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November 7, 2011   ♦   Comments Off on Interview with Dr. Laurel Victoria Gray

NOVEMBER calendar page

http://visionarydance.com/seattle-studio/class-schedule/

 

Interview by Delilah with Laurel Victoria Gray:Laurel Victoria Gray

 

Ladies and Gentleman

 

It is with great pleasure that on November, 25, 26, 27 Visionary Dance Productions is hosting one of America’s expert ethnic choreographers and dance historians here in Seattle to teach four exciting workshops. Her awards are truly outstanding and unprecedented in our dance community and this is an opportunity that should not be missed by any ethnic dance enthusiast.

You can see many of her works at,

http://www.youtube.com/user/SilkRoadDanceCompany

 

About Laurel,

Laurel Victoria Gray is known as “the pioneer of Uzbek dance in America,” her efforts to preserve and present traditional Central Asian and Persian dance make her a true cultural diplomat.

 

2011, she was given the prestigious Arash Award by the Toronto’s Tirgan Iranian Festival for her contributions to Iranian culture.

2009, she was selected by Fulbright Association to deliver the Selma Jeanne Cohen International Dance Scholar Lecture at their annual conference

2007, she was awarded an honorary doctorate by Uzbekistan’s Ministry of Culture for her work in promoting and preserving Central Asian Dance not only in America but in world wide travels; Europe, Central Asia,Australia, and Canada.

2006 she was the recipient of the Metro DC dance award in excellence in Costuming Design.

2005 she was the recipient for the Distinguished Service Award by the Embassy of Uzbekistan.

2003 she own the Kennedy Center Local Dance Commissioning Project Award.

2003  she won the International Academy of Middle East Dance (IAMED) award for best Choreographer ,

1999 she won the International Academy of Middle East Dance (IAMED) award for Best Ethnic Dancer

 

Dr. Gray’s articles have appeared in publications including the Oxford University Press International Encyclopedia of Dance, the World Encyclopedia of Contemporary Theater, the Encyclopedia of Women in Islamic Cultures, the Encyclopedia of Modern Asia and Dance magazine as well as journals in Germany and Australia. She has written countless articles for regional and international Middle Eastern Dance magazines across the globe for many years including  Habibi, Arabesque, Jareeda,  and more.

She has traveled to Uzbekistan a dozen times, living there for two years and appearing on television dance programs many times. She was a member of the jury for the 1997 International Music Festival ‘Sharq Taronalari’ (Melodies of the East) which was held in Samarkand and for the 1993 Uzbekistan Puppet Theater Festival.

 

Laurel has been a guest instructor at the major Middle Eastern dance camps and retreats held annually in the United States, including the Mendocino Middle Eastern Music and Dance Camp, the Oasis Dance Camp, Delilah’s Visionary Retreat in Maui, Morocco’s week-long seminar in NYC, and the Central Asian Dance Camp. In 1999, she studied Egyptian folklore in Cairo. Laurel is also the founder and president of the Uzbek Dance and Culture Society, and has photographs on display in the Museum of Peace and Solidarity in Samarkand, Uzbekistan.

 

Dr. Gray has taught Russian and Soviet History at North Seattle Community College. She was an education outreach instructor for New York’s City Center Theater in 1990, introducing thousands of Middle School students to Georgian dance.

 

Currently she is the artistic director of Silk Road Dance Company. Dr. Gray teaches as Adjunct Faculty taught atGeorge Washington University and George Mason University. For several years she gave instruction in traditional Persian dance at the Iranian Community School in Vienna, Virginia; she currently teaches at the Joy of Motion Dance Center in Washington, DC as well as at Joe’s Movement Emporium in Mount Rainier, Maryland.

 

Interview:

 

Delilah:

Your credentials are not only impressive but multifaceted. You couldn’t have accomplished so much without an absolute love and dedication for dance and cultural heritage. It shows you have worked hard and diligently and I might add from a very young age. You first traveled to the Soviet Union and Uzbekistan as a teenager when it was unheard of for Americans to go there correct?

 

Laurel: It was rare and difficult, but possible, especially for young student groups. We had the opportunity to travel throughout the USSR from Leningrad to Siberia, to Tashkent to Tbilisi and experience the immense cultural diversity of the country.

 

Delilah:

For two years, from 1992 to the end of 1993,  you lived in Uzbekistan during the turbulent time of its new independence. Your goal there was in effort to preserve the dance and traditions that were fast being pushed aside by modernization and the fall of the Soviet system of artistic support. What is it like today?

 

Laurel: Happily, the Uzbek government has decided to keep dance as an important expression of national identity. Celebrations of Independence Day and Navruz, the New Year celebration, all feature intricate dance performances.

 

Delilah:

Even though I don’t live in Washington DC I have enjoyed watching Silk Road Dance Company online, especially the performances featured video archive of the Kennedy Center of website. Impressive. The costumes are outstanding and are an integral aspect of the overall beauty of the presentations. Since you choreograph the dances, are they dances you learned from artists over there or are they your own adaptations?

 

 

Laurel: Silk Road Dance Company performs traditional and contemporary choreographies. We have a Legacy Repertoire of famous, traditional dances that have been gifted to us by World Dance specialists from different countries. And we also present my own compositions that are based on traditional movements. Some of these pieces are traditional in flavor while others are more contemporary and interpretive.

 

Delilah:

I first became associated with your work in Seattle Washington when you were active in the Seattle Sister City Committee working with international artists exchanges. This was before and after the Good Will games in 1989. I certainly knew of your performances as a member of the Seattle based Tanavar Dance Ensemble as well. Would you care to walk down memory road a bit?

 

Laurel: To my knowledge, Tanavar Dance Ensemble was the first Uzbek dance group in the United States. Several of the choreographies and costumes created for Tanavar became the basis for Silk Road Dance Company.

 

Delilah:

You traveled extensively in Europe creating theatrical choreography for several dance troupes for a several years. This demanded you be on the road all the time. What was that like?

 

Laurel: Yes, I toured Europe ten times, teaching Persian, Central Asian, Russian Roma “Gypsy,” ancient Egyptian and Arabic dance. The dance groups for which I created choreographies were very motivated and worked to master the pieces I taught.

 

The rough part was that this was before DVDs, so I had heavy suitcases  filled with my dance videos that I had to drag around on the trains. Ah, the glamorous life!

 

Delilah:

You moved from the Seattle area to Washington DC, where you could be more active and plugged into the opportunities of international cultural art affairs. When did you create Silk Road Dance Company?

 

Laurel: I founded SRDC in 1995, but never guessed the kind of success we would have. We have traveled to 14 states and 3 foreign countries! SRDC has appeared at some of the most prestigious festivals and venues in DC, including the Kennedy Center and the Library of Congress. The ensemble has been featured at events for the Embassies of Egypt, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Turkey and Russia; we are often engaged by cultural organizations in the Turkish, Iranian, Afghan, Arab and Central Asian communities.

