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Gilded Serpent presents...

Mining for Gold in the Gilded Serpent Archives

Geo Gold

Articles From or About Countries Outside of the United States.- 53 so far!

[Last updated 3-12- still needs formatting clean up]

A North America page is coming soon!

Algeria
Afganistan
Argentina
Australia

Bahrain
Brazil
Canada
China

Croatia
Dominican Repubic
Egypt
England
Estonia
France

Germany
GreeceGuatemala

Hungary
Iceland
India
Indonesia
Iran
Iraq
Ireland
Israel
Italy
Jordon

Japan
Lebanon
Luxembourg
Macedonia
Mexico
Morocco
Nepal
Norway
New Zealand
Russia
Scotland
Singapore
Slovenia

South Africa
Spain
Sudan
Sweden
Switzerland
Syria
Taiwan
Tajikistan
Tibet
Tunisia
Turkey
YemenZimbabwe

Algeria
Touareg7-5-06 Sheikka Rimitti, Queen of the Rai by Linda Grondahl
Unlike most of the music that we are familiar with from the Middle East that are usually unrequited love songs or patriotic love of country songs, the rai songs are about drinking, suicide, suffering, colonialism, poverty, exile, homesickness, corruption and the passion and pain of actual love making.

5-29-06 Traveling to Tizi Ouzou by Linda Grondahl
When I was in high school, I was fascinated by some of the names I read about when studying world geography.

11-17-05 Traveling with the Touareg by Linda Grondahl
This was my 5th trip to Algeria since 2000 and I have been amazed at the rapid economic development. The government is working very hard to make Algeria a very popular tourist destination once again.

Afganistan
11-15-02 Dancing again in Afghanistan By Qan-Tuppim
As I had suspected, Afghan women belly dance.

Argentina

6-29-2010 Argentine-Arab Dance and Music Charm Taiwan, Gina Chen promotes Live Music for Local Dancers by Lisa Chen
I have to say it is quite different from any other American or Egyptian style choreography I learned before; you almost always keep your feet into ballet position and body weight is relatively higher. The physical dynamic is much exaggerated. I guess this is the Argentine style bellydance and I could see why local dancers are fond of it, owing to the quality of fluidness and lightness, very outward gestures and wonderful live music.

6-8-10 Interview with Yamil Annun, An Argentinian Belly Dancer by Martha Duran
Yamil Annum has created his own dance style and has evolved his specific style of Oriental dance by using the well established foundations of classical Ballet, Ukrainian dance, Ballroom dancing, Celtic dances, Jewish folk-dance, Bhangra, Armenian and Argentinian Tango. His elegance on the stage has revolutionized stages all over Argentina and Latin America
.

Australia
10-5-06 From the Land Down-under, Part 3: More of Our West Coast Dance Adventure by Trisnasari
"Hi, I'm Suhaila's mum; I hear you Underbelly girls are good zillers!"

9-12-06 From the Land Down-under, Part 2: Northeast and Canada by Trisnasari
What is happening in Australia, is also happening in America.

7-31-06 From the Land Down-under, Part I: The Festival by Trisnasari of Melbourne, Australia
In the wings, before we hit the festival stage, Andrea whispered to Mel and I, “Well, this is our first international performance!”

3-14-06 Hosting Australia’s Leonie and Alpen Sukan by Samiya
What was going to be another dance choreography workshop weekend turned into a weekend of dancing and drumming. It is now over year later, and people are still talking about that weekend.

9-25-04 The Ramzy Tour of 2003, photos provided by Hossam and Serena
Photos from:Brazil, Brisbane, MaryBorough, Wellington, London, Singapore and Tibet? Readers- please help us with matching names to these faces!

10-31-03 Workshop in Perth, Australia-Hossam & Serena Ramzy's International Tour August 8th - 12th, 2003 report by Ayesha
Hossam’s presentation requires the student to listen – and I mean LISTEN.

Bahrain

Back from Bahrain, Tiny Kingdom’s Riots are Puzzling
Approximately at the same time as the invasions of the French, British, etc. upon the Ottoman Empire the art of Belly dancing was introduced in cabarets of Egypt and Lebanon, as well as Turkey (Istanbul).

Brazil

7-2-10 Megacity Megafest, 1001 Brazilian Flavors at Mercado Persa 2009 and Beyond by Paola Blanton
So, it was with these butterflies in my belly that I bounced home last December after almost two years teaching and performing on the road. Sao Paulo, population 20,000,000+, is the iconic “megalopolis” of the futurists when they predicted the “rise of the third world”. And Brazil is making huge strides – in government, economy, and broadening international appeal. My adopted country – I was going back to set up housekeeping after gypsying around the globe for an eternity, and I was more than ready for a dose of my sprawling, energetic, chaotic, mesmerizing home.

9-25-04 The Ramzy Tour of 2003, photos provided by Hossam and Serena
Photos from:Brazil, Brisbane, MaryBorough, Wellington, London, Singapore and Tibet? Readers- please help us with matching names to these faces!

3-27-03 Belly Dance in Brazil by Thania
...they are trying to organize a Code of Ethics

2-28-02 Shahrazad and I By Thania
Anyone who wants to tell about Brazil and belly dance must refer to her.

Canada
5-18-07 A Report on the First International Bellydance Conference of Canada Part One- Lectures, Workshops, Panel Discussions by Diane Adams Photos by Lynette
April 18-22, 2007 Toronto, Ontario. Hosted by Yasmina Ramzy of Arabesque Academy in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, this International Bellydance Conference of Canada, the first ever on the Canadian dance scene, proved to be one of the top dance experiences in this reviewer’s 30-year career.

2-11-09 Excerpts From Aesthetic Explorations of the Egyptian Oriental Dance Among Egyptian Canadians by Kathleen Fraser
One respondent attempted a description of Egyptianness in the dance. "Egyptians are plumper, more attractive. What makes the Egyptian style is the costume, soft movements, gentleness (no jumping or jerking), subtlety, dala, the drum, soft music." Charm and liveliness of face contributed to perceived quality of "Egyptianness."

China
Dancing with Tigers, In China with Fleurs d’Egypte
We had no idea what to expect of the actual location. However, with ticket and costumes in hand, we rode the wave. Arriving late at night, we were ushered to our rooms and straight to bed to sleep off our jet lag. We had no concept of the overwhelming size of the park and over-the-top eye-candy awaiting us the next morning!

12-14-00 Troupe Tabu goes to China! by Nanna
.It should be noted that somewhere between passing the audition and performing, it was announced that three out of four dancers in the group (not including myself) were pregnant.

Croatia

Europe's Newest Dance Destinataion, Split Tribal Festival in Croatia
It's like an Italy that one can actually afford, due to the fact that it is not yet an European Union country, and therefore not subject to the massive cost of living spikes of EU member nations.

Dominican Repubic

Paula, 2011 Champion of Champions, Belly Dancer of the Universe Competition
I do not know exactly what will happen, but I know it’s a beautiful start to present a Dominican dancer to the dance world. One very important thing also is that this award means to me that dreams do come true. I always wanted to be a dancer, and I could never really make it work because my country does not considered it a true profession.

2-17-10 Shimmying on the Shores of Paradise, The Dancers of the Dominican Republic by Sylvia Richards
White sands and turquoise waters come to mind when most picture the Dominican Republic, but the Caribbean paradise offers visitors far more than its natural beauty. It may come as a surprise that the small tropical country most known for its pristine beaches and Caribbean hospitality also has a vibrant and thriving belly dancing scene.

Egypt

Nelly, Beloved Star of Egypt, An Interview with Nelly Fouad
I asked Nelly if there was any comparison to the Awalim of Mohamed Ali street and she said no, they were different; the Alexandrian Awalim had a real school for teaching the arts — they were strict and corrected your mistakes.

