"So You Think You Can Dabkeh" Workshops with Ramzi Edlibi

Sep 08, 2012-Sep 29, 2012

Saturdays, 3:00 pm

Teachers: Ramzi Edlibi

Saturday Afternoons 3:00pm-4:30pm
4 sessions from Sept 8 - Sept 29

Start the fall off with a stomp! This workshop series kicks off So You Think You Can Dabkeh, a festival celebrating and exploring the line dances of the Levant.

Master dancer and percussionist Ramzi Edlibi takes us beyond the basic stomp, with a variety of dabkeh rhythms and styles. We’ll cover social dances such as del’aona and beddawi, along with flashy improvised combinations to make your time at the front of the line shine. Ramzi will also teach a basic repertoire of steps developed by Wadia Jarrar, whose choreographies have shaped Palestinian and Lebanese staged concert dabkeh from the 1950s til today. Finally, students will learn lawwih style rhythmic combinations which are danced in unison when called out by the leader of the line.

Open to all levels, experienced dabbikeh’s are welcome. Students will perform at the Dabke-Off culminating showcase (Oct. 13).

Pricing: $15 per session (*purchase online)
$50 for all 4 classes (September 8,15, 22, 29)(*purchase online).
For group/community discounts contact
(*A small online fee is applied - show printout to enter class)

Alwan for the Arts’, So You Think You Can Dabkeh festival presents dabkeh through participatory and performative events from September through early October of 2012. It explores dabkeh’s societal and cultural context, musical/rhythmical complexity and variations, and the multiple significations to practitioners in the Levant region and in diaspora.

Dabkeh is a music and danced social tradition of the Levant area of the Middle East. As a dance it is performed socially at celebrations, in choreographed floor patterns by troupes, and even in street protests. Dabkeh is rooted in village folk traditions and gatherings: performed in lines and circles, with rhythmic stomping, syncopated foot patterns. The music may involve a cappella vocals, (mawwal), wind instrument (mijwiz, shababe or nay) and a large drum, (tabl beledi). In New York City, and throughout the US, it is the most publicly performed dance by Arab Americans.

Additional Festival Events:
Saturday, Oct 6: Dabkeh Tour of Bay Ridge
Thursday, Oct 11: Women and Dabkeh: Party and Panel
Saturday, Oct 13: Day of Dabkeh: Workshop/Demo, Lecture, and Dabkeh-Off competition and concert


Ramzi Edlibi (dancer, choreographer, musician) began his study of Arab dance and ballet at an early age in Lebanon with Wadia Jarrar and Mr. Caracalla, historic figures in the development of Lebanese dance for the stage. In addition to Edlibi’s formal training, social dances and music, such as debkah, were a part of everyday and night life.

Edlibi went on to perform dance with the leading vocalists and dance companies of the Arab World such as Fairuz, Sabah, Wadi Al- Safi and Caracalla Dance Theatre. He then traveled abroad to perform and teach,while civil war raged in Lebanon, learning other dance traditions along the way. Since establishing himself in the global city of New York, Eldibi has continued his dance career, researching and presenting dances and music of the world.

Edlibi is Artistic Director of Dance Around the World, an Arts in Education program that brings dance and music to public schools.


So You Think You Can Dabkeh is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and is sponsored, in part, by the Greater New York Arts Development Fund of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, administered by Brooklyn Arts Council (BAC).

Alwan for the Arts

16 Beaver Street, 4th Floor
(between Broad St. and Broadway)
New York, NY 10004
(646) 732-3261

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