Archive #234 August-September 2018
This is my first Newsletter/blog as your new newsletter editor. As the newsletter has been MIA for a while now, I’m asking your input as to what you’d like to see as we go forward. There are a few givens:
- a) The newsletter blog will be published on the website, probably in this blog space. A notice that the newsletter has been published will be placed on the Members Indiana Bellydance Collective—ISAMETD Facebook page. We’re looking into how an e-mail blast to announce the same might work to let you know when a new newsletter is published.
- b) All contributions to the newsletter will be either e-mailed to me at email@example.com or messaged to me through Facebook’s Messenger (I’m just plain Kat Lebo on Facebook).
- c) I will review and I may make a few suggestions for edits or corrections, but I’ll always run them by you, the author, first.
- d) All contributions should be in reference to belly dance, it’s underlying cultures, dance events, music used for belly dance, musical instruments, classes being offered, reviews of dvds, cds, photos taken at dance events, maybe short video clips from dance events, etc. So start writing those articles, filming those how-to videos or videos of performances, taking those photos, providing those recipes, etc.
Okay – so now there are some things still up in the air. Help me decide.
A. I’m in favor of the newsletter being published at regular intervals. In the past, the newsletter has been published every other month in February, April, June, August, October and December. Is this a schedule you’d like to see repeated? If not, what schedule would you suggest and why? I’m flexible, so let me hear your ideas. (Note: until otherwise decided, I’ll stick to the every other month plan, which would make the next newsletter due in early October. If you want to contribute to that newsletter, please send me your articles, photos, videos, announcements, etc. by the end of September.)
B. What do you want to see in the newsletter? Articles on styles of dance? Articles about culture? Articles on general topics of dance, such as proper manners at dance events, or building a dance community, or how to (choreography, do a particular movement or movement combination, drum, play riq, play oud, play recorder) with accompanying photos or video where possible? Short articles highlighting a “dancer you should know” or “musician you should know” (both famous and our own members) complete with photos, bios, and video links where possible? Maybe a regular spot to show what everyone is doing now or has done since the last newsletter (again with photos, etc.). Perhaps a recipe with ingredient lists and yummy looking photos. Maybe you’d like to write a column on costuming or class/workshop/show etiquette or on dance styles – anything related to what we do. Maybe some occasional reprints of content from newsletters of the past? Again, what are your ideas?
C. How about advertisement of member sponsored seminars, shows, classes?
The newsletter is accessible only by members on the website and is considered a perk of membership. So, ah, let’s make it perky! If we work together we can have a vibrant and full newsletter that contributes to making the INBC a flourishing dance community. As with our group as a whole, the newsletter will be what you put into it. So, let me know what you want to see in the newsletter. Then send in your information, your recipes, your articles, your photos/videos!
A late note: I’ve included one of the early Newsletters, #2 (Oct. 1977) to give you an idea of some of the early contributions. You’ll see some names that you recognize and some that you don’t. You’ll see this person named: Mary Conrad – that’s me in my “other” life! As I was a member when this was published, please feel free to ask me about people and things included. I’ve also deleted addresses and phone numbers (unless it was a public building).
Also, the most current Newsletter will always be displayed in the Blog, but will be moved to the Newsletter tab when the next Newsletter is posted.
Kat Lebo, INBC Newsletter Blog Editor
BED, BREAKFAST AND BELLYDANCE: MY DIVA INTENSIVE
By Donna Carlton
Resting on laurels doesn’t agree with me; how about you? Part of being involved in this dance form, and my responsibility as a teacher, is to continue to learn and grow. I am a lifelong learner who enjoys challenges. So it’s not surprising that every year whenever I can I will take workshops or attend an intensive such as Mendocino Middle Eastern Music and Dance Camp in California.
This past June I traveled to Los Gatos, California, to attend the Diva Intensive hosted by Ma*Shuqa Mira Murjan and her husband, Carl Sermon, in their beautiful home studio set in a “hidden garden” oasis. I’ve known them since the nineties when I began attending Rakassah West and Rakassah East festivals.
Ma*Shuqa has been involved in Middle Eastern Dance almost as long as she’s been married to Carl (49 years and counting). She was a protégé of the legendary Bert Balladine and a professional performer and teacher since the seventies. After earning her MBA in 1982, she taught and performed at festivals and events throughout the U.S. and in Germany and Japan. Over time she developed her teaching method — the Ma*Shuqa Method – to develop musicality by mirroring the dynamics and rhythms in the music and thereby creating exciting improvisational performances.
