Taksim single day workshop on Saturday January 30th 2021 with the renowned Amaya from Albuquerque. 90 minutes workshop delving into her take on Taksim, my take on how to play for the inner soundscape., and YOUR own movement with live music accompaniment. $35 suggested donation with 10% going to Musical Ambassadors of Peace, Cameron Power's Non-Profit 501C out of Boulder that funds global refugee music therapy project. VERY LIMITED ENROLLMENT.
Taksim: Live Music for Dance
My Taksim Taksim Music for Movement Classes are better than I could have imagined! I partner with different beloved Guest Artist Colleagues: to date, Annya Ishtara, from Taos, New Mexico, Travis Jarrell, from Cookeville, Tennessee, and Alanah (Anne Hitchcock), from Brooklyn, New York. I play mesmerizing soaring solo melodies, tasty percussion patterns, offer tidbits of musicality, performance, repertoire, cultural context, and endless real-time variations in concert with movement instruction by my Guest Artist.
Each Guest Artist and I have anecdotes from decades years of travel and musical dance adventures to share about each pedagogical element.
Did you know that 'clarinet' comes from 'clarion', or 'to be heard from far away'? This makes it perfect for online learning. No need for amplification.
You move around with the Guest Artist while I accompany their movement (or play/sing along -- muted in the comfort of your own home) in real time. You experience my musical interaction, as well as watch others' interpretations.
Best of all, I then accompany each attendee in turn during the end of each class. 'See' you online soon!
Zoom Taksim Classes include an hour and fifteen minutes of LIVE MUSIC, dance instruction, and a bit of history and music theory from my studio to your home or studio. I also play for a solo for each attendee during each class! In real time, I accompany attendee's movements -- next best thing to being there! I co-teach with Faisal Zedan, Syrian percussion master, and Eric Koenig, my art partner, and we have a GREAT interaction and time. You will, too! As always, if finances are a burden, and you are serious about committing to the entire session, contact me!
Unpack one of our favorite compositions -- the Mohamed Abdel Wahab masterpiece, Alf Layla Wa Layla, and how taksim works inside a composition.
Meg and Alanah will discuss the different sections through music and dance lenses, with elements of choreography, improvisation and lots of movement!
VERY LIMITD ENROLLMENT Limited enrollment -- each attendee gets their own solo taksim improvised each session for that LIVE music interaction we are all craving!
January 15, 22, and 29 2021 Fridays 8 EST, 7 Central, 6 MT, 5 Pacific $60 suggested: if finances are a hardship, just contact us.
See you soon!
Meg and Alanah
General structure of each class: Live music guided warm-up. Travis will give a short discussion suggesting various concepts and approaches for the dance taxim/improvisation. Meg will offer information relating to the musical structure and maqams (scales) of the taxim. All together, with abbreviated musical passages, we will explore the movements, moods, and concepts that arise in the shared improvisational space. Each dancer will have the opportunity to dance solo, enjoying Meg’s full musical attention. (Encouraged, not required!) Time will be given at the end of each class to verbally sharing our experiences, questions, and ideas. As always, if finances are a burden, and you are serious about committing to the entire session, contact me!
With 30 years' experience, I have taught all over the world, and all ages and levels. My specialty is world music: clarinet, flute, percussion, and dance accompaniment.
I am deeply familiar with Balkan, Jewish, Turkish, Greek, and Persian music.
Let's connect today to get you started in the New Normal.
Closest thing to 'being there'!
$50 hour or $200 for 5 lessons.
I use Zoom and give YOU the option to record on your own computer. Other platforms are also available.
As always, if you are a committed student and finances are a burden, contact me.
The New Normal Ensemble plays highly interactive Near Eastern and Balkan acoustic music.
Dance concerts Music Concerts Workshops For your studio from my studio. We are a 'sheltered ensemble', meaning we play together at the same venue: we have great sound quality for you to enjoy.
Minimum three musicians -- $500
Four musicians -- $700
Five musicians -- $1000
For 60 minutes of LIVE music streamed to your event.
Contact me about in person performances.
'Tip Jar' or 'Drop In' Class Fee
Choose your own amount.
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Taksim Class FAQ Video
Testimonials for Taksim Classes
"Together, you presented a very fine experience in the study of taxim, (solo improvisation), both technically from a dancer’s perspective, and musically from a musician’s perspective, in this case a musician who genuinely enjoys “partnering” with dancers during the taxim! I very much appreciated Meg’s laying out the musical structure of the taxim, and taking us on her various “journeys.”
