Hi dancers. The big news is that the Person Senior Center is putting me on their daytime drop-in schedule starting August 18. 2 Wednesdays a month, from 2-4 p.m. upstairs in the room 25 dance studio. This Wednesday we are still on Zoom, going over Mudbira, Achei Bnei Teiman, and other Yemenite Israeli dances.
The Yemenite Jewish community dates from Biblical times. Though throughout history there were small groups migrating back to Jerusalem, between June 1949 and September 1950, the overwhelming majority of Yemen’s Jewish population was transported to Israel in Operation Magic Carpet. The culture they preserved for so many years is rare in its richness. and transformed Israeli culture, particularly in music and dance.
The Yemenite dance is a functional dance, as it is danced in familial and religious ceremonies -and not for fun.
The dance is inseparable from the singing, which is mostly taken from the “Diwan”, a collection of poems in which the majority were written by Rabbi Shalom Shabazi, the greatest of Yemenite Jewry’s poets. Jews in Yemen were not allowed musical instruments, and the only accompaniment was artful tapping on oil cans. Yemenite Jewry is not one group. Jews lived in various regions of Yemen and every region had its typical songs, dances and customs.
We recognize that many of the Israeli folk dances we do are based on Yemenite songs and steps, but dancers have asked me if there is any archival footage of traditional Yemenite dancing outside of the recreational and choreographed dances we learn. So I am posting links to videos that i have found that demonstrate various Yemenite styles and steps.
A documentary in English noted for the appearance of a young Margalit Oved Marshal about 2 minutes in. She’s not credited in the end, even though the credits are rolling over her dancing! Boo!
This is a performing group in Israel, — but they are dedicated to presenting dances realistically, not theatrically.
Women dancing, an exhibition but without modern theatrics.
Yemenite steps are particularly clear in this demonstration.
Mudbira, sung by Israeli-Yemenite sister group A-WA in Yemenite Arabic
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W0BWExqcaFw (music performance)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ca4XG10SOA4 (2women dancing the dance)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g5nrF6Z4Gs4&t=169s (teaching and dancing)
Here’s an old dance we should revive, it’s got very Yemenite style steps: Achai Bnei Teiman (My brothers are sons of Yemen) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7rEl196iOZ4