Archived Reviews:

About Amel Tafsout's first company: BANAT AS SAHRA:

"Unterstuetzt wurden die Dissidenten dabei von den stolzen und erhabenen Taenzerinnen der Gruppe Banat As Sahara (die Wuestentoechter), die eigens fuer dieses Konzert und fuer einen Auftritt in der "Angel Casa Show" in Spanien geplant worden waren,.... .Banat As Sahara annimierten das Publikum vollends zu ungestuemen Beifallbekundungen.Sodass kurzfristig ein Zusatzkonzert im prunkvollen Studio 54 angesetzt werden musste."Hollow SKAI, in Me/Sounds Jan.1986


"Die Motivation der Banat As Sahara liegt .... in der bewussten Reflexion der kulturellen Traditionen der arabischen Heimat (drei der fuenf Wuestentoechter stammen aus arabischen Laendern).Zwar traegt die Distanz zwischen dem Leben in Europa und dem Leben in der Heimat dazu bei, die traditionellen Taenze aufzugreifen, doch verkommen diese Darbietungen nicht in beschaulich nostalgischer Folklore.Die Entfernung zu Nordafrika laesst die eigene kulturelle Identitaet fragwuerdig werden als Abgrenzung zu europaeischen Kulturen und europazentrierter, nordafrikanischer Kultur." Klaus Mehnert in IKA , Germany,1985



'Her dances will dispel these misconceptions - simple, spiritual dances that emphasise the lyrical and celebratory aspects of an ancient art form.' MISS LONDON, 1990


'First gentle hand circle with light drops, soon the movement began to be more intense, leading to vivacious jumps, looking earthy and dignified, then a vibration followed making the whole body tremble. I thought: 'Here is she, the dancer of the Ouled Nayl, a dancer no longer existing, about who Amel has written. Amel appeared to me as the authentic great grandaughter of those proud Desert women, nevertheless performed by a modern woman who seems to have gone through a generation's span and who combines different worlds together.'S.M.WENZEL in HALIMA (a German Oriental Dance magazine),1994


'Desert Storm II : An accomplished dancer and scholar ... The Maghreb muse. A very worldly woman. Dance anthropologist and choreographer Amel TAFSOUT enacts 'Where Africa meets the Orient' METRO,Santa Cruz,USA,1996


'Amel (...) is disturbing. She does not easily fit the image of the Arab dancer and dance teacher, and eludes any attempt to nearly compartmentalise her: She looks Algerian, thinks Arab or African depending on how the mood takes her, feels a citizen of the world, moves easily between 4 languages, and dances so lightly, so effortlessly, you'd forgiven to think there was nothing to it.' SPARERIB, June 1990, London.


'Amel is not only a highly talented dancer, whose style exemplifies the strength , grace and beauty of the women of her culture, but also a singer, writer, a linguist and an authority on Arabic and Berber Women's studies. (...). She helped us to open up and enjoy ourselves. She tried to inspire in each of us (...) a feeling of personal power and a spiritual attitude which is essential to the dance.' by Helene,in HABIBI Magazine, Vol.16,no2,Santa Barbara, U.S.A.


'Dancer Amel had me mesmerised as she whirled and shimmied around the stage. By the end of the evening I was forced to conclude that she must have more joints than the rest of us, such was the fluidity and delicacy of her movements.'Sue Parish in OFF THE BEAT,Lancaster,Oct.1993


'The very skilled and well respected Amel Tafsout.' by Mohammed Hijazi, in the Arabic Newspaper EL HAYAT,London.1991


'She (Amel) performs a dance which does not recognise dividing lines between types of music and performance and which involves some degree of improvisation and spontaneous firing - off fro all involved. A dance involves (...) an approach which aligns itself more closely to flamenco, Indian and African dance ...'.M.TFOLK ROOTS,London.July 1994


'There was more dance from the Algerian-born but London based Amel TAFSOUT,who opened the evening.Always graceful, she nevertheless reflected the enormous energy and excitement of the strongly percussive music to add an extra dimension to a truly remarkable evening.' P.Rush in THE STAGE, Nov.1997.


