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Anahid Sofian….where should I start????? Anahid has been a HUGE INSPIRATION in my life. Not only is she an incredible dancer, but she is the symbol of perseverance and strength.

You guys might have seen the What’s Coming Up posts promoting Anahid’s 35th anniversary show, well, Crain’s NY Business wrote an article about it and about Anahid’s studio. They also shot an absolutely beautiful 4 min. documentary of Anahid. You can really get a sense of her passion and love for oriental dance. She never gives up and she makes things happen for herself. Take a look below and read the article here!

 

 

 

For this week’s belly beats playlist I  have chosen Rachid Halihal! I  love his mastery of Arabic music, from the fiddle to the oud to his vocals— he is just such an incredible, authentic musician! Please support this artist by purchasing his music from his website here or from the iTunes Store.

Rachid plays at Hayaty every Monday nights from 8-11 and on Wednesday nights at Horus on Ave A

Come out and support live music in NYC!

 

 

For this week’s belly beats playlist we’re shoutin’ out the musical genre and dance reggada (الركادة)

The roots of this music and dance originate with warriors. It’s a very old ancestral dance from the Rif mountain region of Northeastern Morocco. The people of the Rif mountains who were warriors were also called “aarfa” or “imedyazen”, and the dance reflects the nature of these brave people. They would bust out this dance as a sign of victory over their enemies. This is a Moroccan folk music/dance that has evolved tremendously and has been brought to a more public eye due to Moroccan diaspora in Europe. This genre is widely listened to and very popular in all of Morocco and France, not just limited to the Northeastern Rif region.

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So here’s the deal:

Nergis Mogol was only 3 years old when she first made a stage appearance— in 1926 (she was born in 1923). She traveled throughout Turkey, Iraq, Kuwait and Lebanon and gained international fame.

 

Why we <3 her:

There isn’t a ton of info that we could find on Nergis, but we really love how she was called not only a dancer, but an actress, as many of the belly dancers of the Golden Age were considered to be.read more

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Entelechy is the essence which completes matter, the soul or intelligent energy of living things.. Layla Isis and Mariyah co-founded Entelechy Dance NYC in 2012 based on a shared artistic frequency that aims to express the elements of spirit, humor, and myth through theatrical dance. Drawing inspiration from mystic traditions, nature, and explorations into the psyche, the heart of Entelechy Dance is a journey into authenticity, absurdity, archetypes, and the aether.

Click here to like the Entelechy Dance Facebook page

Click here to buy tickets

Click here for Facebook event page

Click here to peep an amazing demo reel from Entelechy’s last show!

 

So what’s crazy about this TBT  is that last week I posted about Soraya Melik.

While researching Fawzia ,I  read an article from the Ottawa Citizen, which you should all read because it’s really cool. The article is an interview with Fawzia (click here to read) and the author is describing his settings etc. He starts to talk about how a dancer performed as he and Fawzia were talking and then, as Fawzia went to change for her number, the dancer introduced herself, and guess who she was???? Soraya Melik. How awesome is that?

Anyway…. here’s the deal with Fawzia Amir.

Fawzia was born in Cairo, Egypt in 1930.  She began her career dancing for King Farouk of Egypt from 1945-1947. Her father was a film producer and her sister, Amira Amir, an actress. Fawzia came to the US when she was 17 and married a U.S. marine who had been stationed in Egypt.

While in the U.S. she performed in places like Las Vegas, opening for Eartha Kitt and others. Eventually, after her first marriage ended, Fawzia moved to Canada in 1957. She performed in the Latin Quarters and El Morocco in Montreal as headliner alongside dancers such as Ozel Turkbas and Samia Nasser. This led to her opening her own nightclub, The Sahara Club, with silent partner and manager Harry Ship. Fawzia was all about authenticity and she wanted her club to be comfortable for her Arabic patrons. The waitresses all wore harem costumes and those who weren’t Arabic looked as if they were. The club was finished in grey stone like the cellars of Cairo and she always had great authentic musicians like Lebanese oud player George Sawaya.

Fawzia had a couple run ins with the law. In 1960 she was charged with presenting an immoral dance. In 1961 she danced in a Montreal courtroom to prove her point that belly dancing was not inappropriate.The charges were dropped. The same year there was a brawl in her club and she was punched in the face. Needless to say none of that stopped Fawzia – talk about a tough girl.

In 1963 she was convicted on charges of staging an obscene dance at her club. She was fined $200 and ordered to be deported. Luckily the deportation part of the conviction was never carried out. Instead, the mayor at the time implemented an old zoning law that prohibited her club from selling liquor in order to shut her down and driver her out of town.

 

 

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