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Ghalia (left) and Zahra (right)


Zahra has performed and taught throughout the USA and Canada, and is artistic director and featured soloist of Troupe Ta’amullat. An instructor, performer, researcher and choreographer, Zahra began her Near Eastern dance training with Suheyla (Kate McGowan) and is a disciple of Ibrahim "Bobby" Farrah, Jajouka and Pheadra. Her dancing was further enhanced by travel throughout Egypt and Turkey where she studied with master teachers and national dance companies. She brings a personal interpretation to such diverse areas as danse orientale, traditional and modern folklore, North African dances, and Near Eastern inspired interpretive works. Zahra has extensive training in other classical and ethnic dance forms, and performed as a member of Dama Maria Del Carmen Y Grupo España Spanish Dance Theater. She has appeared in the Detroit Opera Company’s Carmen and with the AJYAL Theatrical Group as guest soloist and choreographer. Zahra has also created choreographies for Malini’s Dances of India Troupe and the Washtenaw Dance Association. While under her co-directorship with Pauline Costianes/Ghalia, Troupe Ta’amullat became the first Near Eastern dance troupe recognized by the Arab Cultural Center for Economic and Social Services (ACCESS), the Detroit International Institute and OmniArts in Education. The Michigan Daily calls her "A natural and gifted dancer."


Ghalia began studies in Near Eastern and North African dances in 1975. She is a semi-professional ethnic dancer with a background in the classical and folk styles of the Near East, North Africa,Greece, the Balkans, and Central Asia. Co-Director of Troupe Ta’amullat, instructor and choreographer since 1980.

She has studied with Ibrahim Farrah and his protegés: Phaedra, Jajouka, Elena, Ruby Jazayre, Leila Gamal, as well as many other instructors including Dalia Carella (Rom/Gypsy), Bora Ozkok (Turkish) Tinike Van Geel (Armenian), Moshiko (ethnic dances of Israel), Tatiana Reichow (Central Asian/Pakistani), Mahmoud Reda (Egyptian folkloric), and Phyllis Weikart (international folk dance).


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