Dance Relevance:
It's time to go beyond Bellydance! With the enormous explosion of dance enthusiasm in the USA, it is often forgotten where the origin of this phenomenon occurred. Many dancers today do not know the ethnic origin, cultural context, social implications or national varieties of the dances they are performing. Often the lyrical content of each song is also unknown by the dancer. Few dancers know the inner workings and systems of the musical compositions they choreograph and perform to. These factors cause a huge homogenization, resulting in the artistic displacement of the art form. This Seminar gives the dancer the tools and knowledge needed to be a more informed presenter, as well as a more skilled performer and teacher. The instructors are either native primary sources, highly schooled professionals who have lived in Arab countries, or both. They will help each dancer unite the soul, brain and body to create the true authentic dance.

Societal Relevance:
Arab culture has always been a fascination for Westerners. The Orientalist painters of the 17 and 18th centuries like Gerome and Delacroix were obsessed with the street market and household scenes of Arab lands. Currently, modern singers like Beyonce, Sting, Jay-Z and Shakira use the melodies and rhythms on their CDs and dance moves in their videos. Every major college and university teaches Arabic language, and has a Middle Eastern Studies department. But this fascination occurs with a simultaneous fear and paranoia. There is an ongoing media pre-occupation with the political and military turmoil in the Arab world. The Arabs have been designated as the antagonists in a proposed "clash of civilizations." There is no Arab in America that does not experience some type of political existence by default (even while simply dancing or singing). And now we are in the ongoing Arab Spring, where many countries are undergoing revolution, uprising, civil war and regime change. It is our belief that the study of dance and music can humanize the study of Arab culture and people. The enjoyment and cultural knowledge gained from the study and practice of human arts can dissolve the fictitious Arab-West dichotomy.

The Arab Dance Seminar was a fantastic experience. I felt that it caused a quantum leap in my understanding of the dance and the music, and made me a better dancer. There's no substitute for cultural context. This is the real deal!
- Leela Corman, NYC (student Fall 2007)

I attended Karim's Arab Dance Seminar in Nov 2006 in New Haven CT. I flew all the way from San Jose, CA to attend the seminar, and it was definitely worth the trip, the expense and more. I had already studied Egyptian dance with Nourhan Sharif for a few months, and had attended a very brief workshop with Karim in San Francisco, so I had a little background on the subject, but honestly I think I learned more in the 48 hours or so of that workshop than I had in about 8 years of studying "belly dance" in California with various relatively experienced & knowledgeable dance teachers. I found all of the seminar faculty extremely knowledgeable, talented, sincere, and inspiring. In fact I was so inspired by Kay Hardy Campbell's stories of the Saudi women's music ensembles and her own oud playing at the seminar that I came back to CA, found an oud and a local teacher, and have since joined an Arabic music class and ensemble, which I performed with for the first time this summer. I can honestly say my life has taken a whole new direction that it never would have otherwise, because of the contacts I made and the knowledge I gained at that seminar (I always remember the malfouf from Karim's rhythm class!). On top of that, it was great fun, every moment was interesting and mentally & physically challenging. The other students were very nice, interesting and intelligent people and I have stayed in touch with some of them since then. Honestly, I would go again to this year's seminar, but I've already used up all my vacation time for the year. If you are the slightest bit interested in the dance and music of the Arab world, by all means go and take advantage of this fabulous program!
- Suzanne Cuzio, Santa Cruz California (student Fall 2006)

I found it wonderful to be able to spend a weekend with a number of instructors that are so knowledgeable in their areas of teaching. The whole Arab Dance Seminar experience made me more excited about Arab dance and culture than I had ever been before. Its well-organized program allowed me to focus on specific topics which led to a deeper appreciation and knowledge about the art form and culture as well as recognize its great diversity. Most importantly, by being exposed to topics such as musicality, rhythms and language my interest was sparked so that since my Arab Dance Seminar experience I have continued to learn about these topics.
- Megan Kent, Saskatoon Canada (student Fall 2006 and Spring 2007)

I left Refreshed and Re-inspired! a truly unique worthwhile experience to gain knowledge and insight into the music and the dance and the culture behind it from well those that are immersed in it in an intimate setting. The team of instructors are impeccable and fascinating and the musicians wow!
- Yasmine, North Carolina (student Spring 2007)

I went to the Arabic Dance Seminar knowing it was going to be a great experience but it completely exceeded my expectations. It was fantastic to study with people who know and understand the roots of Arabic music and dance and who are able explain the cultural context. It was also an opportunity to study topics that are not commonly taught in other dance events like Maghrebi, Zaar or Beduin dances. Every teacher made an effort to explain not only the steps but the meaning, context and feeling of the dances being taught. It is certainly a unique opportunity to go back to the core of the dance forms we study and love so much.
- Andrea Novoa, Las Vegas (student Fall 2008)

