Featuring Amel Tafsout – International Dance Day Event – April 17, 2009

April 16-18, 2009 – MEDGE is pleased to sponsor the renowned Amel Tafsout in a 3-day celebration of International Dance. Amel will present a lecture, perform in a show with other professional-level dancers, and teach two workshops.

Thursday, April 16, 7:00-8:30 p.m.: Lecture topics:  Algerian Women and Berber Queen and Warrior Princess. Harris Hall, 125 E 8th (corner of 8th & Oak) in the Lane County Courthouse, Eugene, OR. Free.

Friday, April 17, 8:30 p.m.: Gala Show in Celebration of International Dance Day, featuring Amel Tafsout and others – Cozmic Pizza in The Strand, 199 W. 8th Ave. (corner of 8th & Charnelton), Eugene, OR.  $5 admission.

Saturday, April 18, Workshops: Berber Shimmies, 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. – This fertility dance comes from the North-Eastern Algerian mountains of the Djurdura in the Kabylie region and is performed with a shawl while the dancer is doing very small and fast hip-shimmies during the whole dance. The shimmies and the trembling movements are related to pregnancy and fertility, because they help the pregnant women to give birth without too much pain. This dance is very relaxing, earthy and healing.

Dance of the Ouled Nayl, 1:00-3:00 p.m. – Algerian “Dancing Girls” of the Ouled Nayl tribe have fascinated and inspired the West for more than a century. They became known worldwide through western accounts by well-established writers, paintings by famous artists and a huge number of Colonial postcards. In the last 50 years their dance tradition has disappeared. The Nayli tradition consisted of learning the dance as a child from the mother. The girl would then leave her home at the onset of puberty, making her way to other oases in order to start a new life while traveling and performing, getting paid with jewelry and living the life of a courtesan. When she earned enough, she would return to her home oasis, look for a husband, marry and end her professional career, handing down her dancing skills to her own daughter.

Workshops held at Studio B, 189 W. 8th Ave. Check the events section of this web site, or http://tribes.tribe.net/medge, or contact Sally at 541-933-2052.

Click here for workshop registration form (Word document) or here for workshop registration form (pdf format) – deadline for early registration is April 10.

A native of Algeria, Amel Tafsout, whose name means “Hope of Spring”, is an acclaimed international choreographer, performer and master dance instructor of North African Maghreb Dance. She has mesmerized audiences in the Middle East and North Africa as well as in Europe, the U.S. and New Zealand.  For more information about Amel, please see her web site:  http://www.ameltafsout.com/