D's Blog

December 3, 2010   ♦   Comments Off on Golden Patrons Introduction

Dear Dancers,
We need your help in finding 21 Golden Patrons!

This is supremely important so please read to understand the details. There is no financial obligation to helping us. There are many ways to assist us!
VDP STUDIOS is at risk of closing. If we close our doors they will not be reopened.
Let’s not allow that to happen!
This is the first step in revealing a new model of doing belly dance business. Please read our PDF brochure and pass it on to other dancers. More details and future plans will be revealed on my blog.
Please print this Golden Patron detailed brochure and distribute where ever you can.

IMPORTANT:
We do not mean to pester or pressure anyone. On the contrary we only want people who can afford the role of “Golden Patron” to participate in specified ways. We want everyone who loves belly dance and wants to be supportive to us and the art of belly dance, to jump in and help us find these 21 Golden Patrons! Thus we have cast a large net! We have found 9 Patrons already. Maybe all we need is one big one!

Even more notes about the
GOLDEN PATRON PROJECT:
A Philanthropic Group Supporting Women’s Dance.

Read our Golden Patron brochure first, then these additional notes will make more sense.

It is time for women who know the value of the art form of belly dance in our lives to give their support in a very big way. No one else is responsible but us.

I often wondered why any retired belly dancers (that I know of) have not left a foundation or a grant to this art form they know has benefited so many women’s lives behind them?

I have blazed many new trails in my long career and it’s time for another new one. I want to create a foundation. I realize that in this day and age many do not even know what the role of Patron of the Arts is anymore.

WHAT IS THE INSPIRATION BEHIND THE GOLDEN PATRONS?

It is simple;
Since June I have been giving alot of thought to the summation of my years of dedication to the art of belly dance ( 38 years). I have been an active part in its evolution in America. I have been a recipient in its life transforming power as well as been a mid wife to so many women’s re-birthing of themselves through this dance art. I feel even more enthusiastic as the day I started. I still have alot I want to give to belly dance. However, today my maturity has brought me to a different position in thought. I want to build something to leave behind me when my dance is done.

Thus a committee was formed of dedicated dancers and friends who liked my idea. They have rallied around me to support me in this effort to broaden the studios goals.

Brigitte, Lisa, Laura Rose, Kalaura, Dahlia, Erik, Stephen, Anne, Roxi, Elizabeth, Chris and John . . .

We sent out only 150 packets after Thanksgiving holiday to a random sample of students, teachers, friends local and far. There are another 50 packets in the studio. We only had a small budget and we wanted to send as many as we could in the real mail. The dancers really did a beautiful job of creating a nice brochure and I wish everyone could have one however I am going to have to ask you to read it on a PDF.  Our hopes is to get lots of dancers talking about it, so please talk it up. The committee has put much love and work into this initial phase. Facebook it!

OTHER WAYS YOU CAN HELP AND BE SUPPORTIVE:
• Come to class regularly! You know it’s good for you.

• Give a friend a gift certificate to come to a class or a workshop. It can change their life!

• Come to our Hawaii retreats or Egypt tours. They are ventures to bring in revenue as well as be incredible life and dance adventures. Know that is a great support and you benefit in un definable ways.

•Come to our studio shows with House of Tarab.

• Buy a VDP product, hip scarf, or weight belt.
Your every dollar is a VOTE to support us in this tough economy.

WHAT THE GOLDEN PATRONS CAN DO BY THEIR PATRONAGE
The Golden Patron is not a nonprofit yet. It does not make any sense to set one up until we know we have a dedicated foundation beneath us. Since it’s not tax deductable we offer you the package of benefits that keep you dancing as well! It’s a win win and now or never. We are trying to keep the studio afloat. We are excited about how it can re-energize the art of belly dance and get more women learning about the lifelong rewards it brings. The economic situation is hard but also brings us different ways of thinking that may be better in the long run.
The studio is a wonderful space. Don’t you think? If not please tell s how we can improve it! It’s beautiful, in a safe and artistically friendly neighborhood. So many amazing artists have graced the dance floor in performance and as instructors. However it should be getting used more. At this point in my life I cannot run it alone. It need more bodies more creative energy. I want more projects and energy in there. I want more instructors not less. I want to have time to write my book. I want the space to provide a laboratory for the dance to grow as well as the dancers to develop. The Golden Patronage will support this and more!
I want the consciousness in our community to understand the values of belly dance more thoroughly.

I asked my Thankgiving class if they had the feeling that the real story of belly dance was like the best kept secret from the rest of society?

YES, THEY ALL AGREED!

Interesting but it’s felt that way for 38 years! So often belly dance is trying to fit its round little body in square peg whole over and over again. It’s because the greater community doesn’t understand it and it has such large stereotypes that we get left out of much of the funding. We need to create our own campaign of educating the public towards BELLY DANCE APPRECIATION.

