Dances of the Ouled Nailiyat
Janine Ryle

Travel with us to the southern oasis region of Algeria. The Ouled Nailiyat were renown for their dancing skills. The women performed throughout the region, and earned a substantial income in the process. The men of the tribe considered it an honor and privilege to marry them. After marriage, the dancer usually retired, and raised her girls to follow in the tradition. Regarded as women of ill repute by the Victorian-era French, who were shocked by their uncorseted (although fully covered!), vigorous dancing, they gradually disappeared from public. Glimpses of their dance style can still be seen in wedding celebrations in the oasis town of Bou Saada, Algeria.

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.