The ARAB DANCE SEMINAR (November 7-9, 2014 session) is the first repeating event of its kind in America. All previous 10 Seminars since November 2005 have sold out with maximum attendance. This is the first time the Seminar is being held in ALBUQUERQUE New Mexico, USA. The goal of this intensive weekend of workshops, lectures, performances and dance parties is to give the student a comprehensive Arab cultural dance experience. Going beyond nebulous "Bellydance" or generic "Middle Eastern" categories, the Seminar puts all the skills, techniques and practices back into their cultural contexts. The Arab world, home of over 20 countries in 4 zones (North Africa, Egypt, Near East/Levant, and The Gulf) is the origin and breeding ground for multiple styles and practices with a common language and aesthetic. This Seminar helps clarify and illuminate that tradition.

The Arab Dance Seminar is created for people with a minimum of 2 years dance experience. The faculty seeks to give every student the authentic techniques, choreographies, and comprehension of Arab dance. Every dancer will take every workshop and lecture; there is no layered scheduling that forces the student to choose between classes. The Music classes will be taught using generic language that is understandable to non-musicians. The student will be provided with study sheets and recordings that reflect the curriculum. Every dancer will leave the Seminar with new routines to perform and teach, plus a responsible cultural understanding of the dance and music.

Although there is an academic and ethnographic emphasis, there are neither desks nor computer stations. The student will learn by dancing, moving, singing, clapping and sweating. It is an active seminar where the goal is to physically practice the subjects, and to retain new knowledge for future performances and teaching.

2014 Special focal topic:
How Politics, The Law, and Social Codes Affect Dance in the Arab World

Every session of the Arab Dance Seminar has a different focal topic, to help make each year unique. The November 2014 Albuquerque Arab Dance Seminar will focus on Politics. It is impossible to ignore the fact that the Arab World is perpetually in the news. It is the constant political activity, and ongoing conflicts, that make the Arab world so newsworthy. But the news is for people in "the rest of the world" to observe and consume. In truth, these political situations have a more imminent affect on the locals; the people living, working and DANCING in the Arab world. How has the practice of dance, and the life of dancers, been affected by politics ? How does living in wartime, occupation, revolution, and the resulting political and social upheaval in a country, influence the art of dance? We will study how the resulting social codes, legal or cultural, can affect everything from how a dancer dresses, how they move, where they are allowed to perform, and what audience settings are permitted. And finally, we can observe how dance artists use their creative power to interpret, or change, their political environment.

NOVEMBER 7th till 9th, 2014
FRIDAY 4pm till SUNDAY 4pm
Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA

Albuquerque Convention Center "Ruidoso" room
401 2nd Street, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA.

(all classes and events, 20 hours) : $290

*** SOLD OUT ***
We only allow 45 registrations, paid in advance, and NO walk-ins.
For all 10 previous Seminars we have SOLD OUT months in advance.

The registration fee does not include lodging or food, only classes.

We have a discounted room block at the adjacent Doubletree Hotel.
After you register, you will receive the hotel discount code.
(You have no obligation, you may lodge wherever you want.)

We will NOT sell any individual classes nor individual days,
we will only sell registrations for the entire full seminar.

For any additional info, please contact KARIM NAGI at arabdanceseminar(at)

schedule subject to adjustment
schedule FRIDAY acc ruidoso room SATURDAY cc ruidoso room SUNDAY cc ruidoso room
9am - - - - khaliji kay arabic for dance
10am - - - - khaliji kay arab rhythms
11am - - - - khaliji kay teachers' forum
noon - - - - BREAK BREAK
1pm - - - - maghrebi amel dance concert
2pm - - - - maghrebi amel dance concert
3pm registration maghrebi amel zaar & hadara
4pm history all teachers BREAK - - - -
5pm songs all teachers egyptian aisha - - - -
6pm maqam karim egyptian aisha - - - -
7pm dabke karim egyptian aisha - - - -

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KARIM NAGI: Seminar Organizer, Arabic Music, Near East Dance :

