fbpx

Dances of Celebration: Joy & Blessings in the Mahgreb with Amel Tafsout

Join Live with Q & A + 30 Days Streaming Access

Sunday, April 25th 3:00 PM PDT/ 6:00 PM EDT

DANCES OF CELEBRATION: Joy and Blessings in the Maghreb

The dances of celebration are an expression of authentic dance that have guided North African people since ancient times. They refer to traditional social dance as well as ceremonial or spiritual dances performed as a ritual that shares cultural traditions and community history. The dances are mostly performed among women, generally during fertility rites or preparing a young woman for marriage, most commonly at festive occasions. They convey joy and good fortune as well as a Baraka, “a blessing power”, that is continuity of spiritual presence and revelation that begins with God and flows through that and those closest to God.

Maghreb dances are performed in lines or circles of female and male dancers. The dance focuses on weaving isolations through different parts of the body. All parts of the body are used in the dance, shoulders, arms, hands, hips, belly, knees, legs and feet. Feet are flattened against the ground in a wide stance. Steps include scuffing, stamping, jumping and hopping. Maghreb dances are “earth centered” meaning the orientation is towards the earth.

Maghreb dance is both a public and personal expression, rich in symbolic dimensions that deal with universal constants in nature, fertility of Mother Earth and the communication between the Earthly and the Divine. In Amazigh regions, women sing to accompany any kind of work, such as the harvest. Festivals provide the opportunity to dance as a community and as a unity. Originally, they were magical acts, in order to obtain the fertility of Mother Earth and to ask for the rain in case of the drought. The worshiping of a Divinity or a spirit of Nature was used to gain its protection.  

In this online presentation, Amel will discuss:

  • Fertility dances 
  • Ceremonial dances, such as in weddings and celebration
  • Warrior dances
  • Spiritual dances such as bringing the Baraka or healing.

For each dance style, she will talk about the origin of the dance, who it is performed by and for what reason, music , rhythms, instruments and costuming

Don’t miss out out this incredible learning opportunity to learn more about North African dance traditions!

Your $25 registration includes
Live attendance with Q&A + 30 Days streaming access

EARLY REGISTRATION BONUS
Register by midnight EST April 14th and get a Bonus Dance Class!

“Where African meets the Orient: An introduction to Maghreb Dances.”

LIVE Sunday, April 18th  3:00 PM PDT / 6:00 PM EDT
+ 30 Days streaming access
This 45-minute class will be a short introduction to Maghreb Dance in showing the similarities and differences between Tunisian, Algerian and Moroccan dances,
with a short focus on the on Amazigh fertility dances.

 

About our presenter…

 

Amel Tafsout

Born in Algeria, Amel Tafsout (meaning ‘Hopes of Spring’) is a first source international dance artist and one of the finest exponents of North African traditional and contemporary Maghreb Dance. Since childhood, Amel, was fascinated by traditional dancers and musicians of her culture. Her curiosity is still prominent today as she is always expanding her knowledge. She is also a sociolinguist and dance anthropologist, a university language professor, frame drummer, singer, poet, and an energy worker. With a research in dance anthropology and a long training in various healing practices, Tafsout’s knowledge of her culture and her experience make her unique. She is very proud of her heritage and is committed in preserving her dance tradition while incorporating her own dance experience and spiritual development. Inanna Iraqi Dance Festival in June 2018 in Estonia gave Amel an Award of acknowledgment and appreciation for her contribution in Arabic dance and its heritage for many years. 

Tafsout has dedicated her life to raise awareness and knowledge about her dance culture and to facilitate a dialogue between Arab-North African and Western women.  Tafsout has lectured, danced, taught, sung and conducted anthropological research in many countries. She has been featured in various TV programs in Europe and North Africa. She has also published many articles related to dance and Maghreb women in academic and popular magazines.    While living in the United States, Tafsout is an in-demand dance artist, musician and educator.  With continuous and extensive research, she is a scholar in her fields. She has mesmerized audiences and classrooms worldwide. Anywhere she goes, Amel creates a comfortable space for her students to learn, dance, and heal. The knowledge, wisdom, and care she shares is something that people from all over the world gravitate towards. When learning from Amel or watching her perform not only does she take you on a cultural journey, but many say she takes you on a spiritual journey as well.