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Biography

"On stage, Samara appears as if she just descended from some cool, moonlit, outer region of the ether. She delights her audiences with a demeanor of restrained classicism that seems to belong to another age and place;... Though she is American born, Samara's spirit evokes the pure Orient."

—Ibrahim Farrah

Samara’s hallmark style, a blend of serene elegance, spiritual grace, earthy passion, and technical prowess is the result of a life long commitment to Oriental Dance. Drawn to the dance since she was a child; via her Mediterranean heritage (Greek and Turkish), Samara’s background enhanced her organic sense of rhythm and her mastery of hip dynamics that characterize the dances of the Near East. Samara began dancing professionally in her teens, having already studied other dance forms extensively. Her exotic beauty and natural talent soon made her one of the most sought after dancers in the New York Area.

While some dancers might have been content to rest on their laurels, Samara chose instead to constantly challenge herself and pursue the art of Middle Eastern dance on it’s highest level. In this quest she was aided by her outstanding dance mentor, the late master dancer/teacher/choreographer IbrahimF.arrah. Samara studied with Mr. Farrah for over 15 years. As a member of his renowned Near East dance Group, Samara’s performed in some of America’s most prestigious concert halls, including Carnegie Hall, Avery Fischer Hall at Lincoln Center, Town Hall, The Triplex Theater, Theater of the Riverside Church and Merkin Concert Hall in New York, the Warner Theater in Washington D.C. and the Spoleto Festival in Charleston S.C.

After the untimely death of Ibrahim Farrah, Samara joined two of his other principle dancers, Phadrea and Jajouka, on a tour of various cities in the U.S. from October 1999 to July 2000. Together they taught the Ibrahim Farrrah method and performed his choreographies in such theaters as the Hart House Theater in Toronto, the Robert B Moore Theater in Costa Mesa California, On The Boards Theater in Seattle, Washington and the Da Capo Opera House in New York City.

In addition to her work with the Near East Dance Group, Samara has shared the stage with some of the most famous singing stars of the Middle East including, ( to name a few), Walid Tofic, Ragheb Alame, Sabah, and George Wassouf. Samara was a part of Warda’s dazzling show at Madison Square Garden, The Brooklyn Funk Essential at Irving Plaza and danced with famed pop-fusion star Alabina at the Beacon Theater. She co-produced and appeared as an original member of the World Beat Extravaganza Ballet Exotiqa and danced with Christine Aguillera at Radio City Music Hall for the MTV Music Awards. Samara was a 1998 inductee into the American Academy of Middle Eastern Dance Hall of Fame.

As a soloist, Samara has been engaged in Middle Eastern nightclubs and theaters throughout the United States and Abroad. Her dance journeys have taken her to Mexico, the Caribbean, France, England, China, Japan, Jordan, Egypt, Israel and West Africa. Samara performed in Greece three consecutive years and shortly after toured in Turkey, Greece, Russia, Bulgaria, Egypt and Israel. She has performed as a Guest Artist with the Kamatsu Kaoru Arabia Dance Company at the Kyurian Theater in Tokyo Japan and at the Ahlan Washalan Festival in Cairo Egypt June 2008.

For the past ten years Samara has been the choreographer and Artistic Director of Dance for The Mosaic Dance Theater Company. For Mosaic she has choreographed numerous traditional and interpretive works including: Tales From The Arabian Night (2014), MDTC 10th Anniversary Concert at The Martha Graham Theater (2013), The Art Of Sense & Soul (2013), MDTC at The Hudson Guild Theater (2011), MDTC at Westminster College (2011), MDTC At Westminster College (2010) ,Tradition Myth & Fantasy (2009), MDTC and Viva Flamenco (2009), Dances of Time and Tradition (2008), MDTC At Reinhardt College (2008), Dances of North Africa and The Middle East (2007), The Fisherman and The Djinni and The King of The Ebony Isles: Tales from The Arabian Nights (2006), Visions of The Near East (2005), and a Celebration of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean Dance (2003).

 Additional choreographic credits include several Off Broadway productions: Banat El Amir or The Dancing Princesses in which she also performed, Caravan to Cairo critically acclaimed in it’s presentation at the New York International Fringe Festival, special choreographer for Broadway star Robert Cuccioli in Elvis Unbound, Veils (a serial comedy), and Kamatsu Kaoru Arabia Dance Company in Tokyo Japan.

At home in New York City, Samara has taught in a number of well known dance schools, among them The New Dance Group, Dance Concepts, The Ibrahim Farrah Near East Dance School, The YWCA of New York City, Hunter College Dance Department, The United Nations, Djiniba Dance and Drum Center, Fazils, Steps and Manhattan Movement and Arts Center. Samara now teaches at Dany Studios, Nola Studios and is a faculty member at The Alvin Ailey Extension. Samara also teaches at various cultural centers for the City Of New York.  As a Seminar Instructor Samara teaches regularly throughout the United States and Abroad.

Samara conducts a Weeklong Intensive Workshop every year in New York City where students come from all over to study her method. Her classes are noted for their emphasis n developing strong technical skills, expressiveness, spatial patterns and musical interpretation. Samara’s extensive back round, in Theater and Caberat gives her students a very broad over view into this intricate and expressive dance form.

Samara’s talents are not limited to dance. She has studied acting at The Ernie Martin Studio Theater and The Actors Conservatory with Elaine Aiken and has appeared in Off Broadway productions. Samara has also studied writing and film making at the New School for Social Research. As a professional model, Samara has worked in the U.S. and Europe in runway, print, and fashion. As a producer, Samara has produced dance, theater, musicals and has recently produced her first Middle Eastern Dance CD “YA SAMARA “ A significant amount of Samara’s time and energy is also dedicated to humanitarian causes. She is particularly active in animal rescue, animal rights and environmental organizations.

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