The dance form known as Raqs Sharqi, or Oriental dance, has evolved over the past century, blending native elements of Egyptian baladi music and dance with Western artistic influences. Modern Oriental dance is shaped by many international influences, absorbing techniques from ballroom and Latin dance, ballet, jazz, even hip-hop. And yet, there still remains the feeling of Egypt at the heart of the dance: the openhearted emotion, the response to the music.
Modern Oriental dance is characterized by powerful technique, step combinations, floor patterns and a focus on choreography, as well as a contemporary musical sensibility. In this program, Ranya Renee, New York-based star performer and instructor of Egyptian style dance, teaches two Modern Oriental choreographies – a beginner version and a longer intermediate/advanced version – as the focus of this video program. Each choreography is broken into combinations that are taught step-by-step, with practice drills to get the movements of the choreographies into your body.