Guedra: Rhythms, Chants and Trance Blessing Dance from Morocco
Janine Ryle, Jasmyn Mabalatan-Weissman and Amy Gilbert

The Guedra takes its name from the drum, made from a clay cooking pot of the same name, used to keep the heartbeat rhythm of the dance. It is done throughout the North African regions inhabited by the Tamachek, also known as the Tuareg or Blue People, so named because of the blue hue their indigo-dyed garments impart to their skin. The ritual is performed to impart blessings and good energy to the community, and is also done in connection with courtships and weddings. The version being taught today is from Morocco, as taught to me by legendary dancers and researchers Katarina Burda and Morocco.

Janine Ryle, co-director of Danse Maghreb, is an Ethnic dance performer and event producer. Her early training in the arts was in music and international folkloric dance. She has studied classical and folkloric Egyptian, North African folkloric and classical Andalusian, Amazigh (Berber), Turkish Rom and Oryental, Persian, Uzbek, Tajik, Bokharan and Afghan dance. Janine has performed with Ballet Afsaneh, Hahbi ‘Ru Dance Ensemble and Magaña Baptiste’s San Francisco Royal Academy of Oriental Dance, at the DeYoung Museum, The Palace of Fine Arts, McKenna Theater, Rosicrucian Museum Theater, Mexican Heritage Plaza, Marin Showcase Theater, Stanford University and UC San Francisco. She currently teaches North African dance in San Francisco. Janine has produced Ethnic music and dance performances and fundraisers in the Bay Area since 1999.