It’s performance, yes. It’s self satisfying and enjoyable, yes! It’s good exercise and fitness, yes! It increases awareness physically mentally and emotionally, yes!, It lifts depression, builds bone density and manages weight, yes! It’s friendly to all sizes and ages of women, yes! It’s a supportive community of women that gets cultivated, yes! It’s a tool for women’s personal development, yes! It utilizes crafts, stage art, music, and drama, yes! Women pass the art down to their daughters, yes! It’s culturally stimulating, yes! It’s a place where we are not alone!
YES!

I have a dream of how this dance can be so much more.

More later keep tuning in. We are being very visionary here!

November 15, 2010   ♦   Comments Off on Internship/Intensive Study.

I have been getting alot of phone calls lately about our Internship so I thought I should blog about it a little more.

A traditional internship is where a student gain experience in an intensive sort of way working along side of professionals. When a dancer signs up to come take part in our offering she will be experiencing this in many ways. However it is not a paid or works exchange situation. We are not seeking interns for any particular project. We are offering our expertise. We cannot guarantee that you will get to perform on a stage somewhere in our concerts. We do our best to create positive situations. Most likely you would if that is your goal but there are standards and situations that apply of course.

What we offer is an opportunity to retreat and study with top professional dancers, masters and musicians.

Thus we should really call it INTENSIVE STUDY however it also has INTERN aspects.

INTENSIVE STUDY PROGRAMS

Our programs are where dancers either residents of Seattle or come to Seattle for a while to under go intensive study with us; private or group dance classes, drum, costuming, music appreciation. These are not free or done as work exchanges but are some times sponsored by family, friends, patrons and institutions that recognize the intrinsic value belly dance gives to women or all ages. They could be high school students, college students, writers, professors on sabbatical, dance instructors, or women using this art for therapy as they need to re discover themselves, recover from abuse or other.

This dance teaches them to be involved with their own bodies as expressive instruments. It increases physical awareness for healing, calming and future maternity. It teaches independence because belly dance does not rely on a partner. There is so many skills to challenge and accomplish, With this brings satisfaction, pride and self confidence. It connects women with other women creating lasting friendships and building community. It’s creative and culturally enriching. All this equals a healthy self esteem. We offer our expertise and take you under our wing. We take this very to heart. This is a very valuable opportunity for girls and women of any age.

EXAMPLES;

Averill Obee did some great writing on her experience.

Averill’s Blog

Averills Article in Gilded Serpent

Nichol started dancing with our studio at age 15. her parents were very supportive. She came to 2-3 classes a week and now dances in San Fransisco while attending Mills College. She spent 1 year in Egypt studying business and language.

Lulu lives in Seattle and did a local project for Seattle Academy. She had belly danced with us since her 7th Birthday.

Ramza Ali is a belly dance teacher, mother and performer. She came for 3 week from Londrina Brazil and that was an amazing experience.

Usually when dancers are coming from far away for just a week they hook up with one of our retreats or Tours.

We have had dancers from Korea, Japan, Columbia, Mexico, Sweden, Equator, Italy, Chili, Argentina, South Africa, England,. . . Seattle options are usually thought of as longer projects. However we are open to just about anything.

Each situation is a personally designed contract. The cost depends on budget and other factors like length of study, time of year, live in or out, goals, hours, events that apply . . . . We try to be reasonable and make our exchange very worthy. We have a house across the street with many bedrooms and it makes for a very nice arrangement. There is not always a room available, it takes arranging and it depends on how long you will stay.

If you are interested or want to send someone to us, here are the pages you will want to look at;

Retreats/ Seattle Intensive Study and Internship/ Egypt Tours

Intern Introduction

Accommodation in Seattle

Instructors at VDP STUDIO

• List of Events through out the year to help you plan.

• There of course are more up dates on our VDP Calendar Schedule page

Sample Custom Intern Itinerary

Course Study Offering:

Classic Arab American Techniques

Power Belly and Teachers Training

NTP Ritual and Dance. (Neighborhood Temple Priestess)

Modern Egyptian

Turkish

Fusion and Folkloric

Veil Dance

Performers Edge

Burlesque

Learn to play Arabic hand drum.

Drummer and a dancer Solo work.

Parade Dance

Dancing in Nature

Beginning Ney



October 26, 2010   ♦   4 Comments »

NOTES ABOUT THE VEIL DANCE

Elisa Gamal

Elisa Gamal

Elisa Gamal is a master performer.

She is currently a guest instructor for the next 8 weeks.

This is an important class to take!!!

It’s not too late to join us.

Tuesdays at 7:45-9:00

Started Oct 27. . .

(There is still room. It’s a small class.)

• It’s open to all levels of belly dance experience because it’s not like the rest of belly dance. Some belly dancers have not had a veil class, ever.

Reasons to take a veil dance course:

• IF any of you are interested in performing? You should take this class.  (Since it’s an 8 week class, you can divide this class into 2 payments if you want. Please make sure we know we want to attend even if you have to miss a couple.)

• This is a skill and an adventure into powerful archetypal creative process as I will discus below. . .

• If you want to take an entertaining class, take this class.

Elisa is very fun!

Please help us with the success of this class:

IF you have friends interested in performing, do them a favor. They may not know about this class opportunity. (who can read all the email these days).

