Friday, April 11, 2014

Review: (Toronto / Dance) Sawah

(photo by Peter Lear)

Feats of Endurance and Inspiration
by Winna Tse

SAWAH, a music and dance production brought to us by Arabesque Dance Company is simply put, inspirational. It’s a production that went full force with powerful ensemble music and dancers alike. Right from the beginning I was drawn in by the upbeat oud ensemble led by the masterful musical director Bassam Bishara. Clearly, not only are the musicians talented but so are all the dancers. Seeing them beautifully sway their arms, shake their hips and glide across that stage really inspired me to take up some belly dancing! 

Both the female and male dancers were truly mesmerizing but I have to admit, my favourite dance number of the night was in Act One called Wahashtiini danced by the ever wonderful Yasmina Ramzy, also choregrapher and artistic director. Secondly, my favourite musical number of the night would definitely have to go to Drum Mania in Act Two led by Suleiman Warwar, also composer, percussion director and lead dumbek. It was a commanding performance that truly opened me to world of percussion music and its many splendid sounds.

What made this show all the more appealing were the beautiful costumes. Kudos to Deb Shaw, costume designer for creating such colourful and intricate garments that clearly elevated the dances to a whole new level, especially when the dancers performed as unit. They were in sync, powerful and graceful all at once. The audience was glued to all 20 dancers as the musicians played their hearts out.

This is definitely an exhausting production for both dancers and musicians. The music is lively and fast but not only that, the numbers run long and are quite intricate. Amazingly, all performers are able to stay strong and perform without missing a beat! 

With two acts and several different numbers in between, SAWAH certainly does not disappoint. The dancers and musicians are not just talented but as I said, they’re inspirational.

April 10 - 13

1 comment:

  1. show was beautiful!! Music was superb, singing was enchanting, ladies were beautiful and choreographies were stunning!!! Amazing job Arabesque!!!


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