Veiling in the Desert, Moving to Egypt to Study Bedouin Dance, Culture, and Language …and Maybe to Buy a Camel!
I was a little nervous about dancing in front of the Bedouin musicians. Although I had been itching to get up and dance all evening, a fear of causing offense or of behaving inappropriately in some way had stopped me from asking.

The End of the Banat Mazin? Struggles with Religious Fanatics, Real Estate Management , and Other Ghawazi
Yusuf Mazin, a Nawari Gypsy, had wandered the land dealing in livestock, entertaining the villagers with stories, delivering messages and generally making himself useful until his non-Gypsy wife blessed him with five beautiful daughters. Beautiful, talented daughters who could master singing and dancing — the arts of the ghawazi, as such women were traditionally called in the countryside — were the best hope for the prosperity of a Nawari family in Egypt.


“Sabri worked everywhere, especially the Nile Hilton. He did a lot of weddings, so we worked at all the hotels. We subbed for Nagwa Fouad at the Meridien hotel on her night off. We went all over Cairo and Alex too, so it was a good way to get around and know the area.

Facing the Truth, Working as a Dancer in Egypt
Sometimes the dirty facts of dancing in Cairo can be more interesting than the pristine Oriental fantasy… at least, it is when you tell the story later! PHOTOS!

Egypt's Golden Age, Timeline and Synopsis
From around 1850 to 2000, Egypt saw the birth, rise, and transformation of its cultural expression through dance. With each period, a new energy in the dance was introduced and, with it, new dancers with new dance movements and new costumes.

A Month in Cairo, Egypt, Report No. 1: Settling In, Post-revolution Egypt, Reconnecting to Life in Cairo
No one has ever seen the square being used in any of these ways over the last 30-some years. Everyone has remarked about this and is happy about it.

A Month in Cairo, Egypt, Report No. 2: Housekeeping, Internet, Costume Shopping, Reconnecting with More Friends
When I think of my first trip here in 1977, I can see what amazing changes have occurred since then – most of them for the better.

A Month in Cairo, Egypt, Report No. 3: Fresh Eggs and the Festival Begins, Ahlan Wa Sahlan, Part 1
One of the aspects of AWS that I enjoy most is the contact it offers with dancers not only from Egypt, both Egyptian and foreign-born, but from all over the world. It’s a rare opportunity to find out that our dance idols are real people who are warm, friendly, and eager to share their knowledge.

A Month in Cairo, Egypt, Report #4: Classes, Performing with Safaa Farid Band, Closing Gala, Classes at AWS
She finished off the teaching part of the class with a cane dance filled with a variety of cane movements that were playful and fun. At the end, she had a real treat for us: She performed a short Oriental number in her unique style for us to watch and enjoy.

A Month In Cairo, Report #5: Weddings, Visiting Raqia Hassan, Some Thoughts about Egypt’s Future
It was stimulating to talk about a wide range of topics, Egyptian politics and societal issues included, such as the continuing trend for Muslim women and girls to wear scarves – many, if not most, to make a fashion statement, others because of family, husband, or peer pressure, and some to make a political statement.


I’ve seen this often here, that men and boys will readily play with the little ones in an involved and endearing way.

Permits, IDs, Licensing, Foreign Dancers in Cairo,
It dawned on me that some dodgy nightclub manager, whom I didn’t know personally, had complete control over my passport and my freedom to leave! So, I had no alternative other than to end my contract in order to get my passport back which also meant halting the lengthy paper process.

A Moulid in an Egyptian Village
After the feast, the traditional Sai’eet (story teller), who could be a man or a woman, started telling stories accompanied by a full traditional orchestra. The entire village enjoyed stories about life, love, religion, and wisdom. Throughout history, the Sai’eet has been the educator, entertainer, and critic of life.

Farida Fahmy Set the Record Straight, Innovation and Costuming of the Reda Troupe
The current troupe is an abomination of a wonderful enterprise.

Foreign Dancers in Cairo Timeline
Amera Eid, Asmahan, Astryd, Feiruz, Jalilah, Keti Sharif, Leila, Leyla Amir, Nesma, Nour, Outi, Sahra, Shareen el Safy, Yasmina of Cairo, Yasmina Ramzy, Yasmin Henkesh, Zeina, and many more

9-15-08 My First Experience in Egypt by Nadira
I have always felt a pull to visit Egypt to experience the history and culture of this dance I love so much. The chance came about just recently and it was so worth the wait.

7-30-08 Ahlan Wa Sahlan 2008, Not So Welcoming this Year by Yasmin
Prices have gone up everywhere, and Egypt is no exception. The reality hit me as soon as I walked into the Mena House. Bottled water was $4.00, where out in the street the same bottle was $.50. A bottle of beer was $10.00. Internet connection was $30.00 / hour. At those prices, life's little pleasures didn't seem important anymore.

4-14-07 Randa Kamal in Cairo The Photos of Susie Poulelis
I was fortunate to travel to Cairo on business in April '06, and managed to take some time to see a few sights and, at least, one dance performance: Randa Kamal at the Marriot Zamelek's Empress Nightclub

7-13-07 Easter in Cairo by Peppina
She is so strong and powerful and beautiful and intense. Even the not-so-stylish costumes she used to wear didn't take anything away from her.

8-16-06 What Middle Eastern Audiences Expect from a Belly Dancer by Leila
Audiences in the Middle East, especially Egyptians, see bellydancing as something to be participated in, critiqued, and loved (or hated) with gusto.

12-30-06 I Dance; You Follow by Leila
As Westerners interested in an Eastern dance form, we might want to ask ourselves if we are missing certain critical aspects of Raqs Sharki because we are not open to Eastern teaching methods.

12-26-06 Teaching at the 2006 Ahlan Wa Sahlan Cairo Festival by Leyla Lanty
Performing on teachers' night is a good way for new teachers to attract more students to their classes.

11-17-06 Interview with Safaa Farid by Leila
These days there are times I feel I've seen everything an Egyptian dancer can do in the first five minutes of her show. She doesn't change. But foreigners study the dance very hard and they put much time into their show so that is it interesting for a whole hour.

10-18-06 “The Bellydancers of Cairo” An interview with filmmaker Natasha Senkovich by Betsey Flood
As a maid you can find yourself in compromising positions—not good situations for a woman to be in—but in Egypt, it is considered so much better than being a dancer

8-9-06 A Meeting with Hallah Moustafa, Haute Couture Costume Designer in Cairo by Milena Miklos
I’d heard there was an American costume-maker living in Cairo, but her clients prefer to keep her name a secret.

6-27-06 Om Kalthoum, The Voice of Egypt by Yasmin
She was without contest the most well-known singer of the Arab world. She was also the most influential woman of her time in the Middle East.

5-2-06 Cairo '05, How to Eat, Drink, Sleep, and Breathe Raqs Sharqi, Part 4of 4 The End of the Trip by Andrea
We were hooted and hollered at countless times, passed an angry bunch of men arguing about Allah-knows-what, women with large bundles balanced on their heads, people in the stores and on the street trying to sell us stuff, but we were safe! 

3-23-06 Cairo '05, How to Eat, Drink, Sleep, and Breathe Raqs Sharqi, Part 3 of 4-Current Cairo Happenings
by Andrea, You could say that Aleya and I are burning the candle at both ends and enjoying every moment! Our priorities are three: take lessons, buy costumes, and watch shows.

3-5-06 Cairo 2005 How to Eat, Drink, Sleep, and Breathe Raqs Sharqi, Part 2 of Four-Dance Lessons by Andrea
In Egypt, if a woman is only going to wear one item of make-up, it will be black eyeliner.