Please e mail them personally, send my little talk below as well as the and link this class so they can read the details and tell them it comes highly recommended!

http://visionarydance.com/seattle-studio/class-info/elisa-veil/

NOTE: While our student out reach is mostly belly dancers, I feel all serious burlesque dancers should take a professionally delivered belly dance veil class. There are great skills here for you to use that many belly dancers are experts in. Please tell any burlesque dancers you may know.

Delilah

Delilah

 

Level of difficulty:

I  have had low attendance in my specialty “Veil Dance” classes and workshops. In fact I have been noticing over the past couple years that the importance of “Veil Dance” seems to be being avoided by students in relationship to other class offerings for some reason! What’s the deal? I ponder, why are belly dancers avoiding this course ? It is a great stretching exercise and has great aerobic benefits in a different way than Power Belly classes. It’s more like flying!

• Is it because it demands your arms get over your head?

If this is hard for you, maybe you need this class more than you will admit. A little bit of physical challenge is a good thing. To get aerobic benefit you have to get your arms over your heart. I know this can be hard at first, but if you try a little bit harder you will see more physical development. I know you can do it.

• Is it the spinning that detours you?

The secret is to do a few spins every day. Learning to spin grows better balance and core strength. Eat ginger to quell and queasiness (we always have it in the dressing room). Keep your glance at eye level, don’t blink nervously and relax your mind. Too much left brain thinking gets in the way of balance. Good spins are the mark of a good dancer.


Delilah Spins

Delilah Spins

If you have an inner ear problem can you still hope to dance well?

Yes, but you will have a small disadvantage of not being able to use the centrifugal force and momentum of a spin. You can approach it a little differently. You will have to work harder. Developing good body extension is key and learn to do half turns that are not really spins. One of our instructors has this problem.

.

***

VEIL ESOTERICA:

This is a very mature talk. The veil’s esoterica is about female empowerment.

The veil dance is a part of the traditional belly dance routine as we’ve known it in America for the past 50 years and more. It’s an American innovation. It takes freedom and standing in ones own power to explore it and perform it effectively.

It is related to vaudeville and burlesque. How so? Both delve into the powerful esoteric’s of the art of revealing. It is a powerful mystery (even though it’s usually not discussed or taught this way very often). Non the less, if something catches our attention there is always something powerful behind it. Burlesque is very popular in todays culture there is no denying. Many women are deeply drawn to exploring it like moths to a flame although many would be hard pressed to explain why. “If they could explain it they wouldn’t need to dance”  said Isadora Duncan.

Veil dance was always a healthy part of the belly dance curriculum I studied and have passed on. The avoidance of veil dance I’m sensing in some of todays belly dance students is partly related to the fear of over exposure I’m guessing. Belly dance culture is made many more average women seeking simple means of self expression than extreme exhibitionists. Across the board women have plenty to feel vulnerable about these days; economy, politics, technology racing forward, and terrorism.  However, if you are find these these pressures of the day intimidation, I encourage you to resist standing still! Find the strength and courage to explore this powerful medium. Thus I want to explain more deeply about the power behind the veil dance.

It is related to vaudeville and burlesque. How so? The esoterics behind the art of revealing is to delve into a powerful mystery (even though it’s usually not told or taught this way). Non the less, if something strongly catches our attention there is always something powerful behind it. Burlesque is very popular in todays culture. Many women are deeply drawn to exploring burlesque.

The fear of veil dance I’m sensing in relationship to belly dance students is directly related to the fear of exposure. We have plenty to feel vulnerable about these days.  However, Ladies I encourage you not be a timid! You will find strength and power from being in expert control of this powerful medium.

***

THE POWER BEHIND THE VEIL

 

 

 

 

Delilah by Chris Yetter

Delilah by Chris Yetter


As this art has developed in recent times, it’s become a high skill.  The act of veil dance is more than simply “dance”. The skills demanded are thoroughly dance ingredients; grace, balance, spins, extension, aerobic stamina, lots of arm passes and core work.

ADD deep personal soul access. It takes individual power from within to deliver a dramatic performance.

You utilize character, and the archetypal symbolic action of veiling and re-veiling and revealing. You learn to fortify and stand in your power. Mistress at the helm.

A MAJOR DIFFERENCE IN PERSPECTIVE

In the Middle East women live under a veil. Their culture says; women are too powerful, and men too weak to behave once that power is revealed. This belief gives them permission to separate men and women. A lame excuse in my book and  clearly a disempowering power play.  I think plenty of cultures prove that men can behave themselves.

So this cultural back story brings us to a major crossroads where Middle Eastern and American belly dancers differer in style. The evolution of belly dance in America developed veil dance techniques to a supreme degree.

All  arts are made of responses to the cultural environment they exist in. Thus belly dancers in the Middle East have not taken to do much veil dancing  like their American sisters do. We are the for runners of dancing with the veil. We received our inspirations from other sources; modern dancer’s like Loie Fuller (1890’s. . .) or ancient greece, or dramatic general stage craft. In the Mid East I think the relationship is psychologically taboo territory because they have a different relationship with the veil than we do. They do include a veil as a accessory with store bought Egyptian costumes but they sew bead on all the edges making it heavy and not designed with any aerodynamic  intention. It is just meant to cover up the dancer’s body while she is waiting to perform.

