photo by Greg Shank, 1978
Marta in year 2000? holding Saroyan Video
The Gilded Serpent presents...
Dancer, Author, Musician, Producer
Marta Schill’s involvement in Middle Eastern Arts began as a musician, exploring Turkish songs and rhythms, quickly evolving into a fascination for all the Middle Eastern dance arts. After years of study, Marta went on to become a consummate professional dance artist, performing in the cabarets of California during the genesis of ‘Bellydance’ in America. She later performed throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and the Middle East.
Ms. Schill is the co-author of “The Compleat Belly Dancer”, a book that be came a national best-seller published by Doubleday & Co., as well as two sequels; “The Finishing Touch” and “The Teachers Guide”. She also co-authored and starred in “How to Bellydance”, a videodisc produced by MCI (Universal Studios) as well as writing and producing an instructional video tape titled “Belly Dance: Fine Art of the East.”
Marta Schill is one of the founders of the Middle Eastern Culture and Dance Association, created in 1977, a national non-profit communications organization dedicated to promoting Near- and Mid-Eastern music and dance. In this capacity, she created the Cairo Carnivale, now one of the foremost ethnic dance festivals in the Los Angeles area. Ms. Schill is currently MECDA’s President, as well as the Managing Editor of the Cymbal Digest magazine, MECDA’s feature publication.
Marta has created choreography for such stars as Barbra Streisand and Dinah Shore, and acted in and created dance routines for shows such as “Barbra Streisand and Other Musical Instruments”, “Maid to Order”, “Young and the Restless” and “Alive and Well”. She has conducted seminars and shows throughout the United States, instructing in the Turkish and Egyptian styles of Middle Eastern dance arts. She is also credited with creating the beautiful modern style of circular veil technique.
Many of the major productions of Danse Orientale in Southern California bear the influence of Marta Schill’s production skills. One of her many goals is to present the extraordinary beauty and creativity of Mid-Eastern music and dance to the general public.
Ms. Schill’s future aspirations include bringing the American Middle East dance community and the ethnic Mid-Eastern Americans together, to celebrate the connections we share; the love of a rich culture, and an infatuation with the modern direction of music and dance from this very creative region of the world.
Web site: mecda.org
Articles on Gilded Serpent by or about Marta Schill
- 6-10-07 MECDA’s First 30 Years , The Middle Eastern Culture and Dance Association's Changing Role in our Community
Diversity, however, often leads to dissention, and controversy flew regarding the perception of the rather strict parameters of the Egyptian style.