top of page


The music is called Mwashahat and it is an old genre from the 10th century

From our performance at Mossagårdsfestivalen. Imad Altamimi: oud and vocals, Omar Alhaj: vocals, Yazan Alqaq: riqq, Anu Vastenius: darbuka, Alaa Nahhas: daf, Dina Matskevich: oriental fusion dance

The music is called Mwashahat

It's a very old genre, goes as far as the 10th century. At that time, it was considered a controversial genre because the lyrics spoke passionately about love, the sorrow and pain of being in love and about drinking.

Mwashahat is very popular in Aleppo, Syria where I used to live. I grew up listening to it when I was a child, as my uncles and aunts loved to gather on Fridays and sing those songs. Back then I was too young to understand the importance of the music, the ancient lyrics and the complexity of the rhythms.

Interpretation in action

​There is no reference for how people danced to this type of music in the 10th century, but in the 1970's the famous Egyptian choreographer Mahmoud Reda (The Belly Dance Icon) presented the Muwashah as a dance spectacle on a stage for the first time in modern history. He invented this new genre of dance by imagining how the rhythmic patterns and lyrics in this type of music should be expressed, while adhering to Middle Eastern aesthetics and cultural norms.

This is my very humble modern improv using Fusion Belly Dance movement that I consider fit to the music. It is a work in progress and the more I understand the music and lyrics my movements will change and evolve. 

bottom of page