THE VEILS SIMPLE NATURE

I’m sure the first time the light weight fabric came off the loom it was dances with. How could anyone resist? Give a child a veil and they get it immediately. It’s light and liberating. It involved the air that we breathe for existence. Thoughts and spirits ride the wind. It’s medium is transcendent in nature.


THE VEIL AS A POWERFUL SYMBOL:

We veil things to keep the POWER contained; ritual objects get veiled,  we veil and close doors for privacy, the bread gets veiled so it will rise. Women wear a veil to morn the dead and for seclusion.

In the case of the art of belly dance what gets veiled and revealed is a deeper YOU.

As we unveil, the action or process causes us to deliver a power and essence that moments ago in the dance were covered up.

You meet your audience in intimate dance mode and with a deeper personal expression. Then, what they see is this spirited essence that unfurls and lifts into the air space and the ethers around them.

 

 

 

Maji by Freeman Mester

Maji by Freeman Mester

THE BODY IS REVEALED:

You are using your innate female life regenerating power of the Goddess. Your female body is a vessel for life, it represents the earth, our world.

Reveal

Reveal

MALE / FEMALE ENERGY: .

We are all made of both male and female attributes. The feminine side attracts, contains, incubates, draws in. The male side expands, pushes out, challenges.

By nature of being woman we do possess the universal power of attraction within us. Without it, the universe would fall apart. However, we have a bastardized sense of what this power really is in todays society. We are taught it’s comes in a small pink package called  “pretty”. Ha! Pretty does not sustain life.

So the power behind the veil must be more mature. More powerful! It is far from superficial idea of pretty. The power is in it’s containment and it’s revelation. In it’s knowingness. Trouble is we do not know it very well in today’s world.

If you/ me/ we, want the power of the feminine to have meaning then more of us need to go there and both meet and explore this power head on! I suppose this challenges you to accept your own body. Duh! How else can we fight the stereotyping? We have to accept our own bodies first. Your body is a gift! You never loose this power. However you can ignore it, loose sight of it or simply not believe in it.

The power of the veil is not in the physical noun. The power is within the action of covering and revealing.

Many women today are afraid to use their power. Afraid they don’t know what it is, don’t have any power,  or it’s not good enough. I beg to differ. It’s only that  we are all busy subscribing to the commercial propaganda and adding to the collective fear. The power of attraction is a female quality, yes but it is a universal constant, not a commodity.

Confusion with the issues is good enough to lose strength. Thus we have no control. I tell you it is not about “pretty”.

Control of the veil is an exercise in demonstrates this power from within! The mystery is revealed. When we are lead to believe that it’s all about “pretty”; we as women are dissempowered by our culture this way. This is a daily message pumped out in media so we will stay occupied with superficial issues and keep buying things. We remain busy chasing the wrong goal and are disempowered.

Sleeping Beauty

Sleeping Beauty

Exploring your self though movement and self expression in real time is a valuable effort . It’s vital life force you are accessing and utilizing.


WHAT MORE IS REVEALED?

What lays behind the veil could be an impassioned lover, a nurturing mother,  a playful child, a wise crone, a hungry cat, a delicate butterfly, an owl, a sprite. It could be an archetypal embodiment; Athena, Aphrodite, Isis, Kali the Medusa, Themis Mother of justice, the vagina dentata, or the gaping maw. It could be the raw power of seduction reminding us that it is essential to the workings of nature, not evil.

The personal expression could come in all flavors of emotional tones; tenderness, vulnerability, sadness or loss. It could be mischievous, dark, light, comforting, passionate, angry, lyrical, or chaotic- you get to creatively choose your muse.

Delilah at he High Dive

Delilah at he High Dive

PRACTICAL USE:

The veil is usually 3 yards of silk or chiffon. It is learned to be smartly wrapped around the body of a dancer and then masterfully controlled as adeptly as a magician, who  mesmerizes the audience. It graces the air with color and shape shifting designs that are as fleeting as the smoke of incense.

The fabric is made of threads that pick up the vibration from the dancers emotional center. The dynamics comes from her core and reverberates outward from our hearts center into the threads. The veil becomes our wings; it is the closest you will come to flying.

FEEL THE POWER.

The moon hides and then re-veils it’s self. A butter fly erupts into a glorious creature. The anticipation of the opening of a beautifully wrapped gift.

Lulu's Birthday veil dance

Lulu's Birthday veil dance

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!

August 14, 2010   ♦   1 Comment »

Delilah in early years featured in the "Harem Caravan Review" 1975

Delilah in early years featured in the "Harem Caravan Review" 1975

I wrote this piece a few weeks ago and shared it with one of my yahoo groups. it has been requested to be reprinted in various news letters and e-zines and blogs. Yes it needs editing I hope they do it I am dyslexic so I can’t do it. I’m still writing it and on my compute it’s actually getting alot bigger but here is todays medium version.

