Monthly Archives: February 2004

Josephine Schwarz

BOULDER, Colo. (AP) Josephine Schwarz, who co-founded the nation’s second-oldest regional ballet company 67 years ago, died in her sleep Friday, her family said. She was 95.

With her older sister Hermene, Schwarz co-founded the Dayton Ballet in Ohio in 1937.

Schwarz was a pioneer of the regional ballet movement that instituted professional dance classes, performing standards and choreographic training in cities outside major population centers.

The New York City Ballet, San Francisco Ballet and Atlanta Ballet, which also began as a regional troupe, are the only professional ballet companies in the United States older than the Dayton Ballet.

She directed the company for 43 years before retiring in 1980. Although she choreographed more than 75 works, she was best known as an exacting teacher and director.

She sent dancers to Broadway and to companies including the New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, and the Joffrey Ballet.
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a quick welcome

I’ve added links for several amazing performers… just to give them a little extra push…

Bringing in a bit of a northern flavor, a warm welcome to Jennifer of Philadelphia, hostess of Philly Raqs.

From the left coast, but also touring the world, an amazing performer that I had a great pleasure to see (and shoot a bit) in Baltimore, Rachel Brice. (You can see some of her in the dance section of my performance photography site).

Four local dancers in four intense colors, Martiya Possession … one of which is Asharah… and another is Yameena. Expect to see some images of this group in the near future.

Representing the Old Dominion, we have Dianna, your Duchess of Dance and People’s Choice winner in the 2003 East Coast Belly Dance Classic competition (and someone who actually likes my cooking :) ) and cabaret performer (with a hint of Rita Hayworth?), Amustela.

And finally, for now, Ravana, who dances, sews and does web things.

So, welcome to this bunch… Continue reading

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photo locations

There must be a slight smell of spring in the air – I’ll be doing a few fairly short roadtrips in the next few weeks and while I’m out, I’ll be looking for interesting places to shoot dancers.

If you [dancers] have any special requests, or great ideas, or tips on secret hidden waterfalls, let me know… I’ll probably try to organize a few photo-excursions once it’s a bit warmer. Continue reading

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Introducing the Bellybus

(finally, serious politics and dancing :) )

One of the most wonderful things about being a belly dancer in the United States today is meeting the many different people who dance. As a group we are practically a study in diversity. We are white, black, Middle Eastern, Asian, and Indian. We are Muslim, Christian, Pagan, Jewish and Buddhist. We dance tribal, ethnic, cabaret, raks sharki, gypsy and as yet unnamed modern forms of belly dance. We are single, we are parents, we are widows, we are married. We are straight, bi, lesbian, gay and transgendered. We bust stereotypes for breakfast. Our diversity unites us because the dance binds us all together. Belly dance and one other thing: When we dance we have perfect control over our own bodies.

Off the dance floor, slowly but surely, that control is being taken back by the federal government.

There is a Pro-choice march in Washington DC on April 25th. Info and directions can be found at marchforchoice.org. The women of the Bad Raqsan’e Sahra dance troupe of Massachusetts will be there. We are planning on dancing, as our way of marching, in this protest. We don’t want to do it alone. We know there are thousands of dancers out there who are also concerned about the eroding right to control our own bodies in this country. We feel it is time for our community to find our voice and speak, through dance, of what is important to us.

Besides, the image of a thousand belly dancers shaking their hips at the White House to protest their control of our bodies is just too awesome for words.

Please bring: Your troupe, your dance friends, yourself. A hip scarf, the jinglier the better. This is how we will know you want to dance with us. Any drummer who wants to come along and set the beat. Proper footwear and warm clothing. (It’s April… who knows how warm it will be?)

Please leave behind: Your ego. Whether you have been dancing for 20 years or 20 days, the point is to dance together, as equals, with one vibe, one voice of protest, one collective no.

Meet us on the Mall in Washington DC between 3rd and 14th street starting anytime after 10:00 am on Sunday April 25th. Look for the jingly belts or ask the volunteers for our delegation, the “Belly Bus”. The March starts at 12:00 noon. We hope to see you there!

With much love and shimmies,
Dervishspin, Simoon, and the ladies of Bad Raqsan’e Sahra

for more information, bellybus Continue reading

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Harmony And Belly Dancing At Davos

via Businessweek, Harmony And Belly Dancing At Davos Continue reading

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Test Drive: Belly Dancing

via the Indian Express, Test Drive: Belly Dancing Continue reading

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For the love of belly dancing

via the Corvallis Gazette-Times, For the love of belly dancing Continue reading

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‘Belly dancing’ to psychological, spiritual and physical fitness

via the East Bay Newspapers, ‘Belly dancing’ to psychological, spiritual and physical fitness Continue reading

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Belly dancing 101 – gyrations for all ages

via the Hillsboro Argus, Belly dancing 101 – gyrations for all ages Continue reading

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Bliss is belly dancing’s reward

from the Orlando Sentinel, Bliss is belly dancing’s reward Continue reading

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