'The second half consisted of Amel Tafsout.The scent of incense set the atmosphere of Arab spiritual dancing,especially "Nur El 'Ain" (Seing the Light )a tribute to those killed in Algeria that was very moving. Something I had never seen before was "Khamsa - the Dancing Hands" performed by Amel covered in a black veil, in total darkness, wearing fluorescent gloves that glowed eerily as her supple and expressive hands performed the most amazing movements. I am sure Amel is unique in her ability to spend an entire piece of music doing nothing but hand movements and keep the audience spell-bound throughout.' C.Maynes in MOSAIC Dance Magazine,1998


'But the real highlight of the day was the workshop and show by Amel Tafsout. She coaxed a large circle of adults and children to learn some basic steps and mime. The children thoroughly enjoyed themselves and performed the mime with great gusto. We wished the workshop could have lasted longer. (...) Amyl went to change and returned to the stage transformed in traditional dress - a wonderful, rich peacock blue and silver striped silk, her pantaloons were hand embroied by her mother as a young girl, bedecked with some very havy lookin silver jewellery and the piece de resistance, tribal tattoos. She looked absolutely stunning.(...) We were all treated to a rich tapestry of dances from Tunisia, Algeria and Syria - a huge variety of tempos, movements and moods, and all interpreted as only Amel can.'C.Maynes in MOSAIC,Spring 1999.


'In ihrem Auftritt erschien Amel TAFSOUT mit Kerzen in der Hand, so dass am Anfang nur das Licht zu sehen war. In ihrer Kostueme, mit ihren langen Haaren and schwarzen Augen strahlte sie positive Energie aus. Schon bald hatte sie die ganze Aufmerksamkeit dern Zuschauerinnen.Sie schenkte dem Publikum Blicke und Lache.Ihre Gestik versprach Heilung und mir Pantomime bettete sie,wusch sich, verteilte Brot, wobei das alles mit der Bewegung der Schultern, der Schwingung der Hueften, den Tanzschritten und spiralen Drehungen im sich veraendernden Rhythmus der Perkussion eine faszinierende Zelebration wurde.Es war duch Tanz ausgedruckte Lebensfreude.Die ueber hundert Zuschauerinnen, mindestens neunzig Prozent der Frauen waren begeistert.Auf Andringen der wegen dem Ausverkauf abgewiesenen Interessierten wurde die Vorstellung in gekuerzter Form wiederholt.Fuer diejenigen,welche sich gehen liessen, war es en Abend wie in guten, alten orientalischen Maerchen.'Ali Saabethe Kaindas,Zurick,Switzerland.July 1999.


"Watching a performance by Amel Tafsout is a cathartic experience.(...)She dances from the very core of herself. Sensuality is expressed as power and generosity. She has a direct stare, a presence that can come only from the true knowledge of herself and her art. She is a unique performer and there is no one else who dances like her." Beatrice Parwin, in Habibi,Vol.18,No 1 ,1999, Santa Barbara, USA


"Amel Tafsout, accompanied on drum by Salah-Dawson Miller, provided us with a third contrast in dance styles.The earthy rhythms of the drums and Amel's mesmeric hips and arms made you feel as though you were in a Berber's tent. I particularly enjoyed the scarf dance which gave Amel a magical look as though she was surrounded by a halo of swirling colours, emphasising her beautiful arm and hand movements. Amel has the ability to convey an incredible feeling of energy in her dancing - you could almost see the sparks flying from her hips. It makes it impossible to sit still when she's dancing - your feet twitch with the urge to join in.(...)"Afra Al Kahira,1999


"Since I have known Amel I have always been touched by her deep sincerity and authenticity, as a performer, teacher, and as a person. In her performances she draws upon the many facets of her personality and experience. In her workshops she shares her inspiration with a generosity of spirit, and is the most wonderful storyteller."

Nicola Taylor,Mosaic,Winter 2000.


All rights reserved - (c) Amel Tafsout

Website design by Owlkeyme Arts | Banner Photos by Aeden Kelly & Wick Sakat | Bio Photo by Carrie Meyer | The Dancer's Eye