***

My early days were spent in San Diego and Hollywood. I danced with George Kayat at the Ali Baba Club, Maroon Saba at the Fez, Aziz Katra, John Bilezikjian at the Apadonna in New Port Beach, Raja Zahr in LA and Las Vegas, Harry Saroyan various places, Antwoine Hage at Haji Baba, , the Greek Chicago bands at Athens West in La Jolla, and the Harem Caravan* Review at the Ramada Inn.

I moved to Seattle in 1977.  I dance with who ever was playing at the Lebanon Restaurant and over 10 years with Takis Doties at The Grecian Corner followed by The MB Orchestra at George’s Bar & Grill and David Said at Kolbeh’s Persian. I toured and danced with all sorts of bands across the country during my career; Brothers of the Baladi, Transarabian Sound, Ibraheim Turman, Oasis, Doug Adams of Light Rain, Steven Flynn . . . Then in 1992 I began a very close relationship with Sirocco from Santa Cruise. They came to 15 of my Hawaii Retreats and we made many DVD’s together.  Currently I perform mostly with the full 6 piece music arabian music ensemble called House of Tarab. Last night I enjoyed dancing to Naseem Band!

**

Wow, that was fun to recall all that history!

***

Delilah at the High Dive 2008

Delilah at the High Dive 2008

Un Choreographed:

The way I learned to perform the old fashion belly dance, was not by rote of choreography. It was be experiencing it LIVE in-the-moment, in a cabaret environment. The belly dance performance was a anticipated ritual in the night club every night. It was composed of 5-7 distinct parts; the introduction, the veil dance, a fast more technical part, a floor-work gymnastic section made of slow cheftitelli and taxseems, followed by another short fast section, into the drum solo, ending with a merry fast section, taking bows , accepting applause and saying good bye, but promising to return. The sections were like a map. The party atmosphere made things come up spontaneously that rendered choreography not very realistic. Sometimes the dance would stay on the stage and other times it was someone’s birthday and the dance moved around the room. Audience members made song requests and sometimes would sing low yearning poems into the microphones during my dance. Either about love or often about people in the audience.  The audience loved when the dancer came out into the audience and interacted with them. Collecting tips, wrapping scarves into turbins around the heads of members of the audience and  saying “Good Evening”

Most of the parties and restaurants I danced in hosted families and little kids were encouraged to put tips in my waist band. Many performances were sacred sacraments of divine grace under a mirror ball and some down right rowdy and profane with Greek sailors showering dancers with hundreds of dollar bills. The Greeks also broke dinner plates. It was a ritual of releasing the attachment to possessions and embracing LIFE in-the-moment!  In the 70s I danced for 45 minutes per show. There was not one hair on my head that was not soaked in sweat. My stamina was incredible and I felt like a cosmic astronaut rocketing into out of this world trance spaces.

I deffinetly enter zones and trance states when I perform. In ancient, tribal and current society the trance is a big part to the dance. The trance state is a means of communion from the beginning of time. The average Arab knows ” tarab” as the divine ecstasy the listener gets into as part of the experience of focused listening to the music. The dancer is a vessel; a container of the human interface.  In the Haitian/African  Voudoun religion the trance state is a means of divine contact and interaction. In the Turkish (Mid Eastern) dervishes ecstatic spin she/he stands on the threshold between worlds; the mundane and greater whole. The zar as practiced in Egypt and parts of the Mid East is a similar cathartic experience and is often used in belly dance routines. The Guedra  of North Africa uses repetitive hand gestures and chanting to attain trance states. Am I praying or worshipping? Not in my mind. I am more of an explorer.

This being-in-the-moment with your physical dance experience is valuable and transfers something vital and essential to our souls. You, your body, your emotions, the cosmic vibrations of music, time, space, spirit and accelerate rise in body heat and blood flow. It’s healing for the body. It’s especially important to us in these days where we are leaving the body behind more and more. Todays technical world is sadly lacking these opportunities as we sit daily addicted to our physically passive computer screens. However, we do become  unwittingly vulnerable to internet trance states where the influences are not divine links but rather mediums for commercial gods and goddesses to commune with us.

As I dance I create my dance in the moment. I have seen dancers do this effectively with only knowing 5 moves. Knowing 5 moves or 500 moves does not necessarily make the dancer better.  It’s all about what you do with what you know.  I feel this wildness and openness of spirit is something exceptional belly dance avails to us. It should berevered and held on high. Not that it negates choreography. It is just that at this point in society we have many dances that are contained and choreographed . We have fewer options that are un choreographed and free. Improvisational dance holds essential skills that benefit our life experience in important ways. Do you live a choreographed life day to day? Maybe so. I don’t.

