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Episode 134 [in English]: Esraa Warda & Mark Balahadia on Cultural Appropriation

Esraa Warda is a performance and teaching artist that preserves and transmits traditional Moroccan and Algerian dance forms through movement workshops and interactive performances. A young talent of Algerian origin, Warda is a community-taught dancer under the mentorship of women elders in her family and artists from Morocco and Algeria.  She is a firm advocate in the power of intergenerational transmission, women-led traditions, and decolonizing euro-centricity, Orientalism, and oppressed bodies in dance.

Mark Balahadia is a Filipino American dancer specializing in the dances of Iraq and the Khaleej).  Check out his earlier episode published on July 10!  

For this episode, we were joined by Esraa and Mark to discuss ways of pushing back against cultural appropriation in dance, about ways of engaging in dance forms in a way that is respectful to the culture from which they stem, and we got to hear about each of their own dance careers.

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Episode 92 [in English]: Laylit!

For the last episode of this year, we bring you a glimpse into a party called Laylit.  As the event listing describes it, it is a party celebrating the diverse music from the MENA region and its diaspora.  “Stretching all the way back to the 50s and diving into today’s contemporary scene, each LayLit party takes you on a genre-spanning musical trip, highlighting the incredible diversity, depth and richness that comes out of the region.”

These parties happen in both Montreal and NYC; the NYC one is hosted by C’mon Everybody, a welcoming space in Brooklyn.  Wake Island and Saphe make these beautiful dance parties a reality.  We (Nadia and Alia) got to talk to Nadim and Phil of Wake Island about the significance of Laylit, what goes into curating a set, and how the revolution has influenced Laylit.

Later, you’ll hear from attendees Hilal a.k.a. thelebanesemafia!

Follow laylitparty and wakeislandmusic on Instagram.

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