Mohamed El Hosseny, courtesy of Saffron Dance
Sometimes I pinch myself, being so lucky to live here. There are many incredible opportunities available to us, it’s a bit overwhelming! You can learn about different cultures every week, sampling a bit of the world.
As I’m currently studying bellydance at Saffron Dance, I’m learning more about Middle Eastern culture, dance and music. One area I’m not familiar with at all is the tradition of male dancers. Luckily, Saffron is hosting Master Egyptian Dancer and Choreographer Mohamed El Hosseny next weekend, his first time in the US. An expert in the folkloric dances of the Suez – known as Simsimiyya – El Hosseny has been the male soloist for the Egyptian Reda Troupe and is renown for his interpretations of folk dances. I’m really intrigued to see him at their Summer Gala performance on Sunday August 16 at Marrakesh. He’ll join Saffron’s student dance companies and faculty in a night that is bound to be exhilarating. Tickets are $45 (which includes the usual four-course Moroccan feast).
If you’re a student of dance, then it’s not just the performance that will inspire you – El Hosseny is also giving three master class workshops (beginner through advanced, so no worries if you’re just starting out like me). Continue reading
- “Shimmy” courtesy of Saffron Dance
This past Sunday when I arrived for my Oriental bellydance class at Saffron Dance in Clarendon, the studio was a frenzied hive of activity. Costumes fluttering, dancers rehearsing in every available space, everyone giving their all in that wonderful energy that takes over the week before performances. Every glimpse I catch inspires me to try harder in class so that one day I might be able to shimmy around a stage. But until then, I’m content with enjoying not one but two performances this weekend at Rosslyn Spectrum - and I highly encourage you to do the same.
First up, Saffron Dance Company performs “Shimmy” on Saturday May 16 at 8pm, highlighting classical Egyptian inspired bellydance as part of the Planet Arlington World Music Festival. What makes this performance really exciting is that they will be accompanied by live music. Moroccan vocalist Hatim Idar (whom I’m told is rockstar incredible) and the El Anmari Ensemble will perform original musical compositions on traditional Arabic instruments including the oud, nay, qanum, violin, tabla, riq and frame drum. It’s a rare treat to be able to watch the interplay between dancer and musician, and will no doubt make for a captivating evening. Tickets are $25.