Dance and Music Performance: “Khaleejiyat" – Arabian Gulf Music and Dance with Mark Balahadia and Guests

Sat, September 3, 2011 8:00 pm at Alwan for the Arts

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Khaleejiyat: A Night of Dance and Music from the Arabian Gulf
8-10pm (doors at 7:30pm)

Preceded by dance workshop from 4-6pm (details here)

Mark Balahadia and his troupe showcase traditional and contemporary dances of the Khaleej along with an Iraqi dance piece. Special guest musicians Rachid Halihal and Ramzi El Edlibi play khaleeji songs such as favorites by Mohammed Abdo, Abdullah Rowaished, Abu Bakr Salem and others, in a jalsa format (a seated musical gathering, allowing for participatory dancing).

This lively evening will also include a participatory segment on Khaleeji clapping patterns, tips on how to improve your zaghrouta, and open floor dancing to live music.

For more information email Nicole:

Performance Tickets:

$20 at door or online (buy now)*, $15 for members, students and seniors at door or online (buy now)*

*ID/membership card checked at door; online purchase includes small service charge - use printout as your ticket.

About Khaleeji Music and Dance:

Khaleeji: Arabic for "of the gulf" pl. Khaleejiyat

Arabian Gulf music and dance or Khaleeji is used to denote the various musical and dance tradition of the Arabian Gulf: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabian, The UAE and Yemen. Khaleeji music is characterized by the use of pentatonic five-tone scales and polyrhythmic beats. The Khaleeji dance is known for its syncopated footwork, tight shoulder shimmies, head slides, languid hand movements and hair tosses. As of late, Khaleeji dance has become influenced by Iraqi dance as a result of the popularity of Iraqi music and growing number of Iraqi dancers who perform in the Gulf.

About the Artists:

Mark Balahadia (dance, vocal accompaniment)

Mark is a professional belly dancer and singer based in the New York City Metro area. He is well known for his Classical Lebanese/Egyptian style, based on the dance styles of the late Badia Masabni, Samia Gamal, Tahia Carioca, Naima Akef and others from the Golden Era of Egyptian cinema during the 1940s and 50s. Mark also specializes in other dances of the Middle East, including raqs khaleeji from the Arabian Gulf, Iraqi dance and dabke, a Levantine Arab folkloric line dance. For more information on Mark, check out his website

Dance Troupe Members:Marie, Lawrence Omeish and Uza Mitra

Ramzi El Edlibi (percussion, clapping)

Ramzi El-Edlibiis a versatile performer, dancer, and percussionist. He began his dance career in Lebanon studying with renowned choreographer Wadia Jarrar and the Caracalla dance company. Ramzi has traveled extensively as a sought-after performer of Middle Eastern folk dance, performing and teaching throughout Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Not only does Ramzi impress audiences with his virtuosity, passion, and knowledge of Arab-word dances and their cultural context, he is also an accomplished percussion player and teacher of tabla, riq, and frame drum. In addition, he is a respected Arts and Education teaching artist and leads public programs throughout the East Coast as Artistic Director of Dance Around the World. Eldibi continues researching and studying dance and music forms and most recently has focused on music and dance of the Arabian Penisula. He is finishing a book which transcribes and analyzes the Penisula’s complex rhythmic patterns and song.

Rachid Halihal (vocals, oud, and violin)

Born and raised in Fez, Morocco, Rachid entered the Conservatory of Music in Fez at the age of fourteen to study Western classical and Andalusia music. He learned to sing both styles, as well as to play the oud (Arabic lute) and the violin, which he plays in both the Western classical manner as well as upright, resting on the knee, as is typical for Moroccan folkloric music. He has presented his music in Ivory Coast, Sweden, Finland at the Helsinki International Music Festival; Global Groove Festival, Denver and Boulder Theater, Colorado; toured with the Chicago Classical Oriental Ensemble playing Moroccan Andalusia music with Abdelfattah Bennis including Genesis at the Crossroads Festival in Chicago. Rachid was presented at MOMA, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Columbia University, University of Northern Florida, as well as other ethnic concerts and various Moroccan establishments throughout NYC; in Summer of '05 he played at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art for the inaugural King Tut exhibit in the US, and toured the US and Canada with Rachid Taha (Algerian/French) Rai-rock band. Rachid teaches music and rhythm workshops throughout the USA. On many occasions he played with Mohammed Abdo, one of the Arabian Gulf's most loved singers. For two years, Rachid was invited to the Gulf as a singer and oud player in his own right.

Last updated: 2011-08-22 16:02:10

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