Raqs Roots: Awalim Recreation Project

This project started many years ago from my curiosity about the dance of pre - Golden Era Egypt. I wanted to know how the dancers would move, what the music would feel like and how it would be costumed. It seemed like there was a voice echoing in my mind for clarity and it's been driving me for most of my dance life to answer the question "What came before?" 

Over the years my search has shifted from mid-latter 20th century to the turn of the 20th century, and on further back and pendulumed up the years again in search of missing clues to a feeling I knew I wanted to find but hadn't yet experienced.

Since about 2016 I have been focused on defining the look, needs and resources to present a full-length reproduction of an early 20th century urban entertainment hall show, complete with live music, period costumes, appropriate set design and the associated variety acts such as dance, singing, instrumentation, poetic recitation and comedic skits or acrobatic/balancing acts. 

This is quite a large undertaking requiring a larger skill set than I currently possess so I've been searching for candidates and possible avenues to enact this type of show within the limited budget and resources I possess at the moment and have been building up piece by piece so I am prepared when opportunity and resources align, to create something truly special and memorable. 

Where is the project headed in 2020?

In 2020 - 2021 I'd like to initiate 2 or 3 residency programs lasting 2 - 4 weeks which will culminate in a student show where the participants can present early 20th century Awalim dance in their hand made costumes with set elements they created as part of the program. 

Where would these programs take place?


The residency programs and currently being planned for:

  • Portland, OR, USA

  • Toronto, CAN

  • and one TBD location somewhere in the world (possibilities include Melborne, Australia; Bangalore, India...) 


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