Raqsat Katya - "The Dances of Katya": Music-Making in the Bellydance World in Detroit, Michigan
Since 2012 Katya has been performing as a raqs sharqi bellydancer in the largest Arab American community in North America, Detroit, Michigan. This CD is a labor of love and it showcases the musicians that Katya has come to know and the music that we love. In this lecture Katya will give you a window into the dance music that makes that community thrive, and the musicians behind it.
Katya Faris, M.A. Ethnomusicology, *Best of 2015* *Best of 2014* *Best of 2013*, is a World Class bellydancer, instructor, choreographer and director that has been dancing in the traditions of the Middle East since she was a young girl of 11, and danced with her Persian family in-laws and friends in Los Angeles, California. Katya is co-producing an Arab music CD for bellydance in Detroit with music producer Nader Harb, "Raqsat Katya", which she and her music got featured in Patty Greer's new film, "The Women of Today". Katya works closely with her Egyptian mentor, Ehab Gadalla, and several Arab American institutions for her educational programs. She is the preferred dancer amongst Middle Eastern venues, musicians, and families, and has danced in Chicago, Detroit, NYC, LA, Miami, London, Sweden, South Korea, as well as upcoming shows in Canada, Europe and the Middle East. She is also a favorite model of Shahraman Palace, a bellydance costume designer in Beirut, Lebanon, and exclusively wears couture costumes made for her by Shahraman. Katya has appeared in TV commercials in the US and the UK for clients such as CBS and the BBC.
She received her M.A. in Ethnomusicology from Indiana University, and produced the "Mosaic Dance Concert Series" at the John Waldron Art Center Auditorium in 2008, and at the Buskirk Chumley Theatre with the Bellydance Superstars in 2011. While she does bellydance shows for all types of events, she also does cultural education multi-media presentations on Middle Eastern folk dance and music for children of all ages, including several university presentations. Her vast knowledge of authentic dance techniques and musical forms is matched by her subtlety, grace, and personal charm. A typical performance with Katya features her dancing in the traditions of Egyptian, Lebanese, Turkish, and American cabaret style Raqs Sharqi ("Oriental Dance"), all complete with superb finger cymbal playing and veils. She also uses Isis Wings, fanveils, candles, swords and canes for her shows, and is a real crowd pleaser!
Katya currently is a course instructor with IUPUI in their Department of Continuing Education, and also teaches out of her home studio, the Mosaic Dance Academy. From 2002-2006 she taught at Indiana University, Bloomington Campus where she was the Director of the Middle Eastern Dance Program at the Student Recreation Sports Center (SRSC).
Katya's performances always generate a great deal of energy and excitement. Audiences have responded to her dances with overwhelming enthusiasm. Her talent and loyalty to an authentic traditional style have proven to be both educational and entrancing!