Harbourfront Centre and Arabesque Present Jamra, 2/9
Harbourfront Centre and Arabesque, in association with Small World Music, present JAMRA, a contemporary production inspired by the dance forms of the nomadic and gypsy (Rom) peoples of Egypt, Turkey, North Africa, Iran and Lebanon. JAMRA premieres at the Fleck Dance Theatre on Thursday, February 9, 2012 and runs until Sunday, February 12, 2012 as part of Harbourfront Centre's NextSteps 11/12 series.
JAMRA, an Arabic word for "embers", is a vibrant exploration of some of the Middle East's rich dance forms performed by seventeen dancers, as led by Arabesque's Artistic Director and Choreographer, Yasmina Ramzy, alongside a live 11-piece Arabian orchestra, with vocals by Arabesque's Musical Director, Bassam Bishara.
Alongside Choreographers Ferda Bayazit (Turkey), Sashar Zarif (Canadian, Iranian/Azerbaijian), and Khairiiyya Mazen (Luxor, Egypt) – the last remaining practicing Ghawazi dancer – Ramzy and Bishara have created a unique cultural portrait through the distinct rhythms, instruments, vocal arrangements, and melodies found in the dance and music styles of the Middle East.=
With Ramzy, a pioneer in the interpretive expression of authentic Middle Eastern dance, at the helm, JAMRA is brought to life in collaboration with celebrated Composer, Vocalist, and Oudist, Bassam Bishara; Costume Designer Deborah Shaw; and Lighting Designer Arun Srinivasan.
Formed in 1992, Arabesque, formerly known as Arabesque Dance Company & Orchestra (ADCO) is
Canada's leading Middle Eastern dance and music ensemble. The Company has thrilled audiences
internationally with eight major productions featuring 14 styles of classical and folkloric Middle
Eastern dance led by artistic director Yasmina Ramzy and musical director Bassam Bishara. The
recipient of numerous merits for artistic excellence including the Canadian Arab Federation's
Community Contribution Award and grants from the Canadian Council for Arts, the Ontario Arts
Council and the Toronto Arts Council, Arabesque has performed alongside such artists as Alabina,
the National Ballet of Canada, Bijan Mortazavi, Amr Diab, The Rolling Stones, Rageb Alema and Ben Harper.
For more information, visit www.arabesquedance.ca.