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Akasha Troupe member, Moire in Ireland
Gilded Serpent presents...
Helm takes Rhythm Diatribes Workshops to Europe
Making New Musical Inroads in
France and Ireland
by Mark and
Ling Shien Bell

While in France, we made a quick trip to visit with Dimitri Dupont in the city of Nancy.  Dimitri teaches darbuka in one of the seven cultural centers that have been established throughout the city.  The Center was featured an art exhibit hall, an auditorium for concerts, and in rooms where a variety of music, dance, and art classes are taught. The city of Nancy is located in Lorraine; it is a university town, and at one time was under the rule of King Stanislas of Poland.

The Place Stanislas, in the center of town, with its newly re-gilded iron works, looks like a miniature Paris. 

Dee Cotter

Many festivals are held there especially in the summertime. Definitely, Nancy is worth visiting just for itself, a great city.

In Ballydehob, Ireland, we taught the first of our two Rhythm Diatribe Workshops hosted by the Akasha West Cork Bellydance CompanyDee Cotter, whom we met at the French Music Festival in St. Chartier, directs Akasha. Dee's dancing resume includes studies of Bharat Natyam dance in India and Tribal Dance with Marius Griffin in Cork, Ireland.

Marius previously lived and studied Tribal Dance with Teresa in Santa Cruz and moved to Ireland 15 years ago. 

Upon arriving in Ireland, Marius realized the only way she was going to have people with whom she might dance was to teach them. 

As her students progressed, several of them moved away and began teaching on their own, establishing a Belly dance community throughout Ireland.

The Helm Workshop was held at An Sanctoir, a beautiful yurt shaped community center that is constantly holding workshops and programs, and which has a separate kindergarten building for the children

Over 30 people of varying ages attended.  Most percussionists were playing djembes, so Mark had his workshop participants hold them horizontally, in darbuka fashion. 

Ling Shien taught a couple of songs for all to sing and also taught a choreography to the song "Amel" (that she wrote) and which is on "Itneen - Tribal Dance/ Tribal Dance."  She included cymbals patterns befitting the various rhythms of Amel.

The second Rhythm Diatribe Workshop was held in Cork, at the studio where Marius regularly teaches.  Some people were able to attend both workshops, so we taught a new song in the Turkish Kaba Roman rhythm. 

It was great to have such willing singers! 

Maria Cresswell, who, along with Devorah, will be hosting the workshops in Spain, came to Ireland and filled Ling Shien with Spanish dancing terminology for tribal steps.

Mark expects to have a lot of people bringing him beer as Cerveza represents the majority of his knowledge of Spanish. 

We leave shortly for Cork, hope to spend time in a pub where there are traditional Irish music sessions 6 nights a week.  If we are able to make the plane, our next episode will be coming to you from Spain!


Rhythm Diatribes 2005 Tour Report

  • Introduction
  • April 6-13, Ireland-
  • April 14-20, Spain-report received and will be posted soon!
  • April 20-23, France
  • April 23-24, Luxemborg


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