 

Delilah:

About Silk Road Dance Company? What dances do you represent?

 

Laurel:

 

Silk Road Dance Company is an ethnically diverse professional dance ensemble specializing in women’s dance of Silk Road cultures, Central Asia, the Caucasus, the Middle East and North Africa. This includes Afghani, Azerbaijani, Ancient Egyptian, Bollywood,  Crimean Tatar, Egyptian folklore, Arab Gulf States, Indian, Iranian, Kazakh, Kurdish, Mongolian, Moroccan, Persian, Russian Roma (Gypsy), Tajik, Turkmen, Uzbek, Uyghur, Urumchi and more!

 

We also performed at Warner Bros studio in California at a star-studded event promoting their television programming. Unforgettable!

Delilah:

When you come to Seattle you will be teaching four different workshops. Can you shed a little more light on the workshops, and who should attend?

 

Laurel: All of the workshops are suitable for dancers of all levels. Folks interested in pure technique will enjoy the “Silk Road Sampler” but there is also technique in the choreography classes. All of the pieces have a distinct movement vocabulary that can be adapted to other styles.

 

On Friday,  Nov 25, I will present a “Silk Road Sampler” from 2-4 pm to give dancers a taste of some of the beautiful movements and technique from different Silk Road cultures. These elements can be used in other forms, from elegant Egyptian styling to tribal bellydance.

 

“Vintage California Tribal, a legacy of the Bal Anat style that influenced West Coast dancers in the 1970s, will be presented on Saturday,  Nov 26, from 11-1 pm. The workshop includes an complete choreography to a Middle Eastern flavored version of “Paint it Black.” Dancers can explore the roots of American tribal forms by learning this vocabulary in a choreography. I will also share some of the earlier tribal costume styles that are a refreshing break from the usual tribal “uniform.” This workshop is inspired by my years in a California Tribal influenced dance troupe. I love being able to share this part of our dance heritage.

 

We go to Bollywood  later on Saturday, from  2-4 pm, when I will teach a playful choreography to “Ringa, Ringa”,  a charming piece of music from the film Slumdog Millionnaire.  My Bollywood style draws from Indian folkdance and classical dance. It is not just bellydance to Bollywood music, so it has a real Indian flair.

 

Bollywood is also the the theme of my Sunday November 27th workshop from noon to 2 pm. The choreography is set to a great Punjabi song, Gur Nala ishq Mitha , and has a energetic Bhangra feel. This piece is a real crowd pleaser and will be an excellent addition to troupe repertoires.

 

 

On Friday Night November  25

6:30-9:00

 

Open Invitation:

Pot Luck and Talk by Dr. Laurel Victoria Gray

Subject ;

“The Challenges of Saving these Dances Authentically”

Bring a dish to share and enjoy the evening with this very knowledgable and funny speaker. We All dancer and interested folks are invited to attend

Location;

VDP STudio

4128 Fremont Ave North.

Sea. Wa 98103

206 632-2353

 

December 31, 2010   ♦   Comments Off on New Years Eve

Hey Everyone!

Delilah

Delilah

Today is my Birthday! December 31st.
How about that, I’m an old year baby! Anyways it’s always a time where I reflect on the past year and plan for the future year. What went well, what south and what do I remember the most. This year sure went fast! If you don’t know by now my entire life is always about belly dance pretty much.

We did 2 Hawaii Retreats in 2010. One with the “Neighborhood Temple Priestess” studies and the second one with Amy Sigil and Dahlia with the main focus on “ Tribal Fusion” with a little bit of Egyptian, folkloric and Power Belly thrown in. It was an amazing retreat even though it was small. The airfare remained very high last Easter Time compared with January and so we got lots of regrets. (This January the airfare is reasonable and there is still room because a yoga retreat canceled so some space opened up that we can use. There will not be a late fee changed) .
Dates January 25-30 2011 with RUBY BEH!!!

Last years Summer Solstice Parade threatened to rain but in the end we managed just fine. It was a smooth one. I had made a plan to build a float and have live music for 2011 but I have changed my mind. Because we are leading a tour to EGYPT in March/ April (still room to jump on this amazing journey see details) I think we should not take on too ambitious a project that would take time fund raising as well as building and organizing. So I’ve decided to give you the color theme for 2011 Parade the color for this years parade is RED 85% and 15% BLACK. Probably everyone has stuff in there closets. Joanne’s Fabrics is having sales right now on alot of red fabric!

We did the Power Belly Online Show for 44 weeks last year! A huge achievement but it was too expensive to keep up with. Only a few dancers ever logged on. I think dancing from your lap top isn’t here yet. It sure was a hoot to do every week! We may bring it back again but for now back episodes are up.

Our third FRI CABARET NIGHTS in our studio have been the best shows I’ve seen in my life. House of Tarab playing live with 2 different professional dancers doing full routines! OMG!, Artemisia, Khalida, Elisa Gamal, Princess Farhana, Lisa Yasmeen, Suzanna, Kitiera, Laura Rose , Ruby Beh, Zulaika, Nadira, Dahlia, Aubre, Bella Jovan, Hasani, Sabura, Tito Seif plus a concert featuring Omar Ait Vimoum and Moez M’rabat. . . So very proud to be hosting such amazing artists in an intimate setting. (we will be in Hawaii on 3rd Fri in Jan. so no show).
I was invited to be a special guest presenter at the International Belly Dance Conference of Canada in Toronto. I was representing Belly Dance Pioneer in America. I taught large classes and sat on discussion panels. It was a fabulous event put on by Yasmina Ramzy of Toronto. Erik and I hung out with Cassandra alot so when she came to Seattle to do her camp in the fall we decided to all do a show together. We had an amazing show at the South Seattle Community College with H.O.T. Cassandra and Ava Fleming and myself, Delilah. Very fond memories.
One of my favorite events to attend this year was Suzanna’s Belly Dance Off! Very fun to be a judge and an audience member. Bravo to all who participated and to Suzanna for putting it together!

For the Summer we had Amel Tafsout do a wonderful workshop on Magreb style dance. We also had Moria Chappell of the Belly Dance Super Stars in our studio. (This coming February 2011 we will have Petite Jamilia and drummer Issam in conjunction with the BDSS)

We did some “Student, Staff and Experimental” shows that were very fun and got more of our students performing. Then in the fall we had a “Zombie Belly Dance” troupe for Trolloween. This class was really challenging and thought provoking. We took regular belly dance moves and took the life out of it and created a new vocabulary. It was an amazing exercise in character development . No one was focused on being pretty. It was very cathartic!

