In The Streets; A History of Collective Joy”
by Barbara Ehrenreich
A Book Recommendation
say enough about the importance of this book! I love it so
much, I have ordered a bunch of them and am making it required
reading for my students. Barbara Ehrenrieich’s
book is witty, scholarly, and surprising.“Dancing In the Streets”
arrived on the wing of many synchronistic thoughts I have been
having lately.One of my thoughts was about my opinion of the
good, but rather repetitious, Belly dance I have been seeing
on exhibition lately. I’ve observed a high-caliber conformity.
I guess it is because there are so many dancers now, and everyone
is anxious to dance.
promoters often think that if you have more dancers in the
show you will have a bigger paying
not necessarily true—unless you are charging your performers.
Most professional dancers do not drag their
family, fans, and friends to every gig. Bringing the audience
to the event should be the job of the promoter. Inevitably,
including many performers in the show means we all get
only 5 minutes to dance. In 5 minutes, you cannot let most
develop naturally; therefore, you have to choreograph your
dance. Well, if you are going to spend time choreographing
it, then you will want stability/reliability so you can
do it repeatedly; thus, you will want to use a CD. In this
you can cut an “edited mix” to give the most variety and
range for all of your “tricks” in that sound bite of dance
Personally this type of show makes me feel like I am jumping
through hoops like a circus performer, rather than a dancer.
Does this sound about right to some of you? So, I kept
asking myself, “What’s missing?”
the ecstatic joy, the sense of transcendence!”
I find myself
becoming a little crazy. I love Belly dance, but I can’t sit
still for hours and watch what seems like a million 5-minute
dances that go nowhere because they weren’t allowed/granted
enough variation in time. I find it hard to come out and dance
for an audience who has become nearly catatonic from hours
of passive watching. Dance was not intended to be passive
so proportionately. Ideally, I want to see 1 to 3 ritualized
solos (at the most) and the rest of the time, I expect everyone
In her book,
Barbara Ehrenreich takes one back to the original motivations
of dance along a historic journey of how human impetus to dance,
has been repressed by societal hierarchy, and religious zealots.
I am talking
about all those who want control over other people (especially
women), our pocket book, our hours spent working
for “the man”, and inevitably, all our souls.
recomments many of this author's titles.
two ways to repress it:
- Ban it.
its performances within narrow confines.
have freedom to develop dance! I have been quoted as saying,
“Ballet has taught more dancers to stop dancing than it has
taught to dance.” Belly
dance’s claim to fame has been based upon how inclusive it’s
been in recent years for women of all ages, shapes, and sizes. If
we are not careful, it may shift into the strict confinement
of "pop and lock" on a thin 25-year-old’s frame. Competition,
paint-by-numbers dance choreography is not what “Dancing
In The Streets” is about!
shows us that the need and the innate human inclination is
to find and express joy freely with one’s body. She finds this
urge impossible to annihilate—but repressed--it has been! It
will eventually find a way to resurface. When it does, we are
all happier and healthier for it. So, let’s do it!
this book, I sat and meditated, and in retrospect, I saw the
current political picture. Our government has usurped our rights
in the name of “Homeland Security!” It has freaked out our
senior citizens and has kept us busy chasing ridiculous bureaucracies,
high-priced housing, and excessive medical costs. Today’s climate
is one of social fear and repression of rights having filtered
down to Belly dance. Wake up ladies! Resist! Read this book
and let it inspire you to dance ecstatically!
a comment? Send us a
Check the "Letters to the Editor" for
other possible viewpoints!
2-19-00 Honoring Our Connection Between Navel and Nasal by
looked at us strangely, wrinkled their brows and said "Aromatherapy
Review of 2005’s Tribal Fusion Bellydance, Yoga,
Isolations and Drills: a Practice Companion with Rachel
Brice, review by Erica
Overall, this is a fantastic workout that I recommend to anyone. It
will tone and strengthen your abs like a lying-down, crunches workout cannot
Belly Dance, The Joyful Journey of Dancemaking and Performing
by Ramona Reviewed by Dina Peace
This book would
be excellent when coupled with a good dance instructor or Ramona
herself. She is thorough with her information and was successful
creating a book that people can enjoy, if their wallets were big
with the Reda Troupe by Debbie Smith
the company in performance six times was truly a wonderful experience,
because each time I saw some new detail or subtlety in the movements,
the costuming, the structure of the dances, and in individual performer’s
presences on stage.
Streets Come Alive: Baladina Egyptian Dance Theater
and Sharia Mohamed Ali by Erin Crouch photos are
by Adrian Fenty
13, 2007, Chicago, Illinois. A modern temptress steals a man
away from a traditional woman, who then finds a new man of her
own. Perhaps a necessity for a dance company composed of mostly
women, men seemed a hot commodity in the performance.
from " Hate the Game Not the Player" in Oakland,
California Photos by Liza Heider
day of dance by Bay Area's Award Winning Bellydancers Presented
by Shabnam and Mo on Saturday December 9th 2006
Bilezikjian Where Old World Charm Meets Musical Genius by
Elizabeth Artemis Mourat,
in the series- DANCING WITH LEGENDS…honoring the musicians
who shaped our dance world
Lynn Zalot and the Creation of the Habibi Magazine by
everyone knew of Bob Zalot, who came to so many performances sporting
his happy smile and booming laugh, many had no idea that his wife,
Lynn was the true guts, heart, and workings of Habibi.