Improvisational dance does not mean you do not study rhythms, music, learn moves, develop your skill set, practice combos, condition the body and work to increase flexibility and endurance. It does not mean you do not have an intended destination either. You just navigate differently. Your moves become your paints. When we watch an improvisational belly dance, we are witnessing the painter painting. The dancer shares the live, active creative process with you. She listens carefully to the music and opens her heart and soul to be like a tuning fork and resonate with the vibrations in the air using time and space. With each breath she is inspired to unfold the next movement in time. The spirit provided the force behind the motion. We call this dynamics. We all are individuals and this is an opportunity for individuality to shine. The challenge is to be relaxed enough to allow the exhibitionist to step forward. There lies the hitch. We are told at an early age not to show off. Do not indulge your self. This comes from our old puritan roots. However, all artists are indulging the stuff that makes up their lives. We call this expression. Teachers tell their students, never do this or that. The “ don’t touch your own body”  policy is just a stupid lack of appreciation for the marvelous gift of life you have been given. Hello! It’s your body touch it if you want to! So check to see if that is in the back of your brain and get rid of that pilgrim it if you want to really dance. Whether you are dancing for your self or for an audience or both, you must be open, know your body and accessible to your emotions. Available, vulnerable and shameless.

I often think about the stewardess directives to put the oxygen mask on yourself first before the child next to her. This is because if Mom dose not take care of her self first she will not be any use to that child that is dependent on the adult. If we do not invest in our internal life experience and take care of ourselves first, we will not have much to say. I cannot share any of my cookies with you if I have not baked any.  An authentic dance comes from an authentic life. I think this is one of the best kernels this dance has to offer all of us. It is the metaphor that life is one long dance from birth to death. To choreograph or to live in the moment is worth thought. Who choreographs your life? You, your mother, father, brother, husband, church . . .?

The fear of not having anything to say is what often drives us to want a choreography. The fear that what we have to offer is not any good. The notion that yours is better than mine, so teach me your dance. So sad when self esteem is so poor that we would rather do the dance of someone else. Or that we could only have one idea and we cling to it and keep using it over and over again in repetition instead of taking a risk and trying something new. The new is our growth.

Some of us can dream up dances and have others implement them. I think the desire to save dances as original choreographies is a kin to video taping them. The memorization that goes into a paint by number dance is very left brained. The right brain synthesizes things. The left brain sequences things. The left brain judges (and leads to self criticisms) and the right brain is metaphoric and sees likeness. To make a choreography work it must move from analytical left brain to the right. Some humans are skilled at this others can quickly synthesize intuitively. Often we have learned to feel more secure when things are organized and set. I say learned because children do not usually mind disorganization. It is adults that require and maintain order. If we learn skills for being comfortable in chaos we have a skill for life. The universe supports chaos, if not more, than organization. Organization comes out of chaos. (I studied with Gabriel Roth and she taught me about chaos). If everything is tightly organized there is little room for creativity. I don’t mean for it to be a contest here. I am only trying to illuminate some factors that may limit our personal growth.

If you liked your self and the picture you create with your beautiful box of crayons, then you carry a sense of pride. We recognize a child’s sweet sense of accomplishment and pride about creating his/her picture.  That experience of drawing, is full of lines, color, space, time, rhythm, design, breath and heart beats. We come away from these experiences liking our selves and our lives (or well we should). I think to ignore, devalue, not see the merit of your own creative process is a contributing factor to all the depression and loneliness people feel these days. Pride coupled with compassion leads to strength and greatness. The lack of pride leads to not even finding compassion for ones self.

Choreography teaches us about process and transition. It allows us to put our best tricks forward in the shortest amount of time I suppose. In a sound bite. Since we are all so busy and there are so many of us now a days, that a sound bite is all we have time for it seems. However sound bites leave out plateaus and thresholds to new zones of physical and psychic trance expression only attained though longer durations of time. Real breath, real heart beats and body heat are necessary ingredients. This is where dance crosses over and can become prayer or communion with ones maker of some sort, and this is what has some religious folks scared. I do not what they are so afraid of, but I think it boils down to putting the clergy out of a job if people realized they can contact god all by them selves without the need of a clergy man/woman.

I tell my students when their shoulders are locked to think of something they love to do. The shoulders are about passion and our sensibility. I direct them to practice rolling their shoulders while eating a chocolate dove bar or relaxing in a hot tub. When you learn that that story is in those body parts the stories begin to unfold.

I often say to a new performer that if you step on stage you are accepting a responsibility to perform. A contract. The only way you let that responsibility down is by not understanding and accepting the rules of the contract by performing. You must be an exhibitionist. Some dancers appear to have stepped on stage and left themselves at home. It is really simple; tell me a story. In the case of dance, it is with your body language this story unfolds. There are millions of stories that can be told with the accompanying music. Our bodies can express more than spoken words. It not linear. It is multilayered, way more complicated than spoken or written words. If we are comfortable with the human body, we know it innately because we share the experience of being human. We know it with out a translator.

So what story do you need, desire to share? Do tell it with out a choreography sometimes?

