Showing posts with label Dance. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dance. Show all posts

Saturday, March 23, 2019

DJ Sotusura Releases New Album Ft Addictive Remixes and Beats



The latest album by Cairo-based DJ Sotusura has just been released, and it contains some amazing tracks and remixes that will keep you bopping for days.  The album features a mixture of old school hiphop beats mixed with old Arabic samples taken from records that he has collected over the past 6 years.

Titled Saleh Alalhan, this instrumental album includes 16 tracks that were fully produced by DJ Sotusura.  It was released on March 9th 2019 on all platforms and is set to be released on vinyl in June 2019. 

DJ Sotusura has been collecting vinyl records since 2001 and has long focused on finding rare, previously released recordings/gems from the Middle East.

You can sample/purchase the album below or at https://soturecords.bandcamp.com



Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Dancer Ahmad Joudeh: From Syria's Ruins to the Dutch National Ballet

Ahmad Joudeh: Dance or Die

Back in 2014, I had the chance to interview, by phone, a dancer named Ahmad Joudeh who was then living under the harshest of circumstances in Syria. At the time, he was cautiously thrilled to have the chance to participate in the Arabic version of So You Think You Can Dance where he did quite well (though he did not win). You can watch his audition below or at https://youtu.be/5acMbA0Mqx0



Ahmad was applauded by the judges on the show, particularly legendary dancer Pierre Dulaine who immediately believed in Ahmad's dream and the power of dance to heal. Ahmad recognized Mr. Dulaine's kindness and encouragement during my interview with him which aired on KZSU 90.1 FM in 2014. You can listen to that interview below or at https://soundcloud.com/arabology/ahmadjoudeh2



Judge Pierre Dulaine also spoke to me about Ahmad in a separate interview which you can hear below or at https://soundcloud.com/arabology/pierredulaine2#t=12:57



It was very difficult for Ahmad to return to Syria after having tasted success on Lebanese TV through SYTYCD.  He nevertheless did so and continued to dance despite the tragic circumstances he was witnessing on a daily basis.

Two years later, in 2016, Dutch TV came to Syria and were so touched by dancer Ahmad Joudeh's story that Reporter Roozbeh Kaboly started filming him around Damascus and even went with him to the ancient city of Palmyra where Ahmad Joudeh literally danced in the ruins. That TV report aired on Dutch TV in August 2016. You can watch it below or at https://youtu.be/vqJQOMZCiwY



That Dutch TV report resounded with Ted Brandsen, Director of the Dutch National Ballet.  Funds were then raised to bring Ahmad to the Netherlands, an effort that was spear headed by Nicolas Mansfield, Director of Nederlandse Reisopera.

Ahmad Joudeh (right) with Nicolas Mansfield in Amsterdam

Another TV report soon surfaced in 2-parts, documenting Ahmad Joudeh's journey with sensitivity and courge.

Here is Part 1 of the documentary which aired on Nieuwsuur (Dutch TV) in August 2016: https://youtu.be/vqJQOMZCiwY



An unexpected outcome resulted from that documentary when, 4 months later, Ahmad Joudeh arrived to Amsterdam--an event that was filmed in Part 2 of the documentary "Dance or Die" which, like Part 1, aired on Nieuwsuur (Dutch TV). You can watch that footage below or at https://youtu.be/FIk2vfl_Sz8



Shortly after his arrival to the Netherlands, Ahmad began dancing with the Dutch National Ballet.



"This coming Saturday Ahmad Joudeh will have his debut at the Dutch National Ballet in Amsterdam," wrote Nicolas Mansfield on December 6, 2016.  "His story must be a lesson to us all. That it is good to dream of better things. And that these dreams can become reality. And that through the pain and devastation of war the message of hope will triumph. Many of the so-called 'leaders' of our world are masters of deception, manipulation and injustice. Through his dance Ahmad shows us the real power of peace. In my book that makes him a true hero."






Thursday, May 7, 2015

San Francisco Premiere of "Intima" at Z Space




Intima is a fusion of visual art, dance, and music that investigates themes of self-discovery, conflict, loss and resolution. The cultural history of Syria, ranging from the Gilgamesh myth to the current, tragic war, inspired Tayeb Al-Hafez to bring these artists together.  This event is premiered on May 8 and 9 at Z Space in San Francisco.

Here is my interview with some members of the Intima Creative Team, recorded backstage after their SF premiere, featuring Tayeb Al-Hafez, Ilyas Iliya, Ali Kaaf, and Ashraf Kateb:



"Intima brings together artists with mutual respect and a shared vision.”
—Gregory Dawson, Choreographer

“Exploring the relationship between man, space, and death has always been a focus of my work. Intima enhances this exploration by incorporating the physical body at every step. Movement is an ever-present feature of the total performance, giving the visual display a unique dynamism.”
—Ali Kaaf, Visual Artist

“For me, Intima addressed many questions especially now as my native homeland of Syria struggles. Intima is now part of my creative arc, part of my humanity.”
—Ashraf Kateb, Music Director


Collage with Intima cast and crew



Ramzi Salti's Arabology Radio Show Counts Down Top 20 Indie Arabic Songs of 2018

Listen to this episode at  https://soundcloud.com/arabology/top2018 The latest episode of the popular radio show Arabology , which air...