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?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Get Ready for "AFBD's Got Talent!"

Leena, Nahari and Lamia
of Atlanta Fusion Belly Dance
This Sunday (August 7) at Nicola's, Atlanta Fusion Belly Dance presents "AFBD's Got Talent!"  This show will feature over 25 dancers, including performances by some of the studio's most talented students as well as special guest Mina of Dalloua Dance Company.  If you're familiar with AFBD, you know you'll see a variety of styles, some very innovative staging, and a lot of theatrical flair!

Tickets are $18 in advance and $22 at the door, and include your choice of choice of chicken, beef or vegetarian mezza plate and a non-alcoholic beverage (beer and wine can be purchased separately).  Click here for advance tickets.  RSVP to the Facebook event to keep up with all the details and see who's coming!

Monday, August 1, 2011

TribalCon Registration is Open!

Registration is now open for TribalCon VIII, February 23-26, 2012!  Early bird registration discounts continue through the end of September.  Save some money and sign up early for what promises to be an amazing weekend of dance and music workshops, two amazing shows, and at least two incredible parties!  This year's theme is "Foundations" -- the instructors will be sharing the skills that make them well-rounded performers.

The list of teachers for 2012 is quite impressive!  The dance track includes Tamalyn Dallal, Megha Gavin (with two ATS workshops, yay!), Ariellah, our own Ziah Ali, and the incomparable Zoe Jakes.  The music track will include Al Cofrin, Dave Machek, August Hoerr of the Mezmer Society, and the legendary Faisal Zadan.  Zoe and Faisal will be teaming up to teach drum solo concepts, with both a lecture and a dance session... you know where I'll be Saturday afternoon!

Check out the TribalCon site for lots more details, and be sure to Like TribalCon on Facebook.  See you there!