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Hey guys! So I finally got to post this week! yay!

Last week when I was updating the blogs color story I was using a book called “Living In Morocco” for inspiration. The images in the book are unreal – just completely stunning. If you don’t have it in your collection, I highly recommend you getting it here. At least with me, bellydancespiration extends beyond the dance itself and trickles into home decor, fashion etc. So I hope you enjoy and get some ideas! My personal favorites are the blue gilt sofa against the blue wall, the babooshes and the luxurious salon – but I don’t know… I love them all! Let me know what you think! ( I also snuck in an image from Vogue… couldn’t help it…)

Oh  – and to add to the mood…so you can imagine yourself sitting poolside, drink in hand, in a luxurious home in Morocco – listen to the playlist below.  The album in the playlist is all Moroccan belly dance and was introduced to me by Anahid Sofian – it’s sooo good!

xoxo

N

 

 

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iAELfyc22Ek]

What do you think of her music???

Asmahanآمال الأطرش‎, the famous Syrian/Egyptian singer, was born Nov. 25, 1912 (the year of her birth is debated). She was born in a time of political turmoil into a very politically active family, the al-Atrash clan. Her father was Fahd al-Atrash of Syrian Druze ancestry from Suwayda. Her mother was Alia Al-Mundhir of a Lebanese Druze family from Hasbaya (wondering who the Druze are? click here). Her father’s family was well known in Syria for it’s role in the resistance against the French mandate. Right before Asmahan was born, her family was in Turkey as her grandfather was a governor in Demirci. Due to danger, her family had to flee the country and took a ship from Izmir to Beirut. Asmahan was born on board and named Amal, meaning hope.

Her family’s new home town of Al-Qrayya, Syria, was bombed circa 1923 and Alia, Asmahan’s mother fled with  her children to Damascus, then to Beirut, and finally to Egypt, where she knew she was allowed to enter the country due to her husbands ties with the prime minister Saad Zaghloul. In Cairo Asmahan attended a French Catholic school that was paid for by a mysterious benefactor.read more

I love the look of body chains under a costume. Especially if they’re very delicate. It can be a really cool touch. I found these images on pinterest (follow me!) and thought you guys could take some inspiration from them! Three of the images are the work of jewelry designer Bliss Lau who I’ve been a fan of for years. Definitely check out her site. Get inspired and let me know what you think!

xoxo

TBB

The first time I saw Aszmara dance was at Je Bon in NYC. I had never seen a dancer like her before. She came out, super high energy, playing her zills so fast that my mind was blown. She completely owned the stage, and it’s so hard to describe, but she made watching her an experience. Nothing she did was expected, it was so incredible. With over 35 years of experience under her belt, Aszmara brings grace, strength, confidence, power and passion to the stage. If you haven’t seen her dance yet you’re definitely missing out!

Lucky for you, she has a workshop coming up in just a couple of days, so please check out the info here! 😀

Take class with Aszmara!

And now for the interview….

TBB: How did you get started in belly dance?

AS: It all started on a dare from a friend who had a free pass from General Foods for a 10 week Belly Dance class at the local White Plains YMCA. She asked if I wanted to come with her and when I declined she countered, “Are you afraid?” “Of course not!” I exclaimed!  So on that dare I went to class and immediately fell in love with the music.  Then I saw the movements and I fell head over heels.  Over 35 years later, I am still falling head over heels, learning more, experiencing more and sharing the love and joy of this most beautiful art form.

 

TBB: Who were your most influential teachers and why?

AS: There are so many influential teachers throughout my dance life. Elena Lentini has to be top of my list – throughout her career she has pushed the boundaries of typical Belly Dance to extraordinary areas of expression.  She constantly inspires by her looking at things in a different way and has inspired me to go beyond the typical trappings of Belly Dance.

There is the late Alan Danielson, a modern teacher of the Limon style, whose courage, technique, lyricism and musical expression are carried with me.  The lyric nature and odd time signatures of his teaching fit so well to the music and expressions I strived to convey; his technique has kept my body dancing strongly and safely.  Alan’s courage was shown when one year after his heart transplant he returned to teaching and performing in concerts. Sadly, we lost him this year but we had so many extra years because of his transplant.

Souren Baronian and Haig Manoukian.  These two musicians I toured with for so many years taught me more about music than a Doctorate Degree ever could!

And finally, Roberta Koch, my dance partner in SaZ Dance Theatre from 1900 – 2010.  Together, we created visions that used Oriental Dance movements as a base and expanded to so many new horizons.  She taught me to be braver than I thought I could ever be in dance.

read more

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!

 

 

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This morning I took a great yoga class. In the beginning of class the teacher spoke a bit about Patañjali, who compiled the yoga sutras around 400 CE. She specifically talked about sutra 2.1. This sutra states that the practice of yoga consists of three components. When she was telling us about them, I immediately thought they applied to bellydance as well.

1. tapas or austerity/discipline, dedication and studentship.

2. svadhyaya or self-study. Our teacher explained that this means being willing to see all the facets that make up you – all of your weakness, but also all of your assets for growth.

3.Ishvara pranidhana or surrender to pure awareness or a greater energy. It means being aware of a greater energy that is contributing to us and that we are contributing to. Conspiring to our awakening, as our teacher put it.

She said we awaken through these three paths, we become fully alive and engaged.

Inspiring right?

If you want to read more about it go here.

Xoxo

TBB

p.s. #FBF/#TBT post to come!!!!!

 

Yesterday I headed uptown to see my friend Shirae dance. She is part of a modern dance company directed by  Darnetha Lincoln M’Baye that works with Afro- contemporary styles. Shirae is an awesome dancer (which she proved to me last year when we went to a party and she got into a break dance battle lol), she’s been dancing since she was a kid, so I knew I was in for a good show. The group performed 3 different numbers, each with a different feeling. The choreography was beautiful, dynamic and captivating. As I was watching the dancers, I couldn’t help but think about how their sweeping arm movements, twists and spins, would translate into belly dance. I know a lot of belly dancers have a background in modern and ballet, but for those of us that don’t, it’s always cool to observe other forms of dance and get inspired!

xoxo

TBB

SO GO AHEAD – GET INSPIRED- WATCH CLIPS CHOREOGRAPHED BY DARNETHA !

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SO HERE’S THE DEAL:

Kitty was born in 1927 in Alexandria, Egypt to Greek parents. She was famous for her fusion of western and oriental style and she danced in almost 50 films! Unfortunately, that’s about all the info I could find on this vintage beauty.

WHY  I <3 HER:

Her positive playful energy and her smile 🙂 of course she has some killer moves too 😉