The Arts


Noor featured image

Reviewed by Paula Citron

Arabesque Dance Company and Orchestra
Choreographed by Yasmina Ramzy (with guests Valeria Scannura and Kranti)
Music direction and lead vocals by Bassam Bishara
Fleck Dance Theatre
Mar. 3 to 6, 2011

The Middle-East dance company Arabesque attracts enthusiastic audiences, and for good reason. Artistic director Yasmina Ramzy knows how to put on a good show, which includes interesting dance, fabulous music, and colourful costumes.

For Noor, Ramzy tried new things. For example, there was a delightful duet with Ramzy and Valeria Scannura, with each woman a mirror image of each other – Ramzy expressing identical movements in belly-dance, and Scannura in flamenco.

There were also choreographic experiments into muwashshahat – a vocal tradition that came out of Moorish Spain. And the Palestinian folk dance called dabki.

Amid these new ideas, remains the Egyptian tradition that is the anchor of Arabesque.

The importance that Ramzy places on music is also huge. The many excellent musical interludes in Noor showcased the talented members of the 11-member Arabic orchestra.

Ramzy is in the forefront of taking belly-dance out of the cabarets and nightclubs, and putting it on the mainstage.

Noor continues at the Fleck Dance Theatre until Sunday.

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