2-14-06 Cairo 2005 How to Eat, Drink, Sleep, and Breathe Raqs Sharqi, Part 1 of Four, by Andrea
Today is an historical day in Egypt! The first “real” election with actual opposition candidates is taking place. I’m trying to stay abreast of this important event from TV news, but the American and British news sources barely talk about it.

9-28-04 A Subjective View of Raqia's Cash Cow The AWS Festival 2004, Part 1 by Andrea
First, she came out as a snake, then entered wearing a melaya, next, as a caged lion.  Her performance was very entertaining.

3-7-06 Streets of Cairo- Egyptian Rhythm, Language and Dance by Keti Sharif
Cairo's streets are much like its dance – streams of freestyle movement guided by intuition rather than rules. There are no 'principles' as such in both circumstances – it’s the organic-ness of Egyptian life that creates order in chaos.

9-16-05 Ahlan Wa Sahlan 2005, Cairo a review and diary by Leyla Lanty
On Monday night, the opening gala was a great success in all senses of the word! It was one of the best large scale events I've attended.

9-14-05 Behind The Nile Group Workshops in Cairo by Zeina
How absurd it sounds! How could we, in a small country that a lot of people couldn’t even locate on a world map, compete with her enormous festival in Cairo?


"She is a professional singer and dancer, being taught by her mother from her earliest youth, and with the menfolk beating the taboor (drum) and twanging the kamanga (zither) she gives turns at the Beduin encampments for which the "hat" is passed round afterwards.

Sirat Al-Ghawazi, Ghawazi Research, Part 10: 1977, Nawary Gypsy Background of the Mazin Ghawazi
"They came to the aforesaid Shah and asked him for dwellings in his country … the greater portion he placed in Mazandaran as a check to the pride of the Uzbak, Turkmans, Umid, and the nomad Tatars, who are always starting raids, and acting as highwaymen."

1-9-06 Sirat Al-Ghawazi, Part 9 by Edwina Nearing
Begun in the mid-1970's , the early sections of "Sirat Al-Ghawazi" were first published under the title "The Mystery of the Ghawazi." We are happy to be able to respond to the continued demand for these articles by making them available to our readers worldwide.

12-3-05 Sirat Al-Ghawazi, Part 8 by Edwina Nearing
Begun in the mid-1970's , the early sections of "Sirat Al-Ghawazi" were first published under the title "The Mystery of the Ghawazi." We are happy to be able to respond to the continued demand for these articles by making them available to our readers worldwide.

9-5-05 Sirat Al-Ghawazi, Part 7 by Edwina Nearing
Begun in the mid-1970's , the early sections of "Sirat Al-Ghawazi" were first published under the title "The Mystery of the Ghawazi." We are happy to be able to respond to the continued demand for these articles by making them available to our readers worldwide.

7-5-05 Sirat Al-Ghawazi, Part 6 by Edwina Nearing
Begun in the mid-1970's , the early sections of "Sirat Al-Ghawazi" were first published under the title "The Mystery of the Ghawazi." We are happy to be able to respond to the continued demand for these articles by making them available to our readers worldwide.

9-12-04 Sirat Al-Ghawazi, Part 5 of 9 by Edwina Nearing
Begun in the mid-1970's , the early sections of "Sirat Al-Ghawazi" were first published under the title "The Mystery of the Ghawazi." We are happy to be able to respond to the continued demand for these articles by making them available to our readers worldwide.

9-12-04 Sirat Al-Ghawazi, Part 4 by Edwina Nearing
Begun in the mid-1970's , the early sections of "Sirat Al-Ghawazi" were first published under the title "The Mystery of the Ghawazi." We are happy to be able to respond to the continued demand for these articles by making them available to our readers worldwide.

8-8-04 Sirat Al-Ghawazi, Part 3 by Edwina Nearing
Begun in the mid-1970's , the early sections of "Sirat Al-Ghawazi" were first published under the title "The Mystery of the Ghawazi." We are happy to be able to respond to the continued demand for these articles by making them available to our readers worldwide.

5-16-04 Sirat Al-Ghawazi, Part 2 by Edwina Nearing
Begun in the mid-1970's , the early sections of "Sirat Al-Ghawazi" were first published under the title "The Mystery of the Ghawazi." We are happy to be able to respond to the continued demand for these articles by making them available to our readers worldwide.

2-11-04 Sirat Al-Ghawazi, Part 1 by Edwina Nearing
Begun in the mid-1970's , the early sections of "Sirat Al-Ghawazi" were first published under the title "The Mystery of the Ghawazi." We are happy to be able to respond to the continued demand for these articles by making them available to our readers worldwide.

7-21-04 Leila, An American Dancer in Cairo by Catherine Barros,
She would walk into these huge ballrooms filled with thousands of people with a huge stage in the middle of the room while television cameras on cranes are taking note of everything.

6- 8-04 Nagwa Sultan: Cairo Soul by Edwina Nearing
Like a number of other Egyptian dancers who retired in the early ‘90s, Nagwa couldn't turn her back on the dance world entirely, however tarnished the glitter had become.

1-3-04 Khairiyya Mazin Struggles to Preserve Authentic Ghawazi Dance Tradition by Edwina Nearing
But when Khairiyya Mazin retires, one of the most distinctive traditions of Ghawazi dance may come to an end.

12-16-03 Egypt 2003 by Zahraa
The winner was also the worst dressed dancer. Her name is Ronda and she has the reputation of being too cheap to invest in a quality costume.

6-29-03 Photos from the Ahlan Wa Sahlan Festival, The Opening Night Gala by Tahseen Alkoudsi and Shira
held at the Mena House Oberoi Hotel on June 10-17, Cairo, Egypt. More promised!

6-16-03 Breaking News from the Ahlan wa Sahlan 2003 in Cairo reported by Shira
The flavor of the instruction and dancing are very different from that offered by the U.S. festivals, and it offers an exciting opportunity for immersion in the Egyptian dance arts.

4-18-02 Egyptian Travels after 9/11 by Scheherezade
I feel safer there on the streets than any place in the U.S.

9-22-01 Raqia Hassan's Dance Festival (Ahlan Wa Sahlan 2000) By Latifa
Then my dance idol, Suhair Zaki, walked in, creating eddies of excitement that ran through the crowd.

9-24-00 Cairo's Costume Disasters by Leyla Lanty
Tacky, Bizarre, and Surprising Costumes Worn by Cairo's Stars of Oriental Dance

10-18-01 My Taxi Ride in Egypt after 9-11 by Fred Glick
And as we reach my destination, he asks me to tell America that he is sorry, that Egyptians, they are sorry.

3-20-01 Eating in Cairo (Part 2) by Fred Glick
You splash da'a on your koshary like a real Egyptian. Perhaps you've even learned how to pronounce da'a. You've had fuul for breakfast and laughed in the face of many an expensive buffet. But all the feelings of superiority aside, you're beginning to feel the need for something, well, different.

12-23-00 FLASH FROM CAIRO- RAIN! by Fred Glick
The pre-dawn call to prayer, bustling souqs and the constant reminders that everything, from the continuing supply of water to the arrival of the taxi at my destination, is at the pleasure of Allah.

3-22-00 Dining in Cairo by Fred Glick
One of the wonderful things about Egyptian food is that there is something for everyone.

12-2-04 My Vision of the Desert Archidance by Piper Reid Hunt, Ph.D.
I had heard about trance dancing before, but had never seen it in an authentic context.

12-30-99 Rhea's Adventures -continues "Egyptian Dance Festival--Intrigue & Chaos" Part 2
"Strike!" I cried, and we all stood up and marched to the bus!

