Monthly Archives: October 2005

bellydancing in malaysia

trouble in paradise? perhaps. if you think malaysia is paradise…. from the independent online (south africa), Belly dancing gets Malaysia all shook up

Snaking its way into popular urban culture, belly dancing is becoming a hobby among middle class Malaysians, despite a general perception that the dance is too provocative for this conservative, mainly Muslim country.

“I’m nearly 40, I’m fat… but it doesn’t matter. Size doesn’t matter, age doesn’t matter, I’m still hot.”

the same article appears in mainichi (japan) on october 5 – Belly dancers shaking things up in Muslim Malaysia, but this version has pictures. Continue reading

Posted in Belly Dance, Media Coverage | Leave a comment

Redwood coast bellydance festival

a more in-depth article, and definitely worth a few minutes, from great north of california, under the shade of the redwoods, the redwood coast bellydance festival, as covered by the times standard, Raks Sharqi: Dance of the East flourishes in the West

Belly dancing has enjoyed rising popularity in the past several years, both as an art form and a means of self-expression. Classes are flourishing for a variety of reasons. “In the many classes I teach,” said Shoshanna, “I find that most of my new students have never danced before. Many are looking for a good workout, to try something new, to get in touch with their feminine side and dress up.”

The nature of Middle Eastern dance is expressive and sensual, and it can be celebrated as such by both men and women. This dance form also has the effect of bringing people together with a sense of community.

Continue reading

Posted in Belly Dance, Media Coverage | Leave a comment

Syracuse Katrina fundraiser

in the empire state, Syracuse area bellydancers hold Katrina fundraiser

The Syracuse Area Bellydancers Association hosted a fundraiser for the victims of Hurricane Katrina last night at Westcott Community Center.

The documentary American Bellydancer was shown followed by a live belly dancing show.

“The thing is that we are here and we seem so far removed from what people are actually experiencing down South. Myself personally, I am from Gulf Port, Mississippi, so for me I have been affected by the Hurricane even up here and there’s so little that we can do from a distance. This is one thing we can do that will make an impact,” said Chelle Naef, bellydance instructor said.

Continue reading

Posted in Belly Dance, Charity, Media Coverage | Leave a comment

Hopkins dance uninspiring

in the local scene, from baltimore, in mid-september, we have coverage from the jhu newsletter, with this rough headline, JHU dance showcase fails to inspire.

The Egyptian Sun bellydance troupe followed with a group performance and four solos. Although the members of Egyptian Sun are known for shaking what their mommas gave them to anything from pop songs to beats from the hard-core punk outfit Fascist Fascist, this time their act had a surprising lack of, well, shaking. Great bellydancing is all about “layering” — the synchronizing of abdominal movement and upper-body shimmying — and the Suns’ choreography seemed to reduce this bodacious mix to just belly rolls and shiny props.

Former Hopkins graduate student Brenda Peterson’s cane routine, for instance, featured enough sashaying and cane-twirling to bring a smile to anyone’s face, but resembled a jazz improvisation more than bellydance. Even Egyptian Sun co-founder Dori Witt’s finale, in which she waved around a beautiful set of metallic “wings of Isis” to the beat of a rockabilly tune, seemed short on the lower-body virtuosity for which bellydance is famed. Only the traditional tribal solo really seemed to show off the dancer’s skills.

Continue reading

Posted in Belly Dance, Media Coverage, Review | Leave a comment

a brief rant on taking each other seriously

one of the reasons i enjoy working with dancers is that they are generally (!) genuinely good people. but in every population, there’s a “dark side” and in every population there’s the occasional oversight or mistake or “flash of stupidity.” i’ve certainly done my share of stupid things, but i try to “do right” by the dancers, particularly with the photography stuff, and i think i usually live up to that.

but there are exceptions. of course.

and so, since i have a soapbox to stand on, and since i had such interesting back-channel feedback from my essay-length rant on (in here), i guess i’m on a bit of a roll with ranting. in this case, i thought i’d retreat to my personal corner of the web.

duplicity is not ok.

it’s not ok to ask me to do photos, and ask for a really fast (as in overnight) turnaround, with lots of heavy editing, and then just assume it was a “favor.” i do favors – probably too often. but if you wouldn’t drop everything you had planned tonight to come dance for me right now, as a favor, you shouldn’t expect me to drop everything i had planned to make you look good out of the generosity of my heart. it’s not that i wouldn’t – in fact, i have – but it’s the assumption that’s duplicitous.
Continue reading

Posted in Commentary | Leave a comment