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Date(s) - 11/04/2022 - 11/06/2022
4:00 pm

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Arab American National Museum


195-295 USD
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Arab American National Museum


November 4-6, 2022 4 PM EST

The 19th session of the ARAB DANCE SEMINAR (November 4-6, 2022) is the first repeating event of its kind in America. All previous 18 Seminars since November 2005 have sold out with maximum attendance. The seminar moves to a different city every year, and it was held Virtually Online in November 2020, and HYBRID for November 2021.

This 19th session will be a Hybrid, with a limited number of students In-Person in Dearborn/Detroit with the instructors while being Broadcast simultaneously for more students attending Virtually Online. As we get closer to November, if health regulations require the event to go fully Virtual, those who purchased the In-Person spots will be partially refunded and given Virtual access. All students will have access to recordings of the Virtual broadcast for four weeks following the end of the event.

This 19th session will be held at the ARAB AMERICAN NATIONAL MUSEUM in Dearborn Michigan, in the metropolitan Detroit Area. Dearborn has the largest population of Arabs in the USA, with hundreds of restaurants, businesses, and institutions managed by Arab Americans. The Museum is a spacious facility with exhibits, artwork, performance halls, artifacts and a boutique. It is a symbol of pride and a community beacon for the Arab American community.

The goal of this intensive weekend of workshops, lectures, performances, and dance parties is to give the student a comprehensive Arab cultural dance experience. Going beyond confusing, nebulous monikers like “Oriental”, “Middle Eastern”, or “belly”, the Seminar puts all the skills, techniques, and practices back into their cultural contexts. The Arab world, which includes over 20 countries in 4 geographic zones (North Africa, Egypt, Near East/Levant, and The Gulf) is the origin and breeding ground for multiple dance styles and practices, bound by a common language and aesthetic. This Seminar helps clarify and illuminate that tradition.

The Arab Dance Seminar is created for anyone who values dance in their life and community. The faculty seeks to give every student authentic techniques, choreographies, and comprehension of Arab dance. Every dancer will take every workshop and lecture; there is no simultaneous scheduling that forces the student to choose between classes. The Music classes will be taught using non-technical language that is understandable to non-musicians. Each student will be provided with study sheets and videos that reflect the curriculum. Arabic vocabulary will be taught and provided, to reinforce the cultural context of these arts. Every dancer will leave the Seminar with a more authentic cultural understanding of the dance and music.

Although there is an academic and ethnographic emphasis, there are neither desks nor computer stations. The student will learn by dancing, moving, singing, clapping, and sweating. It is an active seminar where the goal is to physically engage with the subjects, in order to retain new knowledge for future practice, performance, and teaching.

2022 Special focal topic:
Understanding Diverse Audiences and
The Artist’s Role as Guide & Mobilizer.

The role of the dance artist goes beyond entertainer. They have the ability to transform the event they are participating in. Through their presence, and the attention received, they hold the power to mobilize the people from being merely an audience into engaged participants. The dancer need not relinquish that spotlight, but rather shares the passion of performance with all else who are present. And it is in these interactions that the artist mobilizes their community. Without dance, the community may never move.

All across the Arab world we have dance to commemorate special moments. Dance is created at weddings, rights of passage, national pride statements, children’s education, and even political protests. Wherever you find dance, the community is together, creating cohesion. These are powerful moments of momentum and solidarity, ranging from revelry to revolution. It is no coincidence that colonizers and tyrants alike suppress dance and the performing arts; they are fully aware of the power it bestows on the people.

It is imperative that the dance artist cultivates this role. They must gain awareness of the context, knowing why the people have gathered, who is being featured, the decorum of the venue setting, and the potential for human mobilization. Now in this globalized world, traditional dances appear in front of new audiences and in unexpected venues. The dancer must navigate this migration, to retain the dance’s authentic power while it adapts to its new audience. The dancer is the guide, the beacon, the one who can connect the inward artistry with the collective mass momentum. They must dance like everyone is watching.

To register this event, please click here!

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