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Amel Tafsout in Performance - DVD
Amel has a DVD which is a collection of her performances. There are examples of a great variety of styles to learn from here; including Moroccan Shaabi, Algerian Shaabi, Abdoui, Andalousian Zendali scarf dance, Rai, the energetic Tunisian horse dance and poetic mime.
You can purchase the DVD and pay via PayPal below or contact me for details
The DVD features:
1. Amel Tafsout in Performance Inroduction
2. Early Concert Performances Selected Dances
3. "Holy Smoke, Holy Harmonies" ITV Program - London, UK - Moroccan Shaabi
4. "The Late Show" BBC2 - London, UK - Berber 'Abdaoui Dance
5. Where Africa Meets the Orient - Santa Cruz, CA, USA 1997 - Ritual Story to Drumming Solo
6. Santa Cruz 1996 - Song - Sidi Mansour
7. Santa Cruz 1998 - Candle Light Dance / Algerian Shaabi / Drum Solo
8. Oasis Dance Camp - Seattle, WA, USA, 2000 - Nayali and Mime
9. Oasis Dance Camp - Seattle, WA, USA, 2000 - Berber Blues
10. Spirit of the Tribes - Ft. Lauderdale, FL, USA, 2000 - Andalusian Scarf Dance and Rai Interpretation
11. Women of Algiers - Dusseldorf 2003
12. Orientalia Festival - Miami, FL, USA, 2004 - Horse Dance
13. Oasis Dance Camp - Seattle, WA, USA, 2005 - Dance and Emotions
14. Festival of Oriental Dance - Interpretation of "Majunun Leyla" - Minneapolis, MN, USA, 2006
15. Amel Tafsout in Performance - Credits - "Sans Etiquette" Dance Festival - ICA Venue, London, UK
DVD is $40 + $6 shipping domestic or + $15 for international.
"Amel Tafsout in Performance - A DVD review by Beatrice Parvin" :
The erotic is always a part of the dance, but there is a way to present it that does not cheapen it, but you can respect it and respect yourself and it becomes an art form.
So says Amel Tafsout, one of the most charismatic performers of Oriental dance in our time, describing her feelings towards a dance form she so passionately cares about.
You would think that someone of her international reputation would by now have a stream of DVDs behind her. But because Amel has always been busy performing and has been in such demand as a teacher, there has been little time to stop and reflect. Thankfully at long last this compilation of a few of her electric live performances has arrived prompted by the recent death of her sister, Assia, and also to leave a gift for future generations of dancers to be inspired from.
In the mid to late 90's I was lucky enough to see many of her dance and live music shows that inspired me so much I had to learn myself. She was accompanied always by Salah Dawson Miller on pecurssion, with perhaps among others such as Dhafer from Zyriab, Aziz ben Salim, Justin Adams, Joe Townsend and Paul Clarvis. Amel would enter resplendent in North African costume and captivate the audience with her fluid and complex arm and hip movements. She belonged there, on stage, with a rare other-worldly presence in total command of the space around her.
There are examples of a great variety of styles to learn from here; including Moroccan Shaabi, Algerian Shaabi, Abdoui, Andalousian Zendali scarfe dance, Rai, the energetic Tunisian horse dance and poetic mime. The music she chooses to dance to ranges from the powerful, joyful and tragic. She moves from the profound and moving candle dance; an acapella by Houria Aicha, that Amel dedicated to the victims of the Algerian civil war to the joyful Algerian Shaabi piece; Nafrahlu-leedi, to an earthy and humorous drum solo with Salah in Santa Cruz. Amel constantly surprises us with an apparent finale then returns to dance, completely at one with the rhythm. Amongst the earlier performances Africa 95 festival is a fantastic example of Chaoui call and response singing, and transports us to the Aures mountains. Die Orientale dance festival of the same year is a stunning example of Amel's flowing style and mythical hand technique.
There is a beautiful clip Where Africa meets the Orient 97 , beginning on the floor in a ritual story telling. She then rises and brings to life an enormous blue gauzy veil. Amel's style incorporates few stops and breaks. The drama is in the whole dance, variation of expression is expressed in dramatic use of sharp hip, chest and hand movements contrasted with soft mellifluous arms and hands.
