Workshops

Become a more expressive, musical, and engaging performer with Majda! With her decades of teaching and performance experience, Majda’s workshops will help you gain greater understanding of Middle Eastern music and culture, whether you are a dancer or a musician, a beginner or a seasoned pro.

Each of the workshops described below are pre-planned lessons that Majda has already conducted with much success. Majda takes pride in providing workshops that develop dancers both in technique and cultural awareness. If you do not see a workshop topic listed, Majda can custom design a workshop to meet your community’s needs.

Technique

10399146_630187387389_2033063_nSeeing Double – Double Veil Workshop

The veil is your dance partner, an extension of your dance. Dancing with the veil is an art to which strong foundations in belly dance and imagination play the most important role in mastering.

In Majda’s workshop, you will learn how to use your veil to its fullest capacity through various combinations and choreography, and also how to explore your own interpretations of the music with veil. Single and double veil techniques and combinations will be explored. Students should being a properly sized, semi circle or rounded rectangular set of veils. Recommended silk weight is 8 to 9 momme.

Please note: Although spinning technique with be introduced, this is not a spinning intensive workshop.

Shimmy Drills

Shimmies are the most fun part of belly dance, and they give you a workout! Come learn all the different types of shimmies to add to your belly dance repertoire from Majda Anwar. In this workshop, Majda will cover the wide range of shimmies in terms of musicality and layer work, with an emphasis on flawless technique.

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Drum Solo Construction Workshop with Majda Anwar

Drum solos are the heart and soul of all styles of belly dance. In this workshop, Majda will walk you through some of the essential showstoppers that will send your audience into a standing ovation! Clarity and preciseness of movement, building audience anticipation, and musicality are some of the essentials of a great drum solo. Particular attention will be paid to the usual framework of a drum solo, shimmy layering drills, and finale combos.

Roots and Connections of Egyptian Dance and Music: A Brief Primer

In this class, Majda wants to give a brief survey of what she learned and what she experienced in the Middle East for dance interpretation and style. The emphasis of the class will be how to choreograph and interpret a piece of Arabic music.

Combinations will be used as an example of Egyptian folkloric and Oriental flavor towards various genres of Egyptian music. Time permitting, Majda will have video of performances that she recorded during her trip to show and samples of music for students to hear and interpret. Any questions about Egyptian or Arabic culture, music, and arts are welcome. Majda will try to answer these questions as accurately as possible or provide resources that are much more knowledgeable than her about the impossibly vast and deep roots of Egyptian and Middle Eastern performing arts. Notes will be provided for the class.

Intro to Tribal Technique

In Tribal Basics, students will learn the foundation of A.T.S., or American Tribal Style form of belly dance. This style adapts styles from all over the Middle East, North Africa, and India. This class will focus on posture, technique and improvisational choreography, a trademark of the dance style.

Learning this new and innovative style of American created belly dance allows you to speak the language of dance to dancers throughout the United States. Majda Anwar is certified in FatChance BellyDance General Skills for American Tribal Style by Carolena Nereccio and encourages all students to follow Carolena’s DVD series on American Tribal Style.

12719580_513551462160313_7233703863360513989_oOriental Survey

In this class, Majda focuses on the Classic Egyptian style, teaching the essence of belly dance from the Golden Age of its artistry in the vibrant city of Cairo, Egypt. Not only will students learn the classical Egyptian style of belly dance, but they will also be informed of all the cultural aspects that surround the Egyptian Style including music, costuming, etiquette, and style. Egyptian style combos will be taught at the end of the session either focusing on a folkloric aspect of the style or a modern interpretation to the classical music.

Emoting to the Middle Eastern Music through Dance: An Exploration of the Maqamat (2 Hours)

In Middle Eastern music, musicians strive for Tarab, or “enchantment”, of the audience. The idea of Tarab spans all arts of the Middle East – including dance. In this workshop, Majda will introduce basic theory of the Middle Eastern Maqmat, or musical modes, in order for dancers to recognize the difference between the major modal families of maqamat. In addition to ear training and getting used to the quarter tone system that makes the maqamat unique, dancers will also be guided through how to emote these different modes. Guided interpretations of the music will help dancers meet the interpretive expectations of Middle Eastern audiences and also how to present Middle Eastern music to the non-Middle Eastern audience.

Awalim Photo Shoot Matt Odom 2009

Awalim Photo Shoot Matt Odom 2009

 

Choreography:

Naima’s Hip

Advanced drum solo featuring both Arabic style and American

Tribal Style based combinations; directional and foot patterns are challenging and fun.

“Missr!”

Advanced drum solo choreographed as a solo for Majda Anwar, advanced layer combinations are taught along with shimmy and paddle turn drills incorporation with musicality theory.

Sassy Saidii

This choreography is a short Oriental routine including folkloric steps as well as sassy, modern combinations. The Saiidi cane workshop includes historical and cultural background of Raqs al assaya and Tahtib.

 

 

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Music Classes:

As Majda has years of experience as a violinist, her interest in Middle Eastern music has lead her to spread the love! Each class is meant to be introductory in level to help Western style musicians become acclimated to the sounds of the Middle East. Music workshops for dancers will focus on zills, but also introductory music theory will be taught to help dancers communicate to musicians.

Zill Drill and Rhythms Teaser (4 Hours)

The Zill and Rhythms workshop helps students become better accustomed to playing with zills. The workshop also incorporates 5 to 6 major rhythms used in Middle Eastern dance and how to play these rhythms on the zills. Students are then given a short choreography to help identify proper movements to each rhythm. Majda will teach the rhythms on the tabla and will play during class for the choreography brainteasers. Event sponsor can ask for certain rhythms to be taught.

Drumming for Dancers (1.5 – 3 Hours)

If you’ve never picked up a drum, or have taken the cursory “whack” at it now and then, this workshop is for you! This class is an absolute introduction to the most basic concepts of drumming for  the dancer who wishes to begin her study of rhythm. We will begin with hand and body posture for the DUM, TEK, and KA sounds as played on the Doumbek and Tar/Frame Drum. We will then discuss useful musical concepts and practice several popular rhythms including the beledi family, chiftitelli, and others.

Percussion Ensemble (3 Hours)

In this class Majda will teach a percussion piece, Doroob, to showcase the possibilities associated with drumming to a live percussion ensemble. All drummers of any level are welcome to this workshop. Majda’s music professor in Cairo, Dr. Wael Mahallowy, wrote the piece, and Majda has since added choreography for dancers wishing to play complementary zills to the percussion.

Maqamat and Arabic Music Theory (2 Hours)

Meant as an absolute primer to Middle Eastern music, Majda will give a basic theory lesson to students in the class followed by taqsim (improvisation) exercises. Maqamat excluding quartertones will be taught to encourage musicians of any instrument to attend.

Arabic Music Ensemble (2 – 3 Hours)

In this class Majda will introduce a piece of Arabic music to students and rehearse it to memorization. The piece is taught both by listening and by sheet music if students can read music. Event sponsor may choose piece or ask for a certain type of piece from a region of the Middle East.

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