Our dance world has suffered a major loss with the recent passing of Warda Al-Jazaairia (1939-2012) this past May. She was an amazingly gifted singer. She worked with several of the great Arab composers, and many of her songs are considered modern classics. I often danced to live versions of her songs throughout my years of dancing in the nightclubs (in the U.S. and the Middle East), and I have choreographed to her recorded work.

Warda’s life story and music catalog are readily available via the internet, and I strongly encourage you to research or revisit her contributions. This incredibly talented woman contributed so much to Arabic music. We are truly fortunate to live in an era where her contributions have been recorded and are now available for generations of dancers to hear, appreciate and learn.


Suhaila & Isabella performing a duet to “Nar El Ghera”, one of Warda’s modern classics

Image: Warda al-Jazairia, August 2008