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Middle Eastern dance troupe performs Oct. 19

Abzahrah Dance Company's Amala Gameela
Abzahrah Dance Company's Amala Gameela

Penn State Hazleton's Arts and Music Series kicks off a new season on Tues., Oct. 19, with a Middle Eastern dance company performing at 8 p.m. in the Slusser/Bayzick Building at the campus. The event is free and open to the public.


As finger cymbols click and veils shimmer, the dancers glide onto the stage. They are the women of Abzahrah. They come from the Lehigh Valley, but their name descends from the Aspara, the sensual, supernatural women who danced in palaces of the gods in Hindu and Buddhist mythology. Their dancing transports audiences through rhythms, symbolic movement and a hint of mystery into the cultures of Egypt, Morocco, Algeria, and Turkey.


The company’s founder and instructor, Amala Gameela leads weekly dance classes and continues to study with masters in the United States and Egypt. She has led Abzahrah in performances throughout the Tri-State region such as Bethlehem’s Musikfest and Hazleton’s First Night as well as appearances at night clubs, weddings, corporate gatherings and private celebrations.


A college-trained environmental scientist and avid ornithologist, has staged performances to benefit wildlife. A Nubian dance that she performs is noted for its bird-like moves.


More information on the group is available at http://www.amalaraqs.com.


The next installment of the series is scheduled for Tues., Nov. 2, with Native American singer and poet Jack Gladstone performing at 8 p.m. in the Slusser/Bayzick Building.  

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