Karavans Dance Troupe has been performing for many years in the Puget Sound area at cultural festivals, community events and for educational enrichment programs. Their résumé covers everything from an Arabian horse fair to the U.S. premiere of two modern Egyptian plays to a reception hosted by the mayor of Seattle. In 1996 the troupe was selected by the King County Arts Commission to participate in their Performing Arts series. Annual events include the Folklife Festival, Cultural Crossroads and the Arab Festival, sponsored by the Arab Center of Washington. Karavans also offers workshops on music, dance and costuming.
The troupe is directed by Mish Mish, a leading performer and teacher in the Pacific Northwest. She has been studying dance from the Middle East and North Africa for over 20 years, and has attended workshops taught by the most famous exponents of traditional and Orientale Danse in the United States as well as traveled to Egypt, Morocco, Turkey and Central Asia to study first-hand with native dancers, which gives her a keen insight into the importance of music and dance in Arab culture.
Noted teachers include Hassan Wakrim, a Moroccan folk dancer, Mahmoud Reda, founder and director of the National Egyptian Folklore Troupe and Aisha Ali, famous for her research on music and dance in Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt and Morocco.
In addition to Karavans, Mish Mish directs Khan El Khalili. This troupe has a shifting roster, usually including some members of Karavans, and explores new choreography every year, exploring fusion elements, unexpected music, and eye-catching costumes.