GBDAC 2015 Intensive Workshop

GBDAC (Give Belly Dance a Chance) 2014 | Josephine Theatre | Naser Musa Lecture on Taksim Mawal
With Karen Barbee, Naser Musa, and Georges Lammam
July 18-20, 2015 (Saturday thru Monday)
Karavan Studio – San Antonio, Texas

Karavan Studio | Karen Barbee | GBDAC 2015 Intensive Workshop
All our workshop topics are developed with an eye toward developing dancers FULLY so that they can eventually improvise to live music with genuine, strong, and complete expression and COMPELLING PERFORMANCE!!

You can sign up for the full workshop or for individual sessions located in the agenda below.

Fill out your Workshop Waiver online or click here for the pdf version to send to Karen.

Preliminary Agenda:

“If you train to dance to live music, everything else is a piece of cake!”
 – Ahmad Ghafour, Byblos Band, Houston, TX

Saturday, July 18

10:00am – 10:30am
Discussion/Review of Karen’s Ever-evolving Philosophy, Background, and Plan for the weekend.

10:30am – 11:30am
Technical Drills

11:30am – Noon
“Show me Your Stuff” (individual presentations of a piece of work for Karen’s purposes – so she will know how to select exercises over the weekend.  If you would like a personal critique, let her know)

Noon – 1:00pm
Lunch and “Hot Topic” Discussion

1:00pm – 3:00pm
"Discovering your ‘Heararchy’” and “Combination Repurposing, Restructuring, and Revelation” (description below)

Click here to reserve your spot for this special session for $25

8:00pm – 10:00pm
Karavan Recital
You have comp tickets if you wish to attend.


Sunday, July 19


10:00am – 11:00am
Technical Drills (description below)

11:00am – Noon
Organic Drills (description below)

Click here to reserve your spot for this special session of Drills - Technical vs Organic for $25

Noon – 1:00pm
Lunch and “Hot Topic” Discussion

1:00pm – 3:00pm
“So You Think You Can Dance….To Live Music”

Click here to reserve your spot for this special session of lunch and "So You Think You Can Dance... To Live Music" for $50

6:00pm – 10:00pm
Karavan Production of “Inta Omri” and then our “Performance Improvisation” Show of GBDAC 2015 at the Josephine Theater with the Byblos Band from Houston, Georges, and Naser. You have comp tickets if you wish to attend.


Monday, July 20


10:30am – 11:30am
Wrap-Up of previous two days with Karen

11:30am - 12:30pm
Lunch and Lecture with Naser Musa – Arabic Music by region: review and reinforce!

12:30pm – 1:30pm
Lecture continues with Georges – Classic and Contemporary Arabic Music Analysis

1:30pm – 2:30pm
Karen, Georges Lammam on violin and Naser Musa on oud – “Taksim Texture Tactics”

Click here to reserve your spot for this special session of lunch and lectures with Karen, Georges, and Naser from 11:30am to 2:30pm for $50



Topics Covered:

Discover Your “Heararchy” – Karen
Using various musical selections (American and Arabic), work thru several exercises to determine what sounds naturally grab your attention for interpretation versus what other options are there. 

Develop your skill for switching back and forth between various “tracks” of sound for primary and secondary interpretation – thereby keeping your dance vibrant, musically relevant, and interesting.

Combinations – Repurpose, Restructure, or Reveal! – Karen 
In these days of workshops filled with learning full choreographies, how can we ensure that we all get something useful from our time and money spent?? 

Learn some exercises for taking combinations from dances learned; placing them into other music, and then stretching or compressing the movements and phrases to make them work!  The process itself often creates beautiful new choices for movement!  We will learn several combinations and then use them to music that the band will be playing for you on Sunday.

So You Think You Can Dance……To Live Music!
Begin (or continue) to close that chasm between dancing a choreography to recorded music and improvising to live music. 

Learn the logical steps, tools, and expectations for successful performance improvisation – both to musical selection and a drum solo.   And be ready to put your knowledge on the stage in the Sunday show with fellow workshop participants!





Drills – Technical versus Organic – Karen

Logic-intensive, muscle-and-brain-challenging body work makes us stronger dancers – for sure!  But purely technical drills can sometimes create a habit of robotic movement that becomes hard to break. 

Choreographies become busier and look like a drills class themselves!  Yikes!  Organic Drills, i.e. simply following a seasoned dancer in her movement (ala 1970’s style learning) can reveal a more emotional, genuine, melodic path of movement that, when combined with the technical work, produces a fuller experience for everyone.

Taksim Texture Tactics
Work thru exercises led by Karen to the music of Georges on violin and Naser on oud to fine tune your taksim. 

Analyze the differences in technical and emotional interpretation, consider taksims with background rhythm and without, and work to vary your expression for the instrument choice, mood, and style of a given improvisational piece.

Arabic Music by Region

Naser will discuss and give examples of musical styles, language differences, rhythms, and inspirations by region of the Middle East.

Classic and Contemporary Arabic Music Analysis

Georges and Naser will discuss and give examples of Arabic music as it has evolved over the years; addressing the influences that drove the changes, the composers who blazed the trail, and the trends they see for the future.


Cancellation Policy

No refunds unless the workshop is cancelled.  Substitutions for any workshop purchased must have signed release
from enrollee designating a qualified participant over 18.
“Karen is truly dedicated to this art form. For many years she has committed to the growth of herself as well as her students. Her talent and loyalty to working as an artist shows through.”
— Suhaila Salimpour

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