Artemis moved by the music
Brad and students outdoors
Campers shake it up
Ali leads ensemble
Souren explains complexs zils patterns
Tayyar is a very happy Zeybek dancer
Samara in joyful abandon and Karim does Dabke
New York posse
Music & Dance Camp
Photos by Sarah Skinner and Carl Miller
close your eyes and you know you must be in the Middle East.
Nowhere else could possibly sound and feel like
this. The passionate rhythms of karsilama and ciftetelli overlaid
with intense melodies on the zurna, kanun, davul, ud, dumbek,
ney and zils echoing through the woods and off the mountainside
belie the truth. Look around and delight in the glory of
the dancers and musicians. Dance.
to Pennsylvania, host of the MED Folk Tours 2005 Middle Eastern
Music and Dance Camp, USA.
And this was just the beginning - well, almost
the beginning. Late on Friday afternoon, many months of planning
and preparation by Tayyar Akdeniz and Artemis
came to fruition as dancers and musicians from all over the U.S.
and the Middle East converged at the campground for four intense
days and nights of music and dance classes, performances, and
a celebration of Middle Eastern music, dance and culture.
Oh yes, did I mention vendors? There were sequins and beads enough
to satisfy the greediest magpie, CDs, and those emergency must-have
harem pants or cholis.
The dance classes featured Eva Cernik,
Nursel Mojka, Karim Nagi, Tayyar Akdeniz, Artemis Mourat
and Edie Thurrell (teaching Egyptian Oriental, Turkish Oriental,
authentic Macedonian Romany dance, American Tribal style, folk
dance and Yoga . Unfortunately Shareen el Safy
Djoumahna were both seriously ill and Jajouka
and Samira of New York City and Fleur
of Pennsylvania stepped to the plate to sub for them.
Meanwhile, the percussionists were not being slighted.
Davul, dumbek, def and finger cymbals classes, as taught by Tayyar
Akdeniz, Brad Sidwell, Karim Nagi, Seido Salifoski,
and Souren Baronian were plentiful and taught
for all levels.
drums echoed through the woods as the heartbeat of the weekend
from sunrise to sunrise, never missed a beat.
And there were still more master musicians sharing
their knowledge and skills on a variety of instruments in class
- kanun, ney, zurna, ud, baglama, finger cymbals and the
ensemble class were taught by Tamer Pinarbasi, Hamit Golbasi,
Haig Manoukian, Ara Dinkjian, Ali Kahya, Soner Cicek, Umut Yasmut
and Maurice Chedid. Winds and reeds layered
their personae over the percussion from various points on the
mountainside, blending with strings of all sorts, and voices soaring
in song. The heartbeat found a body and face, and clothed itself
in shimmering music. The mountain sang. And we were
Over meals, dancers and musicians made new friends,
shared their insights, and compared their experiences as they
refreshed and regrouped.
dinner each evening, the entire camp assembled to enjoy a show
featuring world class performances
by the dance and music teachers as well as fellow
students, with plenty of open floor dancing and two different
bands of musicians - one specializing in Turkish and one in Arabic
styling. Henna artists plied their trade and massage therapists
worked miracles. The music and dancing continued into the morning
hours, and exhausted but inspired dancers and musicians began
And then came Monday afternoon and time to go
home - until we do it again in September in Turkey or next year
at the same time, but at our new location in the Pennsylvania.
Over brunch, we all heard the same words: “See you at camp next
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for other possible viewpoints!
The Folk Tours Dance & Music
Camp Review by Piper (and baby pics too!) Photos by Carl Miller,
upon a time, in far away lands, I performed five shows a night,
seven nights a week to great live music. I don’t miss the
wily club owners, late nights, or cigarette smoke, but I do miss
The Photos &
Poetry of David Ludwig of the Middle Eastern Music and Dance
Camp in Mendocino in August 2003
is a time each year, when dancers and musicians gather, in a magic
forest, to reconnect , with their creative source...
2nd Annual Music and Dance Camp Photos by Carl Miller, Report
by Mark Balahadia
May 2004, Dancers and musicians all over the East Coast (and abroad)
came to participate in the four-day oriental dance and music camp.
Middle Eastern Music and Dance Camp in Mendocino by Yasmela
is nothing like immersing yourself in study and in the strange
and unique culture of the Middle Eastern music and dance “scene”.
Report of the
Eastern U.S. Middle Eastern and Balkan Music and Dance Camp October
report by Tahya
The camaraderie of a camp - bunking with
strangers who soon become friends, "breaking bread"
together, learning new dance steps, songs, and drum rhythms -
has all the ingredients for a treasured experience, and this camp
lived up to that potential.
Cairo '05, How to Eat,
Drink, Sleep, and Breathe Raqs Sharqi, Part 4of 4 The End
of the Trip by Andrea
were hooted and hollered at countless times, passed an angry bunch
of men arguing about Allah-knows-what, women with large bundles
balanced on their heads, people in the stores and on the street
trying to sell us stuff, but we were safe!
Interview with Magda Ibrahim by
That is very enjoyable, to see someone who didn’t
know how to do something before and now they do, and I’m
the one who helped them do it, regardless of whether they are
Egyptian or foreign.