Sunday, November 20, 2011

Writers on Belly Dance: Simone De Beauvoir (1)

Photo from The Guardian
Yes! Simone De Beauvoir writes about dancing, belly dance specifically in her first novel, She Came to Stay I've had this book on my shelf for years; I picked it up first with Sarte's work, "The War Diaries." The bookseller at the Gotham Bookmart insisted I couldn't read one without the other, but I did until now. Set in Paris just before the Second World War, the novel is very much about the manner in which artists, in this case playwrights and writers, respond to impending war.

 This excerpt is from the second chapter and very much in theFrench Orientalist vein, but dance throughout this book represents freedom of the body and expression in a time when nothing else in life is certain:
 From Chapter 2 of Simone De Beauvoir's She Came to Stay:

"From the back of a Moorish cafe, seated on rough woolen cushions, Xaviere and Francoise were watching the Arab dancing girl.

 "I wish I could dance like that," said Xaviere. A light tremor passed over her shoulders and ran through her body.

 Francois smiled at her and was sorry that their day together was coming to an end. Xaviere had been delightful. "In the red-light district of Fez, Labrousse and I saw them dance naked," Francoise told her casually. "But that was a little too much like an anatomical demonstration."

"You've seen so many things," Xaviere said with a touch of bitterness.

 "So will you, one day."

 "I doubt it."

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Show: Aakriti and Misty at Lafayette Grill!

We had a great time on November 6 with solo performances by Aakriti and Rachel, both founding members of the new belly dance club at NYU!  The live music was provided by Scott Wilson and band, performing every Sunday at the Lafayette Grill.

Layla Tayeb who taught classes last summer also performed. Everyone was amazing and we had a great time!

Class Music: Level 1 Choreography at NYU

In our Level 1 class at NYU, we’re currently working on  a routine to Najwa Karam’s "Bkhaf Mnil'May (I'm Scared of Losing You)" from her CD Kibir Al Hob, an album that was popular in Lebanon in 2005 due to an innovative advertising campaign.  Najwa Karam is Lebanese and her albums often include the heavier drum accents and a few dabke or line dance tracks, characteristic to Lebanese music.  Other tracks we've use for warm up music is Ali Jihad Racy's "Land of the Blessed," Simon Shaheen's "Saarab," and Nancy Ajram, in a ddition to traditional tracks from an older album, called "Baladi Plus" from Hossam Ramsy.  Enjoy.....

Friday, November 4, 2011

Nov. 6 Lafayette Grill with Scott Wilson and Band

We're dancing this Sunday with Scott Wilson at the Lafayette Grill!  Come support new belly dance club founders Aakriti and Misty and last summer's teacher Leila Tayeb and me with music by Scott Wilson and his evolving group of musicians.  
November 6, 7-10 p.m.
54 Franklin Street (just off Lafayette)
$5 cover.  

We'd love to see you!