Dance of Life
The Iraqi, Assala Ibrahim, has lived and danced in Switzerland for the past 15 years and since 2004 she has taught in Frauenfeld.
Oriental dance has been a constant companion of Assala Ibrahim since her early childhood in Iraq. Whilst accompanying her mother who beautified and bedecked the women with jewelry for the henna night or the wedding, she observed how the women danced at these family festivities. The dance and the splendid colours of the costumes impressed her greatly.
After completing her studies as a secondary school teacher in Baghdad Assala Ibrahim came to Switzerland in 1993 where, after graduating from business school, she worked for various international firms. She began at first giving dance classes 2 evenings a week which eventually grew to take up all her time, her passion eventually becoming her career. She continued to dance in the east at family events, studied the history of the dance as well as completing studies in body work and breathing techniques. Since 2004, Assala has taught in her own school, Tanzatelier El Assale in Frauenfeld. Alongside her regular classes, Assala also gives workshops in Switzerland and abroad, training dancers to the highest level. Assale Ibrahim has developed Raqs Sharqi into a stage art, her authentic style leaving audiences impressed and enthusiastic. In the press she has been complimented on "the beauty of her graceful, flowing, earthy, sensual and fiery repertoire of movements" and her "unique stage presence". She received a great deal of support and praise for her Munagat tour in 2007.
Her recipe for success? "I fill my life with dance and my dance with life".
Katrin Zürcher, freelance journalist