Join us for a unique program of contemporary and traditional indigenous Moroccan dance choreographed and performed by Kristina Koutsoudas and company, including dancers participating in a recent program of classes sponsored by a Let Creativity Happen Grant through the Houston Arts Alliance and the city of Houston and Dance Source Houston.
Ancestors of ancient Berber fertility dances, the evening's performance features lively Chikaat (Romangi) and Cha'abi (street or village) dances which combine powerful, subtle, hip movements, expressive gestures, and dynamic expression to create beautiful dances unlike any other. Pieces include dances performed for entertainment including a tambourine dance and tea tray dance, with tea and sweets, as well as those of traditional ceremony and ritual, with rose petals and light. Audiences have the opportunity to participate in, as well witness, dance and ceremony. To learn more, please visit www.divinedances.com/events.
Celebrating over 20 years of artistic excellence and recognition in Houston, Kristina serves a diverse population to foster creativity, compassion, community, and engagement through world class cultural, traditional and contemporary dance. Engaged in both traditional research and innovating performance and choreography, Kristina re envisions and presents women's dances of the North Africa, Middle and Near East, and Mediterranean for contemporary audiences. Staging compelling and accessible new works, she aims to challenge as well as to entertain, uplift, and educate her audiences. Her performances are powerful, joyful, and intimately human, connecting to both children and adults form all backgrounds and abilities.
Kristina is a rare gifted, combination of choreographer, performer, and teacher of contemporary and traditional folkloric dances of the Middle East/North Africa who seeks to redefine the contexts of traditional dance and myth. Awarded a Let Creativity Happen grant from the City of Houston for her North African dance programs, she was also recently awarded her fifth Support for Artists and Creative Individuals grant, her first for literature, from the Houston Arts Alliance for “Inara and the World Tree: An Anthology of Tales” a collection of short stories based on ancient Mesopotamian myths. Kristina was voted by Houston Press as one of the "100 Creatives of Houston" for choreography and has a list of firsts to her name. She is: first to teach Middle Eastern dance as a credited course at a university in Texas (Rice University, receiving the Frank W. Bearden Award for Teaching Excellence), first to teach Middle Eastern Dance at a center for psychology (the Jung Center of Houston), first in the US to develop arts-in-education programs on the Middle East (Young Audiences of Houston), and one of the first to develop/perform a narrative Middle Eastern dance form. Kristina has performed and taught in countless spaces, nationally and internationally, traditional and nontraditional and won numerous awards for her choreography and teaching. Currently, Kristina teaches online dance classes and workshops, writes on dance history, collaborates with other artists to create videos and understanding of re-envisioned goddess based mythologies, participates in international conferences on ancient/contemporary dance, and is extensively engaged in research for future narrative & cultural dance programs. To learn more about Kristina, please visit www.divinedances.com.