Delilah

* WHOse WHO in  Harim Caravan Photo at the top;

?, Dave Dhillon, Delilah, Richard Barham, Deseree, Tony Karasak

***

**

*

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

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

March 26, 2010   ♦   Comments Off on March Dance Events: Part 3, HATHOR UNVEILED

March Dance Event

Part 3

Hathor Unveiled


Then the Hathor Show  was Saturday night. . . .OMG what a wonderful project to be a part of. Suzanna and Malia are such good girls. To honor their belly dance forbearers in such style! Hopefully some day they shall know the same privilege to be honored in ones community. Beautiful job, beautiful job! I choose not to do the kind of dance I am known for ( I did that so deeply the night before). Instead i took the opportunity to add to the Hathor theme of the whole event with a deeper tone . Dancers often miss the opportunity to be in contrast. It’s not always easy to leave what you know people expected to see you do. Since Hathor is my favorite mythological archetype I choose to dig that dance out of my dance closet. I this dance has a long history. It was originally commissioned as part of Laurel Victoria Grays EGPTA Show in Germany. That and a dance called “The Death of Cleopatra”. I also danced it in Hathor’s Temple in Denderra Egypt, in California at a retreat at a place called Isis Oasis, on Easter Sun rise at my Maui belly dance retreat with Mezmera. I teach it as a movement meditation often in workshops.

It is very calming and sooting to do with it’s specific movement passes and spacial design. The moves lead to a deeply trance inducing meditation. Often a tear appears from my left eye. I have no idea why, it just happens, and it happens often.

The full dance with costume was not easy to resurrect. The wig was made in 1975 . We fought for hours trying to stabilize the brass and copper moon piece on top of the head dress that was made by Lenny of Magic Circle in 1997. We finally figuring it out with the help of Christine and Erik right before the show. Yikes! Hathor’s mirror is an amazing art piece with carnelian and amethyst jewels, 7 knots of cane as well as the vertebra of a cow set into the handle. It was made by Uncle Mafufo and it was taken and used in the temples and pyramids of Egypt on 3 separate trips. The music is by my X husband Steve from his , Rapture Rumi Cd but it’s a special edited version. The blue and gold jewelry pieces were given to me at a workshop in New York in 1988 and just happened to go with the peal beaded dress I magically found in 1997. Laura Rose and Christine were my mirror and aunk attendants.

Hathor’s Mirror represents reflection, beauty, and mystery. The aunk is the life symbol. The ancient Egyptian Goddess Hathor represents women, birth music, dance and drunkenness. It felt so good to be able to share this piece with the belly dance community.

My wish to Hathor is for the power and strength of our belly dance community to

continue grow in the feminine ways of women’s innate wisdom.

Your

Neighborhood Temple Prietess

at your service

PS I am planning a Tour to Egypt in April of 2011

Email me your name phone and street address and I’ll send you the brochure soon as it”s ready.

PS Related story links

Experience of the Beautiful

Cane Dance of the Hatshepsut

Hathors Movement Meditation

***

February 16, 2010   ♦   Comments Off on Power Belly Show notes #29, and up dating

Power Belly Episode #29 . . . and up dating


Yesterday we shot the second Power Belly Show #31 Since our January Belly Dance Retreat. Because of our 10 days in Hawaii we had our first schedule delay since we started in MAY 2009. Looks like Laura Rose is putting up Episode 29 shot on Jan 11th and Episode # 30 shot this past week February 8th. We know there will be periodic rests in our ambitious schedule due to projects and travel but we are pleased how well things are working so far.  Opps I just got an email that our host we put them up now is delaying us. . ugh technology so there may be another delay not our fault). Anyways there are 2 shows up at the moment. . .


News

We are getting positive feed back in most places about our new Power Belly Show. A couple articles are coming out! A nice article was written by our November intern from Ohio; Averill Obe on the Gilded Serpent e-zine. She studied with me, Christine, Dahlia, Laura Rose, Bella Jovan,  the Neighborhood Temple Priesteses, Power Belly and even took drum lessons from Erik Brown and performed in a show. It’s called Belly Dance in 21 days ! We are all so proud of her!


Our Youtube extenze spoof POWER BELLY SHOW / FEMALE ENHANCEMENT we made to bring attention to our show has brought us tons of responces from folks we haven’t heard from in ages saying they laughed thier ass off. However some dancers took it way to serious and tried to draw all sorts of weird associations. I’m not going there now, but I have find the internet neurosis deserving of a blog note in the future. Our Youtube Extenze spoof is all just in fun. However belly dance is female enhancement and I stand behind that claim!

We are still working on making our web site faster. Our site is pretty big but they say it shouldn’t be so slow. Hmmm? We have had lots of calls and letter from dancers wondering where is ; Alexandra’s Library? the Underwater Belly Dance Gallery, all those back articles, poems, photos, video clips and stories about projects and insights are? Well they are all there, but moved to “Inspirations” under my name on your right hand side of the main page. They added the word “archive” into the address of many of the pages which means if you book marked them they won’t work until you visit the page and re insert your book mark. Bummer. . . Please update your favorite pages it will help our page rank linking.

