Orientale Bellydance - Folkloric - Persian - Dabke - Tribal Fusion


A wide variety of specialised music and dance workshops is on offer throughout each day. The only problem is figuring out which ones to do! Some of the workshops occur once during the camp and others are progressive. Once you are at the camp you can go to any of the workshops on offer. Schedules are given out upon arrival and are also available to download here – 2018 CAMP SCHEDULE (not available yet). Beginners are welcome and all levels of skill are catered for.

Old School Tribal ATS (R) - Devi Mamak - 3 x 1.5 hr sessions - OPEN LEVEL

Inspired by Bal Anat, Hahbi Ru, and the Ghawazi dancers of Egypt Devi will use her knowledge of folkloric steps passed down to her from her first teacher, Kaiya Seaton and her knowledge and passion for ATS(r) as taught to her by Carolena Nericcio Bohlman. These original combinations created by Devi will be a mixture of folkloric inspired combinations as well as many combinations being appropriate to use with the ATS(r) format. If you love the raw and grounded nature of folkloric dance coupled with the elegant grace of ATS(r) then this workshop is for you!

Sick of playing the same RLR pattern over & over or having to stick to basic steps so you can zill & dance at the same time? In this workshops Devi will show you several zill “riffs” using the basic zill patterns we already know and love as well as brand new patterns that will add dimension and musicality to your playing. BYO ZILLS

In this workshop using the combinations and zill patterns learnt in the previous workshops we will put them into use with this fun and lively choreography with participants having the opportunity to rehearse with Mark and Ling from Helm and then perform with them at the Sunday concert!

Crazy Rhythms, Cool Head - Devi Mamak - 1 x 1.5 hour session - OPEN LEVEL

DeviUsing her decades of experience as a classical piano teacher and dancer Devi will show you how to dance to those crazy rhythms such as 6/8, 9/8, 12/8 and 10/4 WITHOUT having to alter your steps or having to create new combinations. In this one and a half hour lesson Devi will show you how to pull apart and group various time signatures as well as using the most appropriate speed for each time signature which will enable you to use a broader range of time signatures and musical choices for your next performance piece! BYO pen and paper.

Simsimiyya - Paivi Mielikainen - 2 x 1.5 hr sessions

SimsimiyyaIn this workshop, we will learn about a new style to Australia and the Camp, Simsimiyya, a dance from the Suez, Egypt. This dance is traditionally only danced by men, but a native Suez dancer, Hosseny el Masri, has created some steps for the ladies, and so this workshop is for both men and women. In these two sessions, we will briefly discuss the cultural and background information of Simsimiyya, with some video footage and notes provided. We will then proceed to learn about the basic technique, movements and steps, and building them into combinations and a short choreography. We will also trial the exciting aspect of body percussion with the spoons!
Be warned! This style is very dynamic and energetic, incorporating lots of footwork. It will keep you on your toes and it’s guaranteed to give you a workout!

Haggalla Drum Solo - Paivi Mielikainen - 2 x 1.5 hr sessions
Haggala - Farida Fahmy & Reda Troupe

Haggala – Farida Fahmy & Reda Troupe

In this workshop, we will learn about Haggala, a Bedouin dance that came to us from Libya through Marsa Matruh in the Western desert of Egypt, and is know to the world thanks to the work of the Reda Troupe. In these two sessions, we will learn the traditional basic step of Haggala, the “Egyptian walk”, and then move on to other moves that can be incorporated in a Haggala dance, some more traditional, others more modern and theatrical. In the end, we will put some combinations together in a fun, short Haggala drum solo, that will be presented in the Camp Concert by those who wish to participate. Cultural context and background information will be discussed, with some video footage and notes provided.

Classical Persian Dance Immersion - Michelle Ridsdale - 4 x 1.5 hr sessions - OPEN LEVEL

Michelle Persian dance refers to the dance styles indigenous to Iran. Genres of dance in Iran vary depending on the area, culture, and language of the local people, and can range from sophisticated reconstructions of refined court dances to energetic folk dances. The workshops will focus on the refined Persian Court dances – commonly called Classical Persian dance. The subtle flirtation, refined arm and hand movements, and varied formations can be incorporated in many forms of Middle Eastern dance.

Workshop 1 – Introduction to Persian dance
The workshop will commence will an overview of the history of dance in Iran and the various regional styles of dance. We will explore the basic rhythm (6/8), footwork, arm placement and hands of classical Persian dance. Most importantly we will explore gestures and character to make your dance look and feel “Persian”.

Workshop 2 – Combinations
In this workshop we will bring the footwork, refined arms and hands, gestures and character together in combinations you can use in your own Persian choreographies or improvisations.

Workshop 3 – Choreography
Bringing the combinations together in a beautiful flowing choreography.

Workshop 4 – Formations
Modern “Classical Persian” dance often uses intricate formations. Drawing on performances I witnessed in Tajikistan we will explore formations commonly used in Classical Persian dance ballets.

The Dance of the Ghawazee - Johara - 2 x 1.5 hr sessions - OPEN LEVEL

Ghawazee_workshopWORKSHOP 1
Who are the Ghawazee? What are their origins?  What dance style is defined by the term Ghawazee and is there more than one? What is the truth behind the history of these dancers? Part lecture with film footage investigating the complex origins of the Ghawazee as a people and part dance demonstration exploring the key elements of the dance including music, costuming and fundamental movements, this workshop is an introduction to what is colloquially known as Ghawazee.
Equipment required: note pad, pen and hip scarf to accentuate movements.

