Sunday, March 29, 2009

Dunya Teaches at NYU

NYU students will be treated to a class with one of my teachers, Dunya, on Tuesday, April 7, at Coles Gym. Many of you know how much her dance has informed mine through her honed belly dance technique, deeply mined exploration of Sufi dance meditation, and thoughtful delivery of all she imparts. She will teach at Coles Gym, April 7, at 3:30 p.m. for Level 2 students and Level 1 students at 4:30 p.m. (You must be registered in a D quarter class to attend). For more information on Dunya, visit her site:

Butoh with Maureen Fleming

This month I'm assisting Maureen Fleming and her husband Chris Oto on their show in Rhode Island. I began working with both artists in 2004 after being transformed by their show, "Decay of the Angel" at LaMama theater in New York City, my first exposure to Butoh. Butoh practice originates from Japan with influences from physics, martial arts, avant gard and political theater, and movement. Fleming's unique style draws on intense internal movements, breathing techniques, and flow of qi, to create sculptural sequences that flow through organic shapes including exploding flowers (ikebana), taloned trees, and postures from archaic (often female) sculpture. I am honored to be working with this creative team during the month of April. She is a fabulous teacher; please visit their site to read more about their performances and an intensive workshops:

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Belly Dance Class Update

Come dance into springwith energizing classes focusing on cardio and hips! New classes at NYU and CUNY are in session. Information on both follows.
New York University
Intermediate Level:
Tues./Thurs: 3:30-4:25 p.m.
Fri.: 1:30-3:25 p.m.
Beginning Level:
Tues./Thurs: 4:30-5:25 p.m.
Fri.: 3:30-4:25 p.m.
Register at Coles Gym, March 24-25. Click here for more information.
CUNY-Graduate Center
Continuing Education and Public Programs
34th Street @ Fifth Avenue
Level C (below street level)
Belly Dance for Body and Spirit
Level 1: 6-7:30 p.m.
Level 2: (with Ranya) 7:30-9 p.m.
$20 per session
These sessions run through June. Come while you can!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Performance: International Women's Day

Please join me and other singers, artists, and performers honoring the strength of all women. I'll be dancing with two special guests of my own: Eshe and Sofia!

Presented by the International Resource Center at the Flushing Library, the event takes place:
Saturday, March 21, 2 p.m.
Flushing Library
41-17 Main Street, Flushing.
Admission is free for all.
For information and directions:

Current Class Music

Many have asked about class music. Right now in beginning classes, we're using Saad's "Bell Arabi." (Saad is not Hakim!) Veil dancers are working with one of my favorite tracks, "Land of the Blessed" by Ali Jihad Racy. The Farid Al-Atrash piece is harder to find. There is a video of Saad in a previous blog post, which I shot in Cairo in 2007.

(Pictured: men, riverbank, radio. Egypt 2007)

Farid Al-Atrash and Samia Gamal

Composer/singer/actor Farid Al-Atrash and dancer Samia Gamal

Aswat - Celebrating the Golden Age of Arab Music & Cinema

The best classical musicians of the Arab world perform this Saturday at Town Hall to perform classic pieces from Arab cinema, including many of the standards we use in performances. Hear the works in their original form at this concert presented by World Music Institute. Contact me for a special student discount.

From the concert posting: Violin master Simon Shaheen, one of the Arab world’s most important artists, recreates the golden age of Arab song (1920s-1950s) with the works of such famed composers and singers as Mohammad Abdel Wahhab, Farid Al-Atrash, Wadi Al-Safi, Um Kulthum, Asmahan, and Fairouz. Under his direction, the Aswat Orchestra of renowned instrumentalists and special guest vocalists Ibrahim Azzam and Khalil Abonula of Palestine, Sonia M’barek of Tunisia, and Rima Khcheich of Lebanon provide an evening of classic melodies, exquisite vocals, and lush orchestral arrangements.

World Music Institute: 212-545-7536
Tickets $25, $35, $45, $75
WMI Friends $20, $30, $40, $70
Students $18

Gilded Serpent Review: Venus Uprising's "Tarot"

A review I wrote of last fall's New York City production by Venus Uprising is featured in The Gilded Serpent: Journal of Middle Eastern Music and Dance. Please read the review and attend Venus Uprising's future creative productions. Pictured above, Sarah Locke & Alchemy Dance Theater perform "The High Priestess" card. Below, Fayzah & The Aurea Dancers interpret "Death." In red, Sarah Skinner & The Sisters of Salome present "Lust."