Ranya Renee in San Francisco, March 2015


Ranya is back in Northern California this Spring!

Join us in late March for two different approaches to Egyptian style belly dance that are applicable to all styles of this dynamic dance form: "Organic-evolutionary" and "Combination-driven".

Friday, March 27, 2015
Saturday, March 28, 2015
San Francisco, California
*Early bird pricing up now!*

Workshop Details

Friday, March 27, 2015
Organic Evolutionary
7:00PM to 9:30 PM

Ranya will bring us back into a vintage vibe, one that never goes out of style, to mine the gold from a traditional approach to Egyptian rhythms and steps in Oriental dance. We will focus on organic in-place taqasim and around-the-space traveling combinations, and working with different types of steps that are traditionally applied to specific rhythms, but in the context of melodic musical phrasing. We will explore how to travel without traveling far, and how to travel farther but still get back home in time. Many dancers stick with just the rhythmic cycles and the usual counts of 8, but focusing on the melody line brings out the romantic essence of the dance and allows for greater personal expression. Strong and graceful use of the hands and arms will aid physical phrasing of the melody and direct the audience's attention. Breathing along with the musical phrases will bring out the overarching melody line, helping to avoid a choppy look and smoothing transitions between phrases and sections. We'll address how to count so that it doesn't look "count-y", and also how to stop counting to focus on the feeling and directionality of the music. Exercises will include technique drills workout, guided combination and evolution of key steps within and between different rhythms, musicality practice, and improvisation work.

A bit of history on this topic
Ranya had a mind-blowing 8-hour-long private-lesson marathon with the legendary Mona el Saeed in Egypt several years ago. As they worked through the material, Mona noted several steps that were tied to different rhythms in the music, and this was something of a revelation. For traditionally trained Oriental dancers in Egypt (like Mona), certain steps go well with certain rhythms, while others just don't work as well. This is a bit different from the typical approach to the dance seen in the US, and even in some cases, in Westernized Egyptian folklore, where movements may be mixed-and-matched. The "organic" approach is typically seen in Egyptian Oriental dancers who don't come from a folklore background. Since many top teachers today did come from folkloric companies, it is harder to find trained teachers that focus strongly on the more (ironically) "native" approach to interpreting Oriental dance music. This is the approach we'll work with today, building confidence on how to choose authentic tried-and-true movements on the spot, and how to make these movement choices look crisp and comfortable even when they are improvised.

Saturday, March 28, 2015
Combination Driven
1:30PM to 4:30PM

Reda technique has been a huge influence on the field of oriental dance, even though it is "folklore": Many well-known teachers of oriental dance (Raqia Hassan, Mo Geddawi, Aida Nour, Randa Kamel, etc.) either were in the Reda troupe themselves or trained with troupe members. So familiarity with the technique is a must for dancers today--but it can be quite challenging. After several stints working with this pioneer of Egyptian dance for the stage, in the US and at his Cairo studio, Ranya has collected a foundation "alphabet" of Reda steps and combinations from his repertoire.

In this workshop, Ranya will build on that "Reda alphabet" she taught us last summer in San Francisco, and will present more strategies for both mastering and teaching combos, and working with different rhythms to see how the steps can be applied to different style pieces. Ranya will build up the combos from the warmup elements, incorporating a review of key "alphabet" steps as they will be applied in the combos, but we'll also move at a brisk pace to include as many combinations as we can. Please watch online clips of the Reda Troupe or Mahmoud Reda choreography demos on YouTube before the workshop to get yourself in the mood and mindset! Come ready to move!

PLEASE WEAR: dance shoes with a sole that slides enough to make turns and quick transitions easier.

This is a great class for anyone who took Ranya's Reda Part 1 class last August, or who has taken any Reda style classes with other instructors and/or Mahmoud Reda or Farida Fahmy themselves, of course! It is also a wonderful workshop for teachers and troupe directors and troupe members members to come get fun, teachable, stage style combinations, choreography and inspiration that go beyond the basics.

Workshop Location

Lines Dance Center
26 7th Street, 3rd Floor, Studio 5
Steps from the Civic Center BART and MUNI station (exit at 7th Street)
Free bike parking on the 3rd floor.
Please click on the Dance Center link above for driving directions and many nearby affordable parking lots. (Hotel info is at the link from Monica's site.)
Note: SF parking meters are enforced on Fridays and Saturdays until 6PM.

Register for both days at once for the best deal.
Both workshops (March 27 from 7 to 9:30PM and and March 28 from 1:30 to 4:30 PM)
$105.00 :: Early Bird & Sweetheart package by February 14, 2015
$130.00 :: Advanced Price Package by March 20, 2015

Register for either Friday or Saturday--Sweetheart deals end Valentine's Day!
March 27 workshop only:
$55.00 :: Early Bird & Sweetheart price by February 14, 2015
$65.00 :: Advanced Price by March 20, 2015
$75.00 at the door (if there is room)

March 28 workshop only
$66.00 :: Early Bird & Sweetheart price by February 14, 2015
$78.00 :: Advanced Price Package by March 20, 2015
$88.00 at the door (if there is room)

Please note there are no refunds.

Payment Information: Three options!
Mail, in person, or paypal. All the registration links and details are at http://www.monicaraqs.com/ranya2015.html

Please don't hesitate to contact Monica with any questions!
We can't wait to dance with you in March!