Photo by Mark Robinson 2005

Photo by Mark Robinson 2005

In these workshops we will explore the two ends of the rich spectrum of Egyptian Dance.

SAIIDI, the dance of the people of Upper Egypt (around Luxor), that is where we will begin on Saturday.  Darabuka, Rababa, Mizmar, instruments unchanged over time, will earth us, encourage us to feel the ground beneath our feet, the whole body responding to the energy of the driving, pulsating rhythms and haunting, evocative melodies. It links us to an ancient Egyptian tradition.

Sunday’s CLASSICAL ( SHARQI) workshop will take us to the other end of the spectrum – and even further as we learn the charismatic, refined expression of the COURTLY style of the Classical form.  This was a style developed by Suraya Hilal in the 1980s and 90s and therefore could be considered ‘modern’.  However, 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.

Earthy and exuberant Saiidi in Hamburg in 2012

Earthy and exuberant Saiidi in Hamburg in 2012. Photo by Madou Reynaud

 There are still places!!  Cost 100 Euros for both days, or one day by arrangement with Linda Mameri



Gypsy Dancing

from the villages of Upper Egypt

The Ghawazee, ‘invaders of the heart’) are the popular gypsy entertainers whose forbears settled in Luxor and the surrounding villages from the late 18th Century.  The wonderful traditional music to which they dance is unique to that area and is the impulse for this exuberant earthy form of Raqs Sharqi.

Compulsive rhythms, yearning melodies, shakes, shivers and swerves – a beautiful art!

Starting 11th September

Wednesdays 1.45 – 3.15pm

Includes fitness, stretching and work on posture.  Everyone is welcome.

The Workshop, Courtyard Clinic, The Old Post Office, Parsonage Rd. Dursley, Gloucestershire GL11 4DR

Please contact me for information and cost

Liza Wedgwood dances Ghawazee 1002

2011 Dance Week in Mittersill


Classes on Wednesdays 1.45 – 3.15pm in DURSLEY at The Workshop, Courtyard Clinic, The Old Post Office, Parsonage Rd.  GL11 4DR.

Cost   £40 for four classes, or £12 per class

These are General Level Classes taught on the yogic principle of awareness of our inner harmony.  In a relaxed, supportive and pleasurable atmosphere you will learn movements and then use them in improvisational work and  in simple choreographies.  You will learn about the history of the dance and its cultural context in present day Egypt, as well as about costume and music.

Workshop 001Free Taster Workshop
Thursday 16 May 2 – 3pm
Introductory Course
Thursdays 23, 30 May, and 6 June 2 – 3pm
Information contact Liza
*  Feel the joy of your body in movement
*  Love the freedom of improvisation
*  Relax into the music
*  Learn about a beautiful rich culture
*  Taught on the yogic principles of awareness                                                                                                  and inner harmony
Cost  £30 for the course
           £12 for individual classes
Venue   The workshop, Courtyard Clinic, The Old Post Office, Parsonage Rd, DURSLEY, Glos. GL11 4DR                       


Liza Wedgwood dances Baladi form of Raqs SharqiWorkshop in Leibnitz nr Graz, Austria 31 May – 2 June 2013

Pharaonic influences in the Baladi form of Egyptian Dance

Integrating Line, Shape and Contrast

Places still available!

Contact Astrid

Email: office@astrid-pinter   Tel: 0043 650 602 5602    http://www.astrid-pinter.at

Liza Wedgwood Classical 03

20-21 April 2013

The weekend is dedicated to the evocative yearning songs of the great singer, Oum Kalthoum, whom the Egyptian people so loved. The full orchestra of this music requires us to dance the Classical (Sharqi) form, elegant, refined and very expressive.

On Sunday, the Classical veil, the flowing, framing, enfolding of beautiful fabric, will give a further lyrical dimension to our dancing.

Contact  LindaMameri who is organizing the workshops


Saturday 23 February 1.00 – 5.30 pm

Village Hall, Nympsfield nr Stroud, Glos  GL12 3UA

A warming workshop to ease us into the dancing year.  The Raqs Sharqi style of Egyptian Dance works on integrating movement throughout the body.  That is what gives it it’s charm, fluidity and ‘natural’ ease.  Away with stiff isolations and contrivance!  Instead there will be lots of practice on transitions and on calm, beautiful arm positioning both framing and free, and experiencing its integration from our finger tips to the soles of our feet.  We will work also with the expressiveness of our feet and legs and feeling how this affects the clarity of our hip movements. That should keep the grey and cold at bay!

I support students at their level, and because the emphasis is always on ease and authenticity, beginners will find the workshops an enjoyable introduction.  Experienced dancers gain confidence and find new inspiration.

Cost:   £30  (Beginners 2 hours £15)

Please contact me to book a place


‘Pharaonic Baladi’

Saturday 10th November

2.00 – 6.30pm

Sunday 11th November

10.00am – 2.30pm

Village Hall, Nympsfield nr Stroud, Glos

This is the last workshop in the series of Pharaonic Baladi, the focus for the year.  The theme gives remarkable insight into form and line, the Yang (male energy) quality which is so often missing in our dancing – not just in Baladi. The focus on the geometry of our arms and the juxta-positioning of shoulders and hips gives immense interest and strength.

These charismatic qualities may well have evolved owing to the small amount of room available to dancers in the homes, cafes and courtyards of crowded cities where the fertile melding of Shaabi (music of the country) with other cultures and western influences produced Baladi (urban folk).  Dancers had to give striking performances often in a very confined space.

During the weekend we will be paying attention to integrating line and form into our fluid movements and the Taqsim (improvisational interlude) yet keeping the soft expressive spine – a wonderful balance of the Yin (female energy) and Yang principle.

Cost:   £30  (Beginners 2 hours £15)   £50 for both

Minimum number of participants per workshop is 7

To book a place please contact Liza

I am starting to rehearse! How lovely to be going back to my old home, St Ives, turquoise seas, fine white sand and my home from home, Tate . . . .

Saturday 4th August  2 – 6.30pm

Village Hall, Nympsfield nr Stroud, Gloucestershire GL12 3UA

This picture of us gazing in fascination at the beauty of the temple images taken during our Dance & Culture Week in Luxor and Aswan reminds me of the impact the geometry of the figures had on me.  That geometry, that strength of form is the inspiration for these Pharaonic Baladi workshops.  In Gloucestershire in the second of these workshops, we will continue exploring this sophisticated but uncontrived form of Egyptian dance.

Included in the workshop will be discussion on where the dancer would perform this style, what kind of costume would enhance the dance and we will contrast ‘Pharaonic’ with the less stylised Baladi with which we are familiar.

In the teaching I support the student whatever their level, and because the emphasis is always on ease and authenticity, beginners will find the workshops an enjoyable introduction.  Experienced dancers gain confidence and find new inspiration.

Cost:   £30  (Beginners 2 hours £15)

Please book by sending a cheque to Liza Wedgwood – address provided on application.

Contact me for information and any queries

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