10-6-99-Rhea's Adventures-Egyptian Dance Festival--Intrigue & Chaos
I was intrigued when an envelope from Cairo, Egypt, arrived at my studio in Athens, Greece

8-20-99 Rhea's Adventures!- Mt. Sinai by Rhea Likouri of Athens
...we donned tablecloths after dinner to dance to whatever they had on hand that could be blown into or beat upon...

6-30-05 Ahlan wa Sahlan 2005 Begins by Shira
Shira is back at Raqia's Cairo festival again this year. Many improvements noted!

6-16-04 Egypt Travel Health Checklist by Shira
Here is a packing checklist that may help you anticipate your own needs.

6-28+ -04 Ahlan Wa Sahlan Festival 2004-Intro Travel Journal by Shira
Middle Eastern dance artists and students from throughout the world attend this event to immerse themselves in instruction by leading Egyptian instructors, shop for costumes and other supplies offered by Egyptian vendors, and enjoy the gala shows featuring top Egyptian dancers. Check back for regular updates!
First Two Days
Day 3: First Look at Egyptian History
Day 4: More Egyptian Monuments and First Dance Show
Day 5: Shop-portunities and Whirling Dervishes POSTED 7-9-04
Day 6: The Festival Begins POSTED 7-17-04
Day 7: Classes and Free Time POSTED 7-17-04
Day 8: Side Trips, Part 1: Gayer Anderson Museum POSTED 7-25-04
Day 8: Side Trips, Part 2: The Parisiana 7-26-04
Day 9: The Evening Show posted 11-12-04
Day 10: Classes and the Sphinx Speaks posted 11-22-04
Day 11: Camels, Class, & Competitions posted 12-15-04

5-3-02 Uschi and Akhram's Villa on the Red Sea, Interviewed by GS Staff
Uschi also shares her pictures from the June 2001 Cairo Festival

England

The Golden Era of the Arabic Nightclubs in London Part 1: Making the Move from San Francisco to London
The ten o’clock dinner show featured music, three dancers, and one singer. The real show started at midnight. In the audience were mostly Arabs, dressed in the most expensive designer clothes with diamond watches and jewelry flashing in the stage light. There was a scent of expensive perfume mixed with cigarette smoke. The tables were covered with flower arrangements and lavish silver platters of fruit.

The Golden Era of the Arabic Nightclubs in London Part 2:" A New Era
A new era in the club business started with the arrival of two important nightclub characters from Pyramid Street in Cairo (an area where dozens of night clubs line the street and all compete with each other for talent). Ahmed Whardany and Samir Sabot brought a great energy and expertise to London.

1st Annual Shimmy in the City, How I Organized an International Festival and Survived (just!)
He literally woke her up at 5am, asked for her help and she immediately dropped everything and got straight on a plane to London! What a star indeed!

Interview with Nawarra of the UK and Morocco
We met Nawarra in Marrakech, at Simona's Mediterranean Delight Festival held there in June 2011. Nawarra grew up in Casablanca graduating from the university there. She now lives in Leed, near Manchester in Northern England. She has a troupe there, teaches and also takes several tour groups per year back to Morocco. She explains to us the term "sha'abi" and how it is used in the Moroccan dialect of the Arabic language.

Serpent Tour 2011 Journal- London, Madrid and Marrakech! NEW VIDEO UPDATE-7-8-11
An experimental travel blog. Let see how it goes! The plan is to update this page frequently.

Gigbag Check #29 with Samantha of the Bellydance Superstars
Samantha is from Brighton, England. Sam starts to tell of her start with the troupe when Rachel joins the conversation briefly to help out and testifiy to Sam's talent and commitment. Sam was discovered in Rachel's workshop in Birmingham. Sam also shows us her gig bag and her favorite skirt made by Madi Love. Sam suggestions bringing a sewing kit and tells of problems getting her belt ornaments tangled in her bracelets. This footage was filmed February 15, 2009 backstage at the Marin Civic Center in San Rafael, California

Getting Home, Report from Cairo [Egyptian Revolution]
As a new Egyptian national, I am proud that people are demanding their basic human rights, and at the same time, sorry for the economic hard times that have already begun here.

9-10-10 Our London Scene: A Guide, Clubs, Events, and Resources by Anne White
Hi to all our state-side friends over “The Pond” and elsewhere! For those intending to visit London, I thought you would like a “What’s on in London?” guide to spice up any intended visit–whether now or future.

5-3-10 A Very British Kind of Bellydance by Charlotte Desorgher
This incongruity is something that characterizes the English bellydance scene. Many of our festivals are held in historic sites, such as castles or ancient towns, and we are used to the surprising sound of Arabic music floating across an English lawn.

9-10-08 Festival Fantasia: A New Direction by Josephine Wise
I had a vision of the whole dance scene becoming one and being aware of one another.

11-28-07 The International Belly Dance Congress told by Salwa of Belgium and the winner of the contest professional category
September 28-30, 2007, in Bogner Regis, England Gala photos provided by Josephine Wise, others by author.
Not being able to prepare my planned choreography properly for the Oum Kalthoum song, which is not easy to interpret to begin with, I quickly turned to emotions in order to fill up the space.

4-3-05 The London Belly Beat! by Alexandria
They have nothing against tribal or fusion styles and seem to enjoy all belly dance.

2-3-05 From Rags to Rhinestones by Dolores
I am most proud of having taken up dance later in life and having become an acclaimed professional-level performer.

9-25-04 The Ramzy Tour of 2003, photos provided by Hossam and Serena
Photos from:Brazil, Brisbane, MaryBorough, Wellington, London, Singapore and Tibet? Readers- please help us with matching names to these faces!

12-27-03 Getting Shagged on Virgin Atlantic by Kayla Summers
This is about a trip that took two days but never went anywhere.

6-16-03 Rainy Night in London Town by Justine Merrill
That’s how after a day at the Tower of London, I found myself navigating the Edgware district after dark, in the fog and light rain, looking for dinner. Christina trailed behind me, feet dragging, whiney and hungry, but hanging on after a full day or of walking.

Estonia
7-3-08 Belly Dancing in Estonia by Ines Karu
As in the rest of the world, the Egyptian style of belly dance is the most popular one in Estonia. Most of the instructors and dancers are specialized in that style. The American Tribal Style Belly Dance is also becoming more known each day. The general impression of belly dance in Estonia is glamorous, feminine, luxurious, modern and elegant. It's a time where Estonian dancers can truly say that they can be proud to be a Middle Eastern dance artist in Estonia.

France
Europe- Helm Musical Adventures, Part 3
Last winter my husband, Mark Bell, and I were hosted in Paris and Slovenia to teach Middle Eastern rhythms and present Tribal Belly Dance with live music. The following are photos from our adventures.

5-10-05 Making New Musical Inroads in France and Ireland by Mark and Ling Shien Bell
Helm takes Rhythm Diatribes Workshops to Europe, series continues...

7-14-99 Leila Haddad's Dance Mission by the Gilded Serpent staff
...But Leila never has considered moving to a place where the social climate might be more open. As she puts it, "my story is France."

Germany
Photos from Cifuentes’ Sommer Festival in Berlin
The idea of presenting a dance festival together with a contest is to promote talent, encourage excellence, and motivate dance artists from all over the world to come to Berlin and participate and results in this special and amazing event of learning and performance.

8-4-08 My Winning Experience at Leyla Jouvana and Roland's 1st Bellydancer of the World Contest by Khalida
Author is winner of the 1st place in the Solo Raks Sharki and 3rd Place in the Solo - Fusion Fantasy Categories

10-17-06 Judging in Germany, The Summer Festival and the International Raks Sharqi Contest 2006 by Dondi S. Dahlin.
photos by Klaus Rabien, Berlin, Germany. "It is also an easy out for judges who need to find a reason to drop a dancer’s score…especially if the competition is tough."

