Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Concrete - not a dancer's friend

   Our latest show was for the local college, the University of Mary Washington. They have a wonderful focus on the arts and on Multiculturalism, producing a Fair each year with vendors, food, entertainment, and other activities. When the weather's nice enough the Fair is held outside on the beautiful campus. What that means for us is dancing on concrete - cement.
   I was really happy to do a lot of dancing in this show though, including in two of our more energetic routines, the Tambourine Dance, and the 9/8 Skirt Dance. Both these numbers are inspired by Dalia Carella's Dunyavi Gypsy style and add a lot of flash to our shows. Check out the photo of me doing a hopping turn - that's something you won't see me do very often!
A hopping, skirt-flaring turn!
   PRISM is a real melting pot of influences in the Middle Eastern dance department. We included a few Egyptian numbers too - one dance inspired by the Reda Troupe in their heyday, when Farida Fahmy was their principal dancer; as well as a classic Raks Sharki drum solo; and I also did my modern Egyptian pop number, "Layali" (radio edit), sung by Angham. My dancers love their basket dance so we threw that one in too, as it represents North African dancing. We finished with a short set of American Tribal Odyssey bellydancing (follow the leader) with finger cymbals and veils.
   It was quite a fast-paced show, with high group participation in many of the numbers and very little emceeing on my part so we had to keep costume changes to a minimum. Some shows are like that! After all that dancing on cement though, it took my body several days to recover - I'm glad I have an inversion table to get the kinks out! Other than that, it was super fun!
We like to squeeze together even when there's plenty of room!
   The university's James Farmer Multicultural Center is a great asset to the community. I'm thrilled and honored to have been a part of their activities (this was the seventh year PRISM danced at the Fair, I think), and so grateful my dancers are dedicated and reliable. I really enjoy them - they're not divas or show-offs; they bring a great spirit and energy to our shows, and seem to sincerely wish to simply share the beauty of belly dance with others. -hugs-

Anthea / Kawakib
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Monday, April 2, 2012

Spring time Dance time!

This past weekend I hosted the first Fredericksburg Belly Dance Club Meet & Greet Hafla, along with some of my lovely students from the two locations where I teach. Sadly, the date was already a busy one with workshops happening both north and south of us so many dancers were out of town, but I hope our next community social event will draw out more local bellydancers.
Hafla dancers!
What I love about my students is how warm and friendly they are, which the bellydance community needs so much. I try to put an emphasis on being tolerant and accepting, and of supporting other dancers - that's something I hope gets across in class. So many belly dancers are afraid of what other dancers will think of them, or how other dancers will act toward them - that it keeps them from reaching out.
When Fredericksburg began growing as a bellydance community, I created the Fxbg BD Club (a yahoo group) as a place to connect online and post events. That was in 2006, and this was the first face-to-face event! So my Fredericksburg people got to meet my Locust Grove people, and dance together! (How I LOVE having Tribal Odyssey as a way to dance together). Former student Souris (in white) also shared her dancing with us; and thanks to her mom, we have photos!.
Tribal draws dancers together!

Many of us don't connect outside of our little circle because there's a little voice in our head saying be wary, watch out, be careful - but we need to overcome that voice with the knowledge that reaching out is the right thing to do. When you do reach out, someone will most like take your hand in friendship!
So I celebrate our community and look forward to meeting more explorers in our little world of bellydance!

If you're a Fredericksburg - area belly dancer, whether a pro, student, or someone who just loves to dance at home, contact me about joining the Club. ...And surrounding areas like Culpeper, Orange, Thornburg, Stafford etc. are okay too!

Anthea / Kawakib
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