Photos from "Atelier Orientale"
Introduction by curator Anahid Sofian and photos by Lina Jang
posted September 14, 2011
I am very excited to present the new "Atelier Orientale" series at my studio. I have a wonderful space that sits unused for a great deal of the time, and there are many fellow dancers and choreographers who are as frustrated as I am for not having decent performing spaces in which to work. In addition, with the highly competitive dance scene in New York, very few opportunities are offered to Middle Eastern dancers by presenters.
With the Atelier, I hope to help fill this void. Artists are encouraged to present new works, whether traditional, contemporary or experimental, and can present solos or bring up to three troupe members with them. And our audiences will be exposed to professional-level, high quality work.
I kicked off the series by sending a letter of invitation to a number of my fellow dancers, who all responded with support and enthusiasm. The "inaugural" Atelier on June 19th included those dancers whose schedule was available. I already have a number of artists lined up for the next Atelier, tentatively scheduled for November 6th, 2011. In the future, the invitation will also be open to "new faces," who can submit proposals and samples of their work.
We had a capacity and very enthusiastic audience at the June 19 event. My deepest thanks to the dancers who presented exciting and varied works. Some were finished, some were works in progress being tried for the first time, some were charting new waters. We had dances that included Arab and Andalusian fusion music (Aszmara) Middle Eastern jazz (Azza Amon), contemporary Khaleeji (Nadia Maria Michaels), traditional Arabic ney taxsim (Jean Musacchio), original Modern Persian composition (Anahid Sofian), a dramatic Oriental Dance routine (Sira Melikian) and Manhattan Tribal’s unorthodox use of a Turkish 9/8 rhythm for the first time. I also showed a music video I had participated in in 1983, "Trail of the Sphinx," which was a bit of a trail blazer at the time. I plan to include rare videos and film whenever possible, and will also include musicians when funds allow.
The Atelier is a project of The Field, a non-profit organization that serves the arts community in New York. If anyone would like to make a donation, it can be done on their website. Just find my name in their Sponsored Artists list and follow instructions.
Nadia Maria Michaels in: Warini,
Aszmara in: Las Cuevas,
They also performed the ATS Meets Turkish 9/8 Project ,
Jean Musacchio in: Spirit at the Well,
Azza Amon in: Silk Tears,
Anahid Sofian in: One Who Plants a Tree,
Anahid Sofian as her cobra character in the music video, "Trail of the Sphinx," produced and directed by Mike Mannetta in 1983, with music by the fusion group, Port Said. This was produced at a time when music videos were first hitting the scene, and this was one of the first using a Middle Eastern theme. Anahid showed it at the Atelier event.
Azza Amon and Dancers in: Aicha, with her troupe, Kaitlin Hines, Nabila and Tammy Wise,
Sira Melikian in: Tarab: A Journey into Musical Ecstasy and Trance,
Final Company Bows
" Meet the Artists" reception after the performance.
Ready for more?
- 12-13-08 What is a Set List?
Finding what makes everyone happy is a little like having a dinner party with a person on a diet, a vegan, and meat & potato type guy. It takes planning, discussion and knowledge to put together a good show.
- 7-24-08 Professional Presence, Stories and Advice from 30 Years Under the Hip Belt and Counting…
The audiences’ first glimpse of you is as you arrive and how they see you affects their opinion of your show. First impressions count!
- 8-26-11 "Objects of Desire, Photos from Venus Uprisings April Performance
The 7th fantasy bellydance concert produced by the New York City artistic salon Venus Uprising took place at the Merce Cunningham Studio on April 15th and 16th, 2011. Invited dancers were asked to create new works based upon the theme "Objects of Desire". The performers responded with an interesting array of interpretations, ranging from the literal to the highly abstract.
- 7-16-10 Fusing Jazz with Middle Eastern, Souren’s "Taksim, It’s About Time" and Vince’s "Beginnings"
However, in all reality, now in this world when we fuse a Belly dance with everything as well as the kitchen sink (pots, spoons, mop handles, bowls, vases, trays) why not consider seriously performing to one or both of these Jazz fusion CDs played by some of the most respected Middle Eastern musicians in the field? If dancers perform already with fusion music, why not use music that is specifically fusion?
- 9-14-11 Dancer’s After-Life, Have You Prepared?
It would have been a true tragedy to lose these items that are rich in dance history and were priceless to Marliza.
- 9-11-11 Gig Bag Check #31 with Alina, Mher’s Daughter
Maria and Mher of Hollywood Music show us whats in Alina’s gig bag or diaper bag. Gig bag checks are a regular feature on GildedSerpent.com
- 9-9-11 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!
- 9-8-11 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.
- 9-7-11 "Are You a Hippie?" The Value of Internalizing Your Dance Music by Amina Goodyear
These songs are still the ones played and requested today. Arabic classics are here to stay!
- 9-6-11 Lauren of Arabia,The Americanization of Arab Dance in America by Karim Nagi
An intro and premise of a video of Karim’s lecture as presented to The Arab American National Museum "Diwan" Conference in Deerborn Michigan in March 2009.
- 9-2-11 Debunking the "Golden Era" of Bellydance, Part 2, Finding Your Gigs
Nevertheless, you don’t have to wait for someone else to hire you; you can hire yourself!
- 8-30-11 Tribal Fusion in Mexico, Its Phenomenal Growth by Martha Duran
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.
- 8-29-11 Debunking the "Golden Era" of Bellydance, Part 1
Just like today, dancers had to create the place, the time, and the excuse to show or “sell” our newly-found artistry or resign ourselves to dance in parks and on street-corners or in syncopated troupe dances forever. So much for creativity and self-expression…