3-26-09 Teaching American Bellydance: Ich Bin Ein Berliner! by Una
Amazing! The members of the workshop wanted more and more—and even Horacio began trying out my veil moves.

Greece
On the Road, Queen of Denial, Chapter 4
That night, I would find out that my arrival and subsequent feelings of having "made it to the top" couldn't have been farther from the truth!

5-19-00 An Interview of Athens, Greece, by Phaedra Ameerah
(This interview has been edited and reprinted with permission.
)

Guatemala

Joweh's "Call to Dance" In Guatemala, Part 1: Arrival
Even our exhaustion couldn't dampen our excitement and eagerness to explore our fascinating new surroundings.

Joweh's "Call to Dance" in Guatemala, Part 2 of Dream Trip to Guatemala
Waiting in the wings of the nearly completely darkened stage, holding fire-colored fan-veils aloft, listening to the first strains of Egyptian orchestral music, I couldn't help thinking that this experience was both familiar and foreign, in the literal and figurative sense.

Hungary

Belly Dance Costuming Evolves, Photos and Commentary from a Rising Star of Costume Design
Video interview with author. "Because our colorful dance form is still living, changing, and evolving day-by-day, the costume designers will inspire us endlessly. This movement is a never-ending energy flow full of elegance and ferocity, sensuality and femininity. I hope that I will be a part of this wonderful Oriental dance life for a long time."

Iceland
5-27-06 Bellydance in Iceland by Sabah
Recently, I was able to witness first hand how truly global the world of bellydance has become. Dances of the Middle East and North Africa are no longer a mystery and unknown “exotic” style of dance.

India
Empowering Women in India through Belly Dance
The company works with less fortunate and troubled families and women, and pays the women a decent sum for their crafts as a way of helping them out.


We were delighted when Colleena Shakti invited us to teach classes concerning Musicality for Dancers at the Colleena Shakti School of Dance in Pushkar, Rajastan. Last January, we made the trek over water and mountains to reach this fascinating land. Pushkar holds the only temple dedicated to Brahma, the creator, as well as many other temples.

3-8-04 Hindu Extremists Riot at Belly Dance Show by Michelle
At the time, I was beginning to understand that this was a potentially dangerous and explosive situation. But I had no way of knowing how much danger I was really in.

1-13-05 The Grand International Bellydance Tour or How We Fled India at Midnight, Eluding Our Captors and Evading our Go-Go-Dance Responsibilities. or What Would Fifi Do? by Michelle and Sandra
It may not have been such a problem for us had the prostitutes not been posing as bellydancers!

1-11-06 Return to India – This Time it’s Personal! by Michelle and Sandra
We thought that the misfortunes associated with our previous performance tours of India were simply anomalies in the blissful and glamorous world of dancing overseas.

9-23-99 Living in India- "Beggars" by Fred Glick
There's a new group of pavement dwellers living on the median near the market.

8-20-99 Living in India- "I Wake from a Dream ..." by Fred Glick
No road trip would be complete without hourly sightings of horrible accidents or their remains.

7-3-99 Living in India- "Indian Demolition" by Fred Glick
Carrying 8-12 bricks on your head up three flights of stairs while wearing a sari ...

5-27-99 Living in India #1-"Bureaucracy" by Fred Glick
The bureaucracy here is amazing......

Indonesia
3-19-09 Indonesia's Introduction to Belly Dance: The Mainstream Media's Influence by Fahmia Bandib
Extensive mainstream media attention has been a mixed bag of blessings and, well, “somewhat less than blessings,” as most Indonesians would diplomatically say.

Iran
7-28-00 The Persian Soul of the Music of Sima Bina by Yasmela
So there she was, a beautiful Iranian woman with an all-woman band!

Iraq
12-26-04 Undercover Belly Dancer in Iraq- “THAAWUMPFF” by Meena
The women who work in the Ministry are brave women. At first they looked at me with suspicion, not sure of my ethnicity. I sometimes get thanked when they realize that I share the Arab blood.

10-14-04 Undercover Belly Dancer in Iraq by Meena
My name is Meena. Until a month ago, I was a professional belly dancer in Phoenix, Arizona.

Ireland
5-10-05 Making New Musical Inroads in France and Ireland by Mark and Ling Shien Bell
Helm takes Rhythm Diatribes Workshops to Europe, series continues...

Israel
2011 Eliat Festival with T and A!
Eilat is a bustling attraction for many tourists, boasting world class beaches, diving, and great weather, which was one reason that we picked this destination in January!

9-5-06 Eilat Oriental Dance Festival, January 2006 - Report by Sophie, Photos by Gali Tibon
As my friends' car was making its way through the desert, the sense of anticipation, mixed with excitement, was growing inside me.

6-20-05 The 2005 Eilat Festival, My Fete in Israel by Orit
This was the first professional festival of its kind in Israel. Despite its being overwhelmingly exhausting and loaded with material, the celebrating continued in the lobby, well into the night, with endless conversations and the exchange of tales.

5-4-04 Belly Dance in Israel by Orit Maftsir
Belly dancers are the hottest trend at the moment, unlike the totally frozen attitudes towards the Arab culture
in Israel.

Italy
Roma Tribal Forum, More of Helm's Musical Adventures
The growing interest for both styles of Tribal Dance inspired them to hold a Tribal Meeting in this ancient city.

Simona Minisini of Italy Video Interview
In June, 2011, Gilded Serpent was present at the Mediterranean Delight Festival in Marrakech, Morocco (produced by Simona Guzman). There we were able to get some time with Simona Minisini of Palmanova, Italy. She told us about her school, the coming World Dance Tropy Competition and her own history in Oriental dance. She and her husband Igor have a studio called Club Sunshine with mutiple dance rooms, 2 pools and a "Bed and Breakfast". This video also included a sample of her performance at the festival in Morocco.

10-1-05 Interview with Maya Gaorry of Italy, Talks about Size, Fat, and American dancers, by Lucy Lipschitz
Before there was no rule on how big dancers should be, and now it’s changing. Changing everywhere.

9-30-99 I was driving home early Monday morning.By Tanja Waadi, Italy
I had had an arrangement to meet my man, my beloved whom, for a number of reasons, I cannot see often.

12-14-00 My Visit to Dancers of the South by Tanja
It is a place with no address...

Japan

The dates were nearly sold out already; the dangers had been grossly exaggerated.

Shaking Up Shibuya" The Belly Dance Scene in Japan
While belly dance in Japan originally came from American roots, it quickly grew to include Egyptian, Turkish Oriental, Turkish Roma, and various Tribal styles.

9-17-08 Belly Dance in Japan Reaches New Heights of Popularity by Ranya Renee Fleysher
Japanese audiences are extremely receptive, supportive and interested in this form of entertainment.” Conservative elder Japanese may still disapprove of the sensual aspect of belly dance, but among the younger generation it is seen as cool and trendy.

7-17-09 Little Istanbul in Japan by Artemis Mourat
For several years, belly dance has been rated as one of the top three favorite hobbies for women who are in their 20s and 30s in Tokyo.

7-30-09 Surreyya interviews Zoi of Tokyo for the Gilded Serpent video clip on the Community Kaleidoscope
In October 2008 Surreyya and Nyla traveled to Japan for a cultural dance exchange and performances with Zoi of Japan.
Surreyya interviewed Zoi while there for the benefit of Gilded Serpent readers.

Jordon
8-1-07 The Summer School of Khaleegy Dance, Dance Style from the Saudi Arabian Penninsula, by Yasmina Ramzy
The “moral police” and hotel security watched every move I made. All my phone calls were monitored. I was not allowed to talk to or get into an elevator with an Arab man.