Our dear dancing friend Helen Nicholiasen left the planet on October 20th. Bless her soul. She new her time was near. I was in New Mexico doing a dance for her in a desert labyrinth in the middle of fantastic thunderstorm on all horizons when she past. Very spiritual landscape and energy there.

Our annual Thanksgiving morning workshop was awesome! The Winter Solstice Event was really very wonderful. I wished more attended. It really is a moving thing we do every year. Don’t miss it next time!

The Neighborhood Temple Priestess group did some lovely dance labyrinths under the guidance of Christine Hamby. They also worked hard on the Golden Patrons; A Philanthropic group in support of women’s dance. We have 10 members so far. We need 21 and will be still recruiting members in January. It’s a hard thing to explain and we need to ask folks to go to our web pages and take a look so you are informed about our efforts at least. It doesn’t mean you need to become a member. It is important that our idea gets into the cosmos! The more people that are in the know about it the better! What we are trying to do is a bit different for belly dance world. We are trying to take responsibility for supporting this art form “WE” the dancers, KNOW AND LOVE. By taking responsibility we can help it grow and be understood so it continues to grow and develop. This is our big goal for the New Year 2011!!!

Thank You to the GP commitee!

Major restructuring of how we can keep the studio alive and being used by more of the community is my goal. I really want to leave something behind that will benefit community long after my dance is done. Some new teachers are coming to VDP. Tayissa Blue is introducing TRIBAL BASICS on Sunday afternoon, and a Nia class on Fridays.

I have some ideas for some experimental themes shows this year. Plus I’m doing a bit of custom garment manufacturing (details soon to be revealed.I am wearing one in the photo above.)

In the fall I sent out a few grant applications. Didn’t receive any but it was a very good exercise in visualization. So today I am thinking about this question as I walk to the nearest Lottery stand. I hear Mega Millions is over 200 million!

“If I won the lottery what would I do for belly dance world ?
1. I would launch an ad campaign across the nation and beyond of the physical, emotional, spiritual and psychological benefits this dance has for women of all ages. I would even aim this intent at Middle Eastern countries that often do not know what a jew this dance form is for women. If young girls and women universally learned early and practiced it regularly like many of us do, then belly dance would truly be a benefit for things like pregnancy, birth, bone density and staying fit for a life time! Not only that but it gives women a sense of personal control of their own body and person. It provides a means for creativity and expression for wordless things. Tomorrows future depends on women that are whole body, mind and hearts.
2. I would build a bigger studio with fountains, statues and gardens, an indoor and out door theater and a belly dance museum!
3. I would build a belly dance retreat in Hawaii that was all year long and featured different teachers from all over the world of all styles and had scholarships.
4. I would build a Middle Eastern music school.
5. I would put together a Belly Dance Tour group that was diverse in age, weight and style that was fantastic and served to educate the public as well as entertain.
6. I would build an retirement facility for aged belly dancers and musicians that would be funded by another enterprise so it would be free.
7. I would build a school for beaded costume design.
8. I would have a large belly dance grant foundation.
9. I would have the Billion Belly March gather in Washington DC and make  political humanitarian demands for clean air, water, food, education, health care and corporate reform!
10. I would create a magazine that featured my picture on the cover each month in a different color costume  and call it  OPA ! . . . . LOL, well?

Ok I’ll keep dreaming and buying lottery tickets. Mean while a reminder
Tomorrow, New Years Day
We are doing a Zar. See our calendar for info.Come join us!
And
Get off your computer and come belly dance
for our LUNCH TIME BELLY DANCE
Wednesday and Fridays! Noon to 1:15

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Cheers
Delilah

September 28, 2010   ♦   Comments Off on #2 Zombie Belly Dance; Training Manual

Note: This is not my usual kind of blog entry; We are getting geared up to be in character so we are getting a little over the top. It’s meant to be dark humor. Do not read the following while eating.

ZOMBIE BELLY DANCE TRAINING MANUAL

WHY ZOMBIES BELLY DANCE.

Zombies are dead. A virus has entered their brains and reanimated the primal operating systems so they vaguely remember being a live. They eat flesh, but don’t need to eat since they are dead. Apparently they are on auto pilot. Given this, I realize that they also hold some vague memories of the belly dancing they did every day when they were alive. This is why they can zombies belly dance .

Zombies can not talk, laugh or cry.

Delilah on Zombie Walk

Delilah on Zombie Walk

They groan and grunt. However body language (dance) is a primal means of communication pre speech . It is heavily wired into body and brain. Some neural pathways remember belly dance like the way a zombie can remember how to walk, grab you and eat you brains . . . and belly dance.

ZOMBIE BODY MECHANICS

They lack juiciness as everything is coagulating, drying and rotting. So all the juicy and curvy moves found in living belly dance are out. Curves are transformed into angles. Textures like shimmy, swivels and locks, become twitches and jerks. Gasses are occasionally expelled that create popping sounds and movement releases.  Shaking occurs because of decay and short circuiting. It is more convulsive in appearance.

Arms dangle, flop and fall to the sides. If the torso jerks to one side, they may swing out by syntrifical force. When in pursuit of food or in the proximity of certain rhythm patterns they may lift arms in a pattern known as Exotic Zombie Arms. Watch out though, they bite.

Control to turn and look a different direction is minimal. Thus head and torso move as one and can unexpectedly jerk around and fall at the waist. Perhaps they miss belly dancing like they miss eating and that’s why they persist.

There is no self composer in a belly dance zombie. The torso is often bloated and so the chest and thorax pitch forward. Head lacks control and never has an inkling of thought.

Face and eyes remain blank to grimacing, depending on the circumstances of their demise or damage done when they were being eaten.

Hands are open and fingers extend stiffly like a 4 pronged dinner fork (handy),. . . while thumbs fold in to the palm in the classic death pose position.

HOW TO STOP A BELLY DANCE ZOMBIE FROM DANCING

Destroy the brain. Or wait 2-3 years for them to corrode enough that they stop dancing and there is nothing left to feast on. Watch zombie movies for extermination inspiration. The messier the kill method the more zombie belly dancers you may attract.

In general just remember folks, kill the brain and no more belly dancing.

  ♦   Comments Off on #1 Zombie Belly Dance Project

#1

Zombie Belly Dance Project

Zombie

Zombies

I live in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle Washington. We have Zombie walks  a few time a year. It’s a bit weird. They just mop around in alleys back yards, on street corners, in front of businesses, and in parks. The folks around here are are way into zombies and it doesn’t even need to be Halloween. In Fremont we call it “Trolloween” after our famous giant troll statue who lives under the Aurora bridge and every once in a while eats Volts Wagon bugs for breakfast. On Trolloween there will be some sort of happening we will take part in with our Zombie Belly Dance.

