Kabyle Amazigh (Berber) Dance
Janine Ryle
Saturday, June 8, 2013, 1:00pm
Dance 1 - Room #226

Kabyle Amazigh (Berber) Dance originates from Kabylia, the Berber region just outside of the Algerian capital city of Algiers. The distinctive features of the dance are fast footwork, near-constant hip movements, and colorful, twirling scarves.

The Kabyles, the largest Berber-speaking tribe in Africa, occupy the mountainous coastal area of Kabylia, in northern Algeria. Traditional Berber dances are filled with symbolism representing subjects such as the fertility of Mother Earth, the rites of marriage and birth, and the communication between the earthly and the Divine. The Kabyle Berber dances being taught today are drawn from this rich, colorful dance tradition that has been sustained by the unveiled, earthy, powerful, and proud women of Kabylia.

Imazighen (Berbers) are considered to be the first inhabitants of North Africa (The Maghreb). Their historical origins remain a mystery. Imazighen means Free People. They live throughout Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Morocco, Mali, Niger, Mauritania, and the Canary Islands, where they continue to struggle to maintain their identity, often in a very oppressive political climate.

Janine Ryle, co-director of Danse Maghreb, is an Ethnic dance performer, teacher, and event producer. Her early training in the arts was in music and international folkloric dance. She has studied Amazigh (Berber), North African, Andalusian, Egyptian, Turkish, Persian, Uzbek, Tajik, Bokharan, and Afghan dance. Janine has performed with Danse Maghreb, Ballet Afsaneh, Hahbi 'Ru Dance Ensemble and Magana Baptiste throughout the Bay area, including the DeYoung Museum, The Palace of Fine Arts, McKenna Theater, Rosicrucian Museum, 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.