Two workshop modules to immerse yourself in the world of Moroccan chaabi, with the Belgo-Moroccan singer Laïla Amezian, whose varied repertoire is inspired by her Maghrebi roots, and the dancer Esraa Warda, who specialises in traditional Moroccan and Algerian styles.
The popular tradition of chaabi has persisted in Morocco since the end of the 19th century. It’s a rich cultural heritage that the Shikhats popularised throughout the countryside and cities: their songs, based on the art of the Aita (“call”), were sung to pass on a collective and sometimes revolutionary message. Since then, chaabi has become a popular style of urban singing specific to Morocco, sung at traditional festivals and accompanied by dancing.
Moroccan chaabi singing and polyphony
Sung in Darrija (a Moroccan dialect of Arabic), the popular urban songs with rural, folklore, or Arab-Andalusian influences are traditionally sung in unison. They offer a rich and colourful poetry, dealing with love as much as with everyday life or the universe, constantly infused with mysticism. The workshop will approach these songs in the very spirit of what makes them special, which is repetition, chanting, the call, the lament, or the trance-like rhythm. But the special touch is the addition of polyphony, an approach that doesn’t exist Maghrebi music, and which gives these songs a unique sound.
Moroccan chaabi dance and North-African movement
You will have the opportunity to explore chaabi movement, a style of dance that reflects the community’s voice and energy. It has a strong, festive energy that invites you to cast off your inhibitions and let go. Referencing the symbolism of horses in their movement, chaabi also connects dancers to the dance through strength and grounding. You will learn about the fundamental principles of movement, rhythm and groove to develop a basic musicality when listening to Moroccan chaabi.
Those who can’t dance will be introduced to chaabi rhythm to accompany the dance workshop.
No prior knowledge of music/dance/Arabic or French is necessary.
16 + 17 October (singing and dancing), from 10am to 4pm at L’An vert.
27 November (singing) from 10am to 4pm in Liège - venue to be confirmed.
4 + 5 December (singing and dancing), from 10am to 4pm in Liège - venue to be confirmed.
More information is available on the organisation’s site.
These workshops have been organised as part of the project Al-Karavan Chaabi.
With support as part of the Cultural Cooperation Agreement between the French and Flemish Communities.