A couple weekends a go a hand full of members of our studio were sitting around a table brain storming projects for VDP Dance Studio to take on and all of a sudden I exclaimed Eureka. “Lets be Zombies and create a new fusion belly dance vocabulary for it,  and thus a performance group. We can do all sorts of events;  Zombie Walks, Trolloween and ZomBcon coming to Seattle at the end of October.! “ OMG! We all started laughing and getting charges up!

THOUGHTS ABOUT STARTING THE

ZOMBIE BELLY DANCE PERFORMANCE  CLASS

I thought about it that evening, I realized this maybe a perfect class to relive the tension of the days we are currently living in. It may well be the answer for many of our dancers working on performance issues right now. For the past few months we have been emphasizing more performance classes, shows and opportunities for dancers to grow as performers. We have been coaching students lately on character development and stage presence.  I’ve been carefully observing and pondering all dancers efforts, successes and failures. If I could bottle what I know I would give it to them. It struck me that one thing that may be getting in the way for some dancers is the issue women face deep inside, is in regard to their personal beauty image. This is different from a performance stage image.

Anerie plays dead

Anerie plays dead

A zombie is a character that does not care about pretty.

When I watch a dancer who needs help with stage presence this is what I often see; a smile, then a hesitation, then another smile, and then the shopping list of steps in the back of their mind, then a smile, followed by blinking, another hesitation and smile. This scenario lacks a feeling of self confidence. It also lacks any character dimension or dynamics. Dance performance is both physical movement and drama.  As a member of the audience all I want to do is get on board with them and ride the wave of their dance. I don’t care if their nose is crooked. I probably don’t even notice. The dancers job is to be a living bridge between me the audience and the music. Can you see if the baggage isn’t there taking up space, how much freer and clearer the bridge is. leave your personal stuff in the dressing room and devote full attention to the music and being the bridge.

I thought about the best comment I ever had from a dance I did, “Not pretty Delilah”. The dance I did was called “Calling up the Oracle for Peace” and it involved a zahr ritual. It was theater style dance. When I heard the comment I knew what he meant. The beauty issue was not in the way. I also knew that it never was even if I was doing a cheese cake sort of dance. “ I”  was not the object. It was my dance character that I have crafted and developed that took responsibility.

So my thinking is this Zombie Belly Dance idea as a dance and character exercise could be not only a kick in the carcass, but also a great lesson in practicing and developing a dance persona (that is as long as it’s a temporary dance character). No one has to think about being pretty. Wow, thats kind of liberating, isn’t it?

And I bet all the twitching and tension will be great cross training for Power Belly!

On Sunday right after the wonderful celebration of life at Veronika’s baby shower I spent some time coming up with the new fusion dance vocabulary for the living dead.

(talk about juxtaposition).

PLANNING CLASS

I put on some slow repetitive rhythms and drone music. I figure zombie musicians probably can’t play anything lively or happy. The music needs to come from the void.  They are going to have to be in character as well. Erik and I frequent Zombie walks. We are both amazed at how people can get all dressed up that way and not be in character. “What’s the deal with that” he scoffs? I

Most people are timid unless they have been given absolute permission. You would think the mire attendance at a Zombie walk would give them permission, but . . . Then it’s just not easy . It does take energy and some people don’t grok how much effort is involved in acting. They think when they see someone do it well then it’s effortless and comes with the territory. It doesn’t. It’s a skill and a craft.

Erik is a very scary Zombie, so watch out.

ZOMBIE MUSICIANS

We need dead beat drummers and musicians and we need them to be in serious character as much as the dancers. So if any drummers are reading this, get your dead ass carcass over to Erik on Monday nights at 6:40. He will direct, teach the rhythms and you all will practice the character while playing the rhythms as well. Cost? He is doing it on a sliding scale please pay what you can, the studio needs support and Erik is the director. We want your participation and we want to hold on to our studio.

More the deadlier!


ZOMBIE BELLY DANCE MOVES

Thorax Shimmy Walk

Dead Pan Turn

Mummy Walk

Death Spiral Turn with Bob and Twitch

Dead Zombie Stuffed with Fire Crackers

Regurgitating Body Locks

Crazy Eights

My heart, my heart

Cobra of the Living Dead

Decapitation Head Slides

Zombie Arms

Zombie Cha Cha

Hip Twitch with Dead Arms

3/4 Zombie

Zombie Lunge

Zombie Pyramid Step

Three Twitch Turn

Eat Your Heart Step

Belly Dance Intesta-vine Step

Rib Cage Zombie Box

ZOMBIE DEAD BEAT DANCE RYTHMS

Choptitelli

Ominous Masmuti

Eat You Ayub

Tasty Turk 9/8

REPORTS:

First nights class;

To get in the mood, I brought black grease paint for our faces.

I introduced the original living belly dance moves and then introduced the adapted dead versions. It was hard to keep from laughing. Lots of wise cracks. (It’s interesting but in this sort of backward way, I bet that dancers learn the original moves better as a side effect of this project.”

First Zombie Belly Dance Class

First Zombie Belly Dance Class

 

“How you doing there Diana?”, “ Stiff”  “That a girl!”

“Elizabeth, you look horrific! “, “Thank You!”

“ I think I’ll pass on the make up tonight Delilah.”, “Ok , but that means we will have to eat you!”

“ Oh I get it, so this is the class for dancers who have no rhythm and and are stiff?”

“ Come on now, NO JUICINESS!”

“Hey what do you know? Dead Can Dance!”

Join us next week.

***

In reality the dead moves were hard to maintain and really made us appreciate the living belly dance. We just did 1 hour of twitching and jerking around and we are going to be sore tomorrow I can tell. Regular belly dance celebrates life and in reverse we are definitely hating being dead. Yeowie!

  ♦   Comments Off on Belly Dance Baby Shower

NTP LOGO

NTP LOGO

Today the NTP  hosted a baby shower at Visionary Dance Studio. (The NTP is short for your friendly Neighborhood Temple Priestess)

We have developed a line of specialty dances for different occasions. Which ones we do depends on who in our group is available. The other members set up and serve different aspects of the event. This is just one of the things  we mean when we talk about  belly dance as community service. Our intention is not just to entertain, but to facilitate in making moments in peoples lives deeply meaningful.

Our expectant Mother today was Veronika. This was the second shower we have hosted for her. Her first son is almost two years old and, surprise! Here comes baby number two. The first shower we hosted for her meant so much to her that she wanted another us to help celebrate this baby too. Of course! However this shower was very different.

Daddy, baby and friends with their kids were present and Veronika danced for us first! VERONIKA’S DANCE: She danced to 3 songs and changed costumes in between! fantastic! She was so relaxed and expressive! Every dance was sharing a different stage of the story of her family. It was so special. There were 6 NTP present and we stood in the back dressed in our soft white belly dance bedlah and teared up. No, actually we sobbed and huddled together arm and arm. We were so moved! I wish all women could have seen this today.

Then three of the NTP took turns like three good fairies gifting Veronika with short dances. Kalaura did an ARTEMIS BLESSING DANCE with bear ears (Artemis is the Goddess of Easy Delivery) Roxy did a very sweet and joyous SISTER DANCE that Veronika had requested. I (Delilah ) did a ROSE DANCE with a rose print veil and essential rose oil . Then it was time for everyone to dance with the children. Fun ! We shared food and did a body painting with the children on Veronika’s belly.

So beautiful. I just love doing these events. It gives life meaning to us as well as the guests.

*** More about Belly Dance and Pregnancy

We have pregnant women in our belly dance classes all the time. It enriches everyones belly dance class experience to dance with pregnant women next to them. We have tried to have BELLY DANCE especially aimed for PREGNANT women. But it’s impossible to get a gang of them together at the same night it seems. Plus they go through phases of varying energy. I have a beautiful class plan where each Mother would create her very own birth dance in her last trimester for her family friends and fellow dancers. I supposed if we advertised with a Women’s medicine clinic near by we would have more success, but I’ve never been sure how to do that. We would need the support of a birth care providers endorsement to help point pregnant women in our direction. So far non have stepped forward even though they think it’s cool they probably feel it’s not a professional mix and worry about liability issues. So what we do instead is just incorporate them into our regular class and give extra guidance.

Any of our students that participate in classes while they are pregnant get to have us gift them with a special baby shower by the NTP if they like. We do baby showers for women who are not belly dancers as well. Our service are sliding $150-$200 (in our studio) and these fees go towards supporting our beautiful dance space. When we charge a fee I or another at least one professional dancer is guaranteed to be present as a performer and then the different levels of NTP dancers donate their time and learning how to facilitate events and fill in with side line dances. Each shower is custom designed to the wishes of each honored Mother.

Veronika has been doing Power Belly in our studio for 4 years or so along with other kinds of exercise during the week. She is very accustomed to doing Power Belly so it was not a new exercise regime and she is very conscious of her bodies needs and limits. Every women is different. However the participation in a belly dance class during this time in a woman’s life can be very empowering. Of course they abbreviate the dance to fit comfort and ease. That’s what is so cool about belly dance is it can be folded into individual capabilities. If some one has never belly danced before and they just became pregnant we are not going to suggest they do alot of strenuous endurance training but the softer approach of belly dance will bring a women’s awareness into her body so she becomes more aware of her bodies changes and can truly be present with this special time in her life. We encourage the story line in dance like veronika demonstrated today. This makes it a rite of passage and a vivification of life experience and our connections we share to each other. Dance is story. My  “Dance to the Great Mother” performance I did in my last trimester with my second daughter is available on DVD in our studio shop and online.  I choose to use an Ancient Egyptian Theme and personify ISIS the GREAT MOTHER. As a professional dancer I was able to perform my birth dance publicly on many theatrical stages during my entire pregnancy and it was an incredibly powerful position to occupy in my life and in our culture. Every women should feel the presence of the goddess within her at this special time in her life..

Alex is another of my students who just did a birth dance while in labor and put it on You Tube the other day. Makes me so proud that this is happening in our world today.

Alex’s LABOR OF LOVE


Mirayah Delamar  DIVINE MOTHER 1992

mirayah DelamarPG_4

More articles


http://visionarydance.com/delilah/inspiration/

Morocco’s Story

http://www.orientaldancer.net/articles/roots_of_oriental_dance.shtml

August 12, 2010   ♦   Comments Off on Lorraine Lafata; Healing Belly Dance
About Lorraine and belly dance.
Lorraine was one of the founders of the “Goddess Dancing” in Boston.
It was from a short period of time when the word “Goddess” wasn’t a dirty word.
It is a dance co operative still to this day in Boston. They are very dedicated to teaching and inspiring women to belly dance from a place of health and happiness and personal growth.
All ladies after my own heart.
Lorraine is a therapist, social worker, feminist, belly dancer and mother. She worked in women’s prisons teaching women to access forgotten parts of themselves through this wordless dance. Profound experiences. She is dedicated to healing women’s wounded self esteem. She helps them find and express their inner stories.
Neither her nor I worship Goddesses in our workshops, as the unacquainted often pass on as gossip. We use archetypes to access parts of our psyche. Our psyche is where the craft or creative dance comes from. dance is not just cookie cutter body shaping thrown into space on a dance floor. Archetypes are matrixes. Things that get repeated over and over again so they are universally known in symbolic representation. Imbued with meaning. They can be found in myths, fairy tales, nursery rhymes, God and  Goddess, hero and villain representations, astrology, tarot cards, and modern narratives of books, movies, and yes our dance. With out meaning or dance is only flesh flipping vulgarly into the air.
HERstory
I met her on the phone first.
We hit it off and would talk for hours about non typical belly dance teachings. In 1994 she came to one of my Hawaii Retreats and we met in person. In 1995 she came with me on my Costa Rican Caravan exploring dancing in nature. We were a small band of poets, drummers and dancers on a enchanting journey all over Costa Rica with a naturalist guide. She came with her husband and explained they were on their reverse honeymoon. They were celebrating their marriage that they were in agreement would dissolve. It was an interesting event to share with her and the group energy in Costa Rica.
When we returned we decided we needed to work together and Lorraine Kajira Djoumahna (Tribal Fest Producer) and my self put on 2 California workshops in 96, 97. They were called” Inanna, Solome and the 7 Part Cabaret Belly Dance Routine” A big mouthful. We worked with archetypal journey through our belly dance. These retreats were very amazing processes of discovering greater meaning behind our dance. We had Sirocco as our guest musicians the first year and the second we had John Bilejikian and his drummer.
Lorraine has a busy counciling practice in Boston and a small dance studio with dedicated students where she develops her work. I brought Lorraine to Seattle to do a lecture, all day workshop and 3 hour Workshop called “Healing our Sexuality in 98”. It was popularly attended and the group of 45 ladies applauded, and yelled! Imploring me to promise to bring her back to Seattle!!
Then in 2002 I hosted Lorraine as my guest Hawaii Retreat Instructor in Maui. The course was called “Embracing Aphrodite” and it was one of the largest most powerful retreats I have ever attended. It was the January right after 9/11/01. It was booked up before that horrible event that has changed all our lives for ever but it was a point of transition for everyone that made this retreat very very important. We looked at power, strength, fear and true beauty. There is a good documentary of it, on my Live and  Wild DVD as an extra feature (Sale right now).
After 9/11 things started changing alot for belly dance. The Belly Dance Super stars got popular and started touring around the world. Tribal belly dance broke away from the festivals and formed it’s own independent events. I opened my studio in 04 and belly dance was peeking in it’s popularity and yet splintering in many directions. Middle Eastern music wasn’t necessary to the dance any more, costume and work out attire changed big time. All of a sudden I felt the stabbing attacks of women against the Goddess. Hmmm? It Wa Ok in the 90’s but now it’s called “woo woo”. Dancers confuse worship with Jungian Psychology and creative association. Sad because if you don’t envision something powerful inside (and Goddess imagery is hot and powerful image in my mind) then what is inside?Tough girl? Naughty girl? Ballet girl? Pirate girl? A man explained to me the image is often “Aloof Girl. The message was you can dare to look at me dance but then you better f*?K off and die.
Or are dancers dancing as empty vessels? Hmmm? Andrea Deagon just wrote an interesting article on gilded serpent that has me thinking. She says we are like swiss coo coo clocks. LOL!
In the past few years ballet entered the picture very distinctly, demand for choreography or belly dance as “just exercise”  seems to be what women want. Exercise is important and I sure think belly dance makes your weekly exercise requirements fun and easy but to me it’s more. I notice that studying real ethnic dance forms is down in popular interest and no one wants to invest in costumes at the moment. Alot of confusion dressed up as fusion if you ask me. I never wanted to see the day ballet became part of belly dance. If it was a big part of belly dance when I began dancing I wouldn’t be a belly dancer today. Ballet teaches many more people to sit and watch than to dance and actually participate. When competition is high it’s a good way to force people out of the pool. Just like blaming other dancers as being Goddess Worshippers. The fear and insecurity contributes to our ignorance and we stop our selves from growing.
For the past few year Christine Hamby has been going and doing an internship program with Lorraine. She has also been sponsoring  her out here in Seattle the past 3 Augusts.
OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS
Lorraine Lafata will be teaching an all day unique experiential workshop.
BELLY DANCE AS HEALING DANCE; WORKING WITH TRAUMA
Saturday AUGUST 14th
VDP STUDIO
4128 Fremont Ave n
Sea wa 98103
http://visionarydance.com/seattle-studio/class-info/lafata/
Call to reserve please.
Delilah 206-632-2353

