From the Land Down-under, Part 2:
Northeast and Canada
of Melbourne, Australia
a train-ride alongside a raging river, waterfalls, and snow-covered
mountains, I woke in Northern California at 6 a.m.! By 11 o’clock,
Andrea, Mel and I disembarked
at Klamath Falls and caught a bus to the Medford Airport, where
we hired a car and thus began our Thelma and Louise style adventure
across Oregon, Washington and into Canada.
We were fortunate
to catch the famed Bellydance
in Ashland, Oregon on Monday night. Since then, I have read some
negative criticism of the show on web forums and newsletters,
and while I can understand the criticisms, none of us felt disappointment.
One might say that we were stunned and humbled.
standard of dance was remarkable, the choreography superb, stage
presences warm and enjoyable to watch.
is a real Superstar and Rachel Brice is incredible in the
flesh and the costuming was tasteful and beautiful. It was our
pleasure to watch an art form performed with such respect and
skill. New school Tribal as represented by The Indigo
is sensational to watch – organic, artistic and with all the wonder
(and a bit of the grotesque) of a contortionist show and the street
cred of a break dancing troupe. I’d seen the famed Rachel
Brice on video only, and I’m happier having seen her
live – she has an energy that doesn’t translate onto film."
The next day,
we drove for nine hours across Oregon, the state of Washington,
and nearly all the way to the Canadian Border. We stopped just
an hour or so short of the Washington border, in a beautiful college
town called Bellingham. We got into town an hour and a half before
our first show with Solace, threw our costuming
and make-up around the hotel room, drove to the venue and met
the band face to face for the first time.
the leap of faith Jeremiah Soto took by taking us along
on the last leg of their tour. All he and his wife, Rachel
Soto, had seen of our dancing was from our DVD. They provided
the soundtrack for the lessons on our DVD and Melbourne’s Fingers
of Fury covered one of their older songs for a performance
the three of us did in front of the Victorian Arts Centre.
is happening in Australia, is also happening in America.
the States, it is all on a much grander scale. Cabaret and Tribal
are the two main families and there is some exceptional conservation
of Folkloric, Ghawazee, as well as Rom styles. One thing that
is sweeping across the West coast of the U.S. (that is not yet
so much a phenomenon in Australia) is the Gothic (or Goth) style–
Rachel Brice and crew’s signature body popping and locking and
those slightly grotesque, but at the same time beautiful and fascinating,
contortionist shapes and postures.
Our last gig
with Solace was in Oakland and we were sad to say goodbye. We
had bonded instantly. They are fun, warm, hysterical people and
we had a ball both on and off stage. We had found our people on
the other side of the globe! Therefore, it was with pleasure that
before our last performance, we discovered that someone was already
performing to “Wither my Lotus Flower” and we would have to dance
by improvisation. The live jam consisted of a beautiful oud taxim
by Tim Rayborn, with which I was lucky enough to perform.
Andrea improvised a fun, very Egyptian looking
maqsoum and saiidi performance, building to a spectacular
drum solo by Melusina accompanied by
the exceptional percussionist Ruben Van Rompaey. Notorious
Suze, the fifth member of Solace Live, made our
last performance memorable with her signature on stage antics
and hysterical banter.
second of our adventures ended.
3 coming soon!
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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
"The Spirit of Egyptian Dance"
Shareen El Safy- with the George Lammam Ensemble Workshop &
Show, Photos by Carl Sermon, Sponsored
and produced by Debbie Lammam July 22 & 23, 2006, Dance Mission
Theatre, San Francisco, CA
Amani's Oriental Festival 2006: June 20-25, 2006 by Beverley
Delving into Oriental Culture, Dance and Surviving Israeli
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
Tatseena's Bellydance Fantasy Festival
2006 Photos by Lynette & Carl Sermon
July 28 & 29, 2006 Marina Community Center, San Leandro,
California. "This festival was created for family, friends,
and fun!" says Tatseena.
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Bellydancing, Mythology and Astrology:
Exploring the creative character of dance expression by Keti
Is dance a ritual, a means of celebration, a form of
entertainment, or something more? Could it be a mode of human
expression that harnesses the secrets of the universe?