Join us at Cumbe for an exclusive dance experience exploring one of North Africa’s popular traditional dances, Moroccan Chaabi. Chaabi means ‘of people’ and represents the culture, voice and spirit of the people. While this dance has some similarities to Middle Eastern belly dance movements like shimmying the hips and waist, Chaabi is decidedly African. As is common with African-rooted dance traditions, Moroccan Chaabi is body positive, women-centered, improvisational and communal. Through muscle memory repetitions, students will learn the fundamental movement vocabulary to learn this social dance.
Acknowledged as a talented dancer within her cultural community at 13 years old, Esraa Warda is now one of the premier North African performance and teaching artists based in New York City. Esraa is of Algerian origin and professionally teaches and performs Algerian/Moroccan styles such as Chaabi, Rai, Chaoui, Kabyle and Reggada/Allaoui in NYC and around the world. Her teaching methods are now focused on reproducing the same context in which she learned – through ‘transmission’ via muscle memory within women’s dance circles and jams. Despite being on the African continent, Moroccan and Algerian dances are often disconnected and lumped into Middle Eastern/Arab culture. Esraa aims to pioneer the representation of these dances as African in the cultural landscape both institutionally and informally.