Hilal School

The Hilal Dance School

Hilal Dance

Hilal Dance ® is the art dance based on all the creative, theatrical and educational work of Suraya Hilal. Avant-garde artist, Hilal, drawing upon her Arab/Egyptian cultural roots and her extensive research, has brought a new culture to the contemporary dance world. Hilal Dance, conceived in 2000, is now established as a complete organic system which encompasses:

  • A specific Hilal bodywork, which reflects the holistic nature of the dance
  • Movement centred on three concepts: Pendulum, Scissors and Spiral
  • A choreographic language system that is rooted in the Arab/Egyptian culture yet expands into a contemporary idiom
  • An expressive style inspired by Arab aesthetics, and guided by the concept of harmony of opposites and the balance of creative energy.

Tradition and Innovation

Meticulous field research that was conducted by Suraya Hilal from the 80s, resulted in a fully codified system of movement, establishing and clarifying three traditional categories: the Sha'abi, the Baladi, and Sharqi idioms of dance and music. This work has given birth to a real artistic dance movement in Europe and has become a cultural reference for all those involved in any kind of Egyptian dance. Hilal Dance essentially draws upon ancient roots maintaining the ‘original spirit’, and through refined aesthetics, expands the expressive potential, creating a contemporary and progressive language, that reaches beyond geographic boundaries.

Eastern knowledge

Hilal Dance is particularly related to the aesthetic which underlies Arab/Egyptian art and Eastern knowledge and wisdom of the body. This is reflected in the dramatic use of:

  • The continuous line of expression that develops and returns to itself, renewed.
  • A clear geometry of line both fluid and rhythmic creating a whole expression that is both abstract and emotional.
  • The concept of repetition and improvisation.
  • The refined attention to detail, as part of the whole.
  • The inspiration and philosophy of the "harmony of opposites" in Hilal Dance, is guided by the search for a point of energy balance.
  • Hence the centrality of the breath and the importance of inner movement that expands outward through space.

Hilal Dance captures the pure energy of what everyone loves about dance. It combines the joy and freedom of movement, with the refinement of line and expression. With its strong rhythmic and fluid movement, and subtle textures, the dance promotes integrated body alignment, fitness, flexibility and a complete union of mind and body.

The Hilal Dance School

The Hilal Dance School promotes dance training through classes and courses, thematic workshops, residential courses, professional and masters’ programmes. For ten years since its inception, the Hilal Dance School has helped to disseminate and develop the work of Suraya Hilal.

Goals of the teaching:

  • Provides the work for integrating the body, which gives the dancer the ease, grace and power of movement,
  • Promotes freedom of expression by exploring the spontaneous musicality of the body
  • Provides the training of breath work, which then promotes a feeling of vitality, wellbeing and the joy dance.

Specific learning objectives:

  • Understanding and practice of the breathing yoga-based Hilal Bodywork
  • Acquisition of the basic steps and movements (that are drawn from the concepts of the traditional and extended to the contemporary).
  • Development of choreographic and improvisational skills and musical expression with the understanding of rhythmic and melodic structures.
  • Developing the skills of theatrical expression.

The course of learning is practiced at various levels, from beginner to professional. Classes and Workshops are open to all dancers both male and female, all ages and backgrounds. Prices for all the courses of training are reasonable and affordable.

Vocational or professional training to become a dancer and or a teacher is available by invitation; graduating with the Hilal Dance Diploma or becoming an Associate. (please see Hilal Art Association)

Suraya Hilal and Alessandro Bascioni collaborate with a fine group of qualified teachers, dancers and professional trainees who are working successfully in their communities, their cities and countries. Among them are Thordis Carow, Sarah Hamilton, Sabina Todaro, Alaitz Arregi, Sabrina Siboni, Verena Lawrence and many others. (Please see Teachers) Together, through their inspired work, they promote and teach Hilal Dance throughout Europe and Australia in workshops/lectures, classes and performance.

Suraya and Alessandro also give workshops internationally and in Florence where they also run weekly classes. Special courses of a week long such as Hilal Dance Week in Düsseldorf are run annually. (Please see or click workshops and events)