Journey Through Egypt 1 – an Introduction
Journey Through Egypt 1 is an overview on the movement, posture, clothing, history, and cultural diffusion in the different regions of Egypt. Sahra’s unique perspective follows how the dance transforms from the homes of the people to the sparkling stages of Cairo.
You will not get a better overview of folkloric Egypt.- Gabriele, JTE 1 Graduate
While the particularities of every dance, and every bit of culture cannot be conveyed in the 20 hours that make up JtE- 1, Sahra strives to present a factual and entertaining overview of the dances of Egypt.
The dances studied include:
These dances are put into the context of the local culture and histories. Their transformation from homestyle to the stage is also covered in depth. For several of the dances the students break from lecture to stretch their muscles and learn the movements that can traditionally be found in these dances. The way that these dances have been interpreted and adapted for the stage is also discussed and shown.
JtE opened my eyes to the distinctions between “real world” and “for the stage” versions. In fact, Sahra’s “tables” concept – where she distinguishes among the “tables” of home style, local professional, local government troupe, national troupes, and Cairo belly dance stage – is one of the most unique and critical aspects of the course.- Nisaa, JTE 1-4 Graduate – http://www.bellydancewithnisaa.com/
The course also covers many of the rights and rituals that can be found throughout Egypt, such as zeffah, zars, and moulids. Whenever possible, these rituals are described and explained with video Sahra has taken on one of her own research journeys to Egypt. Here you’ll find a play by play of what you’re seeing and how it is affected by culture and people’s perceptions.
Journey Through Egypt 2 – Deeper into the Dance Zones
This Intensive weekend with Certification is an advanced “basic” overview, within which we set a strong base for our future research and specializations.
We aim to study and understand each dance zone’s movement with the perspectives of:
- authentic non-professional “home-style” dance,
- local indigenous professional performers,
- regional governate troupes
- national government theater-stage troupes: both Reda and Kowmeyya,
- as represented in Cairo’s Night Club Orientale Dance shows.
In addition to addressing movement and culture, we are introduced to core Dance Ethnography concepts. Sahra brings to JtE Intensive Courses concepts and experiments taught to her by her professors, pioneers in the field of Dance Ethnology, at the University of California, Los Angeles.
During the process of preparation and discovery in JtE-2 we begin to form our personal interests and questions, the base of our future research and specializations.
This 20-Hour Intensive Workshop includes dance and ritual movement of the “Dance Zones of Egypt” with special work in a variety of dances, such as Awalem Shamadan Farrah style, Cairo examples of Hassaballah, Beja Bravery Dance of the Eastern Desert, Bamboteyya of the Suez Canal, Awlad Ali Bedouin Hagallah dance, Zaggala of Siwa, Saidi Assaya, Firqit Zeffah,and much more.
Journey Through Egypt
Journey Through Egypt is an essential course for teachers of middle eastern dance, along with anyone who is interested in the history and culture of Egypt in relation to middle eastern dance.
Students are also privy to videos and stories that will never be shared online. Sometimes in order to be allowed to film, Sahra had to promise to not release the videos to the general public – either on DVD or through distribution online. She is however, allowed to show these videos to you during the course of Journey Through Egypt.
So check our events page to see if JtE-1 or 2 is coming to your city sometime soon. JtE-1 has been offered over 50 times within the United States and internationally and JtE-2 is swiftly catching up! It’s an experience you won’t easily forget. You never know, it might change the very way you look at dance.
Every dancer will benefit immensely from JTE. The course’s engagement with the dances relationships with culture, history, and politics (of ALL sorts!) will make one a better and more nuanced dancer as well as human being/world citizen. Of all the workshops, intensives, festivals, and events out there – without a doubt JTE should be at the top of dancers’ priority lists. There is nothing comparable. Nothing changed my dance, or my life, like Sahra’s Journey Through Egypt.- Shiraz, JtE 1-4 Graduate – http://www.shirazdance.com/
About & Hosting
The course is taught by Sahra C. Kent, a teacher, performer, and dance ethnologist of almost 30 years. She returns each year to Egypt to continue her research and to lead the Journey Through Egypt 3 & 4 which take place in Egypt.
Sahra has trained with both Egyptian National Dance Companies. In addition to learning Kowmeyya repertoire and technique towards international performing, Sahra trained with Mahmoud Reda and Farida Fahmy and happily shares her knowledge of their dance, and how they translated the dances of the people to those of the stages of Cairo and the world. With degrees in Dance, Cultural Anthropology, Archaeology, and a Master’s Degree in Dance Ethnology from UCLA, Sahra has researched dance and movement ritual in homes and villages throughout Egypt.
Small class sizes throughout all Journey Through Egypt classes assures that each student can ask their questions and get personal responses from Sahra based on her experience. And the best part? She’s not afraid to say she doesn’t know the answer, but she’s sure to ask around the next time she goes to Egypt!
Interested in hosting a Journey Through Egypt course in your town? Visit our booking page for more information on bringing Sahra in your city!