In 2011 I choreographed and produced a full theatre production that featured the Big Band, the Saba Middle Eastern Dance Ensemble and ensemble soloists. If you’ve watched any of the videos I’ve re-posted about the show during the A-Z in April blog posts, you’ll have noticed right away that this was a really fun show.
Everything about it was fun!
Including this dance. And there is a story behind this dance (of course!). As you may know, I have quite an extensive DVD library. I often buy a DVD and then find that I already know the material. But that’s okay because even if the material isn’t new to me, I can glean a new perspective on it or find a different way of presenting the material in class. And I enjoy just putting on a DVD and dancing along … it’s nice to follow somebody else’s lead instead of being the leader all the time. Makes for good drills.
So anyway, at the back of one of these DVDs there was a very nice choreography taught to a song that I have liked for a long time called Raqs Bedaya off of one of the Yousry Sharif Wash ya Wash CDs.When I heard the song, I said “I know that song -I LOVE that song!” So I watched the performance. While the technical material was intermediate, the choreography that she tied it all together with was quite advanced.And I loved it! I absolutely loved everything about it! I loved her cheeky attitude. I loved her lightness of step and heaviness of hips.
I could see myself in that dance.
So … I learned it! I followed the chapters and learned the combinations one by one. While I was learning each combination, I allowed myself the freedom to change it as I pleased. In the end, parts are definitely Jenna’s and parts are definitely mine.
The piece is a hybrid of choreography that I had an absolute blast learning & doing. And – best part yet – it is a blast to dance! Fun fun fun!
And of course there is the perk of being able to wear that outfit. Today, 4 years and 30 pounds later I don’t know if I could squeeze my big toe into it!
Raqs Bedaya from Rockin’ the Casbah, Act I: Casbah Cabaret. March 19, 2011.
I’m participating in the Blogging From A-Z challenge. One blog post for each letter of the alphabet, each day of April (except Sunday).