Lorraine LafataAbout Lorraine and belly dancing.

Lorraine was one of the founders of the “Goddess Dancing” in Boston.

It was formed during  a short period of time when the word “Goddess” wasn’t a dirty word around the belly dance world.

It is a dance co operative still to this day in Boston. They are very dedicated to teaching and inspiring women to belly dance from a place of health and happiness and personal growth. Instead of calling it belly dance they call it Goddess Dance. I think partly they didn’t feel comfortable taking the dance that was recognized as coming from a Middle Eastern origin and blossoming it out in new enpowering directions with their explorations. It’s simple to see the  ME culture wouldn’t recognize these progressions for various reasons. It’s very much American.

These are all ladies after my own heart.

Lorraine is a therapist, social worker, feminist, belly dancer and mother. She worked in women’s prisons teaching women to access forgotten parts of themselves through this wordless dance. Profound experiences. She is dedicated to healing women’s wounded self esteem. She helps them find and express their inner stories. Often we call this fantasy but just where do our fantasys come from? What are they can we work with them and find something very meaningful?

Neither she nor I worship Goddesses in our workshops, as the unacquainted often pass on as un experienced lip serve. We use archetypes to access parts of our psyche. Develop our sense of character. Our psyche is where the craft or creative dance comes from. Dance is not just cookie cutter body shaping thrown into space on a dance floor. Archetypes are matrixes. Things that get repeated over and over again so they are universally known in symbolic representation. Imbued with meaning.   They can be found in myths, fairy tales, nursery rhymes, God and  Goddess, hero and villain representations, astrology, tarot cards, and modern narratives of books, movies, and yes our dance. With out meaning or dance is only flesh flipping vulgarly into the air.

Our bodies are full of symbols.

Lorraine Lafata  will be teaching an all day workshop

Belly Dance as Healing Dance; Working with Trauma

Saturday August 14th

HERstory

I met her on the phone first.

We hit it off and would talk for hours about non typical belly dance teachings. In 1994 she came to one of my Hawaii Retreats and we met in person. In 1995 she came with me on my Costa Rican Caravan exploring dancing in nature. We were a small band of poets, drummers and dancers on a enchanting journey all over Costa Rica with a naturalist guide. She came with her husband and explained they were on their reverse honeymoon. They were celebrating their marriage that they were in agreement would dissolve. It was an interesting event to share with her and the group energy in Costa Rica.

When we returned we decided we needed to work together and Lorraine Kajira Djoumahna (Tribal Fest Producer) and my self put on 2 California workshops in 96, 97. They were called” Inanna, Solome and the 7 Part Cabaret Belly Dance Routine” A big mouthful. We worked with archetypal journey through our belly dance. These retreats were very amazing processes of discovering greater meaning behind our dance. We had Sirocco as our guest musicians the first year and the second we had John Bilejikian and his drummer.

Lorraine has a busy counciling practice in Boston and a small dance studio with dedicated students where she develops her work. I brought Lorraine to Seattle to do a lecture, all day workshop and 3 hour Workshop called “Healing our Sexuality in 98”. It was popularly attended and the group of 45 ladies applauded, and yelled! Imploring me to promise to bring her back to Seattle!!

Then in 2002 I hosted Lorraine as my guest Hawaii Retreat Instructor in Maui. The course was called “Embracing Aphrodite” and it was one of the largest most powerful retreats I have ever attended. It was the January right after 9/11/01. It was booked up before that horrible event that has changed all our lives for ever but it was a point of transition for everyone that made this retreat very very important. We looked at power, strength, fear and true beauty. There is a good documentary of it, on my Live and  Wild DVD as an extra feature (Sale right now).

Introduced to Lorraine through the Seattle workshops, Christine Hamby was inspired to do an internship program with Lorraine on the East Coast. She has also been sponsoring  her out here in Seattle the past 3 Augusts.

OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS

Lorraine Lafata will be teaching an all day unique experiential workshop.

BELLY DANCE AS HEALING DANCE; WORKING WITH TRAUMA

Saturday AUGUST 14th

VDP STUDIO

4128 Fremont Ave n

Sea wa 98103

http://visionarydance.com/seattle-studio/class-info/lafata/

Call to reserve please.

Delilah 206-632-2353

July 4, 2010   ♦   Comments Off on Power Belly Show: Update, July 2010

We began producing the Power Belly Show Online Class in May 2009.

