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Amanda ~ Dance Projects
...some of the projects keeping Amanda busy in dance....
Amanda offers classes in Near Eastern Dance: Bellydance and Beyond at Halanda Studio. Classes cover traditional Oriental and Folk Dance from the Near East, with emphasis on rhythms and musical interpretation. More information under Classes.
Amanda's Karavansaray Dance Company made its debut in July 2008. The performance repertoire brings together wide-ranging cultural influences from regions across the Near East: Turkey, Egypt, the Levant, Armenia, North Africa, and more. Dancers who wish to learn and perform these dances are welcome to join us in rehearsals on Monday nights - please contact Amanda for more information.
Since 2011, Amanda has hosted international dance ethnologist and master teacher Helene Eriksen in the ANAR DANA San Francisco Bay Area Training Project. In this project, participants choose seven dance styles -- ranging from North Africa to the Balkans to Central Asia -- and spend nine intensive weekends, spaced across several months, learning these styles in depth. Each Project culminates with a weekend of performances to present the styles the participants have learned. The first Project ended in April 2013, the second in May 2015, and the third in November 2016. The fourth Project series will hold its Introductory Weekend, to choose dances for the Project, in Feb. 2017. All interested dancers are welcome to attend -- even if they don't wish to join the Project -- this wonderful "survey course" of dances from North Africa, the Middle East, the Balkans, Anatolia, the Caucasus, Iran, and Central Asia. When the Project resumes, the general public is also welcome at associated Cultural Evenings with Helene, who will present a lecture with slides and videos on each of the regions the Project chooses to study.
Based at Stanford University in Palo Alto, CA, Yore is quickly becoming the premier Turkish folk dance troupe in Northern California. Comprised mostly of Turkish natives and Turkish-Americans, Yore presents authentic Turkish regional folk dances and performs throughout the Bay Area, including at the 2004 San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival. Amanda was a member of Yore from 2003 to 2006, and has been an ardent fan of the group ever since.
Probably the only dance troupe in California dedicated to presenting dances of Algeria, and certainly the only dance troupe in the Western US presenting Kabyle (berber) dances. Founded by Janine Ryle and Jasmyn Mabalatan in 2003. Dances frequently with Algerian/Kabyle Moh Alileche and his Ensemble. Amanda performed with Danse Maghreb in 2005 and 2006.
Under direction of Vikashni, Naach Duniya presented Bollywood-style dance representing many regions of India. Amanda was a member from 2006 through 2008.
Amanda and Hala opened Halanda Studio at 1062 Lincoln Avenue, San Jose, CA in May 2006. The studio is dedicated to offering a wide range of dance styles and fitness techniques -- ethnic dance, folk dance, dance and theater arts, ballet, ballroom dance, aerobics, yoga, martial arts and more. In addition, the Studio hosts dance parties and workshops and welcome inquiries from anyone who needs space for classes, workshops, photo or video shoots, lectures, or any special event. In order to spend more time on her career and other projects, Amanda opted to leave the partnership in Halanda Studio at the end of 2013, but she still teaches at the Studio and wholeheartedly supports Hala in her new role as sole proprietor of Halanda Studio.
Known for its stunning costumes, energetic performances, live music, and larger-than-life leaders, John Compton and Rita "Rebaba" Alderucci, Northern California's renowned Hahbi'Ru Dance Ensemble presented folkloric dances from throughout the Middle East. Based in San Francisco, Hahbi'Ru was a staple of Northern (and sometimes Southern) California historical faires and busy at dance events throughout the state -- including the 2006 San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival. Amanda became a member of Hahbi'Ru in 1999 and was often featured as a solo sword dancer. In 2012, Hahbi'Ru sadly had to say a final farewell to its beloved co-director John Compton, and the troupe honored his memory with a series of farewell performances during 2013. Rita is still teaching workshops in the Hahbi'Ru style, so the legacy continues!