Iraqi folks and populars dances workshop

With Farid Zodan, former soloist of the Iraqi national folk arts troupe

Sunday 8 October 2017 – 13-30-16h30 – Toulouse – France

It is with great enthusiasm that Ibtissem welcomes Farid Zodan for this exceptional training day. The Iraqi national folk arts troupe was the ambassador of Iraqi popular culture. With dozens of dancers and musicians, it took place far beyond the Arab world, using the best artists of its country to stage the rich history of Mesopotamia. Farid Zodan was a soloist for six years during the glorious period of the 80s. He is a choreographer, dancer, teacher and percussionist. He combines great pedagogy, supported by his experience as a classical and contemporary dancer in London, and a valuable knowledge of culture Iraqi. This day will be devoted to a folk dance of the city of Basrah, the khashabi, and a popular dance of the gypsies of Iraq, qawleya raqs.

One workshop, two themes ! 13h30-16h30

Iraqi Folklore: The Khashabi

One of the 3 dances of the city of Basra. A dance initially performed to celebrate the departure of fishermen and sailors, al sayad. Traditional percussion rhythm khashaba (wooden percussion which makes a noise of submachine gun), it is carried out with the base step of the dances of the Persian Gulf. Its richness is in the alternation of small aerial jumps and land movements, and the sudden rhythmic changes.

Here are 2 representative videos of the khashabi staged :


Popular dance of Iraq: Raqs qawleya

It is the dance of the gypsies of Iraq, the most popularized in the middle of oriental dance, and by abuse of language called Iraqi dance. Very energetic, with light springs, pelvis and head movements, vibrations and insulations, the raqs qawleya is punctuated by the impressive khashaba. It is also the popular dance of Iraq, practiced by all Iraqis, women and men, during joyful events, betrothals, weddings, and any other social festival. Farid Zodan promises us 2h30 of joy and sweat!

Here are 2 group dance videos, performed by qawleya dancers on TV shows :

Farid Zodan, the Iraqi transmission

Brilliant native dancer from Basra, he joined the Iraqi National Folklore Group directly as a soloist from 1980 to 1986. A dance enthusiast, he continued his training at the prestigious Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance in London and succeeded his master degree ‘Performing art and choreography’ at the University of Middlesex. In addition to teaching, he founded the dance company, the Zodan Dance Theater, and, in an effort to preserve his Iraqi culture, he created his own folk troupe in London. His work as a dancer / choreographer / musician is very dense and among the most significant: Carmen opera at Royal Albert Hall, Royal Ballet of New Zealand, choreography of clips for Kadhem Saher, percussionist for Led Zeppelin … Now established in Madrid , he works with Spanish TV (TVE, TEL MADRID, TELY 5) and choreography for the Teatro la Zarzuela.

The Iraqi cultural legacy

The cultural wealth of Iraq is unknown, except for the sad events that have ravaged the country since the first Gulf War. It is, however, the cradle of Arab civilization, and its culture has spread to Al Andalus with Zyriab. Arabs, Bedouins, Kurds, Turkmen, descendants of slaves, Gypsies and many other minorities have contributed to the diversity of dances and musics of Iraq. The Iraqi National Folklore Group, founded in 1971 under the aegis of the Iraqi Ministry of Culture, represents popular heritage and ancient traditions through grandiose staging, thanks to its dance troupe and orchestra. Alas, since the fall of Saddam Hussein, the ravages of war and the rise of fundamentalism, the protection and dissemination of the arts is no longer a priority. But the Iraqis are anxious to preserve their heritage, and you can read this article about the resistance of the troops in the New York Times.

Among the many dances of the country are the chobi, a dance in line near the dabkke, the dances of Bedouins, the raqs charqi, which knew its hours of glory a long time ago, war dances linked to the history mesopotamians, trance dances (Shiite Sufism, African animism), qawleya raqs of gypsies, samri common to all countries of the Persian Gulf and many more!

For who is this workshop?

For anyone wishing to diversify their repertoire of dances from the Arab world and / or wishing to enrich themselves culturally. 1 year of practicing a dance is required in order to move with fluidity.

How to get there ?

The courses take place at the La Morita flamenco academy in the Roseraie district of Toulouse. The Roseraie metro station is a 3-minute walk away, and there is free parking in the studio, at 156 bis Avenue de Lavaur. 

What is the price ?

1 workshop : 45€

How to register?

By mail

By sending your payment by check with the completed registration form to the address indicated on the bulletin to be downloaded below.

Iraq dances registration form