Tahya & Grant Smith present dance and poetry recitations with percussive soundscape.
Middle Eastern doumbec
North African tar
Persian Daf and Tonbak
Handsonic ~ electronic/MIDI (musical instrument digital interface)
shakers, clackers, finger cymbals
11-12th C: Omar Khayyam
13th C: Jelaluddin Rumi
14th C: Shams-ud-din Muhammed Hafiz
16-17th C: William Shakespeare
19th C: Emily Dickinson, Oscar Wilde
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
20-21st C: Coleman Barks, Anne Campbell, Leonard Cohen, Khalil Gibran, Donovan Leitch
Classical South Indian 'Namaskaram'
Spectacular Moroccan 6/8
Egyptian-style 4/4 Beledy
Classical Persian 6/8 court-style dance
~ Listen to 'MP3' Sampler: Leonard Cohen's Dance me to end of love ~
(For more samples, scroll below....)
Tahya combines 20 years experience performing Danse Orientale, a tradition steeped in antiquity, with the talents of Grant Smith, a brilliant percussionist expertly versed to present North African, Middle & Far Eastern rhythms.
Tahya recites selections of Rumi, Hafiz and Gibran among others all the while doing dance & mudra/gesture accompanied by Grant who plays riq, tabla, tar and assorted other percussion creating a lovely soundscape to accompany the poetry and dance.
Audiences are uplifted by the dance and drumming interwoven with the beautiful messages in the words of poets who understand the language of the heart and the universal truths of humanity that withstand the test of time. Throughout the centuries these arts resonate across generations, regardless of racial, ethnic, religious or social boundaries.
Independently Tahya and Grant have performed throughout the U.S., Europe, Asia and Australia. Working together combining their talents, Tahya and Grant have enjoyed successful presentations at a variety of venues throughout the Northeast U.S. This program has been very well received and is appropriate for a variety of performance venues including ~ but not limited to ~ collegiate venues, e.g., literature and/or world religion departments.
RAVE REVIEWS!! (See below) . . .
Tahya performances are resplendent with textures and rhythms that affect the senses at their core. It seems like history comes alive with the glories of the Persian court. Tahya does a remarkable job of keeping the history and the connection with contemporary cultures alive.
- Deborah Sacarakis, Artistic Director, Zoellner Arts Center, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA
Tahya can transform any school assembly or concert hall into another time and place with her artistry. I have performed with her and she is a true artist as well as a gifted communicator."
- David Amram , internationally-acclaimed composer/conductor/multi-instrumentalist.
This is an incredibly engaging performance of the mystical poetry of Rumi, Gibran and Hafiz interwoven with a myriad of percussive elements and dance. It is a treasure to see this poetry literally come to life in such a beautiful way.
- Therese Swift-Hahn Bella Scrittura Calligraphy and Design Mount Laurel, NJ
...dancer extraordinaire Tahya dazzled the crowd. The combination of strong musical numbers and considerable stage presence is elegant. Tahya's dance activates the space and Grant's drumming enhances the dance... I highly recommend this program .
- Tom Katsimpalis, Curator of Interpretation, Loveland Museum/Gallery, Loveland, CO
I was certain I didn't have much interest in Sufi/mystic poetry from the mid-13th and 14th Centuries, nor did I think I had much reason to care; however, after witnessing your showcase, I have to tell you I "get it" now. I found your performance engaging. Persevere!
- Ivan Sygoda (Pentacle) New York, NY
A performance by Tahya and Grant is absolutely mesmerizing!
- Khadija/Katrina Valenzuela, Transformations Center Cape Cod, MA
Tahya and Grant Smith's performance "Rhythm and Rhyme" combines an exquisite blend of soaring prose and grounding drumbeats that will awaken your senses, stir your heart, and move your soul. Their combined expertise into a unique presentation of culture, history, music, and words is a gift for audiences of all ages .
- Toni Kellar, Roots to Rhythm Cambridge, OH
I continue to think about your beautiful use of Rumi's poems with your dancing; it was so inspiring."
- Marni Sclaroff Philadelphia, PA
Tahya graces the stage with her elegance and wonderful sense of style .
- Paul H. Chou, Director, Philharmonic Orchestra Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA
Tahya & Grant Smith have created a beautiful performance piece. ... an unusual and wonderful presentation - dramatic storytelling, with musical background and open choreographed gestures - storytelling as human art form. It warmed my soul. You enriched all of us with your gift.
- Alay'nya McLean, VA
Tahya mesmerized the audience (who) gave her many complimentary remarks. For example, 'Wonderful presentation,' 'Very entertaining,' and 'Very informative.' My personal thanks for the thought and effort put into giving a presentation that holds everyone's interest and also gives each of us new insight...
- Elaine Schadler, Manager of Mature Adult programs Northampton Community College, Bethlehem, PA
- Click here for November 2014 Godfrey Daniels performance details...
and below enjoy a sample from that Nov. performance at Godfrey Daniels (complete with an invitation for the audience to join in)
of my friends Leticia & Debbie on Frame Drum, and Deirdre on Shakers joining
Grant on Egyptian Riqq (tambourine) and Tahya (on Frame Drum) exploring a bit of song amidst the poetry et al:
~ Opening to Love ~
- Click here for Press Release
- Click here for Radio copy