I have written before of Jamila Salimpour, the Grandmother of Tribal Belly Dance, but I thought it worth writing about one of her students, Katarina Burda, who has been such an important figure in West Coast belly dance and the development of some of our formative teachers and performers.
Katarina Burda, is an ethnologist/dancer/musician, who has devoted herself to the study, performance and teaching of Middle Eastern and Balkan dance and music for 40 years. Having studied dance with Jamila Salimpour and performed in Bal Anat, the grandmother of the tribal style, Ms. Burda has gone on to study the regional dances and music of Morocco, Turkey, the Balkan Romanies, and Egypt. She has taught countless dancers in the USA and Europe and formed and directed the acclaimed San Francisco music and dance company Aywah!
Aywah’s dancers sang and played musical instruments themselves, and attracted and inspired a generation of excellent musicians. Some of the best-known/loved performers and workshop teachers who were Burda’s students include Mira Betz, Elizabeth Strong, Rosa Rojas, Tara Pandeya, Zoe Jakes, Hannah Romanowsky and many more!
Here are a few videos of Aywah! I love:
Katarina Burda spends time in Chiapas, Mexico and the San Francisco Bay Area, California, teaching dance and music and studying art.