Monday, January 31, 2011

Winter Belly Dance Classes at NYU: Level 2

Level 2 dancers just started a new routine using the introductory music from the legendary composition for Oum Kalthoum, "Alf Leila wa Leila." This is an Egyptian classic, drawing from a time when Egyptian politics and music and artistic expression were deeply intertwined. L up: "Alf Leila wa Leila" and try to get the original recording.

Suggested reading:
Voice of Egypt: Umm Kulthum, Arabic Song, and Egyptian Society by Virginia Danielson and Selim Nassib's
I Loved You for Your Voice.

Winter Belly Dance Classes at NYU: Level 1

Welcome new students to belly dance....revious posts you might find useful are links to practice music and links to books and media and a few clips of dancers posted through the years including Fifi Abdo, and Turkish dancer Didem. There is an overwhelming amount of material out there! Also, check out Gilded Serpent for events and articles and Nourhan Sharif's dancewear. Also, I'm currently working on an article synthesizing recent academic treatments of belly dance and colonialism.

Keep dancing everyone...

Watching Egypt

This moment in Egyptian history is sobering and stunning. Speculations are useless, but in trying to stay informed of shifting elements and powers, the following resources have been most informative for me:
Democracy Now's Sharif Abdel Kouddous reports live from Cairo:

and also offers perspective from Egyptian novelist Nawaal El Sadaawi and on the US's role. Also the Angry News Service and the Nation have been worth reading. My friend M. Lynx Qualey has had her thorough and important site, Arab Literature(in English), suspended.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Reading: January 9, 5 p.m.: Family!

Reading Series: Family Stories
When: Sun, Jan. 9, 5pm – 7pm
Where: The Cell Theatre, 338 W 23rd St. (map)
Donation: $5 * (writers, see note below)

Whatever you say, they’re still family!

I'm taking part in Karen Heuler's reading series this Sunday! Please come out and hear stories about family (fiction, mind you...) written and read by Matthew Lansburgh, Amie Hartman, and me. Then we’ll have an open discussion with these writers, joined by host Karen Heuler, about using our families in writing—how much do we change? How unethical do we feel? How much do you want to reveal—and is anyone revealing it about you?

Reception to follow.

For writers, this new year of the Tandem Reading series opens with a switch—the price of admission is $5 or a story. And any story you hand in, literary or genre, will be considered for future readings. Again, the Cell Theatre is located at 338 West 23 St. (between 8 and 9 Ave.; take the 1, C, E to 23rd St; 212-989-7434. Donation: $5. Or a story.
(Pictures from a trip last spring with my parents to one of my mother's ancestral sites in Pennsylvania.)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Metamorphosis 2011

Best wishes to all throughout the coming year! I spent the evening assisting Butoh artist Maureen Fleming in her new "Dances from Home" production funded by LMCC. Her choreographies are experienced rather than simply watched, slowly evolving studies of they body's organic form. During the evening, I also read from "How to Be a Staircase," about assisting Maureen and Chris in previous shows. My last hour of 2010 ended with attendance at St. Bart's midnight organ concert and an impromptu commute home on the L train with big, buff Jacques, East Williamsburg's favorite personal trainer. There are so many reasons to love NYC! (Photo of Thalia by Aristo)