The Arabian Dance Theater Company has a new show called ‘Under the Sun’ and debuted it at the Jacksons Lane Art Center in London last month. The show is about a real Bedouin character who for goes her usual lifestyle to pursue her dreams of becoming a dancer in Cairo. The show includes a mix of contemporary culture and traditions in Egypt today.
The presentation was full of displays of different styles of Egyptian dance, contemporary dance moves, with beautiful costumes, lots of energy and spiritually elevating music from the typical Arabic culture.
The shows producer, Tara Oakley and the director, Shafee Ibrahim visited the South Sinai to study the Bedouin culture and their way of life. Each day they spent time with tribal leaders, families, medicine men, and attended traditional Bedouin weddings to learn and be inspired by their local dance forms.
They also learned about how the changes in today’s modern life has brought different elements to their usual lifestyle, and traditional culture. The show was inspired by a particular Bedouin girl aged 18, called Aisha with whom they stayed with. She was so ambitious about becoming a dancer even if it meant she would be excluded from her family and frowned upon amongst her tribe.
Each day she became more adamant about her dream and continued to ask people about their opinions on her plans to fulfill it. Ibrahim said this was a particularly tough achievement for any Bedouin female.
Aisha is very proud to be a Bedouin but has constantly contradicted her culture by working, studying, learning English, mixing with foreigners, using a handbag and even wearing trousers. Oakley and Ibriham were inspired by her strength and determination.
The story behind ‘Under The Sun is all about self discovery, achieving dreams, and going against a culture with sheer ambition.
The Arabian Dance Theater was formed to bring to attention the importance of Arabic music and dance. Since 2008 they have continually worked on representing modern and traditional Arab dance movements. The aim of the theater is to bring presence and awareness of Arabic culture through the arts.
Experiencing the Arabic culture through dance and music is a wonderful addition to your Arabic language study program.