Rakkasah East Middle Eastern Dance Festival and Bazaar Week-Long Dance classes and workshops Somerset, New Jersey, October 4-10, 2010 Photos by Judy Hardin Cheung For photos of the entire three day festival, please go to www.rakassah.com and see pictures by Carl Sermon of all of the performances presented
Rakkasah events are a major fund raising opportunity for Artists Embassy International. AEI and Natica Angilly's Poetic Dance Theater Company have a sales booth during the week-long dance classes and during the Friday throug Sunday Middle Eastern Dance Festival and Bazaar. In the booth, Natica sells tambourines and dance books she has written. Judy sells her earrings made from photos of the dancers and from various unusual small items. The AEI booth is also on of two official Rakkasah sales booths with dance related items for sale. Sales of Rakkasah items go to Rakkasah. Sales of AEI items go to AEI to help with our annual costs. In this photo, Natica and some happy costumers who had taken her class earlier that morning pose with their newly purchased tambourines hand decorated by Natica Angilly.
Natica's first class during the first day was on Dance Dynamics as they relate to poetry. Emotion, drama, stage usage, power locations, how to engage your audience, how to not over do, how to relax your face muscles, how to give the audience a message you want to convey, how to be someone memborable with your performance.
Natica's second class was on use of tambourines in Middle Eastern Dance. The session began with a sit-down session where Middle Eastern Dance was discussed. The Middle East extends from the African Atlantic to mid-China. Tambourines are used throughout the world as one of the first insturments developed by many cultures after recognizing the melodiousness of beating on logs or blowing on reeds.
The class continued with moves from different cultures, how to combine the moves with various belly dance genres, how to use the tambourine or other props with grace while doing some of the more difficult moves.
The class continued with tambourine use, and the exhaultation frequently elicited by this nearly magical, simple instrument.
During the Festival of non-stop dance performances, AEI's Mary Peterson of Natica Angilly's Poetic Dance Theater Company and Dancers of the Pharoahs had her first solo performance at Rakkasah East. She has danced in many places in the San Francisco Bay Area, but this was her first East Coast Performance.
Using one of Aneena's veils, Mary performed spectacularly with her belly dance to strident, modern Irish music.
Faith Simms, NAPDTC and Dancers of the Pharoahs, also had her Rakkasah East Solo premier. She dances throughout the San Francisco East Bay.
Faith performed her exquisite dance with grace and elegance
Aneena, friend of AEI, staff of Rakkasah, and foremost instructor in the USA for double veil dance, performed to the music of Pangia. She is the vendor for the veils used by Mary and Faith. (She is also Faith's mother-in-law.)
Natica Angilly's Poetic Dance Theater Company performed "Duet," by Ana Eisner of San Francisco, as their opening number.
Natica and Richard performed as "The Poet and the Dancer"
"Masks" is a dance NAPDTC plans to take to Greece to the World Congress of Poets in June, 2011, please visit www.upli-wcp.org for more information
NAPDTC's finale was a rousing Liszt Hungarian Dance with tambourines flying. Even Richard got in on the exhuberant action of this dance
Dancers of the Pharoahs, an AEI affiliated dance troupe, run by Shukriya, the artistic director of Rakkasah, began their segment with a lively dance with zills (finger cymbles)
Dancers of the Pharoahs continued the excitement with a sword dance
Dancers of the Pharoahs finished their act with a fusion of Flamenco and Belly Dance performed to lively Mexican music.
One of the highlights of this year's Rakkasah was the presentation of an award from the prestigious magazine, The Belly Dance Chronicles, by the editor, Isis