Why Oriental Contemporary?


The title of this article and the name of my style of dance was put to me by a student of mine at the end of a class I was giving. She said, "Rachida, this is not just bellydance, what you do is oriental contemporary!"

Since then I've adopted this name for what I do. I began to mix different techniques spontaneously as I was learning them and it was more a bodily and expressive need than an intentional idea to innovate. At that time I took classical, jazz and contemporary classes to compensate the work of oriental dance, a work that is characterized by its sinuous movements, isolations, work of the internal musculature and feminine energy. Working with the corporal lines of classical and jazz and integrating the play of weight and impulses of contemporary dance, helped me to find a new way to express myself and also to feel. Now I realize that in a world in constant change, you can also change your needs and your way of expressing yourself.

contemporary oriental dance zürich

The new generations of oriental musicians and artists don't hesitate to integrate Western instruments or mix genres in their creations like jazz, rock, hip-hop or classical music, and I wonder, why oriental dance can't do it?

When we talk about Raks Sharki or Raks al Asaya we know perfectly what we're going to dance and the music that we're going to use. Instead what I try to offer in my workshops are tools to be able to work the movement from another perspective and be able to invent and reinvent ourselves when we're dancing, without leaving aside the essence of oriental dance.

Maybe the fact that I'm the daughter of immigrants who grew up between two cultures is why I do what I do today with my artistic expression.

If you're interested and you'd like to deepen your experience of movement and emotion, I look forward to seeing you in my workshop!!


Oriental dance gives us subtleties, sensuality, delicacy, feminine energy and a meticulous work of the internal musculature. Jazz and contemporary offer us a work with wider movements, more lines and changes in weight, which by the force involved and the amplitude of movements, counteracts and complements the work of oriental dance.

After a good warm-up, we’ll work on the relationship with the ground and how we can use it in our choreographic compositions. The ground has always been represented as mother earth, a fertile place, a place to lay the foundations for growth. We’ll gently begin to work the energy involved in the ground with a small choreographic sequence.

We’ll also work the line and the curve, contraction and expansion, sustained and sudden time, to give more strength to our expression. The line offered by jazz technique, impulses and games with the weight of contemporary dance will help us to enrich our repertoire of movement. With diagonals we’ll break the line of work to give the body a rest, and we’ll finish the workshop with a small choreography where everything we’ve learnt during the workshop will come together.


Oct 6, 2018 // 13:30 – 15:30
Level: from Intermediate - advanced // Price: 60 CHF // Language: English