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Cultural Touring












What is Zarafa Cultural Touring?

Zarafa's Cultural Enrichment Touring Programs are an exciting opportunity for communities, schools, arts centres and the corporate sector to experience the magic of Eastern music and dance in a local setting.

Cultural Touring Programs involve members of Zarafa working with a community or organisation for anywhere between an afternoon and a week; programs are typically one or two days in length. Where the community or organisation hosting the program is located outside of Melbourne, members of Zarafa will travel to the location and will generally stay there for the duration of the program. Zarafa travels to locations in all states of Australia and will also consider overseas requests.

Program contents are flexible. Most programs include music and dance performances and workshops. Other possible elements that may form part of a package include individual teaching, facilitated discussions / forums, and consultancy. The details of each package are negotiated on an individual basis to meet the needs and goals of the purchasing organisation.

Zarafa Cultural Touring provides a positive, engaging experience of cultural diversity, and promotes the respectful sharing of beliefs, values and skills. Programs are family-friendly and appeal to participants from a wide range of ages and ethnic backgrounds, although they can also be tailored for specific audiences. The program components are also designed to be disability-accessible.





The elements that make up each Cultural Touring Program are negotiated to meet the requirements and interests of the community or organisation hosting the program. Generally, a package would consist of at least one performance and at least one workshop. However, the purchaser is free to choose their own combination of elements from among the following options.

Performances involve presentation of traditional and original music and dance repertoire by Zarafa. A range of cultural traditions are represented, with a focus on the Balkans, Middle East and North Africa. All performances offer audiences the opportunity for dancing as well as listening. Duration of a standard full-length concert is 2.5 hours including an interval of 20 minutes. Shorter performances may also be arranged depending on the needs of the audience.

Workshops are participatory, and are facilitated to provide an engaging and welcoming space for participants of a variety of backgrounds and levels of confidence. The level of complexity for each workshop (beginners, intermediate, advanced) is flexible and is generally determined through consultation with the host organisation prior to the workshop, based on the anticipated level of skill and experience of participants. Workshop leaders are experienced teachers.

Workshop topics include:


Led by Sarah Turner and supported with live percussion by members of Zarafa. Focus on core bellydance technique, aspects of sword work, Egyptian and American Tribal Style, and folkloric elements.

Balkans folk dance

Led by Amela Ušanovic with live Balkans dance music supplied by Zarafa. Inclusive and encouraging workshop teaching a range of folk dance styles including traditional circle and line dances.

Eastern European folk songs

Led by Amela Ušanovic, this workshop includes vocal warm-ups, core vocal techniques for Eastern European singing, and the opportunity to learn and practice traditional songs.

Musical traditions of the Middle East

Led by Pin Rada and Mark Planigale. A whirlwind tour of the musical traditions of Eastern Europe, Turkey, Egypt and Morocco, with examples of contrasting repertoire from each region.

Middle Eastern percussion

Led by Zarafa's two percussionists. Workshop explores drumming techniques on darabuka, req and bendir, using multi-layered traditional rhythms from Morocco, Egypt and Turkey.

Improvising with Eastern modes

Led by Pin Rada. Pin leads participants through the theory of makams and microtones, illustrating improvisational, soloing and accompaniment techniques. Emphasis on participation.

Gypsy-style accordion

Led by Mark Planigale. Workshop presents examples of traditional repertoire from Russia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Croatia and Greece, and includes discussion of ornamentation, soloing, and accompaniment techniques.

Please note - these topics are not exhaustive. Workshops on other areas can be provided on request. Please let us know your ideas.

For a more detailed, intensive look at particular dance, vocal or instrumental styles and techniques, individual or small-group tuition can be provided by members of Zarafa. Areas of teaching specialisation include:


Bellydance: core technique
Bellydance: Egyptian and American Tribal Style
Bellydance: folkloric
Balkans folk dance


Core vocal technique
Balkans vocal techniques


Middle Eastern percussion (darabuka, req, bendir)
Piano accordion
Improvisation techniques


Western musical theory
Eastern musical theory

Discussions / forums
Members of Zarafa have experience in facilitating group discussions on areas such as the value of cultural diversity, ways to promote cross-cultural understanding, and ways to foster cultural and artistic expression within communities and organisations.

Zarafa is able to provide consultancy on a wide range of areas relating to cultural diversity and multicultural arts. Areas of expertise include multicultural events programming, event management and promotion, music recording and distribution, cross-cultural communication, multicultural policy, and the facilitation of positive inter-cultural relationships. Zarafa's consultancy team includes:

Pin Rada

15 years' professional performance experience
Manager of independent record label
Multicultural events organiser
Experience working with culturally and linguistically diverse communities in Australia and overseas

Sarah Turner

Professional business proposals advisor

Mark Planigale

Organisational policy consultant and evaluator in the human services sector
15 years' experience working with non-profit organisations in the arts, environment and human rights sectors
Founding member of Living Traditions Inc.
Multicultural events organiser

Dr. Tonya Planigale

Professional lecturer and writer on cross-cultural communication and issues of linguistic and cultural diversity
Experience working with culturally and linguistically diverse communities in Australia and overseas





Standard pricings for program elements are:

Concert performance:

$150 per performer



Individual teaching:

$40 per teacher per hour

Facilitation of discussion / forum:

$100 per facilitator per hour


$50 per consultant per hour

In addition to per-element fees, the host organisation will also need to cover other program expenses including, where relevant, travel (airfares and/or vehicle expenses), hire of P.A. equipment, and venue hire.

Where members of Zarafa will be staying on location for more than one day, accommodation will also need to be provided by the host organisation, either in the form of billetted accommodation or hotel/motel style accommodation.





For all enquiries and bookings please contact:

Pin Rada 0408 178 537
Mark Planigale 0429 136 596





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