Delilah leads the Power Belly Show

Delilah leads the Power Belly Show

We have been referring to it as our eStudio because it’s a electronic part of our studio community. We consider and encourage the students out there in belly dance world to become a part of our studio. They are welcome to join our yahoo group and stay a breast of new developments, projects and opportunities.

 

Our goal as a belly dance company:

We are dedicated to the art of belly dance. Our mission is to serve those who love belly dance. When you look at our long track record of involvement (over 30 years) you see we do this by teaching and hosting classes and workshops in our studio in Seattle, by annual retreats and occasional adventure tours to Egypt . . . We have a produced all sorts of instructional, documentary and performance DVD’s and music CDs for . . .

VDP Studio is in service to all belly dancers no mater the skill level, age or the style. We cannot do this every week in one hour, but, by and by we touch on a little of everything by hosting dancers of all perspectives from week to week. Our duty is to stay interested and supportive of all belly dance. Connect with us!

The Power Belly Project:

This past year we have been keeping the “Power Belly Show” as current in time as possible by filming 6 out of 8 weeks. We  completed 40 episodes by May 2010. During this year we offered 5 episodes for only a penny as introductory samples and we produced a Limited Edition Double Disk DVD “Power Belly Show, Summer 2009” for those who could not download the show or simply wanted to own a hard copy (still some available). The DVD features 1 full episode and 2 half episodes and Guest Star tutorials by Dahlia , Delilah and Tayissa Blue. Another DVD of “Winter 2010” is underway.

Please buy one if you can!

It helps us maintain the Power Belly as a project that has so far, not been cost effective. We think that online classrooms are the wave of the future but they are certainly not caught on yet. It costs us a lot of cash to but this up as a small company.

Please help us spread the word:

Tell your dance friends about our Power Belly Show On-line Belly Dance Class..

Power Belly Extended Workout Spoof

As a funny, creative little promotional gimmick, We came up with a spoof video parody. The idea was to spoof  the famous Late Night TV Extenze Commercials promoting Male Enhancement. Our script promoted POWER BELLY as Female Belly Dance Enhancement. We have it up on Youtube. Most people got it and thought it was hysterical but if you don’t know what we are paradizing (is that a word?), I suppose it might seem random. Ha! We had a great time making it and thats why we do all our work. We love acting and dancing. And I think when you see it you will agree we do not take our selves so seriously. We are pretty silly.

At this moment in time:

Due to our busy project schedule (example of most recent ; Parade) and a lagging economy we can’t keep all pots boiling at once so we are backing off filming every week for the summer months and will produce a show every 4 weeks or so . We have at least 3 re-run shows up at any one time and leave a relatively new one up a little longer. I think there is plenty of redeeming value to our workouts and I hope they increase your daily enjoyment of belly dance. We have dancer in very remote places tuning in as well we have dancers down the street. The world is changing in major ways. It is becoming more of a realization that we are no longer limited or defined by our location anymore. We are enjoined by our common interests.

Reminder: the workout is not aimed at replacing your LIVE instructor. It’s just giving you more support to learn, grow and enjoy the art of belly dance. Thanks for tuning in.

Over view credits for the record.

May 2009- May 2010

Weekly Cast:

VDP Dance Instruction:

Delilah, Dahlia, Tayissa Blue, Ruby, Bella Jovan, Laura Rose

Filmed and edited By Laura Rose

Music by Erik Brown; Drums, base, chimbus, guitar, other percussion

Special Features Guests on different episodes

“House of Tarab”

A 6 piece traditional music ensemble; Sallah, Andy, David, Stephen, Erik, Jane,

Unmata and Amy Sigil Sacremento CA,

Freya Los Angeles CA,

Princess Farhana Los Angeles CA,

Salah Ali on Violin

Stephen Elaimy on Oud.

Rich Hawkins voice work .

Filmed primarily in VDP Studio in Seattle.

However, we did film in Delilah’s back yard when the weather got very hot.

We dedicated one episode to a beautiful Labyrinth dance happening in the studio on Winter Solstice. Halloween had a fun costume theme as well.

We look forward to another year!

June 20, 2010   ♦   Comments Off on VDP Studio; Now that the Parade has Finished. . .
Dahlia with her mouth full!

Dahlia with her mouth full!

Dear Dancers,

We have just enjoyed a most successful Summer Solstice Parade! THis marks our 20th year of participation! I am so proud of everyone. We have a fun party coming up this Saturday night!

I need everyone’s focused attention right now!

We have been a studio on Fremont for 6 years and are entering our 7th year. Since we are a belly dance exclusive studio we deal with the cycles of women’s lives. We have have busy times and less busy times. Kind of like our blood moon cycles. However the studio’s over head is still very concrete in the world of bill paying cycles. We want to make sure the studio survives so we are available to women during the  full flowing times in the year. You feel me? We need support 12 months out of the year or. . .

SOOO Right now I need dancers to help.

The summer months are a harder time for the studio because of summer schedules and vacations. However the summer atmosphere is a great times to belly dance. We have more fun and are not hindered by snow and cold. heat is a rear thing here and evenings are very comfortable. If you have to miss a class and need a make up class come to a POWER BELLY on me. We do not want your schedules to get in the way. Lets stay in shape and belly dance!

Delilah in Fremont Solstice Parade 2010 (this costume is for SALE)

Delilah in Fremont Solstice Parade 2010 (this costume is for SALE)

We are adding day time classes and work outs and weekend classes, and student and staff performance dates. Fun Fun!

Please check them out and do your best to plug in to support us.

Please RECRUIT  YOUR FRIENDS TO  start belly dancing this summer.

VDP Belly Dance Class Calendar here:

It’s so fun. You can come for free if you need to hold their hand. Sometimes thats all it takes and you can change some ones life.

I just talked to someone who discovered the world of belly dance because by chance they were drug to a show by a friend. Ha! Lots of people are living simple lives and belly dance is enchanting. It can bring such energy and vitality. When I see all your smiling faces in the parade. OMG what beauty!

THIS SUMMER:

we have some interesting plans out side all the regular classes.

Lorraine Lafata of Boston is coming to do a Belly dance Workshop for working with as well as being an Abuse Survivor. Looks like second week in August TBA.

Fri Aug 2oth

August 20th; Amel Tafsout from Algeria is being featured in H.O.T. Concert with Special Guest Musician Ishmeal. (I play his music in 70 % of my classes). This will be at a special theater . Hopefully she does a workshop too. TBA

oxox Delilah

206 632-2353

June 9, 2010   ♦   Comments Off on Egypt Tour
Delilah at Isis Temple

Delilah at Isis Temple

I’m dreaming in ancient Egyptian symbols. . .

