Esraa Warda is a North African performance and teaching artist originally from Algeria. Having grown up between Brooklyn and Algeria, she was introduced to dance within informal women's spaces and weddings and was quickly acknowledged as a talented dancer within her community and family. She now professionally teaches and performs Moroccan Chaabi and other Algerian dances such as Rai, Chaoui, Kabyle, and Allaoui. Her dance style and teaching methods are non-commercial and focused on the "transmission" of body knowledge mirroring the same way she learned - through informal women's dance circles. Her dance principles focus on legacy and cultural preservation that we should leave behind dance artistry that is valuable to the transformation and evolution of culture.
Esraa’s artistic pedagogy is centered around politicising cultural work to keep North African dance technique authentic (and African-centered!) in the face of cultural imperialism/appropriation. She continues to perform at dozens of local Moroccan traditional gatherings and cultural festivals, political festivals such as the May Day Festival of Resistance, and at transnational feminist events such as the Havana Habibi Festival in Cuba. She routinely curates and coordinates cultural events highlighting the musical link between different African diasporic communities in effort to emphasize the global “African-ness” that underlines our cultures. Esraa will be hosting dance and music workshops in Morocco in Spring 2019 as her “Roots and Rhythms” initiative and continues to travel around the US and Europe to teach, perform, and share her pedagogy. She also runs grassroots political African centric and anti-colonialist artistic projects around New York, such as the North African Radical Education Project and The Chaâb Lab, an Algerian/Moroccan music ensemble that uses participatory performances to engage African diasporic communities in cultural solidarity.
COMMUNICATION WITH SELF & SISTERS: DANCING CHAABI IN COMMUNITY
Chaabi means "of people" or "popular" - therefore this genre of North African music is meant to be a communal social dance. Socially, the 2 most important characteristics of chaabi are 1) most North African women don't dance alone, they dance amongst other women. 2) Chaabi is 100% improvisation. What makes a great dancer is not only one who has great grooves, but also one who knows how to allow their heart speak through their body. This workshop is about "communicating" both to yourself and to other women dancing around you. This will be about transition from technique to "real world dance circles". This class essentially preps you for dancing at a women's gathering, wedding, or party in a culturally respectful and fun way.
Level: open // Price: 50 CHF // Language: English
Reduced price for all 3 workshops Saturday 27th October: 170 CHF instead of 190 CHF
Reduced price for all 5 workshops: 270 CHF instead of 330 CHF
Places are limited. Payment is due once you have received confirmation of your place in a workshop.