Dearest readers, we are absolutely thrilled to present the first in our series of interviews with the inspirational movers, shakers, and beautiful dance-makers that inspire us.
We have had the opportunity to study with and learn from some amazing people over our collective decades of dance, and one reason why we started this blog is so that we could share some of their wisdom with you through blog posts, dance inspiration, and one-on-one interviews. Our first interview subject is none other than the master teacher, researcher, writer, dancer, and all-around amazing woman, Morocco!
Morocco is considered a leading performer and authority in her field in the U.S., Canada and abroad, evidenced by frequent invitations to teach master seminars and perform in Germany, Sweden, Norway, Austria, Switzerland, Finland, Holland, Luxembourg, Australia, Israel, Malaysia, Brazil, the UK, Slovenia, the Czech Republic, Panama, Italy, Greece, Morocco, Turkey, China and Egypt. She is a member of the Congress on Research in Dance (C.O.R.D.), the Society of Dance History Scholars (S.D.H.S.), the International Coucil on Dance – UNESCO (C.I.D.) and the International Council on Health, Physical Education Sport & Dance – UNESCO (ICHPER-SD).
And that’s not even the half of it…
Morocco will be visiting Vancouver, BC from April 21-23 to bring us the very first workshops and lectures for her new book, “The Fundamental Movement Vocabulary of Raqs Sharqi“. Want to know more? Read on! Workshop information is after the interview below…
Enjoy Part 1 of Angelina’s 3-part interview with Morocco!
Angelina: Hello Aunt Rocky! For those who may not know, or those just getting to know you, would you tell us a bit about your work and life in the world of dance?
Morocco: Been there for real, done that (& that & that & that, too!), wrote the 1st book (about *what* it really is, culturally), this is the 2nd book (about what the authentic movement vocabulary is & how to do those movements correctly – exactly what this seminar is all about!!), starring in my own reality show & hoping to be able to tell DarnOld Adolf Trumpler “You’re FIRED!!! Screening the T-shirts as I type this…
(Read Rocky’s full bio here)
A: You have a new book coming out soon! Tell us all about it!
M: “The Fundamental Movement Vocabulary of Raqs Sharqi” is an illustrated syllabus of the *correct* Raqs Sharqi movement vocabulary with progressive illustrations of *how* to do those basic movements *properly*.
(You then take those basic movements & put them together in a way that shows the beauty of the music in its own proper “language”)
I wrote it because over the years a tremendous amount of random movements from other dance forms or incorrect & even injurious ways of doing those movements have found their way into it – kind of like sneaking Tap movements into Flamenco or vice-versa: after all, it’s *only* rhythmical foot slapping, no?!?
No. But you already know that …
Serious Oriental dancers want to know what’s what because in order to speak/ write/ express onself in any language, spoken or danced, one must know the letters of its “alphabet” and how they are put together to form phrases, sentences, poems, stories. The dance uses those movements to weave its beautiful picture & incorrect movements can be jarring (or even culturally insulting) … like going way off key in an aria…
If one chooses to do Fusion, one really should be “fluent” in the specific “languages” being fused – it’s not just putting random twitches in a pot & stirring.
A: Vancouver gets to be the first to experience the teaching material based on the book. Could you describe what we can expect to do/learn in the workshops and lectures?
M: We’ll start with the very basics (the perfect warmup/ barre) going from the larger, more external movements to the smaller, more internal ones.
The lectures will cover that, what we know so far about culture & history, folklore & fakelore, real information & disinformation. Bring your questions …
A: Your study of Raqs Sharqi has spanned over 50 years, and your first-hand experience of the cultures is one of many reasons why so many people respect your work. Are there any traditions, cultures, or countries that you have yet to experience that you would like to know more about? Any places or dances still on your “to do” list?
M: There were, but the current state of ongoing conflict & annihilation have pretty much destroyed that possibility. Don’t get me started on this horrendous (& steadily worsening) state of affairs.
To be continued…
Part 2 of our 3-part interview with Morocco is coming soon! Stay tuned for more!
Want to study with Morocco in Vancouver this Spring? You can!
These workshops and lectures run from April 21-23 at the Firefighter’s Hall in Burnaby BC, and are a valuable opportunity for dancers of any style to expand and refine their knowledge of this rich, beautiful dance form.
Morocco is proudly presented by Azrakesh – a local dancer and producer (check out her amazing shows 4 times per year at Seven Lounge in Vancouver) who is so happy to be hosting Aunt Rocky in Vancouver yet again!
Registration opens December 1st with some amazing Early Registration discounts! Due to the cumulative nature of this immersive weekend, single-day registration is not currently available.
December 1-3 ONLY: Registration is just $250 CDN ($200 USD) Save $100!
December 4 – January 31: Register for $300 CDN ($240 USD) Save $50!
February 1 – April 20: Regular pricing at $350 CDN ($280 USD)
* Pricing does not include Paypal fees. E-transfer is also accepted.*
**Please note that while registration is non-refundable, it is transferable to another participant if you can no longer attend.**
Contact Azrakesh at firstname.lastname@example.org for registration info and details, or find more information about the workshops on Facebook.
To learn more about the marvelous meanderings of Morocco, her work, life, and upcoming events, visit her site.