Shikhatt (2010)

5 minutes • Urban Woman’s Dance of Morocco • Choreographed by Samara • Music: Traditional Moroccan

Dance in Morocco, as in all the countries of North Africa, is a celebratory and ceremonial activity — where there is music, there is dance! The shikhatt is one of Morocco’s most popular dances, and very earthy in its form. The shikhatt dancer primarily uses her hips and pelvis, incorporating some shoulder and head movements. The foot stomping, a very unique aspect of this dance, sharing common ancestry with the zapateado of Flamenco, interprets a very complicated 6/8 rhythm, usually the urban popular music called griha.

Click to watch an excerpt.

Photograph by Lina Jang

The Djinni of The Feather Cloak (2003)

13 minutes • Story Theater/Dance Adaptation of a Moroccan Folktale
Retold and Directed by Morgiana Celeste Varricchio
Choreographed by Samara • Music: Omar Faruk Tekbilek; Ann Dudley and Jaz Coleman

This traditional Moroccan folktale, while not one of the Tales of the Arabian Nights, has a familiar theme to those who know the European fairy tale of The Swan Maiden. The storytelling traditions of the Middle East are rooted in antiquity, and even today, stories are told by men in the public coffee houses or by women in the privacy of their own homes. 

Click to watch an excerpt.

Photograph by Lina Jang
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