Lebanon

Amani Oriental Festival Photos, October 25-29, 2011, Beirut, Lebanon
As a professional performer, I was impressed with the high caliber of dance instructors. The majority of instructors were Lebanese and offered a diverse repertoire of Lebanese Oriental and folkloric technique with emphasis in dramatic moves, staging and communication through movement with modern dance components.

9-13-10 Visit Beirut! Peace Brings Prosperity and New Dancers by Mark Balahadia
However, it was now finally peaceful in Beirut this year. The Lebanese resiliency and ability to rebound from crises is what encourages many of its citizens to live life to the fullest extent, and this passion is what lures tourists and expatriates every year.

9-7-06 Amani's Oriental Festival 2006: June 20-25, 2006 by Beverley Joffe
Delving into Oriental Culture, Dance and Surviving Israeli Military Attack.

9-30-05 My Experience With Amani’s Oriental Festival by Beverley Joffe
Lebanon, June 14-19, 2005. Amani placed strong emphasis on the folklore and identity of Oriental Dance when compiling the program and offered touring to assist in blending technique with emotion.

3-26-05 “My Aim in Organizing a World-inclusive Oriental Dance Festival” by Amani
Dancer Amani of Lebanon Comments, "Oriental dancing has become a widespread art; it is now found all over the world, and among all levels of society in all the five continents! "

Luxembourg
5-17-06 Making New Musical Inroads in Luxembourg 2005 by Mark and Ling Shien Bell
Helm takes Rhythm Diatribes Workshops to Europe. It was extremely educational for us to watch the learning process in three very diverse regions.

Macedonia
8-23-07 Roots Raqs – An International Belly Dancer Goes Home to Macedonia by Paola
The musical folklore of this region deserves full debut in the World Music scene, and those of us in the MED community worldwide are ripe for the breath of fresh air that Chochek and Gypsy Brass Music can bring us. It is an original, organic and time-honored fusion, brought about by history, geography, and most importantly, tolerance and mutual cultural celebration.

Mexico

If you want to call what you do Tribal or Tribal Fusion, or anything Tribal, you should study ATS (American Tribal Style Belly Dance) and know what true Tribal is before you fuse it with something else.

Mama Raqia: Approachable Dance Deity Visits Mexico
Raqia Hassan gave away 3 prizes in the event. One in recognition to Niral for her outstanding effort on organizing the event and welcoming her to Mexico. Raqia took about 20 minutes on the stage saying that she was so sad and angry that other teachers didn't come to greet her at the event.

3-10-09 Its All in the Flavor! Bellydance in Mexico by Martha Duran
Those were tough times for us teachers. Students were very shy in the classroom but eager to learn; some of them even thought that Shakira had created Bellydance! They didn’t have much information about Oriental Dance, its origins, or different styles. Some aspiring dancers even sat through several classes just to check out what Bellydance was or if we teachers danced it as well as Shakira.

Morocco
Video Interview with Hakima of Morocco
GS met Hakima at Simona's Mediterranean Delight Festival held in Marrakech in June 2011.  Hakima is a native Moroccan dancer. She was teaching workshops an performing. She had a friend help us with translating.  Hakima now lives near Barcelona in Spain. She can also be found and contact on Facebook Check out her hair braiding during the drum solo!

Moroccan Dreams: My New Festival in Marrakech
There is a mixture of faces in one region. There are so many different cultures that live in harmony –in the same place– that it is difficult to remain indifferent.

Serpent Tour 2011 Journal- London, Madrid and Marrakech! NEW VIDEO UPDATE-7-8-11
An experimental travel blog. Let see how it goes! The plan is to update this page frequently.

3-9-02 Images of Morocco by Susie Poulelis
pictures from a trip in January '02...

12-14-00 Curly Black Hair, Eyes Like Black Pearls by Tanja
At a certain point a fake horse was brought out...

Nepal
8-28-03 Dance Journey to Nepal, Part 2 by Daleela
The music had suddenly changed pitch from regular speed to very fast speed.

7-8-03 Dance Journey to Nepal by Daleela
I will never forget Nepal and the dance adventures we encountered. They will remain etched in my mind forever. What I found most amazing is how much I learned about Middle Eastern dance going to Asia.

New Zealand

3-18-10 Not Last Year's Saiidi by Brigid Kelly / Zumarrad
Recently, a belly dance community newsletter here in New Zealand ran an editorial in which the author remarked that the current generation of dancers still perform “traditional styles – Ghwazee, Khaleegy, Saiidi” but innovate with poi, fan veils and Isis wings in a sort of dance evolution that retains respect for the value of the old.

Norway

Dance Festival Warms Oslo Winter, Oslo Oriental Dance Festival 2011
This competition is not open to professional dancers, and judges are required to give constructive feedback to encourage growth.

7-24-03 1001 Nights Oslo Belly Dance Festival, The Show May 2 - 4, 2003 by Lunacia
The festival began with a show at Oslo Concert Hall, and this year's guest star was Lulu Sabongi from Brazil, who opened this year's show.

Russia

11-6-03 Nour: A Biography by Ekaterina
This dance, having its own rules, was like the flight of a soul, especially for one who sees dance as art and not just personal exhibitionism.

Scotland
12-27-00 Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2000 with Troupe Dhyanis by Dhyanis
The rough and ready Scots do love a party! No coincidence then that they host the world's
largest performing arts festival in their capitol city of Edinburgh each August.

Singapore
9-25-04 The Ramzy Tour of 2003, photos provided by Hossam and Serena
Photos from:Brazil, Brisbane, MaryBorough, Wellington, London, Singapore and Tibet? Readers- please help us with matching names to these faces!

10-25-03 Hossam & Serena Ramzy's International Tour, Photos from the Workshop in Singapore held on July 4-7, 2003
This was both a challenge and a great learning experience, clearly illustrating the differences between prerecorded and live music for amateur and professional dancers alike.

Slovenia

Europe- Helm Musical Adventures, Part 3
Last winter my husband, Mark Bell, and I were hosted in Paris and Slovenia to teach Middle Eastern rhythms and present Tribal Belly Dance with live music. The following are photos from our adventures.

South Africa

3 South African Dance Pioneers, Reaching Out to the "New Woman" of Their Country
One should dance with the fullness of knowing her role in life, honoring that knowledge in its purity, and following the ideal of Middle Eastern feminine essence rather than dancing from a competitive space.

An Opposing View, South Africa's Dance Community Thrives
Nonetheless, we are still a closely-knit group–with, perhaps, a handful of people who have decided to set themselves aside from the mainstream of our community. Unfortunately, we find that those are the same dancers who are giving their opinions and critiquing the rest of the community and its dancers.

The Sisterhood of South African Belly Dancers, Australian Finds Community
I saw that dancers should take criticism well and learn from it (I definitely needed to improve my arm posture and hands) and additionally, it showed me that I had progressed a long way.

2-5-09 Fire in your Belly: My Dance Story by Annette Nel of South Africa
I’ve always wanted to be a dancer. I vividly remember when I was four years old and had just started ballet, the driveway became my stage and the African sun my spotlight as I did plies, twirled, and pitter-pattered on tiptoe to a growing audience of passers-by. I remember curtsying to a young schoolboy who stopped to stare. Today, I realise it wasn’t my extraordinary dancing that stopped them in their tracks.

Spain

The Stars Converge in Barcelona, El Festival Internacional de Danza Oriental 2012,
Munique Neith is Brazilian of Arabic descent. She is the prestigious and well traveled organizer of the International Oriental Dance Festival in Barcelona. More than 1500 people take part every year in the 2 gala shows, the competitions, and in different workshops with the best international master teachers.