Karim Nagi is a native Egyptian drummer, DJ, and folk dancer. He has recorded 10 CDs, 5 DVDs and has performed on 5 continents. He is the creator of Turbo Tabla, and has released three internationally distributed CDs of this unique brand of Arab House/Electronica using acoustic instruments. Karim has authored instructional DVDs for the Tabla/Doumbek, Riqq tambourine, Maqam, Drum Solo, and Arab Folk Dance. He is also well versed in the ultra-traditional styles of music and dance as the leader of the Sharq Arabic Music Ensemble, and the Arab Dance Seminar. Karim performs and teaches Tahteeb Cane Dance, Dabka Line Dance, and Zikr Sufi Dance. He taught at the New England Conservatory of Music for 5 years, and has lectured and presented at Harvard, MIT, Yale, Bowdoin, Princeton, Stanford, William & Mary, and several Community Colleges. He has recorded music for Bellydance Superstars, Bellyqueen, and the Bellytwins, as well as mainstream artists like Alicia Keys, and The Urban Griot Project. His performances boast a dynamic concoction of live drumming and dance, done in unison. Because of his proficiency in both music and dance, his workshops deliver students to a new physical understanding of the connection between these two disciplines. As a dance and drum teacher, Karim has taught in nearly all major bellydance festivals in the United States and Cairo, as well as all major Arab Culture festivals in the USA. Karim Nagi is a true crossover artist, uniting the Cabaret and Tribal, Traditional and the Modern, the Ethnic and the Urban.


AMEL TAFSOUT: Maghreb, North African and Berber Dance :

Amel Tafsout will seem to you like a voyager between countries, culture and languages. Having worked and lived all over the world, unsurprisingly, migration has been a constant theme in Tafsout's work. Her name means 'Hope of Spring', and she is among the most charismatic and acclaimed professional world performers and master dance instructors of North African traditional and contemporary Maghreb Dance of our time. With an M.A degree in Sociolinguistics and research in dance anthropology, Tafsout is keenly aware of the impact culture has in the art of dance. Raised in Algeria among the finest traditional dancers and musicians. Tafsout was fascinated by dance and music as a small child. While traveling the globe as an adult, she studied dances of her neighboring countries as well as Middle Eastern, European folk, African and Afro-Cuban dances. In her early twenties Tafsout moved to Germany where she founded the Pan Arabic dance company 'Banat As Sahra'. In the late 80s Tafsout moved to London, U.K. where she taught and performed at various dance and music festivals and founded 'The Tafsoutettes' Dance company. While currently performing and teaching worldwide Amel is living in the U.S.A. Tafsout has lectured, danced, taught, sung and conducted anthropological research in many countries. She also published many articles related to dance and Maghreb women in academic and popular magazines. Her research focuses on the Ritual in Maghreb dances as well as looking at dance as a healing form. She uses her expertise to teach master classes in dance, drumming and singing for students from various countries and backgrounds. Her progressive style of teaching, enhances the spontaneous fusion between dance and music, sound and vision.


AISHA ALI: Egyptian Dance and Folklore :

Aisha Ali has contributed to the field of dance as a performer, teacher, filmmaker, choreographer and producer of audio recordings. Born in the United States of Egyptian Italian heritage, Ali spent many years doing independent research in Egypt and North Africa, collecting folkloric traditions that were fast disappearing. Six CD's and five DVDs have been released from her collection, which includes two award-winning documentaries. She plans to release her latest documentary, "A Wedding in Luxor" which features Nawar musicians later this year, and will publish additional recordings of Egyptian folk music from Upper Egypt that span 40 years and will illustrate the ongoing stability of the genre. For many years, Aisha wrote articles for Arabesque magazine about her experiences in the Middle East and for Habibi Magazine until 2005. At present she contributes to Belly Dance Raqs Sharqi Magazine. She has written text for the JVC/Smithsonian Anthology of World Music and Dance, and the Oxford University Press published her articles and photographs about Algerian dance and the Ouled Na'il in the International Encyclopedia of Dance. In 1993 Aisha was the Middle Eastern soloist at the opening of the Los Angeles Festival, at which time impresario, Peter Sellers, announced her as "a national treasure". Over the years she has served as a panelist for the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival auditions, and in1997 was honored at an International Conference on Middle Eastern Dance. Dr. A.J. Racy nominated her for the Dance Heritage Coalition list of "America's Irreplaceable Dance Treasures". She continues to conduct workshops and seminars throughout the world and teaches ongoing classes in Los Angeles. When she is not dancing, she is an Orientalist painter.


KAY HARDY CAMPBELL: Khaligi, Gulf, and Bedouin Dance and Music :

Kay has taught Gulf (Khaliji) women's folkloric dances for more than three decades. After earning a BA in Arabic and Middle Eastern Studies, Kay lived in Saudi Arabia for several years, learning the dances at women's wedding parties and in the homes of Saudi friends. She also began writing articles about traditional culture and has written extensively about the music and folkdance of the Middle East. She has returned to Saudi Arabia three times on assignment for Saudi Aramco World Magazine. Kay also plays the 'ud and helps direct the Arabic Music Retreat. While she doesn't perform Khaliji as a soloist, Kay choreographs for dance troupes and her students. Known as a "teacher's teacher," Kay aims to share her knowledge of dance, music and culture with generosity, and is delighted when her students experience the joyous aspects of traditional Arabian culture first hand through music and dance.