Our resident archivist travels to spend time with bands every year. There’s new music in the region. You ready for it? Let’s explore…
From Andinha: It’s important to keep up with what is going on in the Middle East and Africa as well as the international communities where people from the region are residing. This is where you’re going to find the root of the dance you love as well as its development. This is to what producers in the dance world need to be paying attention.
Recently, I included in a show review examples of what is popular in the region or what is being celebrated. I don’t see enough of this in the United States’ cultural dance communities. I see it only in our international circle, nations specific community centres and that one time a year that a generous donor partners with an incredible producer and brings bands from back home on tour ([Cheb] Khaled, Hakim, etc.). Groups like A-Wa are currently touring. Balkan Beat Box is their producer? That’s what I heard on a radio interview. I’ve seen BBB as well years ago. I remember spending, like, the last $40 I had on me to get a ticket to their show because it was so important for me.
It’s rare that I find regional music and learning about the cultures that make-up raqs sharqi of no interest to dancers. Most Middle East dance enthusiasts want this music. They don’t want to be “behind” the times. Take a moment to hear the newest and latest music in the region. Encourage your friends to evolve with it. Reach out to these bands, become a fan, learn their backgrounds and what dances they would do with their music. Ask them to come and perform if you can. Be involved with the actual region you’re representing as ambassadors through dance. Here’s my latest fav… A-WA band.
Thanks for reading! Thanks Andinha for keeping us up-to-date.