Posts Tagged ‘Germany’

BERLIN    22 and 23 June     Contact:   Susanne Donner  

berlin -orientalscher-tanz.de  tel ++49 (0)30 420 202 40

MUNICH   13, 14, 15 September and 15,16,17 November   Contact:   Erna Froelich

taqsim.de   tel  ++49 (0)89 342435 


Liza Wedgwood dances Modern Sharqi

Adventurous and exhilarating workshops exploring both traditional and creative concepts, an encouragement for each dancer whatever her dance experience to find her own unique expression.

Modern Classical – new ideas, expanded use of space, freedom to integrate
untraditional music and concepts yet always adhering to basic principles.

Courtly Classical – intimate and refined, warmly communicative, in depth feel of traditional music and songs.

Dancing with the veil – more than an accessory . . . .(Mrs Thatcher’s handbag!)
but rather movement and sensuality of fabric, an extension of the lyrical flow of the spine, the weightlessness of air and space.

Susanne Donner wrote   Liza lädt uns ein zu einem Wagnis anregenden Kurs, in dem sowohl traditionelle als auch kreative Konzepte erforscht werden. Dieser Workshop ist eine Ermutigung für jede Tänzerin, gleich welcher Vorerfahrung, ihren eigenen einzigartigen Ausdruck zu finden. Wir widmen uns dem modernen klassischen Sharqi und nehmen neue Ideen der Ausbreitung in den Raum auf. Wir etablieren unsere innere Freiheit für neue Konzepte, aber bewahren grundlegende Essenzen des Raqs Sharqi. Wir tanzen in innigem Bezug mit dem Schleier. Wir können seine Bewegung, seine Textur und seine Sinnlichkeit uns einverleiben und als Erweiterung der lyrisch fließenden Wirbelsäule erfahren. Das Schwebende des Schleiers, seine Leichtigkeit erhebt uns in die eigene fließende Schwerelosigkeit in Luft und Raum.

Mit großer Hingabe und Wachheit vermag Liza jeder Tänzerin auf ihrem individuellen Weg Türen aufzuzeigen oder gar zu öffnen, die sie in ihrer Entwicklung passieren wird. Manche ihrer Sätze sind mir Jahre geblieben, besonders, wenn ich sie nicht sogleich verstehen konnte, und mein Körper und meine Seele erst viel später im Stande waren, sie zu erfahren.

Erna Froelich wrote    Liza bietet ihre Hingabe, langjährige Erfahrung und eigene Weiterentwicklung im Tanz an, um jeder Tänzerin auf ihrer Stufe zu helfen.
Jeder Workshop bietet eine sinnvolle Einheit für sich, aber wer es ermöglichen kann, das gesamte Wochenende zu kommen, wird Zeit finden, tief in den Tanz einzutauchen und mehr individuelle Förderung zu erfahren.


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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


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.

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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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