A diva according to Merriam-Webster is a prima donna, a celebrated female singer, a woman of outstanding talent in the world of opera. The word derives from the Italian word for “goddess.” Divas are often thought of as extremely talented but imperious and temperamental. However, Ma*Shuqa provided an alternative definition for diva: a well-rounded female who boldly displays the five virtues of dignity, inspiration, vision, achievement and sisterhood. How can we apply these virtues to ourselves as students, professionals, teachers, or members of a dance community? This discussion was part of our orientation as attendees met on Friday.
Ma*Shuqa’s body of work is extensive, having been a staff writer for Habibi magazine, The Belly Dance Chronicles and other publications; these articles were the basis for discussion and became handouts for the weekend. She provided a lengthy list of suggested topics for the weekend’s studies and we were able to prioritize these or suggest others.
Some of the topics we addressed on Friday were dynamic warm-ups and core stabilization. Then it was time for our welcome dinner.
Chef Carl directed us to a patio under the redwoods. There we found hors d’oeuvres, a delicious paella and salad to enjoy while getting to know each other better. After dessert, we returned to the studio and addressed topics such as applying false eyelashes. Yes, if you’re struggling with this, Ma*Shuqa has great tips!
The next morning, we were treated to breakfast outdoors and custom-made omelets, fresh fruit and crepes. I began to feel very spoiled indeed! Afterwards we were back in the studio where our topics included dancing to a live drum solo, hot Egyptian drum solo riff patterns, and how to develop improvisational dance choreography for dynamic performances.
In the latter part of the afternoon we broke off to prepare for performing at Al Masri restaurant, the only Egyptian restaurant in San Francisco. Al-Masri is a great place to find dancers and live music on weekends. We climbed into Ma*Shuqa and Carl’s sturdy van, joined by another performer and headed north on I-280, then Highway 1 past Golden Gate Park and then to Balboa Street.
Al-Masri’s performance space is not large but accommodates for soloists and is well lit. One of the unexpected and fun parts of the program was that a drummer took on the MC duties. He played drum solos for several of the performers including myself. Thank you, Nick! The program that evening included Diva Intensive participants, some of Ma*Shuqa’s students and colleagues, the house dancer and Ma*Shuqa herself. We were treated to her signature elegance and engaging style, all the while playing zills and then rocking an interactive zills and dance segment with the drummer. Bravo! Carl video recorded each performance, and took loads of photos. The Diva Intensive participants who performed each received a custom made CD with professional quality images and video the very next day. Wow!
Afterwards we enjoyed our delicious dishes from Sausan, the owner and cook of Al-Masri. It was a special pleasure to meet Sausan because over the years I had corresponded and talked to her on the phone when we were both publishing dance resources, and we finally got to meet in person.
That evening as we rode back to Los Gatos I was able to chat with another performer, Jordan, an area dancer with years of experience from Bay Area restaurant shows. I discovered that she really loved the Mahmoud Reda style of dance, which helped explain to me the graceful flow of her movements as she performed. In the morning we were back in the studio where we handled topics such as Taqsim: A Journey from Movement and Music to the Exquisite Emotional Realm of Tarab. In mid-afternoon we set up for my multimedia presentation: “Still Looking for Little Egypt: Updates and Anecdotes.” I reviewed my earlier research and talked about recent discoveries I have made on the trail of the various performers who were called Little Egypt. After that, we were back to dancing with Ma*Shuqa. On Sunday afternoon we examined combinations from many of the dancers of the Golden Era in Egypt. I think this workshop and also Fabulous Finales combined to make my favorite topics that day.
The weather had turned chilly and quite windy, so tables were set up inside the studio for our final evening meal together, beginning with (the way we divas do!) a champagne toast. We feasted on grilled salmon, BBQ chicken (Asian style), roasted veggies and various flavors of frozen mochi for dessert.
The other participants of the Diva Intensive were based in the area and that evening headed for home, however I was happy to stay another night in the gorgeous studio. The next morning Carl made another wonderful breakfast and then Ma*Shuqa and I practiced yoga and talked about dance. After lunch it was time for farewell hugs. I hope that our paths cross again before too long.