This week I got a bunch of calls from folks getting excited about coming to Egypt with me. Two gal friends are signed up for my “ Hathor down the Nile”. They are driving their families crazy with excitement. They have many months to wait, so I hope it’s not too hard on their families.

Then a family of 4 called and announced they are ALL are coming with me. The mom is one of our NTP dancers. The young daughter has a romance with ancient Egypt that I find hauntingly familiar. The teen age son I hear is a very good writer. What better to fuel his imagination with than a trip to the land of scribes and the beginning of writing. Where world histories, myths and cultures meet. A fantastic growth experience. I hope he keeps a journal and will share. The father couldn’t miss this rich opportunity to travel abroad with with his loved ones. This will be richly etched in all their collective memories. I am so pleased they are doing this as a family.
I got n email from a dance friend who wants to come and maybe on the entire 20 day trip of a life time. She said she is open for a room mate because she didn’t know if her husband would be interested or not. She and her husband are retired and very active and healthy. I hope he considers coming along too. It’s going to be a major experience for his beloved wife and life moves fast past 50. You gotta grab it while you can.  Husbands are very welcome on this tour. They won’t feel like its girls night out I assure.

In the story scrap book I put up on the Delilahs-belly-dance-retreat.com, I tried convey how powerful the experience was to share with some one close to you. I went alone the first time and made a new friend in my roommate Carol. The second time my then husband wasn’t interested and I went with a best friend (I wished he had come too). She and I had an incredible life altering trip . It was 1997 and we went to Turkey and Egypt in the same adventure.Then in 2000 I went with my folks while they were both healthy to travel.  OMG what a good decision that was. We joined harpist Ani William’s tour and about 14 belly dance fiends of mine came too. The last trip I took in 2008 my two daughters, 2 cousins, and my boyfriend came with me. I and shared with them the ancient mysteries. So fantastic. I figured that was the last time I would go. A handful of people who came with me last time in 2008 are interested in the Petra (Jordan) leg of the tours including my family members. That would be perfect.
This trip was prompted by my students who started asking me recently. Are you going back Delilah? If so I want to come. Really, I said? They said I make the adventure come to life so that it is not just a typical tour. I laughed, but I know what they mean. When we were in Costa Rica I over heard two tour guide talking to each other about how they wished they had our group because we were so vibrant and alive. I know we brighten up the guides, the guards and other tourists around us with our dance energy.

A Dance Inside the Queens Chamber

A Dance Inside the Queens Chamber

Then I realized I haven’t seen Alexandria, Petra the Red Sea and my most favorite thing in the whole world is to cruise down the Nile so this time I’m going to do it all!

So that is why we are going and have a nice long lead time so we can budget it into our dreams.
Life is so precious. Life is so fleeting. Youth believes they live forever. In our middle years we realize we better live it now.

Yours in Ancient and Modern Belly Dance.
oxox

Delilah

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May 20, 2010   ♦   Comments Off on REGARDING “LIVE MUSIC”

I have 3 future events in this post;

Sallah Plays Delilah

Sallah Plays Delilah

Friday Cabaret at VDP Studio 4128 Fremont Ave N:  May 21

with HOT Elisa Gamal and Khalida from Germany.

and

Brothers of the Baladi in Seattle June 11

Hawaii Belly Dance Retreat . .  . Early Bird registration is open now.

(Help me BRING STEPHEN ELAIMY in 2011)

• This article is about “LIVE MUSIC”.

Many of you have been to our 3rd Friday Cabarets at VDP. When it comes to dance most of you know I am a dedicated supporter of LIVE MUSIC. As feathers in my cap, I boast the honor of hosting bands such as Sirocco, Brothers of the Baledi, John Bilizikijian, Solace, and House of Tarab on my retreats to Hawaii, California and in concerts in Seattle.

Having live music is not the easy way to go.

It requires a lot of planning, energy, love, money and support.

House of Tarab:

I became a proud supporter of House of Tarab and helped them start playing as the H.O.T. band. It’s been 4 years now. I helped produce their first CD. I suggested they dress up in tuxedos and fez and I took them to Las Vegas for the IBDC. They went on to produce a second CD called “Baladi”. They added Andy and became a 6 piece band. They are one of the few ensembles dedicated to playing traditional belly dance music in the entire United States; oud, violin, ney, zorna, riq, dumbek, base, table baladi. They practice many dedicated hours to keep this genre of music alive. We are all lucky to live in Seattle with such a rich dance and music scene.

Our Dance Art:

Traditional Belly Dance becomes so much more integral and supported when there is interaction between the dancer and the musicians actually playing the music. The voicing of the ney, the vibration of strings of the oud and violin tenderly implore the delicate shimmy and emotive quiver in limb and loin. The music is alive, the dancer is alive, the audience is alive, and they all are sharing in the astounding present moment! You get a real taste for what I’m talking about at our Friday shows.

I take my art form and career seriously. As a teacher and leader in the art of belly dance, I feel it is my duty to provide dancers with the opportunity to learn by the experience of dancing to live music. Thus, I am always striving to produce collaborative and “worth your while” events for dancers to enjoy.

NOW, I need your support on the next project.

Hawaii in January 2011.

While it seems a ways off, it’s not. Things that are worth while take time and support to plan and make happen.

RUBY is my featured guest instructor this coming year!

Details are on here

Support LIVE MUSIC:

I need 15 truly interested dancers to register NOW for the next Hawaii Retreat in 2011. (deposit only, with BIG early bird discounts)

Your commitment now to come to this fantastic event (in the cold of winter) will allow me to put oud player Steven Elaimy on our staff so we have integral live music at our retreat.

The Hawaii Retreat:

Many dancers have dreamed of coming to one of my retreats. Each year we host different guest instructors and music combined with themes of dance exploration.

This coming retreat is very inexpensive.

It’s 6 DAYS, and 5 NIGHTS in paradise.

I have been holding these retreats since 1991. Give your self a gift! These retreats have changed lives. Yes they are about learning to dance but, more importantly, they allow everyone to stop the clock for a time and enjoy being in the present and reviewing life. The combination of life review and dance is magical.  Ask any teacher or person who has been on one of my retreats. Dancers come from all over the world, and often return for another trip. We are dedicated to presenting these life transforming retreats.

• Hawaii Retreat is Jan 25-30 2011 Registration is open Now

Couples welcome.

www.delilahs-belly-dance-retreat.com/

• MAY 21 Friday Night Cabaret at VDP staring Elisa Gamal and Kahlida from Germany. Workshops and lectures this weekend see calendar page


Call for reserved seats

206 632-2353

PS ALSO I will be performing with Brothers of the Baladi up from Portland Or, at the King Cat Club (Down Town)

10 PM on June 11

http://visionarydance.com/seattle-studio/special-events/delilah_bob/



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