One of the great dance films is Dr. Magda Saleh’s documentary, Egypt Dances. Dr. Saleh was Egypt’s first prima ballerina; she made the film in the 70s as part of her doctoral studies. It is splendid, a cross section of local dance all over Egypt. One of my favorite sections is when she interviews this shamadan dancer I cannot remember her name). Dr. Saleh said that she tried on the shamadan and her head couldn’t stay upright—the thing weighed a good 40 pounds.
This dancer told Dr. Saleh that back in the day, all the dancers were very large—so large that they could not dance standing up. Instead, they danced seated. And she gives a demonstration.
Yeah, it’s cool.
So how about dancing seated today? Sit in a comfy chair, put on some nice rolly music and kick back. See what happens.
Here’s some fun debke music for your seated boogie!
Egypt Dances is at the Lincoln Center Performing Arts Library. When you are in NYC, you can go there and watch it. It is worth the trip. And the rest of library isn’t half bad, either. They also have Bobby Farrah’s company performance, I think at Riverside church, and many more cool things. More about the film here: https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/30153e10-f879-0130-94b7-3c075448cc4b
And more about shamadan dancing here: https://www.casbahdance.org/raks-al-shemadan-candelabrum-dance/
And more about Dr. Saleh, who is pretty cool herself: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/13/arts/dance/egypt-ballet-magda-saleh.html
AND even more about our Fall Calendar…
We’ve got a few things going on this fall–
Wednesdays, Sept 19-Dec 5. 5:30-8:30 PM
Middle Eastern Dance and Culture, a 3-credit college class at Community College in Newport VT.
Info is here: https://andromeda.ccv.vsc.edu/Learn/Grid/SectionDetail.cfm?SEC_NAME=DAN-2210-VN01&grid=Fall.
Monthly Live Classes at Raq-On Dance Studio VT/NH
Monthly Streamed Classes via Zoom
Sept 23-Nov 3
Effortless Improv, a Six-week Online Improvisation Crash Course
A forum-based course with daily exercises and accountability. More at aliathabit.com/effortless
Premium Earlybird Pricing (until Sept 17): $158.73 (full price $186)
The Belly Dance Bundle Returns!
I’ll be making a class on Musicality for Belly Dance. More soon!
Vending Midnight at the Crossroads at Rakkasah East
Come see me dance, too–Sunday at 1:48pm
Nov 4-Dec 8
Glorious: A Five-Week Course about the Five-Part Routine
Each week we will: Highlight one part of the routine. Dance through an entire routine (different every time). Each class will be recorded. Each recording will be available for one week. There will also be a Q&A video/phone conference each week. Students will learn structure, moods, and technique, as well as practice improvising through the routine. Trust the Chef Premium Earlybird Pricing (until Sept 23): $69 (full price $99).
Special Super Early Deal: Buy both Effortless and Glorious for $219 (full price $249).