The Gilded Serpent presents...


Nina Costanza

Nina Costanza (Amar) graduated magna cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia) in creative writing/literature and received a Masters in music composition from Mannes College of Music (NYC) after many years of study as a pianist and cellist. She was awarded the Darius Milhaud Scholarship to study composition at the Aspen Music Festival (Colorado).

A passionate interest in Arabic music led her to Middle Eastern dance and to intensive dance studies with her mentor, Yousry Sharif, and additionally with Ibrahim Farrah. As Amar, she was a long-time company member of the Yousry Sharif Dance Ensemble which showcased Mr. Sharif's contemporary choreography and more traditional folkloric pieces, performing in such venues as The Detroit Institute of the Arts, University of Pennsylvania, Brooklyn's annual Maharaja al Fan, etc.

Amar was a house dancer for many years at Club Ibis, Darvish, and Cedars of Lebanon in New York (from 1988), amongst numerous other nightclubs/venues in the Northeast. She has worked with many renowned musicians/artists and continues to perform as a featured cabaret soloist for diverse engagements on all kinds of stages! Amar has knowledge of folkloric and classical traditions of Middle Eastern dance and music as well an avid interest in new renditions in fusion. In addition to her regular engagements in Arabic settings (including Eddie Kochak's annual Atlantic Antics in Brooklyn), she was selected to perform with Alabina at the Beacon Theatre and Brooklyn Funk Essentials at the Bowery Ballroom. Amar has been engaged internationally as guest instructor/performer (Japan, Montreal, Israel, France).

Amar in custome Since 1998, Amar has taught at New York Sports Clubs, Ballet Hispanico, and Trisha Brown Studio. She teaches currently at New York Spaces and for Yousry and Nourhan Sharif's Egyptian Academy of Oriental Dance. Her new troupe, Amarain, performs contemporary Middle Eastern dance choreographed by Amar.

From 1989 - 1997, Ms. Costanza was editor-in-chief for Mr. Farrah's Arabesque Magazine, an international journal for Middle Eastern dance and culture and subsequently associate editor for Habibi Magazine (1998-2006). She was honored to be invited to present a paper and perform at the First International Middle Eastern Dance Conference in CA sponsored by Shareen el Safy, Sahra Saeeda and Angelika (starring Mona Said). She continues to work as dancer, instructor, choreographer, producer and freelance writer/editor.

Articles on Gilded Serpent by or about Amar