Recent content by cathy

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    Sabar in Senegal clip--familiar issues?

    YouTube - Sabar dancing in Senegal I just watched this clip which seems to be a short documentary by a Dutch researcher in Dakar, Senegal on Sabar, which is a name for a drum, a kind of dance, and an event--like a party where the drumming and dancing is featured. Senegal is a primarily Muslim...
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    Earl "Snake Hips" Tucker

    He does hip articulations and shoulder shimmies! It's not Middle Eastern but I enjoyed it! I had never heard of him before but I am guessing 1920s or 30s based on the music? YouTube - Earl "Snake Hips" Tucker
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    Mechanical Toy Museum, San Francisco

    I was in San Francisco a couple of weeks ago and went to a really huge place on Fisherman's Wharf full of really old mechanical toys, precursors to video games. They were all still working. There were three I found three related to dance. I am attaching pics of two of them: What the Belly...
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    plantar fasciitis--heel pain

    Anyone else suffer from this? It's a pain in the heel and arch of the foot. Especially bad first thing in the morning. I know the basic tips: - wear supportive shoes - don't wear shoes with worn out soles - stretch foot with points and flexes before getting out of bed in the morning - roll...
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    Does the way you learn influence the result?

    I have been wondering this for a long time. I hear that we (as in the West) invented classes in MED. Before, ME'ers learned in the home. I don't know when troupes like Reda and Kawamiyaa started. Not that long ago, I suspect. They must be post-1950? Anyway, does the way you learn influence...
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    etymology of word "sequin" and embroidery

    I just got an old book (second hand) called The Embroideries of North Africa by Caroline Stone, published by Longman UK in 1985. It's a really beautiful book. Looks like a few copies are available used on Amazon. It covers embroideries of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and "in the Turkish manner."...
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    BBC story "Egypt loses taste for belly dancing"

    BBC NEWS | Africa | Egypt loses taste for belly dancing Including short interview with Raqia Hassan. The one thing I think the reporter got quite wrong was "it is NO LONGER acceptable to be a dancer here....." (emphasis mine)
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    Pretend thought experiment

    This is just for fun. Imagine you get a message on your answering machine. It's from your agent. Some top Egyptian music star needs you to dance at his/her next show, front and center, two weeks from now. Your agent didn't get the name. How would you reply? a) no time to return the call--you...
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    evolving while staying true?

    I hear a lot about the importance of using the correct name for dance forms and styles, and I agree with this. I also hear that all art forms evolve, both in the place of origin and in the larger world. What I am wondering about is how you can take one pure form--let's say Egyptian Raks...
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    "Elevated" art and Raks Sharki

    OK this is the spinoff from "the image of a dancer." The way I see it, all art started as folk art. Because there were people drawing, singing, dancing, weaving, etc. from the beginning of time. Undoubtedly, some people had much better skills than others at certain folk arts. But only gradually...
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    I did this same thread over a year ago and found it fun (maybe not fuzzy bunnies though). I think that people (almost regardless of amount of training and ability!) show some of their personalities when they dance. And we certainly do when we write as well. Based on posts, I get ideas in my head...
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    BBC story Sad Goodbye to Cosmopolitan Cairo

    BBC NEWS | Middle East | Sad goodbye to 'cosmopolitan' Cairo Has anyone been to the places mentioned--the Barrel Bar in the Windsor Hotel, the Sharezad Club, or the Hawaii? Has anyone read the book mentioned--Cairo, the City Victorious, by Max Rodenbeck? In a way I get the feeling that the...
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    Fitna is another term I think worth discussing. I think I have read that "fitna" means both "beautiful woman" and "chaos." See part 4 of this essay: Islam and gender Van Nieuwkerk writes: "Mernissi argues that implicitly in the religious discourse women are feared for their disruptive...
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    Bint al Balad

    I think I know what this phrase means--something like daughter of the countryside or true-blooded Egyptian/Arab female? Does it have nationalistic overtones? Peasant overtones? Is it always associated with modesty with a flip side of charm and flirtation? Is it my imagination or is the Bint...
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    Definition of Belly Dance

    Attempt to upload diagram