment and find new freedoms of expression. Whereas much village music and its instruments had remained unchanged over the centuries now non traditional instruments were introduced and integrated into an evolving music often of emotional complexity.  It requires of the dancer to reflect that.

Read Full Post »

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.

Dance 23 Oct15 14_2

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 

Read Full Post »

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

flying baladi 5

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)

Read Full Post »

Dance for pregnancy and new mums in Stroud  2014

Read Full Post »

LOTS OF MUSIC AND DANCE WORKSHOPS AND PERFORMANCES, A WONDERFUL LONG WEEKEND FULL OF COLOUR, SOUND AND MOVEMENT.  I shall be part of the team this year and  delighted to be dancing and teaching together with the musicians MAREN LUEG, CHAS WHITAKER and FRANK RUSSEL of the well known Majaz band.   Do join me  on 29-31 August at Camerton Hall, Meadgate, Camerton, Bath,  BA2 0NL, North East Somerset. 

Have a look at http://www.arabicdrum.co.uk/mideastfest to see captivating photos from  last years festival and to buy tickets.  Day tickets are also available!MidEast-Fest-Flyer-2014

 

 

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: