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Okay so I know this party was over a month ago, but  it was so much fun, I just had to write a bit about it.

First of all Anahid Sofian is a legend and if you’re ever in NYC you really need to take class with her! (Anahid’s info.)

She also happens to throw a great party. The incredible, dynamic, passionate (and a million other adjectives) Aszmara was the special guest artist and she literally blew my mind as usual. In addition there were several AMAZING dancers including Najma, Teodora, Uza Mitra, and  Zobeida (interview with Zobeida coming soon!).

Of course all of this was topped off with great live music. Nabil Bekkali played the keyboard and Richard Khuzami was on drums – he’s awesome by the way and a great teacher 🙂

Anahid ended the night with some Armenian line dancing which was great – just a fun night all around 🙂

Hopefully more fun events to come!

Enjoy your Friday!

xo

N

Sorry for the delayed #TBT/ #FBF post guys! The inspiration for today’s post was found in a Facebook group called 1970’s Belly Dance! Which is a great page that promotes discussion about the art form and provides images and inspiration of dancers from the past. Anywayyyy…

SO HERE’S THE DEAL:

Lys (sometimes Liz) and Lyn Jamal, also known as Leila and Lamia were from (Cairo?/Alexandria?), Egypt. They were billed as the “Jamal Twins,” which they were not lol, and sometimes, more accurately, as the “Jamal Sisters.” According to 1970’s BD, the sisters lived across the street from Nadia Gamal and her family (jealous!!!!). The sisters were featured dancers in several films in Egypt and India. They came to the U.S. in the 50’s and they became a  “major sensation on the American cabaret scene in the 1950s, and a significant influence on many American dancers of the era (notably Morocco and Dahlena)” (Occidental Dancer). They were also close with Ibrahim Farrah and danced in his show at Fazil’s Dance Center in NYC.

Interesting fact : according to Moroccothe twins who had each been married for a long time, were still accompanied by both parents to their gigs. Their parents would even sit and wait in their dressing room between shows.

WHY I <3 THEM:

See for yourself!

From the film Anisa Hanafi – Skip to 22:45!!!! 

 

“Brothers of the Baladi are the ‘real deal’ –– a fresh take on an ancient idea“ –The Beat Magazine

Unique is the perfect word to describe the grammy nominated band Brothers of the Baladi. Their style is one of a kind, “the quartet combines traditional acoustic Middle Eastern instruments and songs with western instrumentation, exotic rhythms with familiar grooves and vocals in seven languages (Arabic, Turkish, Farsi, French, Spanish, Armenian and English) to create a unique and highly rhythmic dance music.”

Brothers of the Baladi is headed up by the multi – talented and very cool Michael Beach, who in addition to providing the lead vocals, plays doumbek / Arabic tabla, mizmar, mijwiz, def, riq and davul. The band also includes talented musicians J. Michael Kearsey, Clark Salisbury, and Charles Pike. Michael credits composer/ conductor, David Amram and the Middle Eastern band Sirocco as some of his/the bands influences. Brothers of the Baladi has also had the chance to collaborate with artists like Moroccan born Tariq Banzi and drummer Michael Shrieve.

Learn more about the history of Brothers of the Baladi here.

LISTEN!!!!! BELLY BEATZ PLAYLIST: BROTHERS OF THE BALADI 

Brothers of the Baladi has been going strong for 30 years and dropped 11 albums!

I had such a hard time putting together this playlist because all the songs are so good!!!!

[spotify id=”spotify:user:1272124796:playlist:6xKLzCcfNghcoaD9d72OlB” width=”300″ height=”80″ /]

You can also buy their music here 🙂

And don’t miss Michael’s solo album – Hands of A Thousand Dances

[spotify id=”spotify:user:1272124796:playlist:2GUmcd6aXCn2TD7YuaLu5e” width=”300″ height=”80″ /]

 

read more

The very talented and lovely Kay Kizi’ah is hosting what is sure to be an amazing dance show next Tuesday in NYC.

Check it out below!

And remember guys if you want me to promote your events just email me at thebellyblog13@gmail.com or message me on twitter of Facebook orrrr leave a comment on this post!

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ATTENTION TRI-STATE BELLY DANCERS: It’s time for another of Anahid Sofian‘s amazing ateliers, Atelier Orientale – New Voices!

The legendary Anahid Sofian has put together a roster of amazing dancers to perform at her studio (29 west 15th street, 6th floor) on November 9th from 5 – 7 pm.

This show will shine a light on performers/choreographers that are really pushing the boundaries of Middle Eastern Dance. The performances will range from traditional to contemporary to experimental. Each piece will be an original work, full of depth and spirit.  It’s going to be very inspirational and who doesn’t need some #BELLYDANCESPIRATION???? 😀

Check out the featured performers!

Brenna Crowley/ Zilla Dance Ensemble

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4j0pyh-44Yc&list=UUHLImw4IjzpSw6csJdF3Axg&index=10]

Brenna is always full of energy and personality – she’s so much fun to watch!

Calixta Starr

here is a piece that Calixta was a part of 🙂


Kaitlin Hines/ Raqs Uncommon

 

The Kandake Dance Theatre for Social Change


Nisreen

 https://vimeo.com/87922014

I’ve gotten to see Nisreen dance a couple times and she’s great!

Tatianna Natalyja

btw Tatianna also reads Tarot cards – so cool!
Uza Mitra

Uza is just the coolest- check out TBB’s interview with her here!

Oh, and remember, Doors open at 4:30 pm and there will be a wine and cheese reception following the show – YUM! 

Updated Atelier Flyer-2

SO HERE’S THE DEAL:

Nesrin Topkapi is a famous Turkish dancer from the 70’s. She was born Nesrin Gökkaya in 1951.  She first danced on stage at age six and and at only 15 moved to England, where she lived and danced for 8 years. She moved back to Istanbul in 1974 and worked very elegant venues such as the Maksim Gazinosu, a casino in Istanbul. She toured Turkey for three years and had the opportunity to dance at many prestigious events. Nesrin continues to perform and teach  – so be on the look out! If you want to keep up with her, you can add her unofficial fan page as a friend on Facebook here.

WHY I <3 HER:

<3 how elegant and graceful she is

I <3 the way she uses her arms

<3 that there is so much personality in her dance and she really makes it her own. She adds her own little twist to each movement

<3 that she can dance in sky high heels

watch here and tell me what you think!

Well…I couldn’t find much info about this Golden Age beauty – but luckily there are tons of videos! So check them out below and let me know what you think!

Happy Almost Friday!

xoxo

TBB

LOVE this one!

very cool that she’s using zills!

 

*Please note these videos were not uploaded by The Belly Blog. They were found on Vimeo and uploaded by The Carovan! 🙂

“Nadia Gamal is the greatest cabaret oriental dancer in the Middle East…she expresses pure spirituality with her arm movements but then those hips begin to move and she pulls you right into the earth!” ~Ibrahim Farrah

This weeks #TBT post is inspired by my interview with Aszmara! When I asked Aszmara ” if you could meet any dancer from the past, who would it be and why?” Her answer was, Nadia Gamal, although she actually had met her before- lucky duck!

I know it’s super late, but I had to really go into detective mode to get some info on our girl Nadia. I even searched for old Arabesque articles on EBay and I found one! Hehehe….ANYWAY… here’s the deal with Nadia:

Nadia Gamal was born Maria Carydias in Alexandria, Egypt, 1937. Her mother was Italian and her father, Greek. Nadia first began dancing in her mother’s cabaret act which performed at the Casino Opera in Cairo (opened by Badia Masabni), she performed European folk dances. Being part of her mother’s act allowed Nadia to study many different types of dance; ballet,modern,jazz, tap and acrobatics. However, her passion was for oriental dance ( Nadia didn’t like to call it “belly dance”). At the age of 14, she got her big break. While on tour with her mom’s act in Lebanon, one of the oriental dancers in the group became ill, and after proving that she could fill the role, she was allowed to do so. And the rest is history! …but I’ll tell you more anyway :p

Nadia’s career took off and she was featured in numerous Egyptian and Indian films. In 1968, she was the first oriental dancer to perform at The Baalbeck Festival in Lebanon. It’s a festival that celebrates world music and dance – both classical and modern. It’s held in an ancient Roman acropolis, which is pretty cool. She also danced at the Cairo Opera House, for King Hussein, and the Shah of Iran. She toured the world – Asia, the Middle East, Europe, Latin and North America.

read more

 

 

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLjrrLz1h3299nfMwnSHatW0sb304ts7yd]

Shaabi music, meaning “music of the people,” came out of Cairo in the 1970’s. Artists that sang Shaabi were often the first of their families to live in the city. They brought with them their knowledge of Beledi music and added a more contemporary feel with lyrics that expressed their political frustrations, sexuality and social commentary.

For context, Shaabi came out at the same time as Rai in Algeria, Punk in the U.S. and Reggae in Jamaica. It also followed the passing of very influential classical musicians like Oum Kalthoum. It was the end of an era, and the beginning of a new one in Egypt and around the world. It was a time of revolution and music was a way to vocalize the feelings of the youth.

Shaabi was mainly distributed by CD and Cassette  – bootleg style. This way it was easy to self produce and promote and censorship by the Egyptian government could be avoided.

Some of the most famous Shaabi singers were Ahmed Adaweya, also known as the Godfather of Shaabi, Hakim, and Saad Al Soghayar. Ahmed was known for his emotional mawal, or vocal improv, at the beginning of his songs.

Read more about Shaabi here.

BUY “YALLA” – CLASSIC SHAABI CD!

LISTEN TO THE BELLY BEATS PLAYLIST:

 

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 😉