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Ghawazee Intensive Workshop with Habiba
May 20 @ 11:00 am - 4:00 pm
I’m thrilled to be bringing in an expert on the dancing of the Ghawazee (althernate spelling Ghawazi) of Egypt. These traditional street performers of Egypt fascinated westerners for more than a century. Originally, ghawazee were street performers who danced all over Egypt. Edward Lane noted in his 1836 classic Manners and Customs of the Modern Egyptians that Egypt was celebrated for its public dancing girls, and that the ghawazee were the most famous of them. He mentions their “rapid vibrating motion of the hips from side to side” and, like many observers before and since then, speculated on their origins. Lane calls them “a distinct tribe”; many people believe that they are actually a tribe of Gypsies who migrated to Egypt long ago and settled there. When the public dancing girls were banned from Cairo in the mid-1800’s, many of the ghawazee dancers ended up in Upper Egypt, in the Luxor area. The most famous of the dancers were those of the Maazin family, called Banat Maazin (“daughters of Maazin”). The males of the family form the band that plays for the dancers, and the whole family is supported by the income from these performances.
Habiba has studied personally with Kairiyya Maazin and is eager to pass on what she has learned. Here’s what she will be covering:
-instruction in Ghawazi technique
-Ghawazi staging and working together in pairs
-lecture on history of Ghawazi
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