17 Books For Serious Study of Middle Eastern Dance

glassesYes, I love to read and I read a lot.

Below is a list of books that have inspired me in different ways.  Some are primarily about Belly Dance, some the crafting of dances, others offer inspiration for creativity.

  • Badia Masabni the Legend by Jodette  This book is priceless in its accounts of the legend.
  • Daughter of Egypt by Marjorie A. Franklin  This is an important book for any serious student of Egyptian Dance. The legacy of Farida Fahmy and the Reda Troupe.
  • Oriental Belly Dance by Kemal Ozdemir  The history of Turkish  kocheks and chengi.
  • The Secrets of belly Dancing by Roman Balladine & Sula This little paperback stays part of my collection for its historical and sentimental value.
  • The Tribal Bible by Kajira Djoumahna The title says it, it really is a Bible!
  • Serpent of the Nile Wendy Buonaventura  A beautiful book, since its first edition, I know their have been some criticisms of the legitimacy of all that has been presented…but.
  • Dynamic Belly Dance by Ramona  I have yet to put this book to use as I rely on my music for inspiration for choreography. But this is a useful tool for fusion dancers etc and me and later date!
  • The Belly Dance Reader by The Editors of GildedSerpent A collection of essays from experts in the BD field. I particularly liked Alia Thabit’s and Venus Marilee Nugent’s offerings.
  • The Art of Making Dances Doris Humphrey The standard college level workbook, the essential nuts and bolts of making dances and staging.
  • Intimate Act of Choreography by Lynne Anne Blom & L. Tarin Chaplin  Inspiration for the Dance maker in you.
  • The Moment of Movement by the above authors Inspiration
  • Maps to Ecstasy by Gabrielle Roth I adore this book, and while it is no replacement for her work in person, it will have to suffice as she has passed away.
  • Doorway to Ecstasy by Sherry Brier Sherry reveals her story of growth as a dancer and offers a blueprint for your own discovery.
  • Dance of Psyche Rhythm of Consciousness by Dr. Christina Fragasso-Kolakouskus Campbell  An intimate look at her relationship and healing which emphasizes the unifying significance of music and dance in our culture today.
  • A Woman’s Book of Power by Karen Andes aka Aruna   uses Dance to Cultivate Energy and Health.
  • a big new free happy unusual life by Nina Wise  While Nina is not a dancer per say, she is a mover and offers big inspirations for dancers.
  • Dances with Veils A Journey to the Divine Feminine by Mezdulene Bliss Mezdulene weaves her own personal story within the context of Belly Dance in America’s timeline.

This is by no means meant to be a complete list, just what is in my pile today!  Any of my ongoing students who would like to borrow, feel free!  You know the drill; a book report when you are finished.

Dangerous Beauties Fusion Belly Dance!

Don’t let the name fool you, these women are drop dead beauties! Straight from their website…. Embodying the characters of real world femme fatales, this living history belly dance performance tells the unique story of the world’s most powerful women, often too enchanting to be understood and too wild to be bound by love, social hierarchies and rules.  An all-star cast of award-winning international belly dance performers resurrect the nuances of the art of seduction and honor the power of femininity while capturing the essence of historical costuming and dance forms as they define each woman.  Mata Hari, Cleopatra, Salome, Sirens, Elizabeth Bathory, Lillith and others leap of the pages of history books, paintings, and tin types and reach into your heart.
Founding members Surreyya Hada and Nyla Crystal, originally proposed this idea to me several years ago.  Like the “seasoned professional”  I am (read in between the lines)!!  I heaped praises for their idea and heaped encouragement.  Many ambitious  ideas have been presented to me, by students (them), musicians, videographers, concert promoters….I usually just take the “let’s wait and see attitude”.  all the while, I’m thinking, they want me to be someone else!! OMG!  I’ve spent the bulk of my puberty and all my adult life dancing and trying to be more comfortable in my own skin…and I’m supposed to portray someone else…YIKES!!!
Well, I had the pleasure of performing with these lovelies on local turf and had a blast!  Then on the road to Aqaba in January 2012, I broke my bow (whole another tale) and when the ideas of bus rides came to be…well, I bailed!  Despite getting generous reviews, I realized I’d like to milk my creative juices in other ways.  I’ve had this music in mind for many years, and the Dangerous Beauties are the perfect group to bring my choreography to life!!  So while the Beauties are on tour, I’m hanging close to home and making a dance for them, just for them! I kind of fancy myself the private choreographer to the Beauties!  And as soon as they stay in one place long enough, we’ll put this dance together.  In the mean time, Go see this awesome show!! Check out their site, follow on Facebook, read their reviews….They are Dangerous!  Uhh,  yea…so are my breasts hanging out of that costume! Dangerous, I mean!