The Late Show clip reveals how the feet are important in creating the movements of the hips. She is very economical in her movements, her energy is very contained and so all the more powerful for it. This is more apparent on each viewing and there always more things to discover, for example the 6/8 - Haddawi you can see some stunning travelling eights combined with her ever curling hands. Another delight is the scarf dance Hawabnawita, with her own singing. We can see it with all its possibilities followed by a lovely Rai sequence. Her hands and arms continually swirl and twist to flatter the ebb and flow of her eights and circles.
Amel is also a visual artist expressing this through her striking costumes, which she uses with great effect to enhance her dancing.
The clips are a kaleidoscope of colour and a feast for all those who adore traditional North African costume. She shows the beauty and elegance of the Maghreb style in all its grandeur and magnificence. She actually travels through different colour phases, we see electric blues, silvers, purples, black with canary yellow, sky blue and apple greens, vermillion and crimson. She is currently in her yellow and orange phase!
We are taken inside a tinted 19th century postcard that magically comes to life. Amel dances, spectacularly adorned in Nayli costume surrounded by carpets and artefacts from a bazaar of yesteryear. This leads to my personal favourite Berber Blues. This is Amel dancing at her best, full of joy, improvising through the different traditional styles of her country. She jumps from bird movements to horse steps, Kabyl style shimmies and then curling Andalous hands and arms.
Another highlight is the exciting horse dance from east Algeria at the Orientalia Festival, Miami. The costume is in divine burnt oranges and browns reminiscent of a Leon Bakst design come to life as the wind whips her veils as she jumps and twists with the vibrant movements of the Tunisian style. Again you can see how Amel uses her feet with great dexterity. In class she always emphasises the importance of footwork to create the movement.
There are two examples of her dancing to one of my favourite recordings 'Fin at Trigui'. A. Aatabou. Here is an example of the precise staccato movements of the Moroccan Shaabi style.
In the 2nd performance shown of Fin Trigui, Amel wears the traditional Maghreb coiled plait's with a magnificent mirrored coronet built up behind her head where a voluminous silk veil is balanced. The effect is regal and dignified, the movements ritual and trance like. She ends the DVD with an interpretation of Leila Majnun in a magnificent bejewelled robe and entrances us with her graceful camels, eights and circles - movements that she interprets so knows so well.
Amel Tafsout is a dancer of great talent and originality, transforming the traditional dances of the Maghreb to suit her own personality. This freedom of expression and gift for improvisation is inspirational to anyone learning Oriental dance, regardless of which style you wish to specialise in.
She has a talent to express herself in a uniquely expressive and free way forgetting the constraints of technique and choreography that can sometimes limit our ability to show the emotional and spiritual elements of this beautiful dance form. She just dances from her heart - watch and enjoy.
CD: MAMBO DUNIYA BY SALADIN’S ORCHESTRA
This unique CD is a compilation of North African traditional and contemporary music of three CDs: The Barbary Cost Blues, Cool Mc Cann and Mambo Duniya; produced by the master world drummer Salah-Dawson Miller (all percussions) with the contribution of Amel Tafsout (voice) Justin Adams (guitar & N’gomi) Aziz Bensalah (Nay), Farid (‘Ud), Simon Edwards (Bass and Guembri), Joe Townsend (violin) Chris Batchelor (Trumpet), Paul Clarvis (percussion) Sianed and Chris (Violin and Trumpet), Sofiane (keyboard). It is the music where Africa meets the Orient. CD is $20 + $6 shipping domestic, or $15 international.
Amel always brings a wide selection of music to her workshops, so definitely plan on picking up music when you see her!
Get both Amel's DVD and Saladin's Orchestra together and save $5 AND on shipping! $55 for the set + $6 domestic, $15 international:
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Tank tops made by Khalima, in red, black, and turquoise, available in S, M, L, and XL.
Please email Amel for currently available color and sizes.
Tanks are is $25 each + $3 shipping domestic
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