Don’t be deceived by the casual, laid back appearance of a Ghawazee performance – There is much more to this style than first appears! Continue the exploration of one of Egypt’s earthy, relaxed and fun styles of folkloric dance. We will delve deeper into Ghawazee dance technique, building on and adding to the intrinsic movements taught in workshop 1. We will create movement combinations and introduce group formations, plus add some of the more commonplace props – zills (sagaat) and stick (assaya). Or, for those up for a challenge, both at the same time!
Equipment required: note pad, pen, hip scarf to accentuate movements, stick and zills.

Modern Egyptian Technique - Johara - 2 x 1.5 hour sessions - OPEN LEVEL

Johara Green VeilWORKSHOP 1
What distinguishes the modern Egyptian Stars from those of the Golden Era?  Explore the signature moves and combinations of Egypt’s modern-day stars including Randa, Aziza, Camelia, and Soreyya (plus some of my own, personal favourites!) and discover what sets them apart. In this first workshop we will deconstruct the core movements in order to understand how and where in the body they are formed. Learn tips and techniques for activating and engaging the correct muscle groups required to be able to replicate these movements successfully.

Now that we have discovered how the movements are generated lets take it one step further… Let’s put these moves together! We will incorporate the individual moves from workshop 1 forming them into the combinations of the Stars. Everything from dynamic travelling sequences to the smooth and sultry, the strong and dramatic – learn how to transition successfully from one movement into another.

Moroccan Shikkatt / Chaabi - Virginia Keft - 2 x 1.5 hr sessions - OPEN LEVEL
Photo by Angela Jeremy

Photo by Angela Jeremy

Moroccan popular music is used to express feelings, and can be intensely political. Chaabi is the dance of the people and incorporates elements of traditional Moroccan movement, the dance features shimmies, hair sways, bold hip accents. The dance is earthy and joyous in nature. In this workshop we explore rhythm, technique, and traditional aspect of tray balancing (raqs al seniyaa).

Modern Turkish Oryantal - Virginia Keft - 2 x 1.5 hr sessions - INT TO ADV LEVEL

Virginia SydMed2013 3 - CroppedModern Turkish style brings old world Rom (Gypsy) together with the sass and flash of the modern. Turkish Oryantal is all about sinuous body undulations, crisp hip work, fluid upper and lower body isolations, showy turns, powerful shimmies – along with a good dose of attitude! In this workshop Virginia will take you through the key elements that distinguish Turkish belly dance from other styles; including a short discussion on the use of floorwork in Turkish dance. Learn how to express commonly used Turkish rhythms using combinations and drills. Join Virginia in this lively and uplifting workshop and gain some brand new material in the Modern Turkish style.

Palestinian Dabke - Al Zayton Troupe - 4 x 1.5 hr sessions - OPEN LEVEL

AL_ZaytonDabke is a dynamic folk dance for weddings and gatherings in Palestine. Join Sameer, Holly and Rasheed to learn the basic moves to experience energetic stomping patterns and synchronise dancing in line all together. Also you will learn a variety of advanced moves to express your next level of liberation when the Dabke line takes off in a full joy of life.

With Al Zayton, you will learn the traditional ways of celebration of the land and people deep within the Palestinian villages, the formation and the calls that accompany the invigorating and reviving music of Dabke.

Turkish Romany 9/8 - Margaret Cunningham - 4 x 1.5 hr sessions - OPEN LEVEL

Marg_RomThose who discover the incredibly fun dance style of the Turkish Roman (Gypsy) through Margaret’s unique teaching format, remain hooked for life! The first two workshops cover basic steps for beginners and some simple sequences to get you grooving. In the second two workshops we will welcome in those who already know the basics to join us in learning a great new choreography for the camp concert.

Fun With Feet! Modern and Classical Footwork - Rachel Bond - 2 x 1.5 hr sessions - OPEN LEVEL

rachel-desert-sit-ppBellydance isn’t just about the belly! Although our hips and torso are what define this art form, Folkloric and Oriental dance styles use footwork in many ways to add interest and flair. It’s especially valuable for stage performances. Extend your skills with either or both of these workshops. (1) Classic combinations. Travelling steps give us so many more options for moving around on stage. But we can also use our feet to interpret the melody or accents of the music. Using some of Mahmoud Reda’s famous techniques, learn to capture and express the music in new ways. Depending on time we can also explore how to adapt on-the-spot moves and take them for a walk. (2) Contemporary combinations. Modern Cairo style bellydance is big on legs! Learn some flashy moves with kicks, points and surprising direction changes that will add a contemporary flavour to your dancing. Workshops can be attended independently, but for less advanced dancers or anyone unaccustomed to footwork, doing #1 as prep for #2 is recommended. Ballet slippers / jiffies (or old socks) recommended as there are turns and swivels involved.

Funky Bellydance and Fantabulous Fans - BellaDonna - 2 x 1.5 hr sessions - OPEN LEVEL - FOR KIDS OF ALL AGES

BellaDonna is excited to present her fantabulous fan workshops this year. This will involve Chinese silk dance fans and bellydance grooves with some basic tribal bellydance combos. Please feel free to have a look at the “silk and bamboo” website for quality fans or check out EBay, if you would like to purchase some fans. BellaDonna will have some fans to share and a limited amount to sell at cost price ($25 to $50 a pair). Don’t forget to bring some colourful bellydance clothes if you would like to perform at the final concert.  All ages welcome.