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North African traditional and contemporary dance

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Amel Tafsout is an Algerian-born performer, teacher and choreographer of North African traditional and contemporary dance.

From an interview by Akasha Afsana in a 2012 issue of Fuse magazine:

  • Born in Algeria, where she was exposed to many genres of dance, both East and West.
  • When she began dancing professionally, she avoided the Egyptian Cabaret dance style, which she perceived as degrading to women, and concentrated on dancing that did not require bare torsos.
  • Her professional break came in the 1980s, when a popular world music band, Die Dissidenten, asked Amel and her troupe to perform with them on TV and to tour in Italy and Spain.
  • She eventually moved to London where she became a solo artist.
  • She encourages dancers to understand dance styles, not just mimic them.


From an interview by Tempest in a 2011 issue of Zaghareet, a portion of which covered dance presentation:
  • Dancing in restaurants is a good school, but it will keep the dance in that milieu.
  • Most of the festivals don't pay attention to having good lighting to make the dance look more professional.
  • When working on an event with a theme, start with the music.
  • After the music, work on the dance, paying special attention to the lyrics and the movements needed to express them.
  • Then think about the costume color(s).
  • Then I decide how traditional or how simple the costume needs to be.
  • I love being creative using different layers and headdresses.
  • Remember that the costume doesn't make the dance, it is the dancer.

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