by Sherezzah Bint al-Waha
Zarifa Sa'id's Global Dance Fest 2001 was a celebration of Egyptian dance, featuring Dr. Mo Geddawi (of Egypt) along with Habiba (of Philadelphia). I am SO glad I went.
Habiba (right) taught the Friday class. I have taken workshops with Habiba on several occasions in the past, but they were always for her folkloric specialties (Ghawazee, Tunisian, Andalusian). Although I had seen her perform Orientale, this was my first time to experience her teaching of it. And what an experience! She chose a 15-minute Egyptian-style choreography to music by Dr. Samy Farag. It was hot. There were times during the class that I actually cheered because I loved what she was doing so much. And as some indication of how good a teacher she is, we actually got thru most of the choreography (I think about 13 minutes or so). And even though we didn't complete the whole thing, the music had a lot of stops in it so we actually got several possible routines.
Saturday and Sunday classes were Dr. Mo's. This was my first workshop with him, and I was very pleased. On Saturday he taught a Melaya Leff--without the melaya. He focussed on the basic steps and movements and suggested we interpret the melaya part ourselves. The dance was lively and a lot of fun. On Sunday he taught a classical Egyptian dance, which was really very lovely.
There were shows Friday and Saturday, both of which were excellent and offered a lot of variety.