Zooming in from New York, Anjali leads movement to Meg's live music from Denver.
Try it -- it works!
Meg plays melodies. You move along with Anjali, then you get a solo played for you at the end of each class
"Tarab to me is when you are expecting something beautiful from past experience and you get something even more beautiful in the present.
Improvisation is where it's at: it's about what the moment also feels like instead of only what it looks like.
I'm lucky because I love weaving my melodies with and for movement, and I craft my music to what I see unfold in real time. It's the most humanly interactive experience I know. I get to make decisions informed by my technique and modal background, yet it's eternally renewable because each dancer brings their own personality, physicality and interaction.
I started playing for dancers over 35 years ago, and I remember so many taksim moments as if they were yesterday.
Zoom is interesting, but it works. I just hold the last notes long and low. Folks catch up their movement just fine. There's still live music and movement interaction because it's not choreography. I also give pretty clear guidance on how I structure the basic outline of melody -- the nuances are in the slight deviations. As a dancer, you'll learn how musicians think, and some elements to listen for to hang onto for your own movement process.
I've noticed that the Zoom latency can become it's own aesthetic element -- similar to murmuration in flocks of birds. I keep the classes small so we can all be on the screen at the same time, watching and interacting. The talkback is great, too. We get to briefly process and make requests.
This is why I don't share the class recordings later like so many other classes. We are all so very over-recorded these days -- this is a "playce", or a laboratory, a meeting of the minds that want to also move their bodies: for people to unwind and reconnect with out wondering what it looks like.
This is not necessarily a performance class, but the musical insights will inform your stage presence immensely, with live or recorded music.
Since I respond and play what your are moving, dancers get affirmation, and go deeper into that experience. It can become a repartee of beautifully unexpected yet synchronized variations. Many musicians don't get this aspect: there is a lovely interaction available to them if they just open their eyes and watch their melodies unfold from another person's expression.
Honestly, it's been pretty cathartic. We are in real time, if not in real space, together. I've logged probably over two hundred hours of taksim classes since Covid shut everything down. It's been an unexpected wonder. "
-- Meg York interview
Travis Fontaine Jarrell's dance background includes extensive Western classical and modern training, North Indian Kathak, American clogging, Flamenco, as well as classical and folkloric Central Asian dance from Uzbekistan.
She began her study of Middle Eastern dance in 1971, and during her 45 + years of teaching and performing, she was privileged to study with such excellent artists as Jamila Salimpour, Serena Wilson, Morocco, Bert Balladine, Dahlena, Ibrahim Farrah, and many others. Travis has also been a participant at many Mendocino Middle Eastern Music and Dance Camps, and is a favorite solo dance artist with clarinetists' Souren Baronian and Stuart Mennin.
Travis was introduced to Central Asian dance in 1989 by Laurel Victoria Gray,
and in 1992 was invited to Bukhara, Uzbekistan, to live and perform with Mohy-
Sitora Folklore Ensemble. She also studied classical Uzbek dance in Tashkent with
the acclaimed Akilov family.
In 1996 Travis and Laurel Gray collaborated to produce Central Asian Dance Camp, a summer dance program for the study of Uzbek and Persian dance. Travis' solo dance concerts, presented in the US and in Europe, have included classical and folkloric Uzbek and Middle Eastern dance, as well as her own original creative works. Travis currently resides in Cookeville, Tennessee and teaches dance in Nashville, Tennessee, as well as on online.
From Annya: My path to becoming a belly dancer began as a young girl, when I knew I wanted to be a belly dancer, despite having never seen one, or even having heard Middle Eastern music. When I began belly dance lessons in 1991, I was instantly hooked on the beautiful movements, vibrant music, exotic costuming, and the discovery of Middle Eastern cultures from which this dance comes. Belly dance is such a diverse, deep, and fascinating topic, that I haven’t stopped learning since!
My other dance studies began with Jazz and Ballet when I was a teenager and evolved to encompass Haitian, West African, and Cuban Orisha dances, Butoh, and Contact Improvisation, among others. I have also studied Rajasthani Gypsy dance of the Kalbelia people and Ghoomar Ladies dance in Rajasthan, India, and Turkish Roman (Gypsy) dance in Turkey.