Serpent Tour 2011 Journal- London, Madrid and Marrakech! NEW VIDEO UPDATE-7-8-11
An experimental travel blog. Let see how it goes! The plan is to update this page frequently.

8-18-10 Nesma, Dancer of Passion Interview by Nina Poethen, Originally version published in “TANZ Oriental“, December 2006 in German
To manage the orchestra is quite complicated. They are all men and the dancer must always keep her distance from them. You have to use the service of a manager who is the intermediary between you and the other persons involved in the business. It is very important to have a good manager, a good professional and good person as well. And it is not so easy to find, I can tell you.

3-11-09 Munique Neith's Studio: What You are Missing if You aren't in Barcelona! by Amanda Rose
What inspired me to write this article was not only the unbelievable setup that is presented in Barcelona, but the fact that I have never truly felt the warmth and compassion from any situation in the dance world that I have from Munique, her husband Albert and their studio. They were warm, receptive, and incredibly  gracious

10-16-08 Solstice Festival in Catalunia, Spain June 20-22, 2008 photos by Eulalia Grau and Janixia text by Ling Shien Bell
For the third year in a row, Maria Cresswell produced a dance and music festival honoring the Summer Soltice. This year's three day event took place high up in the Catalunian Pyrenees, in a rustic hosted fed by fresh springs and bordered by a rushing river.

3-14-07 Morgana's Animal Magnetism, Interview with Morgana of Madrid by Surreyya
After seeing Morgana’s Serpent Dance, where she embodies the personality of the serpent, I was hooked. Any snake lovers or snake dancers will have a special appreciation for this piece.

11-23-07 Danza Del Vientre by Devorah Korek Book Review by Gregory Burke Translation by Amina Goodyear
Book is in Spanish. Once in a while an object of desire comes along, which is deemed important by its obscurity. Such could be the case with this hardcover, difficult to acquire tabletop adornment from Devorah Korek, an American-born Belly Dance teacher living and thriving in Spain.

10-12-06The Soltice Festival, Belly Dance in Spain- Part 2, Photos by Lynette
held June 23-26, 2006. Part Two- The Evening Show, Event organized by Maria Cresswell of Tribal Girona at Sanctuari Els Arcs, Girona, Spain. A medieval hostelry with a chapel, set in the beautiful volcanic natural park of La Garrotxa near the picturesque village of Santa Pau.

10-11-06 The Soltice Festival, Belly Dance in Spain- Part 1, Photos by Lynette
held June 23-26, 2006. Part One- Workshops and Setting, Event organized by Maria Cresswell of Tribal Girona at Sanctuari Els Arcs, Girona, Spain. A medieval hostelry with a chapel, set in the beautiful volcanic natural park of La Garrotxa near the picturesque village of Santa Pau.

9-6-05 Making New Musical Inroads in Spain by Mark and Ling Shien Bell
Helm takes Rhythm Diatribes Workshops to Europe, series continues...

7-31-00 The Dancers of the Infidel Emperor by Kirk Templeton
Did you know that Belly Dancers played a significant role in the life and destiny of a great European monarch?

Sudan
11-03-01 Adventures by the Nile, Part 2, by Rhea
Return to a Changed Sudan

10-15-01 Rhea's Adventures by the Nile, part 1
I guess every belly dancer's dream is to dance in a five star hotel in the Middle East.

Sweden

2-28-11 The Cairo by Night Festival, November 4-7, 2010, Stockholm Sweden by Nabila
From the first moment that I arrived in Stockholm until I left, I felt warmly welcomed, relaxed, and it felt so fantastic to be with Zeina and Mohamed Abu Shibeka, that I spend my most memorable time there!

 

Switzerland
9-4-07 The Birth of a Dance Scene, The History of Oriental Dance in Switzerland by Meissoun
Please allow me to introduce some of these groundbreakers so that you will appreciate what it was like to be an Oriental dancer in Switzerland in the early 1980s.

Syria

From Syria with Love! Queen of Denial, Chapter 6: My Arrival
You may think that the life of a traveling Belly dancer is filled with intrigue and love affairs, but this couldn’t be further from the truth!

Queen of Denial, Chapter 7: More Gorgeous Georges and on to Damascus
He kept reassuring me that everything was okay, and finally, the second time that I made for the exit, he pinned me against the wall in the darkened hallway and gave me a long, luscious kiss that made my head spin!

8-1-06 Rhea’s Travel to Syria, Part 5 –Sex and the Single Girl by Rhea of Athens
The Trials and Travails of a Lone Female Traveler

5-10-06 Rhea’s Travel to Syria …PART 4 – Damascus
If you try to show what basically decent people Americans are, you will be run over like a wild coyote. Leave your manners at home and take on theirs.

12-4-04 Rhea’s Travel to Syria … Part 3– Surrounded by Men in the Airport
Clever girl, eh? You think it’s the first time I’ve traveled alone in the Middle East?

10-1-04 Rhea’s Travel to Syria … Part 2 – The Airport Nightmare
Too bad they didn’t have any friends in America.

8-25-04 Rhea's Travels to Syria, Part 1, The Delusion is Shattered
It looked like a Middle Eastern attempt at Las Vegas and Disneyland, upscale discotheques where attractive Moldavian that aforementioned familiar tributary, than go on to another one.

Taiwan

Aubre Hill, New Fussion Energy in Taiwan
As time has passed, the local community has found itself on a changing path. The heavily choreographed (written notation) dance trend remains the staple of the main stream while increasingly, local dancers (and instructors as well) have begun to realize that there is something else in addition to set notations of dance movements to learn.

Organic Cycle Enters Taiwan’s BD Community: 2 “Unusual” Taipei Workshops Demonstrate New Trend , Traditional Chinese Translation here
Taiwan, as one of Belly dance communities in the Asian region where Belly dance has been blooming in the past decade, is no exception from a heavily choreography-oriented mainline trend.

6-29-2010 Argentine-Arab Dance and Music Charm Taiwan, Gina Chen promotes Live Music for Local Dancers by Lisa Chen
I have to say it is quite different from any other American or Egyptian style choreography I learned before; you almost always keep your feet into ballet position and body weight is relatively higher. The physical dynamic is much exaggerated. I guess this is the Argentine style bellydance and I could see why local dancers are fond of it, owing to the quality of fluidness and lightness, very outward gestures and wonderful live music.

3-6-09 Bellydance:My Lifesaver & Soul Mate by Lisa Chen
So, here with both of my arms having injection needles inserted and an oxygen mask on my face, I began to visualize that I was standing at FatChance BellyDance’s studio with other dancers.

1-6-09 2008 Drum, Dance, & Music Festival Raqs Taiwan with Karim Nagi! by Lisa Chen
She wishes to find the bridge between dancers and musicians, performers and audiences while still keeping its cultural roots alive. DDM is the platform for dancers and musicians working together and exchanging their professional experiences.

10-30-08 Aussie ATS Charm in Taipei: Devi Mamak by Lisa Chen
Since both of us are not based in San Francisco, we share many common factors in terms of learning ATS and developing our own visions for it back in our own home venues.

6-6-06 The Bellydance Scene in Taiwan Toss Hair Dance by Eugenia
The women were much more skillful than I expected: just 3 years ago, nobody in Taiwan really knew anything about Bellydance.

3-5-08 Learning Matrix: A Long Journey, The Belly Dance Scene in Taiwan, by Lisa Chen
Sometimes, one might have to admit that learning only choreographies might lead students and dancers away from learning the essential elements of traditional Belly dance.

5-2-08 Live a DanceDivas’ Life! Interview with Jane Yee Shan Chung of Taiwan by Lisa Chen
Then I saw the Suhaila technique workshop announced on her website and I just signed up without knowing exactly what her format is. I am the only person who did not learn Suhaila format before at that workshop. I was so naïve, I simply wanted to give it a try.

