Rockin’ the Casbah Notes: habibity

In Tuesday’s posting I talked about finding the music for Baba Mama on a cd that I purchased at a workshop. What joy! And more joy – the music for Habibity was on the same CD. Again, the artist was not listed. When I heard this music I was instantly transported away into movement. Sometimes you hear a song and you just know, in that instant, that you are going to create something around it. This was one of those. The music is very different from anything I have used before. I don’t know how to describe it…very modern. World music with a definate Middle Eastern feeling. A little jazzy. Kind of sexy. I was very excited to create to this piece.

Without too much thought, I picked up a veil and locked myself away for a couple of afternoons. It didn’t take much before voila! The dance was born! I remember the first time I presented the piece to the troupe. The looks on their faces! Priceless! Their faces were split with smiles – they loved it! It was completely different and fun. Initially, the piece was a bit more complicated than my dancers could handle as a group, so the challenge was then to simplify it and keep the spirit and “coolness” of the piece. There are a lot of intricate accents, and parts where different dancers are doing different things. But we worked it out. This is going to be a piece we will want to keep for a long time, but also a piece that is going to require consistent review in order to keep in the ready folder.

There is a lot of movement inside the dance, so I wanted the costume and the veils to also mirror that movement and action – a real feast for the eyes. Lots of colours, lots of shimmer, lots of movement to accompany that funky music.


Pictures do not do this piece justice. Photos by Alistair Maitland


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