by Nizana El Rassan
Dalia Carella was one of the workshop instructors I studied with who made an impact on me early in my dance journey. I was intrigued by her individuality and enjoyed her presentation of Middle Eastern dance as well as her creations of El Mundo and Dunyavi dance styles. Especially as Dalia is still active in teaching and performing, I thought it was important for more dancers to get to know her.
Nizana: Thank you, Dalia, for the opportunity to interview you. I have followed you over the years after taking some of your workshops and am thrilled to see you have remained engaged in artistic endeavors! Are you still in NYC? Please tell us what you have been up to recently.
Dalia: Yes, NYC has been my home for over 35 years. I have been active and am still active with wonderful artistic projects, shows, classes, workshops. What an amazing place to do your art in a city that really never sleeps (almost like me lol) and full of inspiration.
Nizana: How exciting, dancers in your area are lucky to have you! And yes, New York City is definitely a lively and creative place! Tell us about your dance background. You bring such passion to your dance. Have you studied other dance styles? What got you started in ME dance and what inspired you to branch out with new styles?
Dalia: When I moved to NYC (I first started dance in Buffalo, NY) I was already dancing Danse Orientale/Belly Dance, and was already developing/creating some of my signature dance forms called Flamenco Araby and Dunyavi Roma Dance/Turkish Roman. In the early 70s, I was studying Danse Orientale for the first 5 years and then I decided that there was more to dance in our artform then just Danse Orientale. I love all forms of dance, whether it be in our form, not just cabaret dance, but folkloric, jazz, ballet, modern, tango, salsa,
flamenco, Indian dance, African dance etc. The forms that I just listed I have studied throughout the years. I feel so blessed that I have all these amazing dance forms around me so that I could learn and explore them and fuse them into my different dance forms that I presented in class, lecture or concert.
Nizana: Fabulous, that explains the different flavors in your performances! I still occasionally perform a Dunyavi choreography to Mastika. It’s such a fun, colorful and joyous dance style. Do you have a favorite style you like to teach or perform?
Dalia: I always say Danse Orientale is my heart and Turkish Romani is my soul. It's really true. I started fusing Indian dance movements and inspiration with Flamenco and Turkish Roman dance in the late ‘70s and continue to study Romani dance still. I love studying every aspect of both Orientale and Romani. Then my next love is my Flamenco Araby work, dancing with the Abanico (flamenco fan), the Monton (Flamenco shawl) and the Bata de cola (long ruffled train). I feel Flamenco movement and stylization (not footwork in heels) so deeply when mixed with different aspect of Danse Orientale. Whenever I get a chance, I will go to see a flamenco show along with so many diverse dance forms in NYC.
Nizana: I have seen your Flamenco Araby work, very passionate and commanding. That is great to be in a location where you are able to see, study and perform these various styles. They are all awesome, for sure. Another fascinating thing you do is tarot readings; I follow that page of yours on Facebook, too. Tell us about that activity.
Dalia: I have been studying Metaphysics since I have been 18 years old. I have quite a successful "Unconventional Life Coach" business guiding people to be the best they can be through spirituality and self-realization and I do it through Tarot. I have been involved with the ancient art of Tarot for 35 years. I have been doing special events and lectures regarding woman empowerment and healing workshops through sacred dance and tarot as well. I am so excited to be mixing dance and mysticism together. Powerful and life changing!
Nizana: That sounds powerful and life changing! One of these days, I need to check that out! I love your general tarot readings you generously share. Thank you for that! What other dance plans do you have coming up?
Dalia: My new focus will be offering Dance Retreats and Sacred Dance and Women's Empowerment Healing Retreats. I'm doing baby steps right now trying to put this all together, but you will be hearing about this soon. I am sooooo excited. I will also be having guest holistic doctors travelling with me as well. I will also be offering my classes on an online teaching portal and have a membership opportunity but that will take time as well. For now, anyone interested in studying with me can study with me either in NYC or on Zoom!
Nizana: That sounds fabulous and so exciting! Looking forward to hearing more about it1 It’s great that things have opened up again to allow us to do the things we love. Well, thank you so much for spending some time with me today, Dalia! Your talents are amazing and I appreciate you sharing them with Fanoos readers!
Dalia: I am pleased and honored for you to interview me. Thank you for the support!