To any dancer who is indifferent about learning another choreography, Ma*Shuqa does not teach them. She has no desire to turn out cookie cutter dancers. She can help ease the beginner into improvisation with technique and combinations, along with tools to help the process. In fact, Ma*Shuqa has a lot to offer dancers of any level who want to strengthen improvisational and performance skills. If you ask for a critique of your performance, she will give it. I’d recommend the Diva Intensive to anyone. There’s no need to wait until the next one is scheduled because if you can plan ahead with friends/colleagues, Ma*Shuqa will coordinate with your group for an intensive that fits in your calendar. My studies in Los Gatos gave me lots to think about for myself and great teaching tips to boot. Additionally, I was part of an exciting dance program at Al Masri and came away with professional-quality photos and a video. The weekend brought opportunities to meet students and established professionals of the area, too. The Diva Intensive more than satisfied my desire for inspiration, challenge and continuing education.
About the author:
Donna Carlton teaches and performs in Bloomington, Indiana. She is the author of Looking for Little Egypt (Bloomington, Indiana, IDD Books, 1995) which traces the history of bellydance in the U.S. and aims to debunk legends concerning the various entertainers known as Little Egypt. She is currently working on an updated version. Find her on Facebook at All About Bellydance or online at www.allaboutbellydance.com
The following is the 2nd Newsletter published by the fledgling ISAMETD group, dated October, 1977. Some of the formatting became scrambled in the process of converting from .pdf to text, and I attempted to made changes, but some were stubborn! Mea culpa! I’ll try again next issue with another early newsletter.
INDIANA STATE ASSOCIATION OF
MIDDLE EASTERN TEACHERS AND DANCERS
October 1977 Newsletter #2
President ‘ s Message
Ahlan wa sahlan: The Association continues to draw active support after a tremendous meeting in Kokomo. My thanks to Colletta Kosiba, who led the meeting in my absence and to
Pat Roonse and the Kokomo members who so graciously hosted the September meeting. Khadija Hevenor from Morocco so charmed those in attendance that we shall have to ask her to speak again. Twelve guests and seven new members joined Association members that evening. Let us continue such good statistics at ensuing meetings. Montana was wonderful but nothing can compare to returning to work with such an energetic and responsive group as you are!
See you November 14th.’
Karen Thurston, President pro-tem
“The Oriental Dance is a poem of the mystery and pain of motherhood, which al L true Asiatic men watch with reverence and humility, in the far away corners of Asia. In this Olden Asia which has kept the dance in its primitive purity, it represents maternity, the mysterious conception of life, the suffering and the joy with which a new soul is brought into the world. Such is the Asiatic veneration of motherhood, that there are countries and
tribes whose most binding oath is sworn upon the stomach, because
it is from this sacred cup that humanity has issued.
The Dance of Shamahka by Armen Ohanian.
On Monday, November 7 , at 10:00 a.m., the Kathak Dances will be presented by Anjani Ambegaokar and Troupe at Manchester College, North Manchester, Indiana. The performance of the 2 , 000 year old classical dances of India will be held in the auditorium. Free admission.
“Experts say 90% of women in America are irritable and tense. This shows up in their posture, appearance and expressions. Women are unable to escape from this rush, rush modern day world that requires so much from them. Being relaxed and happy are the first steps toward beauty, and women have turned to dancing for this .
A beautiful woman is graceful, poised, self-assured and coordinated. Ladies, do you realize that all four words used to describe a beautiful woman also describe a Middle Eastern dancer?
It is true that all dancers must possess these qualities. A woman’s dance may be beautiful and serene as a ballet, sexy as a panther, or uninhibited as a go-go dancer. No matter what type, it is done rhythmically . A beautiful woman is never awkward. Her arms, her entire body move easily in coordination.
Consider how lucky we Middle Eastern dancers are to have learned the secret of being a beautiful woman. .
We welcome comments to the newsletter.
November meeting promises to be an exciting one .
Costuming will be the subject that evening of Monday, the 14th at the Anderson YWCA, 7 : 00 p. m. The Anderson members will present a costume style show followed by individual costumes presented by Association members. Each of the latter will have five minutes to discuss one or more of her costumes with respect to any facet whatsoever – a problem solved, a problem not solved, fabric used, hints on sewing, hints on beading, trims or pattern used, and so on.
