The Gilded Serpent presents...
Rebecca Firestone has been a student of Middle Eastern Dance since 2000, having previously studied other dance forms including ballet, modern, jazz, West African, Caribbean, and fire dance. In addition to dance she has studied martial arts including Aikido, Kung-Fu, and Kupigana Ngumi (an Afrikan fighting art). She has a B.A. in East Asian Studies from Oberlin College and currently supports herself as a technical writer in California's Silicon Valley.
Last Known Web site: www.lady-flame.com
Articles on Gilded Serpent by or about Rebecca Firestone
- 3-27-09 ASWAT: Arabic Music Concert
They'd hired a different director this time, all the way from Cairo, Dr. Sari Dowidar. Dr. Dowidar got professional results even out of amateur performers - probably by pushing them hard. That kind of pressure isn't always fun, but it really pays off. Maqams (maqamaat) are hard enough for the uneducated ear to distinguish without muddying the waters further with inaccurate pitch and tone.
- 10-25-09 Astryd de Michele, A Workshop in Modern Egyptian Style
And can we please ask all workshop instructors to show their feet? Maybe even knees?
- 3-14-09 So, If You Cut up a Rose, is it still a Flower? Fusing Bellydance With Other Dance Forms
A reader’s position at this point will depend on whether you think that bellydance and Middle Eastern dance are one and the same, and whether you feel any particular sense of ownership over either one of those terms.
- 12-5-08 Getting in Shape: Three Core Training DVDs and One Special Treat
Core Training for Bellydancers Bellydance, Yoga Conditioning with Ariellah, Industrial Strength Dance Workout with Shakra, Bellydance Arms & Posture with Rachel Brice
- 10-15-08 Bellydancing With Fire with Leslie Rosen Reviewed
Leslie gets an "A" on fire safety. Her safety section is a great overview, covers just about everything, and has clear visual demonstrations of fuel handling, dipping, and shaking out the excess fuel.
- 5-30-08 Welcome to the Gothla! Dancing Along the Sulk Road Review of 3 DVDs
The costumes are fabulous. It's almost like—who needs all that dance technique if you're wearing an enormous leather headdress that makes you look like an alien refugee from Star Wars? Tempest's approach in particular is a painterly one, not surprising from a student of the Rhode Island School of Design.
- 3-3-08 Academics and Belly Dance, Two Books Review
Belly Dance: Orientalism, Transnationalism & Harem Fantasy edited by Anthony Shay and Barbara Sellers-Young & Choreographic Politics: State Folk Dance Companies, Representation, and Power by Anthony Shay
- 2-7-08 Aruna's "Dancer's Body" Reviewed DVD
One of Aruna's claims to fame is being 50 and being tougher than chicks half her age. And it's true, at least with regard to the strength training - which was her profession for many years. Considering that most belly dancers want to be as youthful as possible, it's a nice change to have someone so athletic who's still improving with time.
- 11-29-07 Tribal: Fusion, Bedouin, What's the Difference? 4 DVDs reviewed and compared
When I see a dancer I really like, I want to *be* her, or him, right at that moment. My heart leaps at the music and then leaps again when I see what they're doing. With this one, I was interested, but not that engaged.
- 7-11-07 Dahlena, The Classic Style Prevails
Raqia does everything from the knees, and Dahlena said not to do that! What's a girl to do?
- 5-24-07 Elegance and Power, A Weekend Workshop with Raqia Hassan, Gala Performance Show
April 21 and 22, 2007, Odd Fellows Hall, Redwood City, CA. Her personal style was an oddly elusive mixture of street attitude and elegance, both "fierce and friendly" as one person said.
- 4-13-07 Ballet Afsaneh and Carmen Carnes Dance Ensemble Reviewed
Full Circle Little Theater Marin Civic Center, San Rafael, CA February 16, 2007 - And since when was Rumi associated with Mother Earth?
- 3-27-07 Macedonian Bellydance CD
On one of the mailing lists I'm on, there was recently a heated discussion on whether there was such a thing as "Balkan bellydance".
- 1-17-07 Perfectly Masterful Teaching: Drum Solo Master Class with Jim Boz
With his shaved head tied up in a bandanna, with a burly torso, powerful legs, and a thick neck, he looks more like a biker, a bouncer, or a circus strongman. Thus, his grace and posture is even more amazing.
- 4-3-06 Rachel Brice Goes Balkan: Pogonometric Revue
Sunday, March 12, 2006, CELLspace, 2050 Bryant St., San Francisco, Cost: $15 and worth every penny
- 1-4-06 What You Can't Get From Instructional Videos
Being able to withstand honest opinions is crucial. If one never communicates directly with one's peers AS PEERS, that is, not as sycophantic students, one can develop an insular and self-referential mindset without ever realizing it.
- 3-16-06 Giza Awards 2005, A Cultural Odyssey
Can it be that the West has been so involved in learning technique and choreography that the very soul of the dance has been left to those in the Middle East who are desperately struggling to keep their art alive?
- 8-17-05 Workshop with Issam Houshan March 26, 2005, San Francisco
In the solo improvisational forms of Middle Eastern Dance, the chemistry between the drummer and the dancer is a vital ingredient.
- 9-28-05 Haft Paykar: "Seven Beauties" Seeking Love and Enlightenment in 12th Century Persia
Even when a show attempts to borrow at least the external forms from some body of myth or literary work, it is unusual for the producers to be as aware of the allegorical content as Gray is of the deeper meanings behind Haft Paykar.