Tajikistan

From Town to Goat Track, A Tour of the Pamir Mountains of Tajikistan
One lithe young girl twisted her way through this crack and into the tiny cave, and brought back some mineral crystals, said to have healing powers.

Dancing on the Roof of the World, Community Festival in Tajikistan .
After all my many travels to Tajikistan, filled with the frantic bustle of dance lessons, rehearsals, teaching, doing trip logistics, hunting for traditional bits and bobs for costuming, and getting fitted for stage costumes, I finally decided to try being a more-or-less normal tourist in one of my favorite places on Earth, the Pamir mountains of Badakhshan, eastern Tajikistan.

10-17-08 Tajikistan: The Land of Dance Part One by Robyn C. Friend, Ph.D.
Video features: #1-Introduction by author, #2- A Map Tour on an ancient and modern map.
" Communication with the outside world is difficult and expensive, and nearly impossible during the winter."

Tibet

9-25-04 The Ramzy Tour of 2003, photos provided by Hossam and Serena
Photos from:Brazil, Brisbane, MaryBorough, Wellington, London, Singapore and Tibet? Readers- please help us with matching names to these faces!

Tunisia

10-23-07 Khamsa Holidays, A Dance and Culture Camp in Tunisia Report and photos by Denise Leclair
How do you judge a dance trip? Would you go back next year? …in a heartbeat. Damn the cost and mercury retrograde and the heat. It was that good!

Turkey

My Favorite Oriental Festival in Turkey, Rakkas Istanbul 2013
I immediately made new friends and was surprised to find the multi-national composure of our 200+ people crowd – I befriended a dancer from Holland and another from Columbia, although the majority of the dancers were from Japan and other far-east countries.

Les Art Turcs: A Rich Resource for Dancers, Bridging Cultures through Traditional Arts in Istanbul,
When we arrived, we found that the residents weren’t really sure about all things Bellydance, save for the touristy performance posters seen in highly traveled areas. Many vendors have offices with tours; so Bellydance, Sufi/Dervish performances, and boat tours are all lumped together as commodity-like offerings. Still, we had some leads

Helm Istanbul'da Making Music in Turkey
We discovered Turkish classical music through our friend Sinan Erdemsel. To the dellight of many music lovers, he has been coming to teach at Lark Camp in Mendocino, California, for the past 10 years.

Back from Bahrain, Tiny Kingdom’s Riots are Puzzling
Approximately at the same time as the invasions of the French, British, etc. upon the Ottoman Empire the art of Belly dancing was introduced in cabarets of Egypt and Lebanon, as well as Turkey (Istanbul).

Turkish “Roman Gypsy Dans”, Melting Any Heart!
This dance of the Gypsies is about becoming a life-like character. It contains a wide range of moods and feelings for the dancer to express: The gray quality of everyday tasks turns into colorful dance that does not distinguish between the relative value of one color over another.

Intervew with Ahmet Ogren, Bringing Gypsy Dance to the People
Ahmet is a sexy and masculine dancer who combines a sense of playful humor and has the dedication and drive of a consummate professional. He pushed us hard, laughed, and encouraged us.

How I Met the Tuzsuz Family in Istanbul
As for taking lessons with her – her teaching has improved over the years and her repertoire has expanded (although her large movement base was what attracted me to her as a teacher in the first place, so it has always been extensive).

7-15-10 Sema Yildiz, A Star of Turkish Dance by Zumarrad/ Brigid Kelly
She was fortunate, she says, to grow up in a Roma (Gypsy) community rich in dance and music – the Fatih district, which houses the Sulukule, famous for its entertainment and considered the oldest Roma settlement in the world.

10-6-08 "Just feel the music when you're on stage!” Interview with Ozgen, Male Turkish Belly Dancer, by Nini Baseema
Well, I think my heart still beats for big shows and productions, as much as I know how stressful and difficult that show-life can be. I seem to not be able to live without it.

10-24-06 Adventures in Turkey 2006 by Michelle Joyce, photos by Michael Baxter
I am not exaggerating when I say that Sandra actually threw herself into Bella's arms and wept when she first laid eyes on her.

4-29-05 Bargaining for Injeers by Kayla Summers
Bargaining is not just about the money, although that is a qualifier. Bargaining is a medium in which two strangers can have a conversation. Turks love to bargain, and it may be how they get to know you...

9-17-04 A Rug Story by Justine
Rug stores are interesting, the salesman know an amazing information about rugs. Rug men tend to be well educated and full of interesting conversation.

2-16-04 Turkish Shop 'til you Drop by Justine Merrill
The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul is the Mother of all shopping malls and covers over fifteen acres.

2-12-04 Hamam 5 by Kayla Summers
"Take me to a hamam," I begged. She took me to the Besiktas Hamam.

11-6-03 Of Hamams and Bathing by Justine Merrill
The attendants giggle while dumping scalding hot water on the screaming, howling clients.

10-11-03 Orient House Istanbul by Justine Merrill
Despite fears about our security from friends, everywhere we went in Turkey, we met with nothing but perfect friendliness and assistance.

9-29-03 Azad's Mother's Kitchen by Kayla Summers
I could see her mom doing the mental calculations of where to put everyone while she discussed with Azad the doubtful wisdom of this impromptu rendezvous.

8-5-03 Kayla’s Travel Journal, The Prince Islands, Istanbul by Kayla Summers
One picture that caught my eye was that of a dark virgin, named Mirtidiotissa

5-9-03 Kayla's Travel Journal by Kayla Summers
At that point the steward says "now" and you jump off.

2-1-03 How I came to Turkey by Kayla Summers
There are few people more cynical than I, but I maintain that I saw what I saw. Dada will not confirm or deny the incident; he just laughs.

12-20-02 “Kayla, the Beach Girl, Tree Dweller”, Kalbak Beach by Kayla Summers
...picture yourself on a guru orange air mattress, ever so gently floating atop a crystal clear turquoise ocean ...

10-14-02 Kayla's Travel Journal- "The Turkish Flim-Flam Man" by Kayla Summers
...foodstuffs still glued on, --no black marks from any recent explosion,--I believed it to be “working”...

10-3-02 Kayla;s Travel Journal- by Kayla Summers
Some of the men joked: …if I really wanted to... but I opted out.

8-14-02 Kayla’s Travel Journal -Ferry to Kadikoy; Kayla’s Furniture Safari by
Muslim women in full dress (but no mask) were “high fiving” each other,

7-19-02 Kayla in Turkey, (A Daily Journal) Turkish Bath House (Hamam 1) April 22, 2002
All my Turkish girl friends, had of course been to Hamams, but only in their youth,

5-25-02 A New Series! Kayla's Travel Journal-Turkey Episode#1 The Honey Hunt by Kayla Summers
"He may not have it", since it was rare and very expensive.  Off I went.  

Yemen

Touching the Clouds: Impossible Bridge in Yemen
I needed a place where I felt safe, had some friends, and knew my way around: a place like Yemen! Besides, there was a bridge there that I wanted to check out.

10-5-01 DANCING IN YEMEN by Jalilah Part 2 - EL AROUS
I had been to many Middle Eastern weddings before, but none were as visually impressive as the ones I attended in Sanaa, Yemen. Jalilah's recommend reading list just added-10-24-01

3-20-01 Living in Yemen, Part I - Tafruta by Jalilah (Lorraine Zamora Chamas)
A simple question was all they needed to get them into motion!

Zimbabwe


I think it was around this time when I had gotten to know my co-workers and escorts well enough to allow them to try explaining their way of life and thinking processes to me, that I realized I was in a “no win” situation.


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