Middle Eastern Moods
Santa Fe, NM—1/27/96
by Sally Elgin and Jon Bedford
Middle Eastern Moods, Joan Kafri’s annual show to start off the new
year, teamed Joan with Atnaya, Sakti and Travis in a concert of new work
inspired chiefly by contemporary Middle Eastern music and played to a
Travis was accompanied by Polly Ferber’s drum ensemble, playing a
variety of tempos and percussion instruments. Travis added rhythms with
her zills as her assuit beledy dress sparkled and accentuated an
exciting variety of classic belly dance movements, climaxing in a zar
and final drop to the stage.
“The Middle Sea Trio,’ David Bilides on kaval and baglama, Polly Ferber,
percussion, and Kathryn Stately, vocals, accompanied Travis’s second
set. Dancing in a elegant peach colored costume, she included a
beautiful routine with a veil which looked as if it were made of
moonbeams. She finished with a rousing Armenian dance.
Dancing to modem Egyptian music, Sakti was next with her distinctive
crisp and dramatic choreography. She set the stage ablaze with the
glitter of her latest Cairo costume. Sakti’s second dance opened with a
chorus of “oohs and aahs” from the audience as the lights revealed her
in red glittering beads. She danced a routine that she also taught in
her workshop the next day, and was a big hit. In the second half of her
set, she used a cane with folk style steps.
Special guest Anne Hitchcock’s superb presence and her 1800’s style
costume, along with her sinuous arm and body movements, created a
hypnotic mood. Anne’s dance evoked the older more earthy styles of Belly
Joan Kafri’s Greek style dance, with layers of shimmering skirts and
beaded scarves flashing, matched her masterfully choreographed folk
style routine - a real crowd pleaser. Joan’s second set began with her
lyrically floating a long silk veil. Her costume was purple and gold and
winking like stars, a lovely effect. Her routine then took a traditional
turn and she finished with veil flying and the audience clapping for
Joan Kafri is sponsoring a Middle Eastern Dance Camp/Workshop in Israel
on October 11-21. Instructors are Elena, Sakti, Shlomo Haziz (of Israel)
Amaya danced with her characteristic flair for the dramatic and supreme
assurance, in a beautiful glittering red dress with a beaded belt. She
moved into a veil section and a slow routine ending with the audience in
the palm of her hand. Her second set was a masterfully done fusion of
Flamenco and Middle Eastern, which is why she calls her dance Andalusian.
Midway through she disappeared and returned without the Flamenco skirt,
elapsing into a fine drum solo finish.
The evening ended with the audience participating in a line dance to
celebrate a great performance.
(The Crescent Moon, Middle Eastern Dance News &
Reviews: May-June 1996, Volume 3, Issue 3)
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