Please bring a 5 x 7 card containing a synopsis of the information you are dealing with that evening. Kathleen Pryor is constructing a costume notebook for the Association and will refer to these cards in her work. If you wish to bring pictures of your costumes for the notebook, scraps of fabric and trim may better illustrate your ideas.
A discussion period will follow presentation of costumes. Don ‘t forget your bazaar items to trade or sell!
Remember to: 1 . Come to the meeting
- Bring a costume (s)
- Bring a 5 x 7 information card
Driving directions to the Anderson YWCA are as follows:
DRIVING DIRECTIONS TO ANDERSON YWCA, 3014 West 11th Street, ANDERSON, NDIANA:
DRIVING FROM SOUTH TO ANDERSON: North on 1-69 to first Anderson
Interchange (Business #9), Proceed North on Highway #9 which becomes Pendleton Pike to Jackson Street, tum left or North on Jackson which is one way north, proceed North on Jackson to 11th Street, ti.r•n left or West, proceed West to Y}TCA (two blocks) .
FROM WEST TO ANDERSON:
Drive East on Highway #32 to which turns into Nichol Avenue and then 11th Street until you come to YWCA.
DRIVING FROM EAST TO ANDERSON:
Drive West on Highway #32 to Highway 109 By—Pass, turn left or South, proceed South to 8th Street, turn right or west, proceed west on 8th Street to Main Street (City Building will be on your right approaching Main), turn left or South on Main, drive South to 11th Street, turn right or West on 11th Street, drive West on 11th Street to YMCA.
DRIVING PROM NORTH TO ANDERSON:
Drive South on Highway #9 *lich turns into Broadway and then into Jackson as you arrive downtown, turn right or West on 7th Street, drive one block, turn left or South on Brom & Delaware Street Express which is one way South, drive South to 11th Street, turn right or West and drive West to YWCA (one block) .
(KAT’S NOTE: unfortunately, the hand drawn Street Diagram didn’t copy.)
Members attending the first business meeting in July had an opportunity to write down what each had to offer the Association and what each wanted the Association to offer her. Five areas emerged from the latter: interest in costumes, interest in recipes, interest in speakers on cultures and customs, workshop by members and Haflias for the public. The first four interests are being pursued with the fifth soon to come in the future.
Many. thanks to Velda Boenitz and Colletta Kosiba for newsletter assistance.
The comrnittee for planning our spring workshop has been formed and it includes Karen Thurston, Colletta Kosiba, Melanie Weisman, Eva Haynes, Pat Koonse and Mary Conrad. Our first workshop will utilize the resources of teachers within our group. The committee requests that teachers submit teaching preferences and what areas they (and attending students) would enjoy being taught. The location will be discussed later. The committee can best work if given suggestions, needs and opinions by you.
Teachers: Please respond to both listings.
Students & Dancers Please respond to second listing.
I would like to teach (indicate 1st and 2nd choice)
folk dancing sword work
veil work history
abdominal work terminology
arm and hand work cane work
stage makeup floor work
Jewelry shimmy variations
building a costume Egyptian style
zill patterns Greek style
Arabic style Turkish style
I would be interested in seeing the following taught: (remember needs of your students)
Please return by October 31 to Karen Thurston, (address deleted by Kat)
CUT AND MAIL TO Karen Thurston (address removed
Name _____________________________________________ Phone _____________________________
Student _______ Dancer _________ Teacher __________
Enclosed find my $10 membership fee for membership in the Association.
Tribal Revolution, 2018
by Maria Spratford
In June, several of us from the area went to Chicago for Tribal Revolution. In spite of its name, this is a weekend full of dance and music that is geared toward, but is NOT exclusively limited to everything “tribal”. For example, I took classes in 70’s style Turkish dance, Middle Eastern drumming, zill technique, and sword combinations—all with nationally known instructors!
I think this was the fifth year I’ve attended, and the weekend served to remind me of why I go. As soon as we arrived, I felt the camaraderie of friends from previous years and the excitement of new friends I hadn’t yet met. Exceptional instructors taught a variety of classes during the four-day event. And the vendors—-everything a dancer could ever want was there, from vintage assuit to contemporary costuming, jewelry, musical instruments, and a fantastic henna artist.
My favorite classes this year were drumming with Carmine Guida, and Turkish dance with Ashara. Carmine’s class reflected his fun personality, but still allowed us to learn enough to perform a drum solo for a dancer on stage. Ashara challenged us with learning zill patterns and a 70’s style short choreography to 9/8 music, which is one of my favorites. I can’t claim to have been successful at learning it all, but I came out with better understanding, and improved technique. I think that’s what weekends like this are all about.
