Event Archives

Dabke with Yaa Samar! Dance Theatre Taught by Mohammed Smahneh and Zoe Rabinowitz

About the Workshop

Dabke is a Levantine folkloric dance traditionally used in cultural moments of celebration and resistance. YSDT Dabke classes blend contemporary dance and theater with traditional Dabke tools (rhythm, footwork, unison movement etc.) to invite improvisation and play within the traditional form. This workshop starts with an anatomically mindful warm-up and builds skills including technique, strength, stamina, rhythm and improvisation. The practice of Dabke is inherently intertwined with social justice movements, and conversations around the use of dance and art in social justice movements will also be incorporated into the class time.

This workshop is open to the community.

Registration Info

Our registration system has changed!
Going forward, registration for all Duke Arts Create workshops will now be processed through the Duke University Box Office. To streamline this transition, we have prepared a user guide that will walk you through the new registration process. Watch the video here.

About the Instructors

Mohammed Smahneh (aka Barges)

Mohammed Smahneh (aka Barges), a self-taught hip-hop and contemporary dance artist, has won various break-dance battles in Palestine and performed in many international and local projects including: Badke, a co-production between KVS, les ballets C de la B & A.M. Qattan Foundation (2013-16, Belgium); B choreographed by Koen Augustijnen and Rosalba Torres (2017-2019, Belgium);  Nomads Dance Camp directed by Dina Abu Hamdan with choreographers Jorge Crecis, Taoufiq Izzediou, and Samar Haddad King (2014, Jordan); Naji Ali with Botega Dance Company directed by Enzo Celli (2009, Italy); and was a champion in Floor Wars Battle (2012, Denmark). Mohammed has been a member of YSDT since 2013.

Zoe Rabinowitz is the Executive Director and a founding member of Yaa Samar! Dance Theatre. Originally from Vermont, Zoe graduated from the Walnut Hill School for the Arts before earning her BFA in Dance from the Ailey/Fordham BFA program, with additional studies at De Amsterdamse Hogeschool voor de Kunsten (Netherlands). She has performed with artists including INSPIRIT: a dance company, JoAnna Mendl Shaw/Equus Projects, MBDance, The Movement Party, Nia Love/Blacksmith’s Daughter, Urban Bush Women, and Anne Zuerner. Her own work for stage and film has been presented throughout the US, and abroad in Austria, Bulgaria, Germany, Mexico, and South Korea.

About Duke Arts Create

Duke Arts Create is a series of free, hands-on arts workshops designed to help all Duke students, including graduate and professional students (including Duke Health), as well as Duke faculty and staff develop a variety of creative skills in the visual arts, dance and movement, creative writing and more. Workshops are open to all skill levels and backgrounds. Most workshops are held in the Duke Arts Annex, the Rubenstein Arts Center or the Duke Arts Office 2101 and are typically held weeknights from 6-8 p.m.

Registration for the following week’s workshops go live on Friday mornings at 9 a.m. – sign up in advance to guarantee your spot. Didn’t get a spot? No problem! We always reserve space for walk-ins. Email DukeCreate@duke.edu if you have any questions. Sign up for the monthly newsletter here, which includes the full list of classes offered during the following month.

Duke Arts Create is sponsored by the Office of the Vice Provost for the Arts (Duke Arts).

  • Mon, Apr 8, 2024 at 4:30pm
Estimated Run Time
Workshop length: 90 minutes
American Dance Festival (ADF) Building