Coming from a background in instrumental and vocal music and musical theatre, Phaedra Darwish was mesmerized by Arabic dance and music after studying different types of dance from around the world. She feels that these art forms are beautiful ways to share the culture of her heritage.
She has been performing and teaching workshops and classes in Chicago and throughout the US for the past 14 years, as well as producing and taking part in cultural events, community fundraisers, and dance festivals as both a musician and dancer. Through active engagement, maintaining a high standard of execution, and participation in quality programming, Phaedra hopes to spread enthusiasm and respect for Middle Eastern dance as more and more people get acquainted with its health benefits and enchanted by its beauty.
With its lively music and rich historic tradition, oriental dance, or raqs sharqi, brings with it more than just dance moves. By examining the music, regions, and cultural aspects behind the movement in her classes and performing Arabic dance at a professional level both inside and outside of its traditional environment, Phaedra seeks to fulfill her mission as an artist: to increase cultural awareness, appreciation, and understanding by sharing the dances of her heritage with as large a population as possible.