Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Dances: "Raks al Farah" (Dance of Joy)

Choreographer: Shoshanna
Dancers: Jaqueline Bookstein, Janet Garcia, Julia Giardino, Jessica Haley-Clark, Monica Hernandez, Jenny James, Jessica Jewett, Golden Moeras Kamphuis, Gabby Munguia, Lindsey Pollock, Yasmin Prado, Suzy Sciancalepore, Julia Vigneaud, Xelha Weisman.
Music: Milen Natchev

Prop Design: Calder Johson
Lighting Design: Lisa Voelker
Costume Design: April Grenot

Reminiscent of dance styles from a surge in popularity of Egyptian cultural arts in the 1950's, this dance is a joyful celebration of life and good times with good friends. Theatrical staging and my own perspective as an American dancer blend with traditional folk dances to share a glimpse into the heart of Egyptian dance.

The music, "Mawwal" by Milen Natchev, is lively with traditional instruments such as the doumbek (drum), nay (reed flute), and rebab (folk fiddle). A highlight of the song is a vocal improvisation called a mawwal, during which the dancers move improvisationally, inspired by the interplay of instruments and voice along with their own daydreams and mental meanderings. The mood of the rest of the piece is energetic, with plenty of room for the personalities and spirits of the dancers to shine through.

No comments: