An Evening of Experimental Middle Eastern Dance from Desert Sin
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The last date listed for An Evening of Experimental Middle Eastern Dance was Sunday October 26, 2008 / 7:00pm.
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Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, one of the world's most beloved dance companies and a favorite… More
_EEMED _was conceived in the Winter of 1999 by a group of dancers needing a space in which to perform their controversial works and emerging genre. For nine years, EEMED has offered Middle Eastern dancers the opportunity to nurture and present original and exciting forms of expression. It has since grown to include dancers from all over the United States and is seen on DVDs worldwide. Dancers produce exclusively for EEMED cutting edge works that are based in the Middle Eastern dance idiom ranging from moving abstractions to vibrant narratives. They make traditional borders, edges, and standard representations visible by playing in-between and pushing past them.
This year EEMED choreographers have focused greatly on an array of themes about death and dying. Several pieces deal with the ethereal moment of transition from life to death. Amara in “Twilight” dwells in the space in-between the two, while Kamaal in “Dance for a Beautiful Life,” commemorates the memory of his mother by presenting the spiritual journey that begins before the spark of life and ends with the dissipation of the soul back into the Universe. Aepril Schaile in her dance “The Washer at the Ford,” invokes the Celtic goddess, The Morrigan, the wailing woman at the river foretelling death with her appearance; in grief, she becomes Death.
Other EEMED choreographers focus on women’s lives, who bound by circumstances beyond their control, end tragically. Desert Sin in “Lot’s Wife” presents the biblical story of Lot’s unnamed wife who had no choice but to look back at the city of Sodom and become a pillar of salt. In “XIN ~ kokoro,” Sayaka Pereira plays Yang Guifei, the most powerful Consort to Emperor Xuanzong of Tang Dynasty. He murdered her in hopes of protecting his failing empire. Women are not the only one to be murdered. “Enchanted Dune” by Carolyn Krueger and performed by her dance company Gulistan Dance Theatre, presents a forbidding fable about male travelers along the Silk Road.
EEMED also has moments of humor, such as Sayyadina’s “Spy vs SPies,” where she invokes the works of James Bond, Austin Powers, and Inspector Cleauseau and their famous themes songs; but only one spy must now outwit them all. In “Warm Fuzzies” Ya Helewa! dance company members are happy peasants living in a land of plenty. That is, until Greed came to dwell amongst them and turned them into working capitalists. The show also holds the premier of a new dance company, Elysium Dance Theatre. They present in “Peach, Plum, Pear,” the exploration of three Victorian women and their discovery of a mechanical woman who has fallen into disrepair. There are also moments of beautiful abstract tranquility in the show, as seen in Amara’s “Minara.”
EEMED is a wonderful opportunity to experience a multicultural, avant-garde event. Performers and audiences explore roles beyond the standard portrayals of Middle Eastern dance and deal with issues not often foregrounded in its traditional performance settings.