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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 

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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reda-stickdance-detail

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

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)

WORKSHOP WITH LIVE MUSIC

Be danced by the inspiring music and percussion of Tim Garside. A rare and wonderful treat.  

All levels are welcome.

Saturday 24 October 2015  1.00 – 6.00pm

 IMG_2084TimRiqGreen veil218_3

 garsaaidi.com

The Courtyard Clinic Studio 

(Beautiful warm studio with mirror!)

The Old Post Office, Parsonage Street, 

Dursley, Glos. GL11 4DR 

(The studio is at the back of the small car park

opposite the Cafe and next to the church. ) 

Cost:   £45  (Conc £40)

PLEASE contact ME FOR BOOKING AND FURTHER INFORMATION

Italian workshop Feb 2015

 

LW dances Baladi

The Inner Dance of Raqs Sharqi – A Fresh Look at Baladi

This year many of the courses and workshops in Gloucestershire UK, Germany and Italy will focus on having a fresh and in depth look at Baladi.  

We need poise, ease and clarity of technique in order to facilitate the full emotional spectrum which characterises Baladi, that dance which flourished in the small, crowded, smokey cafes of the Egyptian conurbations during the first half of the twentieth century.

We will explore this beautiful dance from an ‘Inner’ perspective. The movements of Raqs Sharqi, to have that quality of ease, need to come from our inner physical core, our inner middle upper spine, and not merely from arms, hips and shoulders. More importantly, I call it ‘Inner’ because instead of overemphasising  technique (which leaves the audience distanced and vaguely unsatisfied) we dance the wholeness of who we are. We offer our authentic sensuality, in the real meaning of the word.  This means to be present in the feeling of the movements and not just to do them.

If we as dancers do the movements we show our expertise.  If however, in a very simple way, we  stay with the physical feeling of those movements, we access a well of empty, peaceful, happiness.  This is the source of creativity, and combined with our love of its music, it is this creativity that improvisational Baladi asks of us.  It is a surprise, an adventure, –  suitable for all dancers whatever their experience!

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