Annya’s fine-tuned, body-centered guidance helped us explore solid elements of making dance , i.e. shape, direction, level changes, dynamics, time, and scale, with good knowledge of how the body moves. Her concept of a “magnetic core” is a valuable treasure, both in the dance, and in everyday life!
This study was easily adaptable for all levels of dance experience, and a great practice in maintaining a focus while exploring new dance territory."
Travis Jarrell, Cookeville, Tennessee
"I definitely feel more comfortable with structured dance class format and struggle with free-form improvisation. While zooming is not my preferred mode of class, it did enable a certain level of not being concerned with things like looking silly and feeling weird while trying improvisational movement. I liked that a lot and felt like it was easier to connect with Meg's wonderful playing.
What I learned that surprised me: I was somewhat surprised that it became easier over the course of a couple sessions to shut down the critical mind and allow myself to move freely with the music, I usually only have that experience in brief stints.
Annya is a fantastic teacher that I have been privileged to learn from for many years now. She has great instincts for where people are at, and she is very clear in her explanations of concepts of belly dance that can be subtle and sometimes more abstract. She is a very "clean" dancer, in that her movements are concise and easy to follow. Annya is well-studied and it shows!
Meg, besides being a beautifully gifted clarinet player, is very skilled at playing for dancers for a co-created experience. She also has clearly studied all aspects of her craft and explains concepts very well.
Meg and Annya make a great team, in performance as well as teaching.
I am grateful for the experience, thanks to you both!!"
Emily S, Taos, New Mexico
"It was great to do the Taksim Class and tune in to my innate response to the music. Annya had great insights and Meg’s enthusiasm and joy in the clarinet were inspiring. It was a special experience and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking to deepen their connection to the music."
"Dear Annya and Meg,
I want to thank you both for offering such an amazing experience in dance and music. It is hard to express the joy and excitement that I experienced being in your class. The instructions Annya offered combined with the live music from Meg created an environment easy to absorb and learn new material. I felt free to experiment with new movements in my body that Annya taught and Meg made it feel comfortable and right with her playing. The combination increased my mental and physical understanding of Taksim. Thank you, and I hope you offer another class similar to this. I felt connected, from the privacy of my home: a unique experience."
Richard, Taos, New Mexico
About my Guest Artist Collaborators:
Amaya, The Gypsy Dancer of New Mexico was the FIRST to introduce the passion of Flamenco with the sensuality of Arabic Dance through her introduction of the song "Amayagueña" composed especially for her by the top composer, Ibrahim El Samahy. Her fusion work in the early 1990s sparked many dancers to follow in her path.
"Amaya is an artist and a woman with the richness of emotion that only comes from the depths of her soul. After each performance I can feel who she is as a woman...it isn't just a mere performance." Suhaila Salimpour
She credits her mentor and dance partner, the late Roman Balladine, for opening many dance doors around the world for her (Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Tasmania…). Amaya ran away and joined the circus! Her circus work in Salome Traumtheater and Circus Conelli in Germany and Switzerland were milestones in her dance career. More recently, Amaya was featured as a performer, teacher and judge in Beijing, China. Amaya invites dancers and friends to her upcoming 2019 Tour of Morocco and Spain, following "The Gypsy Trail."
These dance projects have have cinched her a crown as an iconic and internationally known dancer.
1st Place Winner - Cairo, Egypt Dance Competition, Sheraton Hotel, 1978
Featured in “Dream Dancer” Light Rain album, 1978
Giza Award for her documentary, “Gypsy Fire, Part One” 1988
International Academy of Middle Eastern Dance(IAMED) "Top Dancer of the Year Award," Los Angeles, CA
2014 Lifetime Achievement Award, Santa Fe, NM
2016 Lifetime Achievement Award, National Isis Foundation, Dallas, T
2017 Cover of the International Belly Dance Chronicles Magazine, Dallas, TX
Established judge in national and international dance competitions
Producer of Amaya’s Mexico Adventures, Annual Oriental Potpourri Dance Festival, The Shake & Bake Festival, Annual Wise Woman Retreat, Giza Award winner "American Belly Dance Legends" DVD documentary, "The Top American Belly Dance Icons," DVD documentary
Known for her fluid and dynamic dance style, Amaya is the first Oriental Dancer in American to fuse the power of Flamenco with the feminine Arabic dance movements. She is also the proud producer of her latest labor of love, the best-selling dvd “American Legends in Belly Dance,” honoring the American icons that lead to the explosion of Oriental Dance around the world. Amaya hosts intimate and intensive annual Wise Woman Retreat every summer in New Mexico to a small group of like-minded dance spirits.
