World Arts West
SF Ethnic Dance Festival

FESTIVAL DANCERS

Suhaila Dance Company

DANCE ORIGIN: Egypt and Lebanon
GENRE: Belly Dance
TITLE: Khayef Marrah, Ana Kol Maoul El Toba
ARTISTIC DIRECTOR/CHOREOGRAPHER: Suhaila Salimpour
First Appearance in SF EDF: 2013
Website: www.SuhailaInternational.com

Current Suhaila Dance Company members train under the artistic direction of Suhaila Salimpour, daughter of legendary Jamila Salimpour. Suhaila began developing her own belly dance format at the age of 12 and has been teaching workshops globally since. Her pioneering style is known for its “layering” of traditionally separate aspects of the dance: vibrations, figure eights, and isolation movements. In 2000, she launched her comprehensive and technique-based belly dance certification program.


2013 PERFORMANCE

DANCE ORIGIN: Egypt and Lebanon
GENRE: Belly Dance
TITLE: Khayef Marrah, Ana Kol Maoul El Toba
ARTISTIC DIRECTOR/CHOREOGRAPHER: Suhaila Salimpour
DANCERS: Rachel Duff, Anna Horn, Cheryl Lee, Eufemia Palomino, Lisa Price, Johanna Prink, Andrea Sendek (co-director), Lori Tawasha, Tina Toy

WORLD PREMIERE

In this set of Middle Eastern dance—incorporating both Egyptian and Lebanese belly dance—choreographer Suhaila Salimpour revisits two beloved classical Arabic songs with her signature modern approach.

The first song, Khayef Marrah, sings of longing. The dance is the dream of a man who yearns to fall in love. Feminine forms move in and out of focus, because, When love calls, we must obey; but I haven’t heard it calling yet. Only if I find the one . . .

The second song, Ana Kol Maoul El Toba, tells of tortured love: How many times did you leave me? Never again will I believe your words! But just meet me once again! The choreography shows western line and flamenco stylization, and the floor work is western contemporary, with big bold movements of exhaustion and fury.

The 2012 choreography for this performance is in Suhaila Salimpour’s distinctive modern belly dance style. It’s based on the western-influenced belly dance born in Egyptian casinos (1915-1930) and the dancers wear classical two-piece bedlah costumes. Suhaila pioneered her style in the 1970s, while studying belly dance, tap, jazz, and ballet.

The performance honors two songs of Egyptian musician Abdel Halim Hafez (1928-77). Hafez is a founder of classical Arabic music, the passionate “voice of the people” whose songs are still played daily in the Arab world. Classic Arab music is known for its complex orchestration that merges traditional style and instrumentation with western phrasing and western instruments such as keyboard and clarinet. Suhaila says, “I want to honor this classical music right now because, since the Egyptian revolution, the recording industry has shut down, and no one knows what will happen. I am drawn to that era, an earlier time of great artistic collaboration.”

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