I have a wide background in movement, energy training, and physical body studies. I have studied a variety of dance and movement forms for over 35 years, including yoga (in India and the US), and tai chi and qigong (in the US and China). I have a Qigong Instructor Certification and a Tai Chi Teacher certification from Qigong Academy. I am also a trained massage therapist, Level 2 Reiki practitioner, licensed minister, and have been trained as a licensed Art of Feminine Presence® teacher. I am certified in Level 1 of Sadie Marquant’s Raqs Flow Bellydance Training Program.
I teach belly dance, Qigong, and Tai Chi in Taos.
Zikr Dance Soloist "Runes" Tour
Zac Bigbee was born in Taos, New Mexico where he exhibited oil paintings at several galleries and openings, studied Wing Chung style Kung Fu, and competed slam poetry. He began training in classical ballet with Amber Vasques of New York City Ballet and Megan Yackovich of Colorado Ballet at the end of his senior year. He went on to study mathematics and Russian language and culture at the University of Arizona. During this time he continued his training in dance as a scholarship student at LINES Ballet, San Francisco Conservatory, and Netherlands Dance Theater. He has also attended the Royal Danish Ballet’s Summer Course, and spent several months in Israel researching Gaga at the Suzanne Dallal Center. Beyond dance he is also a self taught Cyr wheel practitioner and has trained in aerial acrobatics in Russia under Viktoriya Zhukotzova of the Moscow State Circus. He currently dances for cocodāco in Chicago and Zikr Dance Ensemble in Denver and serves as guest teaching faculty at Denver Ballet Theater, Tarab Retreat International and Ballet Taos. He has performed as a guest artist with Cañon Concert Ballet, Colorado Ballet and Convergence Ballet in Phoenix. Under seasonal contracts with the Russian American Foundation he provides oral and textual translation services for the Bolshoi Ballet Academy's summer schools and teacher certification program. As co-producer on the Inertia and Mechanical Nature: Movement VII projects with Ballet Taos he set original choreography, contributed to styling, marketing and visual effects while also performing. As an artist he is captivated and enlightened by the continuously evolving mechanical and neurological perfection of classical ballet. His initial infatuation with classical dance, having now given way to a deeper, smoldering passion, has led him into a search for the essence of classicism. This search is informed by his western education in mathematics as well as visual art and recently, by exposure to classical traditions, especially movement techniques, foundational to great the civilizations from across time. There is something profoundly universal about the human experience that defies it's specificity even as it creates it. This is what he seeks to better know and share in his work with students, collaborators, and viewers in hopes that we may all become more deeply human.
Georgia Michelle is a multi award winning performer, instructor, and choreographer currently living in Boulder, CO. She is classically trained in several genres of dance with a lifetime of dance education and experience allowing her to create an array of authentic and evolutionary styles of dance. Having played 3 instruments, Georgia has a solid comprehension of music, providing her with precision and clarity in her teaching and choreography skills. Her childhood years were filled with rehearsals, performances and competitions nationwide. She has won many awards and scholarships in dance and has accepted many invitations to study and perform worldwide with several dance companies and schools.
For Tarab 2020, join on a journey into Andalusian style dance! Muwashahat music originated during Muslims rule of Spain from 711-1492. It is a romantic style that combines poetry in classical Arabic, Hebrew, and Spanish with music, which provides a rolling rhythm that brings a graceful and free flowing style to the dancer. In this workshop we cover movement with dance combinations, and we’ll also discuss costuming and musicality.
In India, I didn't dance.
In Sweden, I realized that I would like to dance.
In Canada, I became a successful professional dancer
But it was in the US, I realized the power of dance.
When I held my newborn and wondered what kind of world he would grow up in.
Joining us on Sunday morning 9:00 from Santa Fe, New Mexico, Deborah Newberg is the founder, director and lead choreographer of Saltanah Studios, a center for teaching Middle Eastern Dance in Santa Fe, NM, since 2005. She has been on the faculty of the Dance department of Santa Fe Community College since 2008. Her dance company, the Saltanah Dancers, has presented over 500 performances in New Mexico, at venues including the Santa Fe Plaza Bandstand, Lensic Theatre, Cleopatra's Cafe,Taos Inn, and the Scottish Rite Temple. Her apprentice and student troupes also perform regularly with the Saltanah Dancers.
She has been on staff at Mendocino Music and Dance Camp for many years leading Yoga for Dancers. We welcome Deborah to our Tarab Retreat Staff teaching Raqs Sharqui and leading Yoga for Dancers with Live Music each day.