Having performed in over 21 countries, Amaya is The Elite-of–the-Elite in Instructors, Amaya can teach the Beginning Dancer to the Professional Performer by developing basic steps into “super-embellished” moves. Dynamic music mixed with a healthy dose of humor and life philosophies all lead to a great learning atmosphere. Enjoy her Amaya Technique in workshop and seminars for all levels. Prepare to MOVE!
BOOKING INFORMATION: School cultural visits, Dance workshops, Lecture/Demos, Convention Spousal Programs, Performances, Classes, Private Lessons.
Ph: (505) 280-3638 Email: AmayaDances@gmail.com
Travis Fontaine Jarrell's dance background includes extensive Western classical and modern training, North Indian Kathak, American clogging, Flamenco, as well as classical and folkloric Central Asian dance from Uzbekistan.
She began her study of Middle Eastern dance in 1971, and during her 45 + years of teaching and performing, she was privileged to study with such excellent artists as Jamila Salimpour, Serena Wilson, Morocco, Bert Balladine, Dahlena, Ibrahim Farrah, and many others. Travis has also been a participant at many Mendocino Middle Eastern Music and Dance Camps, and is a favorite solo dance artist with clarinetists' Souren Baronian and Stuart Mennin.
Travis was introduced to Central Asian dance in 1989 by Laurel Victoria Gray, and in 1992 was invited to Bukhara, Uzbekistan, to live and perform with Mohy- Sitora Folklore Ensemble. She also studied classical Uzbek dance in Tashkent with the acclaimed Akilov family.
In 1996 Travis and Laurel Gray collaborated to produce Central Asian Dance Camp, a summer dance program for the study of Uzbek and Persian dance. Travis' solo dance concerts, presented in the US and in Europe, have included classical and folkloric Uzbek and Middle Eastern dance, as well as her own original creative works. Travis currently resides in Cookeville, Tennessee and teaches dance in Nashville, Tennessee, as well as on online.
From Annya Istara, Taos, New Mexico
My path to becoming a belly dancer began as a young girl, when I knew I wanted to be a belly dancer, despite having never seen one, or even having heard Middle Eastern music. When I eventually began belly dance lessons in 1991, I was instantly hooked on the beautiful movements, vibrant music, exotic costuming, and the discovery of Middle Eastern cultures from which this dance comes. Belly dance is such a diverse, deep, and fascinating topic, that I haven’t stopped learning since!
My other dance studies began with Jazz and Ballet when I was a teenager and evolved to encompass Haitian, West African, and Cuban Orisha dances, Butoh, and Contact Improvisation, among others. I have also studied Rajasthani Gypsy dance of the Kalbelia people and Ghoomar Ladies dance in Rajasthan, India, and Turkish Roman (Gypsy) dance in Turkey.
I have a wide background in movement, energy training, and physical body studies. I have studied a variety of dance and movement forms for over 35 years, including yoga (in India and the US), and tai chi and qigong (in the US and China). I have a Qigong Instructor Certification and a Tai Chi Teacher certification from Qigong Academy. I am also a trained massage therapist, Level 2 Reiki practioner, licensed minister, and have been trained as a licensed Art of Feminine Presence® teacher. I am certified in Level 1 of Sadie Marquant’s Raqs Flow Bellydance Training Program.
Alanah (Anne Hitchcock) moved to NYC in 2001 from Santa Fe, NM. Throughout the years, her dancing has been described as regal and timeless. Her extensive dance background includes study with Elena Lentini, Yoursry Sharif, Dalia Carella, Raqia Hassan and Leila Farid. Alanah’s style is also influenced by her years of Flamenco training, most notably with Juana Amaya in Sevilla, Spain. Alanah is currently broadening her interest in contemporary Persian dance with Shahrzad Khorsandi.
Alanah has danced as a member of the Dalia Carella Dance Collective and with Elena Lentini’s Caravanserai Dance Theater and recently with the contemporary Middle Eastern dance trio Raqs Uncommon. Alanah has performed at numerous theatrical concerts, private engagements and cultural events highlighting Egyptian and fusion-style Oriental Dance and she has been honored to perform at the United Nations. She is also a producer; creating World Dance fundraisers for Planned Parenthood and Puerto Rico Hurricane Relief. The highly anticipated American Bellydance Icons Gala, celebrating the release of dancer and researcher Amaya’s documentary, had been scheduled for April 2020. Alanah conducts classes and workshops in oriental dance and fan veil technique and choreography.
Other professional endeavors include Alanah’s Couture Fan Veils which launched in 2010, her collection of silk fans and veils which are now used by performing artists and theatrical companies around the world and in 2016 she launched her jewelry collection; Brooklyn Body Bling.