LIVE EVENT - MARCH 31-April 3, 2022 VIRTUAL APRIL 8-10, 2022
ART OF THE BELLY
FRIDAY April 8th 11am-2pm EST
Amazigh-Kabyle: Dance of the Kabyle People
The Kabyle people are an Amazigh-Berber ethnic group indigenous to Kabylie in the north of Algeria, spread across the Atlas Mountains, one hundred miles east of Algiers. They represent the largest Amazigh-speaking population of Algeria and the second largest in North Africa.
Many of the Kabyles have emigrated from Algeria. Their diaspora has resulted in Kabyle people living in numerous countries. Large populations of Kabyle people settled in France and, to a lesser extent, Canada (mainly Québec) and United States.
This fertility dance comes from the North-Eastern Algerian Mountains of the ‘Kabylie’ and is performed with a scarf while the dancer is doing very small footwork and constant hip movements holding and twirling a scarf.
The Amazigh-Kabyle dance performed today is drawn from this rich strong dance tradition that has been celebrated and preserved by the grounded, powerful, and dignified women of Kabyle Djurdjura Mountains.
This ritual dance features shimmies and trembling movements that are related to pregnancy, fertility, and ease of birth. The dance is both a public and personal expression, rich in symbolic dimensions that deal with subjects such as the fertility of Mother Earth, the rites of marriage and birth, and the communication between the earthly and the Divine.
Amazigh music is characterized by its use of folk oral traditions, as well as particular scales and rhythmic patterns, which include pentatonic music and African rhythms. All these elements are combined together to form one of the main sources of entertainment in Amazigh social ceremonies like marriages, as well as verses, tales and songs.
SATURDAY April 9th 11am-2pm EST virtual
Moroccan Shaa’bi dance
Chaabi or Shaabi, meaning "folk", refers to different music genres in North Africa such as Algerian chaabi, Moroccan chaabi and Egyptian chaabi.
Chaabi music is frequently found in weddings and this style is often associated with the festivals. The use of popular language and the creation of new rhythms have made this style an essential complement to the dance.
The Chikhat are female professional dancers and singers, who perform together in cities and villages for men and women, and at various festivities. This dance style focus on slow then fast and energetic isolated hip movements, pelvic undulations, belly drops, shimmies, flowing hand movements and rotations of the head that let the dancers’ long hair flow freely
Often a hip scarf is worn to bring attention to the movements of the lower body with quick, sharp body movements, along with more graceful, flowing movements inspired by flowing string sections in the music.
There is a possibility to see men performing the Shikhat dance style, dressed as women but hiding their faces on public spaces such as Djama’ El Fna in Marrakech
Come and be ready to sweat!
Sunday April 10th 11am-1pm EST virtual
Dancing to Raï music and “Allawi:
Raï (“rah-AY”) music is a popular genre of world music from Algeria that emerged in the late 1980s as a combination of popular music and traditional Bedouin desert music. The tradition arose in the city of Oran, primarily among the poor. Traditionally sung by men, by the end of the 20th century, female singers had become common. The lyrics of Raï have concerned social issues such as disease and the policing of European colonies that affected native populations.
The music performed was called raï. It drew its name from the Algerian Arabic word raï (“opinion” or “advice”), which was typically inserted—and repeated—by singers to fill time as they formulated a new phrase of improvised lyrics. By the early 1940s Cheikha Rimitti el Reliziana had emerged locally as a musical and linguistic luminary in the raï tradition, and she continued to be among the music’s most prominent performers into the 21st century.
Allawi a musical genre from West Algeria.
Both the music and the dance originate from an ancient warrior dance using the gun and the foot strikes in the rhythm of the music.This often high-energy and emotional music has a similarity with the American blues and more recently hip-hop and fuels the fusion of modern improvisational and more traditional dances performed by women and men alike. Amel has innovated dancing to Raï music, bringing the fluidity and
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