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Houston, TX – Kristina Koutsoudas presents Nour-an-Nisa (Light of Femininity) on Friday and Saturday, December 2 & 3, 2011 at 7pm at the Rothko Chapel.  Noor-an-Nisa is a unique program illuminating scenes of women and spirituality in traditional and contemporary Near Eastern, Middle Eastern, and North African cultures.  Through the combination of dance, music, song, poetry, and stories, this free program presents traditional arts and cultural mores rarely seen by the general public.

 Besieged from the media with negative images of the Middle East and North Africa, the general public does not often get a chance to view the beautiful spirit, art and culture of these regions.  Nour-an-Nisa focuses on scenes of women (in current everyday life, as well as from artistic & literary sources) in traditional and contemporary Near Eastern, Middle Eastern, and North African cultures to Illustrate important stages in women's lives. Specific elements of various dance traditions highlight universal qualities of these stages.  Some dances are dances of youth and beauty, others are of maturity, development of power, love and fertility, and others are of wisdom and devotional traditions. 

Directed and choreographed by Kristina Koutsoudas, Nour-an-Nisa draws from rich Arab and Persian musical and literary traditions, as well as modern and traditional folk music.  Koutsoudas, known for her authentic cultural dance representations from these regions, is seeking to embody the original intent of art in these regions: the transcendence of the spirit through the art form.  Art is a necessity, essential for the spiritual health and integrity of a community, imbuing life with meaning and beauty,” comments Koutsoudas. “Every one of my pieces in this program is a jewel drawn from my extensive dance experience. In today’s political climate, this program provides an excellent opportunity to see another side of the Middle East - haunting ney solos (flute music), liquid song in praise of a beloved, fiery percussion, and beautiful costumes, all portray the intensely spiritual and devoted side of Arab cultures.  I chose to present these works at the Rothko Chapel because the space is beautiful, meaningful, non-denominational, multi-cultural, and accessible to all.”  Many of the scenes depicted have not often been made available to Western culture.  Koutsoudas hopes to share with audiences unacquainted with the culture the love, traditions and devotion to spiritual growth that prevails in the Arabic speaking community. 


incorporates a cast of seven dancers from several countries and a small classical Arab music ensemble of artists from Jordan and Lebanon.  Dancers include Kristina Koutsoudas, Alla Shariy; Melissa Arnold, Dorianne Castillo, Andria Denmon, Heba Khan, and Ruth Mei-Fung Langston. Musicians include Eyyad Abdat (Ney/Percussion) from Jordan, Erin Foster-Ghanem (Kanoun/Percussion) from Texas, and Missid Ghanem (Oud and Vocals) from Lebanon.  Lighting design by Kris Phelps and original costume design by Ginger Martinez of Gin Martini Designs.

Noor-an-Nisa (Light of Femininity)
premieres Friday and Saturday, December 2 and 3, 2011 at 7pm at the Rothko Chapel, 3900 Yupon, Houston, TX, 77006.  This performance is free and open to the general public.  For more information, call 832 287 7011 or visit


Kristina Koutsoudas is a recipient of an Individual Artist Grant Award. This grant is funded by the City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance. Funding has also come from a generous Rice University Space Grant.

Friday & Saturday
December 2 & 3, 2011

The Rothko Chapel
3900 Yupon
Houston, Texas 77006

Reception to follow each program

here for more info
Donations are gratefully accepted and make programs like this possible. 

"Nour an Nisa" has exceeded its original design and cost of all fees and services have increased since the time of the proposal.

Please see my Dream Maker page or contact me at 832 287 7011 for details about submission of contributions.

Thank you for your support!