Monday, December 26, 2011

Ring in the New Year with Belly Dance!

Samora & Nicola
There are several places you can go this Saturday night to celebrate the New Year with some of metro Atlanta's most talented performers!

At Nicola's, you can party with Samora and Suzanne (and Nicola, of course) and enjoy a delicious Lebanese meal and a champagne toast.  Tickets are $50 at the door, but you can buy them in advance from Samora for just $35.  Dancing starts at 9:00.  Send Samora an e-mail for details!

Sinbad's Feast in John's Creek will feature the very fabulous Amani Jabril, along with a special Persian feast for just $30 per person.  Give them a call at 770-622-6409 to make reservations.

Fanoos Persian Cuisine in Sandy Springs is offering a buffet and entertainment from a Company Mezza dancer for $60 per person.  Reserve by Wednesday the 28th at 404-256-2099 and get a $10.00 discount!

At Taverna Plaka, enjoy belly dancers performing with fire and swords, social dancing with three DJs, Greek line dancing and more!  Regular menu 5-7, $45 per person menu (including a shot of ouzo) 7-9, and $60 per person menu (ouzo and another drink included) after 9:00.  If you pre-pay today, you'll get a discount!

As always, keep an eye on the Yalla Y'all Calendar page for all the upcoming events in 2012!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Workshop with Bellydance Superstar Moria Chappell March 10!

Moria Chappell
Big news!  First, did you know that the new Bellydance Superstars tour, "Club Bellydance," will be making a stop in Atlanta on Friday, March 9?  Sabah (famous for her ballet fusion), Lauren, Atlanta's own Moria, Stefanya, and Sabrina will be featured in this performance at Oglethorpe University's Lupton Auditorium.  With a smaller cast and smaller venues, the new show is designed to give the BDSS dancers an opportunity to try out new ideas and choreographies not possible in the full theater show.

And the big news is that in each city, performers from the local bellydance community will provide the first half of the show!  So far, we know that Awalim Dance Company will be sharing the stage with the superstars... other local performers will be announced.  Tickets are on sale now!

Along with the show, Ziah and Awalim will be sponsoring Moria Chappell in a "Fusion Fundamentals" workshop on Saturday, March 10 at Atlanta Fusion Belly Dance.  A former member of Awalim, Moria has gone on to become one of the leading lights of Tribal Fusion, and has been performing and touring worldwide since 2005.  Click here to learn more and to preregister!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

This Weekend's Events

Amoora Instructor Lacy Perry
Celebrate the holidays this weekend with two opportunities to mingle with your fellow dancers and watch some great performances!

Friday, December 16, Amoora Dance & Fitness in Alpharetta is hosting a Girls' Night to benefit Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.  For just $17 per person, enjoy dinner and free dance lessons, while supporting a great cause.  RSVP to the Facebook event for more info!

On Sunday, Chandani and Daughters of the Nile will present their holiday show at Imperial Fez in Buckhead.  Enjoy great performances (featuring special guests Jendayi Dance Company) and a three-course Moroccan meal -- all for just $20!  Check out the Facebook event for more details, and be sure to make reservations.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

2012 Workshop Preview

There will be some really exciting workshops in metro Atlanta next year!  Some very popular teachers will be returning, and we'll also have the chance to study with a few dancers who rarely make it to this area.  Mark your calendars and start saving your pennies!

January 14-15
Workshops with Alicia of BellyCraft

Brought to you by World Belly Dance Alliance.  Alicia was a huge hit here in 2009, and she's back with all-new material.  Alicia will be teaching three groups sessions and a special semi-private session called "Eye of the Storm."  There will also be a big show at Pera Saturday night!

February 23-26
TribalCon VIII:  "Foundations"

Zoe Jakes & Al Cofrin
Produced by Ziah and the Awalim Dance Company, the Southeast's premiere dance and music convention is back for its eighth year.  Dance teachers include Tamalyn Dallal, Zoe Jakes, Ariellah, Megha, and Ziah herself; music instructors will include Al Cofrin, August Hoerr, Dave Machek, Dennis Proteau, and Faisal Zedan.  In addition to the classes and lectures, there will be two shows (including a Friday night show with all live music) delicious dinner buffets, an amazing live music hafla, and fabulous shopping!


May 25-28
"The Dancer's Intensive" with Yasmine, Kitiera, and Amani
Our own Amani Jabril will be bringing two amazing performers and instructors for a weekend focused on the connections that allow us to create a performance.  Kitiera's sessions will be all about connecting with the body; Yasmine will focus on connecting with the rhythm, and Amani -- a master of stage presence -- will offer a session on connecting with the people.

June 22-25
ATS General Skills Certification & Teacher Training with Carolena Nericcio and Megha Gavin

Lacy Perry and Beledi Boutique are bringing the one and only Carolena all the way across the country for a series of master classes in American Tribal Style!  The General Skills and Teacher Training sessions are already sold out, but you can ask to be put on a waiting list in case anyone cancels.  If you are already a Teacher Training graduate, a Teacher Training 2 session is still available.  I am hoping for an awesome show to accompany these workshops!

Donna Mejia
July 14-15
"Crossroads & Origins" with Donna Mejia, Rena Orellana Rall, and Lee Ali

Ziah is at it again, bringing an all-new summer workshop intensive with three legendary teachers, focusing on the origins of fusion styles, including West African dance, Flamenco and its influence on ATS, and North African dance.  Details will be announced very soon!

September 15-16
"The Essence of Belly Dance" with Aziza of Montreal and Sera Solstice

Atlanta Fusion Belly Dance brings two legendary performers to Atlanta.  Stay tuned for more information!

My Favorite Christmas Poem

Feast Days: Christmas
Annie Dillard

Let me mention
one or two things about Christmas.
Of course, you've all heard
that the animals talk
at midnight:
a particular elk, for instance,
kneeling at night to drink,
leaning tall to pull leaves
with his soft lips,
says, alleluia.

That the soil and freshwater lakes
also rejoice,
as do products
such as sweaters
(nor are plastics excluded
from grace),
is less well known.
the reason
for some silly-looking fishes,
for the bizarre mating
of certain adult insects
or the sprouting, say,
in a snow tire
of a Rocky Mountain grass,
is that the universal
loves the particular,
that freedom loves to live
and live fleshed full,
intricate, and in detail.

God empties himself
into the earth like a cloud.
God takes the substance, contours
of a man, and keeps them,
dying, rising, walking
and still walking
wherever there is motion.

At night in the ocean
the sponges are secretly building.
Once, on the Musselshell,
I regenerated an arm!
Shake hands. When I stand
the blood runs up.

On what bright wind
did God walk down?
Swaying under the snow,
reeling minutely,
revels the star-moss,

© 1974, University of Missouri Press

Friday, December 2, 2011

Double Veil Workshop THIS Weekend at Atlanta Fusion Belly Dance

Mina of Dalloua Dance Company
THIS Saturday, December 10, from 2:00 to 4:00, learn the beautiful art of dancing at with two silk veils from Mina, a master of the craft!  Click here to pre-register.

Some lovely silk veils will be available for sale, if you're in the market for a new one!

My apologies for thinking this was last Saturday!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

New ATS Session with Jaki Starts December 1st

Beginning Thursday, December 1, Jaki of Jahara Phoenix will begin a new session of Level II and Level III American Tribal Style (ATS) classes at Dance Fusion Studios in beautiful downtown Lawrenceville. Continue to build your ATS skills with a FatChance-certified instructor known for her fun teaching style and creative approach to improvisational performances!

ATS Level II (intermediate):  7:00 - 8:00 p.m.
ATS Level III (advanced):  8:00 - 9:00 p.m.

Cost is $60 for six weeks.  Click here for more information.

Oracle's Farewell Performance with Jahara Phoenix at Messina's This Saturday Night

Don't miss your last chance to see Oracle perform with Jahara Phoenix this weekend at Messina's Mediterranean Cuisine!

In case you haven't heard, Oracle and her family are relocating to New York, where she will resume a career in digital animation.  She will be very much missed in the metro Atlanta belly dance community!

Special Saiidi Cane Session with Majda at Dance 101

Majda performs Raqs al Assaya at Nicola's Lebanese Restaurant, June 2011
Just announced -- a unique opportunity to learn the exciting art of Raqs al Assaya from a true master of the art!  

On December 5th and 12th, Majda Anwar will be teaching a special session at Dance 101 focused on the various ways in which a cane can be used to accent your belly dance performances.  These sessions will be appropriate for all skill levels, and can be taken together or separately.

Majda will dive into technique that includes the Egyptian folkloric martial art Tahtib, Reda-influenced combinations, and an exploration of the modern American Tribal Style moves (for example, the Reach & Sit) that are based on traditional cane work.

Monday, December 5th
7 pm Beginner Saiidi Cane Technique
8 pm Saidi Cane for Tribal Dancers -- The ATS Connection

Monday, December 12th
7 pm Beginner Saiidi Cane Technique
8 pm Sassy Saidi Combos and Drills

Dance 101 offers a variety of class card packages (sign up for their mailing list to get news about great class card specials that make classes as low as $11 each). The basic drop-in rate is $20.  Click here to learn more.

Check out Majda and Ziah in Awalim's cane choreography to the classic song "Shaskin!"

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

"The Best of Bellydance 2011" Competition at Pera Dance

On January 7 (please note the change from the original date of December 10), Pera Dance will play host to a rare treat in the metro Atlanta belly dance community: a belly dance competition!  I personally can't think of a similar event in recent memory.  There will be a grand prize of $200, plus gifts for the runners-up.  Doors open at 6:30, and the show starts at 7:00.

Performers of all belly dance styles and skill levels are welcome -- men as well as women.  In addition to their skills and ability, contestants will be judged on their costume choice and, importantly, cultural representation -- the dancer's ability to convey to the audience what genre he or she represents.  For fusion performances, the performer will be evaluated on how clearly the styles being fused are represented. So performers will need to be sure they do their homework!
Click here for more information and to pre-register.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Belly Dancer of Color Benefit Show This Sunday!

Post-show update:  Company Mezza raised over $400 for the Atlanta Community Food Bank!

This Sunday, 11/20 at the Red Light Cafe, Company Mezza presents a Belly Dancer of Color show, featuring the best in African-American, Hispanic, and Asian belly dancers. Come and celebrate the beautiful diversity of the belly dance community, while supporting the Atlanta Community Food Bank!

The show starts at 7:30 p.m. at the Red Light Cafe, 553 Amsterdam Avenue. You know you need to be there early to score a good seat! Admission is just $12 per person. Doors open at 6:30.  Red Light has a full bar and snacks available.

For more info, e-mail or contact Diane Adams at 404-272-0930.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

ATS in the ATL... ITP!

If you understand the title of this post, you are exactly the kind of person who needs to know about the new ATS session with Ziah of Awalim in Oakhurst on Wednesday nights, beginning November 30th!

With Teejei now living in Knoxville, there's been a gap in the availability of American Tribal Style instruction inside the Perimeter (aka ITP).  Ziah will be testing the waters with a three-week mini-session on Wednesday nights at Barefoot n Motion Dance Academy in Oakhurst.  If the response is good enough, ATS classes will continue on Wednesday nights, and students will have opportunities to perform!

Ziah will offer two classes each Wednesday during this three-week intensive:
7:30-8:30pm  Improvisational Choreography/ATS Foundations
8:30-9:30pm  Improvisational Choreography/ATS Working in Groups (for dancers with more ATS experience... though adventurous beginners will want to give it a try, since group formations are a critical part of the dance form)

Click here to learn more and pre-register for this special three-week ATS intensive!

Check out this video of a beautiful ATS duet featuring Ziah and Majda of Awalim, showcasing a lot of the beautiful slow moves... and if you're new to ATS, keep in mind that this is 100% improvised!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

New Classes with Lacy Perry at Amoora

Lacy Perry continues to introduce new students to belly dance technique and share choreographies with more advanced students at Amoora Dance & Fitness.

Starting this Monday (Note: NOT Wednesday as previously reported), November 14, Lacy will be offering a new weekly beginner belly dance technique class at 6:00 p.m.  Drop-ins are welcome anytime for just $10 per class!

Beginning Wednesday, November 16 at 8:00 p.m., Lacy will be teaching a Tribal fusion choreography, inspired by Kami Liddle, to a fun song by Balkan Beat Box.  This six-week session is $60 in advance or $65 at the door.  Click here for more info!

Amoora Dance & Fitness
214 South Main Street, Alpharetta, GA 30009

Saturday, November 5, 2011

November Happenings

Edmund Dulac
This month is shaping up to be a pretty busy and exciting one in the metro Atlanta belly dance community!  Here's a quick look at the events coming up in November.  Get on out and support our art form (as well as some worthwhile organizations)!

Tonight, November 5, catch Oracle and CA of Jahara Phoenix at Messina's Mediterranean Cuisine.

Saturday, November 12, the one and only Madame Onca of the Mezmer Society will be in town for the Mechanical Masquerade, a Steampunk event now in its second year.  Prior to the big party Saturday night, Onca will be teaching two workshops:  a tahtib class called "Raqs Vaudevillia: Love the Big Stick" at 2:00, and an introduction to Tarot reading (yes, the woman has many skills) at 3:30.

Saturday night, the Tuareg band Tinariwen -- familiar to many Tribal dancers -- will be playing at the Variety Playhouse in Little Five Points.  Click here to purchase tickets!

Sunday, November 13, there's a newly-announced workshop from 12:30 to 2:30 at Pera Dance called "Najm al Cairo," featuring Aleya.  Aleya has been living and working in Cairo for the past three, and even if you don't attend the workshop, she has a pretty interesting blog detailing her experiences there.

Sunday evening at 7:00, don't miss the big Atlanta Fusion Belly Dance show at Nicola's, "Rak the Casbah."  Get your advance tickets here.

Friday, November 18, there's a show in Athens called "Dance for Love," a benefit for the United Way of North Georgia.  The show is part of the grand opening festivities for a new art gallery and "total enrichment center" called Whole: Mind. Body. Art.  Visit the Facebook event for more details. 

Sunday, November 20, there's a must-see event at the Red Light Cafe -- also a benefit.  Presented by Diane Adams and Company Mezza, the Belly Dancer of Color show will feature some of the best local African-American, Hispanic, and Asian dancers.  Proceeds will benefit the Atlanta Community Food Bank.  RSVP to the Facebook event for more info.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Metro Atlanta Belly Dance Headlines

Zoe Jakes
I've had a busy couple of weeks, so I've been focusing on keeping the calendar up to date, but haven't had much time for posts.  Here are some of the more exciting things going on in the community right now...
  • Amani Jabril is in Lebanon, teaching and performing in the Amani Oriental Festival in Beirut.  Though the festival is named for the Lebanese dancer Amani, we know our Amani will raq their socks off over there!
  • This weekend, Beats Antique will be playing in Athens as part of the Wild Rumpus Halloween Bash at the Georgia Theater.  In the workshop I took with Zoe a few weeks ago, she said she's really excited about this show because "It's a giant Halloween party!"  There's also a Wild Rumpus street party and parade... obviously, lots of fun to be had in Athens this Saturday night!
  • New classes are popping up all over, including several "Belly Dance Cardio" classes (do I sense a trend?).  You can focus on fitness while working on your shimmies with Kumari on Sundays at 1:00 p.m. at Dance 101, with Oracle at LA Fitness and other locations (see the Jahara Phoenix site for details), and with Lacy Perry or Isis at Amoora Dance & Fitness.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

New Classes with Majda at Dance 101

In case you haven't heard, the one and only Majda Anwar of Awalim is now teaching at Dance 101Teejei paved the way for tribal belly dance at this studio, and Majda has taken the reins with two classes every Monday night.  Majda has been teaching at Georgia Tech for several years, but now everyone can have the privilege of studying with one of metro Atlanta's true "raqs stars!"

At 7:00, it's Discover Belly Dance.  Dance 101's structure includes a variety of "Discover," or beginner classes.  Majda's contribution will introduce students to the fundamentals of the form.  Then at 8:00, more experiences students can experience Majda's new "Killer Drills" class.  This class includes conditioning, then a series of traveling drills with layered movement, plus finger cymbals in various rhythms.  Majda's goal is to challenge dancers to discover new things about how their bodies work and devote attention to the muscularity and body mechanics that make movement more efficient and allow for easier layering.  Students are encouraged to work at their own pace and modify the movements as needed, while also stretching their capabilities. 

If you want to take your dance to the next level, come and check out Majda's new classes!  Dance 101 is an beautiful, all-adult studio located in Loehmann's Plaza at Briarcliff and North Druid Hills.  They offer a variety of very reasonable payment options.  Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

"Najm al Raks" is Almost Here

Nath Keo
A week from Friday (or as they say in the South, Friday-week), Najm al Raks, a weekend of workshops and shows produced by Black Orchid Danse, will be underway! 

The truly amazing Cambodian-Canadian Nath Keo and Brazil's Hayat el Helwa will be teaching and performing. 

Don't miss your chance to experience these talented folks!  RSVP to the Facebook event for more info.

Monday, October 3, 2011

How to Be a Good Belly Dance Student

I've been a student of belly dance for seven and a half years, with at least half a dozen teachers.  I've been very closely tied to several of them.  I've been in a student troupe, I've switched styles and felt like I was starting from scratch, and I've "broken up" with teachers.  So if you're a beginning or casual student, here's what I've learned about being a good student and getting the most of out the investment you make in classes.
  • Don't be afraid to talk and ask questions.  If you've been in classes with me, you know that I probably do this to a fault.  But here are a few reasons to speak up in class (though not to the point of being disruptive, of course -- you will quickly get a read from your teacher on how much she likes to chat):  first, there is knowledge to be gained by the whole class that your teachers may only share in response to questions.  If you ask for something to be broken down in more detail or more slowly, chances are very good that someone else in the class was hoping someone would ask.  Second -- especially when it comes to music, culture, and history -- if you test out your knowledge with a question you will sometimes find out that you're wrong, but at least you'll learn.  Finally, in case you haven't noticed yet, belly dancers are often very bright and witty, and you can get into the most hilarious, entertaining conversations you've ever had in a belly dance class or troupe practice session.  But again... try not to be disruptive. Be respectful.
  • Support your teacher.  Be loyal to her (or him).  If you believe in what she's doing (and if you don't why are you in her class?), help her build her business.  Being a professional dancer and teacher is hard, especially with the economy in its current state.  If your teacher asks for someone to hand out flyers, work the door at a show, share an event on Facebook, sell raffle tickets -- whatever -- you should help.  You will grow closer to your teacher, learn more about the business of belly dance, and help keep the very classes you are attending continuing and, with any luck, growing.
  • Go out and see belly dancers performing.  I can't stress the importance of this to beginner students enough.  I'll never forget the first time I went to Nicola's, after I'd only been a student for a few months.  As soon as one of my teachers came out to perform, everything clicked -- this was what I was learning to do!  There is a healthy belly dance scene in Atlanta, whether you buy tickets for a show or just go out to Nicola's, Taverna Plaka, Messina's, Fanoos, Cafe Istanbul, or one of the many other local venues where dancers perform.   I highly recommend Nicola's on the weekends; it's a casual, friendly atmosphere, the food is tasty and inexpensive, and you get to watch Nicola dance as well!  Another reason to go out is to get a taste of the cultures that are the origins of belly dance.  After 11:00 p.m. at Plaka, you'll be dancing on the tables to the latest Arab pop hits, and after a few hours you may get to see some traditional Greek dancing on the napkin-covered floor.  At Cafe Istanbul, you can join the Turkish waiters in a traditional line dance around the floor.  And of course you'll learn to Debke at Nicola's... if you're lucky, there will be a cute Lebanese guy at the head of the line, twirling a napkin!
  • If you get the chance to perform with the student troupe, do it.  I was in an invitation-based student troupe for several years, and it was hard work, but very rewarding.  Participating in a more casual student troupe is a wonderful way to have the experience of performing, in a fairly low-pressure environment.  You will get closer to your fellow students and can make strong friendships.  You'll learn about costuming, makeup, and how to behave professionally and represent the art form.  You'll get extra volunteer instruction time from your teacher, who is most likely taking some of her own free time to help with rehearsals (and don't forget to thank her for that!).  And best of all, you get to perform in front of an audience -- which is not only a skill in itself, but also pretty much the point of the whole art form, right?
I could go on... but some things are obvious.  Practice.  Watch videos.  Go to workshops.  Explore music.  Try other teachers.  Above all, learn about the culture and the art form you are representing.  Belly dance is so rich and full of things to learn, I can't imagine not being a student -- in one way or another -- for the rest of my life.

New Class Session -- ATS Level 1 with Jaki Hawthorne!

Join Jaki of Jahara Phoenix on Thursdays at 7:00 for a new six-week session of American Tribal Style belly dance Level 1 classes!  Beginning this Thursday, October 6th at Dance Fusion Studios in Lawrenceville, Jaki will be breaking down the basics of this challenging and rewarding style of group improvisational dance.  Jaki is one of only a few FatChance sister studios in metro Atlanta.

Jaki, Oracle and CA of Jahara Phoenix
Jaki needs a minimum of five confirmed students to get this class underway.  You can RSVP to the Facebook event or contact the studio directly to confirm your attendanceAmerican Tribal Style (ATS)

7 PM - ATS Level I - Basics ** NEW CLASS **
8 PM - ATS Level III - Advanced (ongoing)
Classes are $60 for 6 weeks

Dance Fusion Studios
116 E. Crogan Street
Lawrenceville, GA 30046

Friday, September 30, 2011

Amoora Dance & Fitness Grand Opening Tonight!

Lacy Perry
Stop by the all-new Amoora Dance & Fitness in Alpharetta tonight for an open house with something for everyone!  Enjoy a tea and dessert buffet, and sample free classes from Amoora's instructors...

Egyptian belly dance technique with SusuHeavy Hips cardio with Isis
Tribal belly dance with Lacy
Bollywood with Farah

And there's more than belly dance...
Yoga with Neeraja
Zumba with Thea
Kickboxing with Mindy

Amoora is located at 214 South Main Street in Alpharetta.  So far they don't have a web site, but they do have a Facebook page... check it out for class schedules and descriptions.  Stop by tonight, meet the instructors, and hear about Susu's plans for the studio.  RSVP to the Facebook event for more details!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Poetry Wednesday

Gustav Klimt,
"Mother and Child" (Detail)
sand castles
Gypsee Yo

My happiness is a sore arm where my daughter’s head rests easy
I’m her favorite pillow and blanket too
They say that every desert was once an ocean that someone forgot to love
So I will rock you like a storm, girl
I will toss wishes down into the wells of your eyes
I will rain stars over your soul
For 40 days and 40 nights to drown the wickedness of doubt
so that your dreams may never run dry

For there are little girls in this world who walk alone
Their lives so tiny, almost invisible
Like grains of sand trapped inside the hourglass of time
And no matter how hard they try to climb
They always end up at the bottom

Others are swept from dirty streets by evil hands
Under the promise of a golden beach
Just to end up thrashed in the dark
Stripped of their pearls
Torn limb by limb
With souls hollow like the seashells washed ashore
And if you place them next to your ear
They say nothing

And some are struck by lightning so many times
That they coagulate into glass
So translucent at first glance
Seemingly perfect and strong
But all it takes is just one scream in the right pitch
And they are cracked open, shattered, and gone

They say that every desert was once an ocean that someone forgot to love
But there is so much sand in this world, girl
And so much dirt in this world, girl
And, oh, so much beautiful glass…

So when it is time for you to walk
Throw me on your shoulders like a blanket
Pull the threads of these lullabies and stitch with them wings
Make a boat with my limbs
And float above the malice and sadness of this world
My arms will be your lighthouse
You can always call me home
Learn how to swim against the current
Sail safely to your shore
Up up
Climb climb
Learn to make castles with the sand
And if you see a little girl
Walking alone on the sidewalk
Run and hold her hand

Gypsee Yo, a native of Albania, is an award-winning Atlanta-based slam poet, performance artist, actress and costumer.  Poem reprinted with no one's permission.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Get Your Fix of Flamenco, Belly Dance, and More at Fanoos Persian Cuisine and Events

Rina Menosky of Aire Flamenco
Under the guidance of the one-and-only Diane Adams, Fanoos Persian Cuisine and Events in Sandy Springs is offering lots of entertainment options for those of us who enjoy world dance and music!  Located at 6125 Roswell Road, Fanoos is a great place to get some delicious Persian food, tea, and comfortable seating while enjoying music and dance.

For starters, there's belly dancing by a variety of talented local performers every Friday and Saturday from 8:00 to 11:00.  But you can also enjoy flamenco by several local troupes.  Dancers from Calo Gitano Flamenco Academy perform on the first Sunday of every month.  And beginning on October 7th, enjoy Aire Flamenco on the third Wednesday of every month.  Aire Flamenco is accompanied by Jean Pierre Verbist; if you attended either of the shows during the Suhaila workshops a few weeks ago, you heard him play some amazing guitar with drummer Danny Stern!

Fanoos also offers live music.  On Thursday, October 6th, jazz pianist William Green performs.  And on Sunday, October 9th, enjoy Latin music with Ecuador's Willie Ziavino.

Reservations are strongly suggested!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Local Troupes Performing Outdoors This Weekend!

This weekend, two local troupes will be bringing belly dance to their local communities with performances at outdoor events.

Jahara Phoenix
Saturday at 11:00, Halleyah's Conyers-based student troupe will perform at the annual Rockdale Master Gardeners Festival in Conyers.

Sunday at 1:30, Jahara Phoenix and Sherar will bring belly dance to Gwinnett County at the Duluth Fall Festival.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Open Stage Night at Pera Dance -- This Saturday 9/24

Kira Lang
Kira's Open Stage Night has a new home -- Pera Dance on Collier Road -- and the inaugural event at Pera will take place this Saturday night.  Open Stage Night is like open mic night, but for dancers.  So if you're looking for performance opportunities, this could be just the thing!  Entry fee is just $7.00, and doors open at 6:30.

This weekend's event is special -- it's called "Raqs Runway," and it's sponsored by Pera Dance Studio and  The evening will kick off with a fashion show featuring the latest from  Kira Lang of the Cross-Cultural Dance Company will perform, and Aya of Istanbul will not only perform, but also provide a taste of her new Saturday class at Pera with  a mini-workshop in Turkish Rom belly dance!  Plus all the open stage performers, of course.   Wine and cheese will be available, but bring snacks of your own if you wish.

RSVP to the Facebook event, or visit Kira's web site for more details!

Poetry Wednesday

Billy Collins

Remember the 1340s? We were doing a dance called the Catapult.
You always wore brown, the color craze of the decade,
and I was draped in one of those capes that were popular,
the ones with unicorns and pomegranates in needlework.
Everyone would pause for beer and onions in the afternoon,
and at night we would play a game called “Find the Cow.”
Everything was hand-lettered then, not like today.

Where has the summer of 1572 gone? Brocade and sonnet
marathons were the rage. We used to dress up in the flags
of rival baronies and conquer one another in cold rooms of stone.
Out on the dance floor we were all doing the Struggle
while your sister practiced the Daphne all alone in her room.
We borrowed the jargon of farriers for our slang.
These days language seems transparent, a badly broken code.

The 1790s will never come again. Childhood was big.
People would take walks to the very tops of hills
and write down what they saw in their journals without speaking.
Our collars were high and our hats were extremely soft.
We would surprise each other with alphabets made of twigs.
It was a wonderful time to be alive, or even dead.

I am very fond of the period between 1815 and 1821.
Europe trembled while we sat still for our portraits.
And I would love to return to 1901 if only for a moment,
time enough to wind up a music box and do a few dance steps,
or shoot me back to 1922 or 1941, or at least let me
recapture the serenity of last month when we picked
berries and glided through afternoons in a canoe.

Even this morning would be an improvement over the present.
I was in the garden then, surrounded by the hum of bees
and the Latin names of flowers, watching the early light
flash off the slanted windows of the greenhouse
and silver the limbs on the rows of dark hemlocks.

As usual, I was thinking about the moments of the past,
letting my memory rush over them like water
rushing over the stones on the bottom of a stream.
I was even thinking a little about the future, that place
where people are doing a dance we cannot imagine,
a dance whose name we can only guess.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Poetry Wednesday

Poem (the spirit likes to dress up)
Leonard Nimoy, from "Shekhina"
Mary Oliver

The spirit
  likes to dress up like this:
   ten fingers,
   ten toes,

shoulders, and all the rest
  at night
   in the black branches,
     in the morning

in the blue branches
  of the world.
   It could float, of course,
     but would rather

plumb rough matter.
  Airy and shapeless thing,
   it needs
     the metaphor of the body,

lime and appetite,
  the oceanic fluids;
   it needs the body's world,

and imagination
  and the dark hug of time,
     and tangibility,

to be understood,
  to be more than pure light
   that burns
     where no one is --

so it enters us --
  in the morning
   shines from brute comfort
     like a stitch of lightning;

and at night
  lights up the deep and wondrous
   drownings of the body
     like a star.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Suhaila is Coming, Ready or Not!

If there's one name that transcends all styles of bellydance as an authority on form, language, and the fine details of internalizing dance movements, it's Suhaila Salimpour.  Nearly ever dancer, once he or she reaches a certain level, will run across Suhaila's terminology and technique in a class or a workshop.  And in the Tribal world, Suhaila is pretty much belly dance royalty.

Now Suhaila is coming to Atlanta!  This coming weekend, Atlanta Fusion Belly Dance is sponsoring two days of workshops accompanied by two big evening events.  Friday night, the weekend kicks off with a "Cabaret Meets Tribal Fusion Extravaganza," featuring a fashion show, performances by top talent, live music, and a welcome hafla.  Saturday night's Gala Show will feature Suhaila, AFBD's Rafi'ah Dance Company, and many more performers from metro Atlanta and beyond.  Even if you can't make the workshops, I'd strongly recommend checking out this show!

Suhaila will be teaching four workshops, and I am personally looking forward to packing my brain and body with new information.  I do expect the workshops to be challenging and strenuous; with my fitness and endurance levels not being that great at the moment, I plan to pace myself; if I need to take a break, I'll learn by watching.  And I'll definitely do some "window-shopping" with the great vendors who will be offering their wares during breaks!

Registration for the workshops is still open, and of course you can buy advance tickets to the Friday and Saturday night shows.  Just click here for purchase links as well as more details about the weekend!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

On a personal note...

It's been fun (and challenging) meeting my blog's original promise of keeping the metro Atlanta belly dance community informed about all the events coming up in the area and breaking down barriers among the various local "gangs."  I'd still like to see the blog have a life beyond Facebook, but it's all good.  I'd also love to see more people proactively sending me items to post, but that's been picking up as well.  Meanwhile, I'm continuing to comb the events I see on Facebook and on the web sites of various local instructors, performers, troupes, and show producers (when they're kept up to date, hint hint) and capturing everything on the calendar.  Blogging is surprisingly time-consuming, but the feedback I've gotten from many members of the community has been really rewarding.

I'd like to start adding more personal content to make the blog more than just an event listing resource. I'm not in a position to review shows (though of course I have opinions).  There are other writers out there (particularly Dahne of Belly Dance Examiner) publishing interviews with local teachers and performers.  But I think I may share more about my personal journey.  I think each of us has an interesting and unique story of how we got involved in this art form, what we enjoy about it, what we find frustrating, and above all what keeps us interested and motivated.  If there's anything I've learned, one's own belly dance journey is likely to be marked by constant change and evolution.  New teachers will always be coming along to build on, enrich, and sometimes correct things you've already learned.  We're always discovering new performers to watch and admire (I know most of us are familiar with the term "my new girl crush").   Changes in our lives outside of dance interact in interesting ways with our dance lives.  I'd like to start sharing more of my personal journey, and I hope I'll find even more connections with others in the community who have shared some of the same experiences!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Learn Turkish Rom Style with Aya of Istanbul

Starting this Saturday, September 10, Aya of Istanbul will be teaching a new class at Pera Dance.  From 12:00-1:00 p.m. every Saturday, Aya will share the basics of Turkish Rom-style belly dance.  This style is earthy, flirty, energetic, and steeped in tradition -- and this is your only chance to learn it from a dancer who grew up in Istanbul, Turkey, surrounded by Roma culture and dance! 

Whether you want to put together a Romani-influenced choreography, learn new social dancing options, or spice up your Turkish Orientale performances with some "Gypsy"-style moves, Aya's new class will enrich your dance practice.  And Aya will explain what all those gestures really do -- and don't -- mean!  So come to Pera on Saturdays and throw your belly with Aya.  Contact Aya or Pera Dance for the latest deals on class cards!

Sema Yildiz, legendary Turkish dancer (and a teacher and friend of Aya's) performs an impromptu Turkish Rom duet with Ozgen, another well-known Turkish performer.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

An Embarrassment of Riches this Weekend!

SO much going on in metro Atlanta this weekend for belly dance enthusiasts and like-minded people!  Here's a quick rundown, in case you've somehow been out of touch...

Mahmoud Reda Workshop & Shows in Roswell
Majda Anwar in the 2010 Dragon*Con Parade
Yes, the legend is back in town!  Saturday night's show is going to be amazing... wish I could be there!

Dragon*Con in downtown Atlanta
Many members of Atlanta's belly dance scene (especially Tribal dancers, it seems) are also pretty geeky... it's one of my favorite things about the community!  There will be lots of dancers at this annual convention, especially at the Silk Road track and the late-night drum circles.  Come down and watch the parade Saturday morning!

"Chasing the Sun" Movement & Play Arts Showcase in Athens
Performances Friday and Saturday nights with belly dance, aerial dance, fire props, live drumming... all the things we seem to be loving these days!

Middle Eastern Drum Circle at Floorspace Studio in Athens
A new way to dance and have fun in the very cool Athens warehouse district!  Saturday at 12:15.

Everyone have a fun weekend!

Monday, August 29, 2011

New Studio Opening in Alpharetta

Exciting news!  There's a new studio in the northern suburbs, Amoora Dance & Fitness.  Operated by Susu Ali (who has been teaching at Pera Dance), Amoora offers classes in yoga, Pilates, Zumba, kickboxing, and Bollywood dance -- in addition to belly dance, of course!

Amoora is located at 214 South Main Street in Alpharetta.  So far they don't have a web site, but they do have a Facebook page... check it out!  There's an open house scheduled for this Saturday, September 3 -- if you're not going to Dragon*Con or the Mahmoud Reda workshop, you might want to stop by and hear about Susu's plans for the studio!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Poetry Wednesday

The section of this poem that begins with "At the still point of the turning world..." (in part II) is often quoted as a "dance poem."  It's lovely, but I think the whole poem is worth reading, so here it is.

Ruth St. Denis
Burnt Norton
(No. 1 of 'Four Quartets')

T.S. Eliot

Time present and time past
Are both perhaps present in time future,
And time future contained in time past.
If all time is eternally present
All time is unredeemable.
What might have been is an abstraction
Remaining a perpetual possibility
Only in a world of speculation.
What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present.
Footfalls echo in the memory
Down the passage which we did not take
Towards the door we never opened
Into the rose-garden. My words echo
Thus, in your mind.
                              But to what purpose
Disturbing the dust on a bowl of rose-leaves
I do not know.
                        Other echoes
Inhabit the garden. Shall we follow?
Quick, said the bird, find them, find them,
Round the corner. Through the first gate,
Into our first world, shall we follow
The deception of the thrush? Into our first world.
There they were, dignified, invisible,
Moving without pressure, over the dead leaves,
In the autumn heat, through the vibrant air,
And the bird called, in response to
The unheard music hidden in the shrubbery,
And the unseen eyebeam crossed, for the roses
Had the look of flowers that are looked at.
There they were as our guests, accepted and accepting.
So we moved, and they, in a formal pattern,
Along the empty alley, into the box circle,
To look down into the drained pool.
Dry the pool, dry concrete, brown edged,
And the pool was filled with water out of sunlight,
And the lotos rose, quietly, quietly,
The surface glittered out of heart of light,
And they were behind us, reflected in the pool.
Then a cloud passed, and the pool was empty.
Go, said the bird, for the leaves were full of children,
Hidden excitedly, containing laughter.
Go, go, go, said the bird: human kind
Cannot bear very much reality.
Time past and time future
What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present.

Garlic and sapphires in the mud
Clot the bedded axle-tree.
The trilling wire in the blood
Sings below inveterate scars
Appeasing long forgotten wars.
The dance along the artery
The circulation of the lymph
Are figured in the drift of stars
Ascend to summer in the tree
We move above the moving tree
In light upon the figured leaf
And hear upon the sodden floor
Below, the boarhound and the boar
Pursue their pattern as before
But reconciled among the stars.

At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless;
Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is,
But neither arrest nor movement. And do not call it fixity,
Where past and future are gathered. Neither movement from nor towards,
Neither ascent nor decline. Except for the point, the still point,
There would be no dance, and there is only the dance.
I can only say, there we have been: but I cannot say where.
And I cannot say, how long, for that is to place it in time.
The inner freedom from the practical desire,
The release from action and suffering, release from the inner
And the outer compulsion, yet surrounded
By a grace of sense, a white light still and moving,
Erhebung without motion, concentration
Without elimination, both a new world
And the old made explicit, understood
In the completion of its partial ecstasy,
The resolution of its partial horror.
Yet the enchainment of past and future
Woven in the weakness of the changing body,
Protects mankind from heaven and damnation
Which flesh cannot endure.
                                          Time past and time future
Allow but a little consciousness.
To be conscious is not to be in time
But only in time can the moment in the rose-garden,
The moment in the arbour where the rain beat,
The moment in the draughty church at smokefall
Be remembered; involved with past and future.
Only through time time is conquered.

Here is a place of disaffection
Time before and time after
In a dim light: neither daylight
Investing form with lucid stillness
Turning shadow into transient beauty
With slow rotation suggesting permanence
Nor darkness to purify the soul
Emptying the sensual with deprivation
Cleansing affection from the temporal.
Neither plenitude nor vacancy. Only a flicker
Over the strained time-ridden faces
Distracted from distraction by distraction
Filled with fancies and empty of meaning
Tumid apathy with no concentration
Men and bits of paper, whirled by the cold wind
That blows before and after time,
Wind in and out of unwholesome lungs
Time before and time after.
Eructation of unhealthy souls
Into the faded air, the torpid
Driven on the wind that sweeps the gloomy hills of London,
Hampstead and Clerkenwell, Campden and Putney,
Highgate, Primrose and Ludgate. Not here
Not here the darkness, in this twittering world.

    Descend lower, descend only
Into the world of perpetual solitude,
World not world, but that which is not world,
Internal darkness, deprivation
And destitution of all property,
Desiccation of the world of sense,
Evacuation of the world of fancy,
Inoperancy of the world of spirit;
This is the one way, and the other
Is the same, not in movement
But abstention from movement; while the world moves
In appetency, on its metalled ways
Of time past and time future.

Time and the bell have buried the day,
The black cloud carries the sun away.
Will the sunflower turn to us, will the clematis
Stray down, bend to us; tendril and spray
Clutch and cling?

Fingers of yew be curled
Down on us? After the kingfisher's wing
Has answered light to light, and is silent, the light is still
At the still point of the turning world.

Words move, music moves
Only in time; but that which is only living
Can only die. Words, after speech, reach
Into the silence. Only by the form, the pattern,
Can words or music reach
The stillness, as a Chinese jar still
Moves perpetually in its stillness.
Not the stillness of the violin, while the note lasts,
Not that only, but the co-existence,
Or say that the end precedes the beginning,
And the end and the beginning were always there
Before the beginning and after the end.
And all is always now. Words strain,
Crack and sometimes break, under the burden,
Under the tension, slip, slide, perish,
Decay with imprecision, will not stay in place,
Will not stay still. Shrieking voices
Scolding, mocking, or merely chattering,
Always assail them. The Word in the desert
Is most attacked by voices of temptation,
The crying shadow in the funeral dance,
The loud lament of the disconsolate chimera.

    The detail of the pattern is movement,
As in the figure of the ten stairs.
Desire itself is movement
Not in itself desirable;
Love is itself unmoving,
Only the cause and end of movement,
Timeless, and undesiring
Except in the aspect of time
Caught in the form of limitation
Between un-being and being.
Sudden in a shaft of sunlight
Even while the dust moves
There rises the hidden laughter
Of children in the foliage
Quick now, here, now, always—
Ridiculous the waste sad time
Stretching before and after.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Workshops & Hafla at Sulukele in Athens This Saturday!

Rajni & Christy of Sulukele
This Saturday, August 27th, Sulukele & Christy Fricks Bellydance will be offering two unique workshops at Floorspace Studios in Athens, followed by a hafla with performances, food, and general merriment!

From 1:00 to 2:30, Rajni will teach a workshop introducing the Tribal Odyssey Egyptian group improv format.  Tribal Odyssey Belly Dance (TOBD) is a style developed by Kawakib of Fredericksburg, VA in collaboration with Miramar of Winchester, VA. It uses natural posture and both sides of the body in combinations based primarily on Egyptian beledi-style movement.  Flexible formations allow any number of dancers to participate.

From 3:00 to 4:30, Christy will teach "Turkish Spoons for Dancers, Musicians, and Everybody Else!"  She'll review the history of Turkish spoons, how to play them, basic rhythms and some basic dance moves.  By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to dance and play along to a traditional Turkish song!

At 6:30 p.m., the hafla starts!  Bring a $3-5 donation and a dish or beverage to share.

Click here to learn more and pre-register!  RSVP to the Facebook event here.

Here's Christy performing with Turkish spoons!

Here's an overview of the Tribal Odyssey improv format:

Monday, August 22, 2011

New Bollywood Class with Sanam in Marietta

If you want to learn more about Bollywood-style dance from a lifelong student of contemporary South Asian and Middle Easter belly dance, now's your chance!  Sanam will be teaching a new eight-week Bollywood technique class starting Tuesday, September 6 at Peachtree Gymnastics & More in Marietta.  Classes are from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m.

This is an all-level class designed to provide an introduction to the basic steps, movements, and combinations that make up Bollywood dance.  You can expect fabulous music, a fun atmosphere, and a lot of energy!

The eight-week class is $80, or students are welcome to drop in any time for $15.  Click here for more information and to pre-register!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Dragon*Con Silk Road Track Schedule

If you're coming to Dragon*Con this Labor Day weekend, you might want to check out some of the workshops and panels in the Silk Road track!  This year, it's being coordinated by our very own Kira.  Dancers, performers, craftspeople, musicians, costumers, martial artists, and other experts will share their knowledge of Asian culture and Oriental dance.  All events will be at the Hyatt.  Here's an overview... visit the track page for more info and details for each event, and join the Facebook Silk Road Track group if you want to get even more involved!

Welcome to the Silk Road 
10:00 am; Piedmont; 1 Hour
Introduction to Belly Dance w/Phoenicia 
11:30 am; International North; 1 Hour
Asian Ball Jointed Dolls 
1:00 pm; Piedmont; 2.5 Hours
Chinese Sleeve Dance  4:00 pm; Piedmont; 1 Hour
Drum Circle Etiquette  5:30 pm; Piedmont; 1 Hour
Barbary Corsairs - Ottoman Pirates
7:00 pm; Piedmont;1 Hour
Elegant Gothic Lolita 101 & 102 
8:30 pm; Piedmont; 2.5 Hours

Parade  10:00 am
Isolations & Travel steps in Belly Dance w/Phoenicia  11:30 am; Hanover C - E; 1 Hour
Eating in the Box: Bento 101
  1:00 pm; Piedmont; 1 Hour
Sabutai Musashi: Ninkage-ryu  2:30 pm; International South; 1 Hour
Sabutai Musashi Q&A  4:00 pm; Piedmont; 1 Hour
Silk Road Expo  5:30 pm; Hanover C - E; 1 Hour
Steampunk & Orientalism Panel  7:00 pm; Piedmont; 1 Hour
Asian Horror Film Fest  8:30 pm; Piedmont; 1 Hour

Using the arms & hands in Belly Dance w/Phoenicia 
10:00 am; Hanover C - E; 1 Hour
Romani Trail & Silk Road  11:30 am; Piedmont; 1 Hour
Intro to Persian Dance  1:00 pm; Piedmont; 1 Hour
Far Eastern Braiding   2:30 pm; Piedmont; 1 Hour
Belly Dance, Burlesque & Orientalism   4:00 pm; Piedmont; 1 Hour
Subutai Musashi Demo  5:30 pm; International South; 1 Hour
Sabutai Musashi Q&A  7:00 pm; Piedmont; 1 Hour
Drum Rhythms  8:30 pm; Piedmont; 1 Hour

SCA on the Silk Road  10:00 am; Piedmont; 1 Hour
Godzilla Trivia Contest & Discussion 11:30 am; Piedmont; 1 Hour
Adding Props & Choosing Music w/Phoenicia  1:00 pm; International North; 1 Hour 
Open Origami   2:30 pm; Piedmont; 1 Hour  
End of the Road  4:00 pm; Piedmont; 1 Hour

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

New Classes with Ziah in Avondale Estates

Starting this Wednesday, August 17th, Ziah of Awalim will be teaching new classes at Metro Dance Company Studio in Avondale Estates!  This brand-new studio is located near the James Joyce Pub at 2864 Franklin Street.

Ziah will be teaching two classes every Wednesday night:

7:00 - 8:00 p.m. it's Basic Technique -- technique and language skills for any style of belly dance.

8:00 - 9:30 p.m. – BellyDANCE! -- a full hour and a half of non-stop dance including group work, spatial skills, shimmy drills, and much more!

New six-week sessions for both classes start this week and run through September 28 (no class on the 21st).  Click here for more information and to pre-register!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Open Stage Night at Dune Lounge This Saturday (8/13)

Once again, it's time for Open Stage Night, hosted by the one and only Kira!  This month's theme is "Cirque du Ventre" (Circus of the Belly).  Dancers of all levels and styles are invited to participate!

The evening will kick of at 7:00 with a drum class and an ATS intro class.  Starting at 8:00, the stage will be open for dancers to strut their stuff.  Around 10:00, jam with the drum circle.  Click here for more info!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Poetry Wednesday

Those Who Do Not Dance
Gabriela Mistral

A crippled child
Said, "How shall I dance?"
Let your heart dance
We said.

Then the invalid said:
"How shall I sing?"
Let your heart sing
We said

Then spoke the poor dead thistle,
"But I, how shall I dance?"
Let your heart fly to the wind
We said.

Then God spoke from above
"How shall I descend from the blue?"
Come dance for us here in the light
We said.

All the valley is dancing
Together under the sun,
And the heart of him who joins us not
Is turned to dust, to dust.

"Najm al Raqs" Brings Nath Keo Back in October!

One of the highlights of the show I saw at Black Orchid Dance's "Najm al Danse Orientale" this past May was Cambodian-Canadian dancer Nath Keo.  Nath's two solos -- an amazing hip-hop fusion piece that included touches of classical Cambodian dance, as well as a more traditional Oriental set -- were really amazing.  And from what I've heard, he is a fabulous teacher as well, and just as funny in a workshop as he was when he took over the MC'ing duties for a few minutes.

Meanwhile, missing from the May event due to travel issues was Brazil's Hayat el Helwa.  But fear not... Black Orchid Dance is bringing both Nath Keo and Hayat el Helwa back to Georgia for "Najm al Raqs - a Belly Dance Affair," October 14-16 at Dolce Atlanta Peachtree in Peachtree City, just south of Atlanta.  This weekend-long event features workshops with the two instructors, as well as several gala shows and parties.

Until August 15, you can save money by booking your full weekend pass online at the early bird rate!  Click here for the online registration page.

Monday, August 8, 2011

New Classes with Lacy Perry!

Most members of the metro Atlanta belly dance community know ebullient redhead Lacy Perry, as the owner of Beledi Boutique or through her performances with Sherar.  And you may have noticed more solo performances from Lacy in the past year or so -- she has become a skilled performer in her own right!

The latest evolution in Lacy's dance career?  Classes!  Lacy is now teaching technique and choreography classes in the Johns Creek/Alpharetta area, and a new six-week session starts Tuesday, August 16.  From 7:30 to 8:30 on Tuesdays, Lacy's Drills & Skills class will help dancers of any level build their Tribal technique and polish the movements included in the choreography class that begins at 8:30.  In this class, Lacy will teach original Tribal fusion choreographies in a variety of styles.

The first six-week session will be focused on Lacy's original choreography "The Devil in the White City," which wowed the audience at Tribal Delight in Hampton Roads, VA this March.  Watch the video of this performance, then sign up for Lacy's class so you can learn it yourself.  Save money and pre-register online!

This performance was reviewed by Anna Maria Cancelli in the July/August issue of Zaghareet!:
"Lacy Perry graced the stage with an emotive theatrical fusion piece which narrated the story of three victims who were either murdered by H.H. Holmes or related to the Holmes murders that occurred during the time of the World's Fair. Through an analysis of characters in Eric Larson's 'The Devil the White City', Lacy created three distinct characters in her riveting montage performed to a compilation of three songs, 'The Bird Girl' and 'French Postcards', both by Circus Contraption, and 'Velvet Revolution' by Tori Amos. Portraying characters with poignant stories, Lacy's first vignette interpreted the longing and sorrow felt by victim Carrie Pietzel whose husband and children were murdered in a most heinous manner. The second character Lacy brought to life was Emeline Cigrand, a 'starry-eyed young woman' who was pregnant with Holmes's chald, dosed with chloroform, then locked in a vault to suffocate. Lacy's third portrayal was a composite characterization of Holmes's female victims from his objectifying perspective. Lacy specifically chose 'Velvet Revolution' which includes the phrases, 'killers of the children' and violating a 'new commandment' so that she could interpret the lyrics through her dance 'as a condemnation of Holmes to the hell of never-ending vengeance by the women he murdered.' Lacy brought it all from fluid moves to social justice."

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Poetry Wednesday

Mary Oliver

 Every day
     I see or hear
               that more or less

kills me
     with delight,
          that leaves me
               like a needle

in the haystack
     of light.
          It was what I was born for -
               to look, to listen,

to lose myself
     inside this soft world -
          to instruct myself
               over and over

in joy,
     and acclamation.
          Nor am I talking
               about the exceptional,

the fearful, the dreadful,
     the very extravagant -
          but of the ordinary,
               the common, the very drab,

the daily presentations.
     Oh, good scholar,
          I say to myself,
               how can you help

but grow wise
     with such teachings
          as these -
               the untrimmable light

of the world,
     the ocean's shine,
          the prayers that are made
               out of grass?