I just watched episode 29 and made content notes that appear on the page when you order it, but here I want to take an opportunity to say a little more about my observation of this  Power Belly Show workout;


Costume Notes:

I start out wearing my favorite pants I call the Japan pant. It’s not on line yet but it available in size S, M, L, if you call us, ( they are $89) 206632-2353. I am also wearing a detachable black vest that fits over a coin bra that goes with a matching coin hip scarf. The vest is from one of Atira’s Patterns available from Artemis .I tell you how to make a cheap and easy bedlah (bra and belt set)  I call my “ Law & Order “ special because it takes 2-3 episodes of law and order to cover the top!


Shout Out for Sedona from Portland’s new HD concert DVD that just was released last month called Power and Passion. House of Tarab, Dahlia, Ruby, our good friend Karim Nagi and I are all on it along with a bevy of other totally amazing costars. A must see! We mentioned the good buhz the Power Belly Show has been getting on buhz.com! Then I caught up with my diet that I blogged about after all the holiday richness and  before our January Hawaii Retreat. I lost 10 pounds and feel much better. Then we were so active in Hawaii I feel totally back in shape!


Episode #29

This episode workout begins with a little inner focus. I ask you, Who belly dances inside of you? As we breath and shimmy we look with in. The idea is to burn some wood, stoke the fire as you look toward the present moment and find your inner dancer. Then I go ahead and teach a simple movement meditation / belly dance ritual that addresses the 4 directions. Why? This is a powerful focusing exercise to make you aware of the place in the world your instrument, your body, your life vessel, occupies. Doesn’t this seem important to people that identify themselves as dancers? Center is prime from where you feel your balance and breath. You maintain it and strengthen your core awareness by drawing focused attention to how the earths gravity below effects you. How the sky sustenance of light and air above you feels. Then we slowly move and open to the North, South, East, and Western perspectives. Tribal dancers tell me they really love this simple exercise. This gives you firm grounding. It connects you with the planet and humanity as we address an audience out there and share our gifts of love and beauty.


Example; “ dancers of the West, we give you the gifts of our hearts!”


After we did these stretches we moves back into the shimmy. We did some simple walk to the beat. You know I have to say something here to all my classes. Dancers think they are stepping to the beat. To my observation many are not. Relax, To walk on the beat your foot presses down on the beat. Don’t lift up, Don’t spread your knees far apart and walk like a cow girl. Don’t bounce up and down lifting your body with your shoulders on each step. At least not for this dance. Speak to the beat and you will probably do it right. Count it, or say beat, beat beat. People think this is easy but it’s really not. When you do it consciously it settles the mind down so that creative insights can make their way into your dance body. You know, I’m talking about the art of dance.


In this episode we did moves that really work the core. The weight belt adds a strong challenge. Every time you move the weights by momentum then put the breaks on to stop in place, this exerts a bit bigger squeeze of core muscle groups. Thus the sweat appears and our balance is challenged and will improve. NOTE At 24 :54 I demonstrate a pretty good example of not moving my upper body when changing hip action from one side to the other. Twists are especially good for the waistline. Hold that core and open up your rib cage and lift from inside to stabilize the upper body. When I say “Electric Fingers” I mean to see some life energy in them. This does not come from the digits or the shoulders it comes from being generated in the belly and moving through the upper body, shoulders, arms wrists and out the finger tips!


I know dancers are watching a TV or a monitor but once you get the move I’m doing I encourage you to look away ( Even stop the play button) and make sure your head, face eyes are in the correct place to support the move correctly at some point. You can move your body position so you can see the monitor too. Example in the horse shoe move; I look back over my shoulder as I lift the back side of the hip up and toward the back of my ribs towards my head. Then the hip move travels down, then towards the front and rises with the front of the hip, up under the front of the ribs. Your chin should meet it in front.


Backing up and changing direction are what tests your balance and core strength. Can you switch with quick efficiency? Or do you look like a locomotive came to a screeching halt and had to reverse thrusters? I like the pattern circle-and-a-half because it makes good use of direction changes inside the body close to the core. You feel it with the extra weight for sure! Makes for a good workout move.


I asked the students to apply Ruby’s Palates ab awareness of keegal up, tight then up toward belly button and in toward the spine. (Ruby’s ab Power Belly Extra is getting lots of positive feed back, be sure and see it next time it appears).

Then we shifted to cheftitelli and did slow sexy triple circles, reversing figure 8’s in an oval, big loop, little loop traveling steps and other combos. We went back for more intense shimmies upper body and lower body and then layered with the Pyramid Step combos and twisting series. Finally at the end we did some contrast movement to ease the stress on knees and thighs by kicking back and doing knee lifts toward the upper front of the body (good for belly) Always feels good I think.


Dancers want to be able to do belly dance that is isolated and conversational and looks effortless. Well you gotta get the physical endurance up and the strength of carriage in order before this is possible. That’s what the Power Belly Show is aiming at. Plus we want it to inspire you to dance every day and have fun! Life is too short to do exercise we hate! Thanks for all of those who have joined me. Don’t stop we are doing it for you!

oxox

Delilah


Fatal error: Call to undefined function credits() in /data/20/1/101/76/1916728/user/2087349/htdocs/wp-content/themes/VBD/footer.php on line 22