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Raq the Bluegrass 2016 Workshops


Arabesque World Dance
451 Chair Ave 40508 Lexington United States
Its getting close to that time of year again, when dancers across Kentucky and Neighboring States gather together to ‘Raq the Bluegrass’!!

This year we are delighted to be hosting Shahira from Knoxville, TN, and Morwenna Assaf (recently of Knoxville, TN)
AND We are excited to announce an addition of Lebanese Musician, Singer, and Percussionist Fadi el Saadi, as well as the Lebanese percussionist, Walid Assaf! .

On October 21st we will have a workshop with Fadi, "Dancing to Live Music" Morwenna Assaf will be Teaching the Dance Portion of this Class.

On October 22nd we will have Two Workshops during the Day and a Gala Show and Hafla the same evening.
We will have Fadi and Walid providing live music for some of our dancers.….so make sure to Mark Your Calendars…and join us for a lovely weekend dedicated to the Love of Al Raqs al Sharqi! ❤️

Our Teachers this year…

Cynthia Turnage, (sometimes better known by her stage name, Shahira), has danced her whole life and there are no signs of her slowing down. She began her journey in dance at age 4 at the Schuyler School of Dance in Knoxville, Tennessee. She danced all throughout high school and danced at the University of Tennessee where she received her Bachelors’ Degree in English Literature. She has also worked towards a master’s degree in Theatre, Lighting and Design.

Ms. Turnage has studied Middle Eastern dance in New York City with Ibrahim Farrah for 25 years. During that time, she also trained and taught disco, ballroom, exercise and Jazzercise.

She’s taught seminars on Middle Eastern Dance throughout the United States and Canada, and has performed throughout the US, Canada, Europe (Including a Turquoise International Tour), Casablanca and Egypt.

Shahira has also taught dance in Knoxville, TN for over 20 years and is the Director of Troupe Hyetti – formed in 1979. She is also the Artistic Director at the Broadway Academy of Performing Arts in Knoxville, TN


Born in Zahle, Lebanon. From an early age he showed his musical talent and was admitted to the Institute of Music where he was an outstanding student and later taught. The percussion at that moment was his specialty-.Fadi's career began when he was still very young, he traveled to play in nightclubs in different countries in the Middle East and Europe. Fadi developed a style that let him work with music superstars of their country and to act on major television networks (LBC, Future of Lebanon.) In the following years he worked for the best hotel chains and exclusive nightclubs worldwide. The musicians, during these times, also developed special skills in singing.

In 2005 he arrived in Mexico for a short contract, but decided to stay longer. His musical work has been seen in some of the most prestigious Lebanese restaurants of Mexico and also in the Lebanese community clubs. He then expanded by startingto teach Arabic percussion for musicians and dancers. In 2007 Fadi introduced his first album called"Dalaa the Nawaem" with great success both in Mexico and in his native Lebanon. He played percussion, singing and added playing the keyboard. In 2009 "Ranin," his second album, hit the market and in 2012 "Qarawan" bellydance Volume 3 appeared. All were accepted with great success. He also during 2008 created his own "Al Layali Orchestra" based in Mexico City where he sings, plays the keyboard and shares percussion with his students. Fadi El Saadi and his orchestra “Al Layali” has participated in the most important festivals, galas and parties parties in all of Mexico plus social cultural events in the states of: Baja California Norte, Chihuahua, Durango, San Luis Potosi, Mexico City, Morelos, State of Mexico, Jalisco, Veracruz, Campeche and Quintana Roo and more.

In 2011 as a singer/ musician/percussionist he started travelling to San Diego and Los Angeles California, USA, to offer different percussion workshops and presentations. In 2016 he released his fourth CD called "Tagareed" Bellydance Vol. 4, this one that places him as one of the most important exponents of Arabic music in Latin America, the USA and Europe. Dancers worldwide love his music. It is pure joy and answers all needs.

MORWENNA ASSAF - from England and Canada. Artistic Director and Master Teacher of Middle Eastern Dance. Strong background in ballet, jazz, modern, notation and various ethnic dance forms and theater. Studied under mentor the late Ibrahim Farrah and La Meri plus inspired by Yousry Sharif, Elena Lentini, Valerie Camille, Mahmoud Reda and Marta Zorina plus more recently by Amani of Lebanon.
Morwenna has been in this business for over 40 years. She started out in Massachusetts in the 70's and found her way to NYC in 1976 where she studied with the late Ibrahim (Bobby) Farrah till 1996. While there she was exposed to the best from Egypt and surrounding countries, with greats like Nadia Gamal from Lebanon and Mahmoud Reda of Egypt. Not only did she take 24 Intensive Teacher training courses but you would find her every week from Mon - Thursday in Mr. Farrah's studio. She has run her own studio, taught in colleges in both MA and RI but also performed in the prestigious clubs that were the hey day of the 80s and 90s. In 1996 Morwenna relocated to Southern CA and started over again. For 18 years there, Morwenna and her husband Walid ran their own studio, performed and taught throughout the US especially NE, Canada, Mexico and Lebanon. From there, they moved to Knoxville, TN last year for the final phase of their lives and careers.

WALID ASSAF excels as a percussionist and is from Lebanon. He has played for the finest dancers on both coasts and overseas. He has also taught many drummers to excel in their passion for Middle Eastern Rhythm (percussion). He is a Musical Director and Manager and Internationally known star of both drum and debke. Walid has Studied under the best the Middle East has to offer both here and abroad.

~~Friday October 21st Workshop...

5:30-7:00 PM Registration and Shopping
Morwenna and Bipin Jain Vending

7:00-9:00 PM Dancing to Live Music w/Morwenna
Accompanied by Fadi & Walid

~~Saturday October 22nd Workshops....

9:30-10:30 AM Registration/Check In/Shopping

10:30am-12:30pm Ibrahim Farrah Style Stage Dramatics & Performance

Shahira will present the dramatics and performance of middle eastern dance as encompassed by the Ibrahim Farrah Method. Emphasis on levels, flow, focus and the breath of the dance will be explored. The warm-up will enhance all of these skills plus build the emotion from soft to strong. The class will practice exercises going down the floor which will help them discover the magic of the flow and the importance of focus.

12:30-1:30 PM Lunch Break

1:30-3:30pm Ibrahim Farrah Inspired Combos

First the students will watch a DVD of a class performing an Ibrahim Farrah choreography from 1985. They will see all the components explored in the first part of the seminar as well as Mr. Farrah himself in the lead of the choreography.
Afterword Shahira will work with combinations inspired by his method. Not so much the steps to the count of eight as an actual presentation of the expressiveness of the whole work of art. This will allow the dancer to take these tools and enhance her interpretation and find her own special magic in the dance.

Raq the Bluegrass 2017 Featuring Fadi El Saadi
Doors Open at 6:30 PM
Show Starts at 7:00 PM

Here is the Raq the Bluegrass Cost Breakdown...

Early Bird Ala Carte Fees (Before 10/2)
Friday Night Class $45
Saturday Classes Both for $75

Saturday Night Hafli&Show $10
Kids 12-Under Free to Show

VIP Pass (everything - Before 10/2) $110

Ala Carte Fees (After 10/2)
Friday Night Class $50
Saturday Classes Both for $90

Saturday Night Hafli&Show $15
Kids 12-Under Free

VIP Pass (everything - After 10/2) $135

Registration is available online at www.ArabesqueLex.com
Mail a Check or Money Order to:
Arabesque World Dance
451-B Chair Avenue
Lexington, Kentucky 40508