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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

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

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 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!

Egyptian Dancing with the Stick Workshop

Saturday 6th December 2014 1.00 – 6.00pm

The Courtyard Clinic Studio (Beautiful warm studio with mirror!)
The Old Post Office, Parsonage Street,
Dursley, Glocestershire. GL11 4DR
(Opposite The Courtyard Cafe and next to the church. The studio is at the back of the small car park)

The workshop is general level. The work on grounding and poise makes this workshop very suitable for beginners. The more experienced will expand their repertoire, find inspiration and deepen their understanding.

Cost: £35 (newcomers 3 hours with break £17)
Please book as soon as you can. 

Erna Froehlich and I returned inspired from our October Dance Week in the Austrian Alps near Mittersill. We had celebrated 20 years of our residential dance intensive in the same cosy farm house with its beautiful dance room looking out towards the glittering white mountain peaks.

Our focus for the week was ‘Stick Dancing’. Erna and I purposefully left this term unqualified to allow for freedom and discovery, not only for students but for Erna and myself.
The fruits of those days were unexpected and inspirational, and they are what I would like to share with you at the workshop.

At first I was disheartened because we did not have enough natural wooden walking sticks for such a large group. The only solution was to use the hooked golden ‘cabaret’ canes which I have never really liked. It was those golden canes however which instigated our journey of discovery and became our inspiration.

I have not yet managed to get a supply of these golden canes, and therefore for this workshop please bring one if you own or can get hold of one. Don’t worry if you don’t or can’t. I will bring plenty of ordinary canes for us to dance with.

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