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Hassania comes from a family of musicians and dancers of African folklore. She grew up singing, dancing and drumming, in the ceremonies or lilas in the sub-Saharan quarter of Rabat, Morocco. Her father was a prominent musician in the court of King Hassan II, and introduced her to the myriad of troupes that performed before the Moroccan throne.

Hassania frequently became possessed while dancing, a gift shared by many members of her family, and soon distinguished herself as a channel for jins or spirits. As a youth in the Moroccan capitol of Rabat, she studied modern dance, hip-hop, and martial arts, and came to dominate the folk traditions practiced by her family and neighbors. She performed in several large festivals, appeared on television, and taught song and dance to children.

Here in the United States she has participated with a variety of folklore groups, including Marhaba, Hand of Fatima. She has appeared at a broad range of events, and her dancing has been reviewed in the SF Weekly and the San Francisco Chronicle.

Hassania is also an excellent percussionist in her own right, and has performed with Michael Pluznick and the Village Drummers, Obakosó, and on video with Kim Atkinson. She also teaches and performs traditional drumming and singing from Morocco.


  © 2003 Hassania El Badissi
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