There were incredible shows each of the three nights, with a huge variety of styles from fusion to cabaret, to ATS, and everything in between. Indiana Belly Dance Collective members from Indy Tribal and Ursula took advantage of the opportunity to perform, and were very well received. After each show, we took over the hotel hallway for our own “hallfla” with improvisational dancing to the music of any musicians who wanted to join in. On Saturday night, we had Carmine Guida (of Djinn), Karim Nagi, and Wendy and John from Il Troubador, as well as student drummers from our class. For me, those were some of the most fun times— playing music and dancing together, laughing, learning, inspiring each other, and renewing our spirits. We even had a couple of dinosaurs join in!!
I’m grateful that we have such an outstanding opportunity offered nearby each year. If you’ve never gone, maybe next year’s instructors will tempt you—Zoe Jakes, Rachel Brice, Silvia Salamanca, Deb Rubin, Karim Nagi, Sahira, Kamrah, Jasmin Jahal, and SuperBeth of Tamarind will all be there! (June 27-30, 2019, www.TribalRevolution.com)
A DANCER YOU SHOULD KNOW: Tahia Carioca
By Kat Lebo
A few years back I decided to start posting weekly “Dancer You Should Know” posts on my troupe’s private Facebook Page, so I decided to go back to the very first one I did and expand it a little for the Newletter/Blog. Since I originally did this piece on Tahia Carioca, I’ve covered dancers in Egypt, Lebanon, Turkey, and in several other countries around the world and am currently working on highlighting American dancers. I talk about dancers and the history of dance in class (but then I talk relentlessly in class, so…), but felt there needed to be something my students could keep to use for their education regarding this dance form. One thing about starting with dancers from the Golden Age of Egyptian dance, is that most of the dances will be part of a movie, as dance outside of the movies was rarely filmed at that time. And, in many of the early movies, the dancer was often portrayed as a villainess, or at least as someone working against the wants/needs of the main characters. Such is the storyline here, in “Shati el Gharam” or “Shores of Love” from 1950 (I was 3 in 1950, just to give you a timeframe). The dancer is Tahai Carioca (1915-1999). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MYI8h2gR9x4&list=RDDOH61bGlbjw&index=2
Learn a little about the movie plot here: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0308879/
But I profess a real love for her I-couldn’t-care-less attitude in this piece from the movie “Li’bet el Sit,” dancing to Taht el Shibak! Note the dancing in everyday clothes in the home setting — and the gum chewing. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9uII1idV4hQ (sound is low, sorry). I think this movie is from 1946, according to IDM, (timeframe — the year before I was born!) and the title translates to “The Lady’s Puppet.” I didn’t find a plot summary.
There are so very many videos of Tahai, it’s hard to decide which ones to post. This one is from a movie with Youssef Chahine: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ICbIm8DBymk
In this movie, she seems to be playing a double role, but it also gives you two different looks at her dancing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gdwY7grmqak
Here is one from early in her career, from the 1941 movie, Laila Bent al Reef. I think she would have been about 26 years old. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ui0VeBcTveE
I find the biographies of her to be a little contradictory, especially about her early life, and even about how old she was when she passed away. I’m going to list a few for you to get to know this dancer a little better:
From Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taheyya_Kariokka
From an article by Regina Hampton posted on Artemis and Yasmin’s Serpentine site: http://www.serpentine.org/yasmin/TahiaCarioka.htm
This article is on the Belly Dance Museum site: http://belly-dance.org/tahia-carioca.html
This one is from the New York Times, announcing her death: https://www.nytimes.com/1999/09/22/arts/tahia-carioca-79-dies-a-renowned-belly-dancer.html?_r=0
And finally, this article on The Gilded Serpent by California dancer, Sausan: http://www.gildedserpent.com/art43/sausanTK.htm
Well, that’s it for this Newsletter. I hope you’ve enjoyed the contents. My thanks to Donna and Maria for getting me articles on their summer doings! Let me know what you’d like to see in future issues. Better yet, SEND me something for future issues! And, of course, I’ll see several of you this coming weekend (August 18th) at the Summer Carnival, right?! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vP5tcGVPxwo&feature=youtu.be