Middle Eastern Dance & Drum Residency
Nikolai Ruskin and Aegela ~ October 30 - November 2, 2012


Nikolai Ruskin is a composer and multi instrumentalist known for his skill on a variety of instruments from around the Middle East. His passion for visual art and storytelling carry into his musical aesthetic, crafting his own unique style. Nikolai grew up as an artist in California, where he spent his early adulthood as an illustrator before discovering his talent for music in 1996 at age 21. After several years of intensive study, Nikolai co-founded the Cornell Middle Eastern Music Ensemble in Ithaca, New York, of which he was the musical director from 2002-2006. Nikolai currently resides in Ithaca where he composes for film and video games and performs with two bands: Gadje and SOUK: Middle Eastern Grooves.


Since 1978, Aegela's love of Middle Eastern dance has taken her throughout the US and to the heart of the art---Egypt. She has engaged in several performing tours of Cairo and Alexandria, Egypt. It was on her first tour that Aegela was awarded the coveted Lifetime Performer's license by the Egyptian Ministry of Culture, an honor held by only 11 foreigners. While working in Egypt, Aegela enjoyed the privilege of studying with famed dancer/choreographer Mahmoud Reda, of the Reda Troupe, and with Madame Busi, principal dancer with the National Folkloric Company.

During her teaching career, Aegela has conducted classes for the deaf and hearing impaired, and devised a format for use in occupational therapy rehabilitation programs assisting women in regaining range of motion. Recently, she developed a dance program for women recovering from strokes. These experiences have enhanced her ability to articulate movement and discern what subtle changes are required for the desired effect.


Public Performance
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
5:30pm and 6:00pm
Dana Dining Hall

Public Workshop: Intro to Middle Eastern Drumming with Nikolai Ruskin
Thursday, November 1, 2012
Winston Room
Bring a drum if you own one.

Public Lecture: Working Western in an Arab World
Thursday, November 1, 2012
Griffiths 123

Public Workshop: Intro to Belly Dance with Aegela
Friday, November 2, 2012
Noble Center 107
Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing. Both men and women welcome.

Public lecture/demonstration and hafla with guest performers
Friday, November 2nd