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Photo: Samira Hafezi
About the company:
Arabesque Dance Company & Orchestra is a leading Middle Eastern dance and music ensemble and unique in the world. The company consists of 17 female and male dance artists trained in 14 different styles of Middle Eastern dance led by Yasmina Ramzy and 11 acoustic musicians led by Bassam Bishara. The company tours internationally and has staged eight major full-scale productions featuring both traditional and ground breaking, innovative choreographies and musical compositions. Arabesque has received numerous awards for artistic excellence, the innovative choreographies and rich acoustic music have the ability to move the audience to tears, or to their feet dancing with joy. The company has garnered rave reviews for its integrity, authenticity and emotionality, offering a one-of-a-kind, original production experience.
About the choreographer:
Yasmina Ramzy is a choreographer and visionary committed to the expression of belly dance as high art. Since 1981, she spent the first 15 years performing throughout the Middle East for royalty and heads of state, then founded the critically acclaimed Arabesque Dance Company and Orchestra, Arabesque Academy and the International Bellydance Conference of Canada (IBCC). She received her key training in early 1980s from leading masters in Egypt and Syria including Aida Nour of the Reda Troupe and Mohammed Khalil, director of the National Folklore Troupe of Egypt. Her unique and highly creative choreographies have won numerous awards and commissioned by many dance ensembles internationally including the Bellydance Superstars. Today, she regularly performs, teaches and lectures in over 60 cities on five continents. Yasmina has produced seven instructional and eight performance DVDs as well as seven CDs for Arabesque Orchestra. The "Ask Yasmina" column published in the world’s largest belly dance magazine, The Gilded Serpent, is translated to several languages. Bravo TV says she "has taken belly dance to another level," and the Globe and Mail says that "she will go down in history as having redeemed belly dance."
Follow Yasmina Ramzy on Twitter.
"Jamra" is Arabic for "embers," the heat at the centre of a fire when the flames have disappeared. Raw abandon is the theme for Arabesque's newest production. Seventeen gutsy and passionate dance artists, led by Yasmina Ramzy, are accompanied by a live 12-piece Arabian orchestra alongside the rich voice of Bassam Bishara. Deriving unique essences from the nomadic and gypsy people of Egypt, Turkey, North Africa, Iran and Lebanon, Arabesque swirls together colour, archetypal imagery and ancient sounds to express vibrant life and the raw energy that creates it.
"Arresting imagery... seduces completely." − The Globe and Mail