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Workshop

Saturday 17 March 2018    1.15 – 6.15pm

Fluidity, Flow and Freedom – Dancing with the veil.  A beautiful lyrical and carefree expression in the Baladi form

 

Flying B 1photo Simon Richardson

‘Feeling the relaxed stability of our posture and the free movement of our legs give us exhilaration; dance and veil dance themselves’

 

Courtyard Clinic Studio

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:   £40 or £35 (conc. £25) if paid by 3rd March.

Please contact me for booking and more information, and for bank details if you wish to pay online.  Email:  lizawedgwood (at)yahoo.co.uk      Tel: 01453 757140   Mob: 077 6666 4684

www.LizaWedgwoodDance.com 

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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.

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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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The Calendar has now been up-dated!  Please click on tab above for details of workshops, courses and intensive days of dance in Germany, Austria, Italy and the UK.

On 16/17 January the 2016 dance year will start with a ‘Moods and Archetypes in Baladi’ weekend in Berlin. This will be followed on the 24th by a Beginners workshop in Stroud, Gloucestershire, and workshops in Munich during the last weekend of the month. 

Munich and Dursley courses this year will explore the themes of Sha’abi and the Charisma of the Ghawazee (click on Raqs Sharqi tab above).

Workshop

Saturday 13 February 2016  1.00 – 6.00pm 

SPOTLIGHT ON SHAA’BI AND THE CHARISMA OF THE GHAWAZEE 

ghawazee

The Courtyard Clinic Studio 

The Old Post Office, Parsonage Street, 

Dursley, Glos. GL11 4DR  UK 

(Opposite The Courtyard Cafe and next to the church.  The studio is at the back of the small car park)

Cost:   £35 (conc. £25)

The Sha’abi form of Raqs Sharqi is the dance found around Luxor in the Sa’id (Upper Egypt).  Literally it means ‘of the people’ as in ordinary people or country people.  Old music from the villages, as well as modern day pop, allows for simple, joyful dancing using repetitive movements.  Included in this genre is the dance of the professional dancers, the Ghawazee.  Much loved, they brought colour and entertainment to village and family celebrations, and dance to this day to the multilayered Sa’idi music played on instruments unchanged over the centuries.

Technique, costumes and a bright smile are not enough to express this dance.  Eventually the evocative Sa’idi music, coming down the centuries, calls us to find something deeper, richer.  It calls us to find an archaic authentic response and invites us, in the excitement of repetition, to dance effortlessly from our stable centre. 

Excitement characterises Sha’abi but so does stability, and these two attributes are not necessarily understood by us dancers in the west as we search for that certain something which takes us to the heart of both dancers and audiences alike, and makes the dance so compelling to watch.  They would appear to be opposites.  In fact the melding of the two is the essence.

The year’s course will help us to understand these opposites. It will bring us closer to the culture in which this dance flourished, the dance of the Sa’id which is so pertinent to our lives today.

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BEGINNERS WORKSHOP IN STROUD, GLOS.

SUNDAY 24 JANUARY 2016   2-5pm

The Blue Room, Centre for Science and Art (opposite the library) Lansdown, STROUD, Gloucestershire GL5 1BB 

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Relaxed and thoughtful teaching by Liza Wedgwood gives an opportunity to learn a beautiful feminine art.  Suitable for complete beginners, dancers who wish to refine their technique and those coming from a different style.  All ages welcome!

      Green veil218_3

Cost £15       

Information and    Booking   Tel  01453  757140

     Please share this with anyone who may be interested. Thank you

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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.

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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 

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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

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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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