Amel Tafsout Dance Workshops and cultural lecture

 AMEL TAFSOUT Dance workshops June 10th & 11th 2017

The legendary Algerian-born dancer Amel Tafsout
 is an inspirational first source master dance artist, choreographer, instructor, frame drummer, singer, energy worker and one of the finest exponents of North African traditional and contemporary Maghreb Dance of our time.

Amel will present two ethnic dance workshops and a cultural lecture in Eugene at Celebration Belly Dance and Yoga Studios on June 10-11, 2017:

NAYLI DANCE OF THE OULED NAYL: Saturday June 10th, 2-4pm: Algerian dancers of the Ouled Nayl tribe fascinated and inspired the West for more than a century. They became worldwide known through many Western accounts written by writers such as Andre Gide, Maupassant, etc., paintings, such as Clarins, Fromentin, Dinet and a huge number of Colonial postcards. Since 50 years their dance tradition disappeared. The West could not recognize that there was a difference between prostitution as a profession and an Algerian tradition, which gave to the young girls of the Ouled Nayl a temporary freedom. The Nayli tradition consisted of learning the dance as a child from the mother, the girl will leave her home village at the onset of puberty, makingher way to other oases in order to start a new life while travelling and performing, getting paid with jewellery and living a life of a courtesan. When she earned enough, she would return to her home oasis, look for a husband, marry and end her professional career after which she hands down her dancing skills to her own daughter. Amel TAFSOUT has researched these famous dancers and published an article about their dance, which is grounded, religious and powerful. “The dancer does not walk she slides along.” $40 pre-registered, or $45 at the door. Take BOTH workshops for $70, pre-registered


Dancing to ALGERIAN “RAI” AND “‘ALLAWI”, Sunday June 11th, 10am-12pm. Raï music is a popular genre of world music from the Northern African country of Algeria. Rai (“rah-AY”) music began in the late 1980s as a combination of popular music and traditional Bedouin desert music. Raï in the 1980s: when country people moved to the city, the artists blended traditional Raï with modern pop sounds and it is associated with American blues. Many Raï singers such as Khaled, Cheb Mami, Rai music and dance are based on improvisation. Not only the Shioukh and traditional female performers performed the roots of traditional Rai music: the Meddahat and the Chikhat, singing and dancing at various festivities. With her own choreography, Amel TAFSOUT has innovated dancing to Raï music is bringing the fluidity and the sensuality of Arabic- Andalusian roots, the strength and energy of the mythical Berber priestess, the earthiness of the African soul, the inspiration of the Sahara-desert and the expression of the great Mediterranean seaport Wahran.  Workshop registration: $40, pre-registered or $45 at the door (if space allows). Email

Link to purchase tickets online: 

Cultural Lecture “Symbols in the Arab World” 5-6:30pm,  Sunday June 11th. Celebration Belly Dance Studio, 1840 Willamette Suite 206. Doors open at 4:30pm, seating is limited.  FREE (Donations accepted for the Middle Eastern Dance Guild of Eugene). Refreshments provided. A free event!