This video reminds me of a great workshop I took on dance, gestures, and non-verbal communication. The headliner encouraged us to take gestures and movements we see in every day life and elevate them, incorporating them into our dance. I don’t know why this was so earth-shattering for me, but I’ve been searching for dance inspiration in everyday activities and body language ever since.
In this video, you’ll see such an example of art imitating life: ”The inspiration [for this dance] was a children’s dance and game that Mahmoud Reda and his researchers observed during his 1965 research trip to Upper Egypt, Farida Fahmy writes: There were“a wealth of folk songs and the daily activities that the inhabitants were engaged in were worthy of observation and documentation.” On the first day of the trip the researchers came across a group of young girls playing ball while singing a folk song. In the province of al-Minia a group of inhabitants were seen surrounding a number of young girls playing a game that offered potential for presentation in a dance form on stage. The girls were in a small semi circular formation singing in unison as each girl in turn stepped forward. With a narrative type of song and in dance-like movements they imitated the manner in which each character, the daughter of the mayor, the village gentleman, the peasant, the “Ghaziyah” (rural professional dancer), and the crazy woman of the village, walked, sat, and danced. Mahmoud Reda created a dance that incorporated this game and the children playing ball into one dance named “Al’ab al-Atfal.” (x)
P.S.: I highly recommend following Sahra’s blog, if you’re interested in Egyptian dance.