Volume 1, Issue 2, May-June '07
Resources- the good stuff
Greetings once more to all my dancing companions. I think we have a success
here! Check back periodically to see what's going on with Smoke, with new
contacts and useful stuff as well as schedule changes and additions.
As always, if you run across something you would like to share with our
extended family in the dance, just get it to me by e-mail, on the back of an
envelope or however, and I will be happy to get your contribution in.
I have, since the last newsletter was posted, joined the American Tribal Dance
ring. There is a link to them at the bottom of the homepage, which will take
you to other sites in the same webring... fun to surf, enjoy!
As well, I've added a page to the website on elements of a full tribal
headdress, to which there is a link on the Have A Look page. I'll be adding
more information about building your costume over the next few weeks.
We are finding the meetup group that sponsors the Hafla In the Square events
to be most congenial. Please visit them through the link on the What We Do
page, the one at the bottom that looks like a 'Hello, I'm' badge. If you join,
you will get regular updates on events, and you will be able to participate in
their chat forum. This group has dancers of all styles, which makes them
valuable for students who want to learn more about the larger bellydance world.
If you are ever confused by the plethora of bellydance styles currently out
there, you are not alone! The field seems to get larger and more complex all
the time! To help you get a better idea of what's up in tribal, please check
out this website:
Sharon Moore's analysis of the trends within tribal is accurate, intelligent,
and well-organized. Going by her guidelines, what we do in Smoke is pretty much
plain old Tribal Bellydance, with a strong FatChance influence.
It's no secret that I have a weakness for tribal jewelry... me, and most other
tribal dancers. Finding the good stuff is always the challenge. Here are two
perfectly splendid sources that can be found online:
The first link will take you to Deb Voegeli's website. She is just terrific at
customer relations, and she gets goodies that are a cut above the rest. If you
have questions about something you are considering purchasing, she will get
right back with you.
The second link is for Karen H.'s site. She's also an eBay seller under the
peyotequeen ID. I bought a bangle bracelet made by her that was so pretty, I
commissioned another in the same colors for my other wrist. Her eye is
excellent, her work finely made, and her prices are more than fair. The work is
much more gorgeous 'in person' than it is photographed.
If you are a fan of vintage bellydance music, here's tons of fun:
Need visual inspiration?
I know it isn't bellydance, but there is an impressive integrity in Sha Sha's
work that is just compelling. If you have the capability, view her videos...
look on youtube.com for more. It's just a visual feast, a perfect wholeness of
movement, costume, storytelling in dance, and music. I wish so much that she'd
come to Chicago!
We take up bellydance for mostly just a handful of reasons, chief among the
fitness, fun and companionship, new moves to add to other dance styles, and
sometimes serious performance as artists.
Sometimes we come to it for the most casual of reasons, or out of curiosity,
only to be 'bitten'. Performance in public may not have been an initial goal,
or even seriously considered, but it can become the obvious next step for a
dancer whose basic skill set is well established. The pressure of public
improv with a group can quickly improve the performance of both group and
individual by making each dancer focus harder on her own and others' cues and
transitions, and on looking uniform with the rest of the group.
It also changes the dynamic of taking classes for fun or exercise; to be as
ready as possible for performance it is necessary to put in a great deal of
focused work. A committed dancer will avoid missing class unless it is
absolutely necessary, and she will be willing to put in extra time outside of
class to master steps and combinations that cannot be perfected in class.
Taking extra classes or working from instructional videos can also be very
helpful; guided practice works sometimes for situations in which open practice
(no plan, or no space to dance in!) can be difficult.
Ask your teacher or classmates to recommend video that has worked for them
outside of class.
Sunday May 20, What's Blooming on Harrison
What's Blooming on Harrison is an arts district festival in Oak Park. We
will be conducting a percussion/dance workshop at Intuit Dance at 3:15, to
be followed by a performance at 4:15. Come see our home space!
Sunday, June 24, Solstice Hafla
Also at Intuit Dance, from 6-8 pm. See the meetup.com website for further
Saturday, June 30, Hafla in the Square, the No Friction Cafe in Chicago's
Logan Square. Go to the meetup site linked above for more details.
We aren't performing at these events, but we are taking classes ourselves,
and would encourage students to check them out for worthwhile learning or
just some great shows:
Tribal Revolution, weekend of June 22-24... all manner of classes and two
shows to see as well. Our Solstice Hafla was planned for Sunday evening so
as not to conflict with the Tribal Revolution doings. Check it out at
Tribal Revolution's website
Artemis in Chicago, a chance to learn Turkish and Romany dance from a
master teacher who has studied at the sources.
Oh, My Goodness... if you cannot do any other workshops or see any other
shows, you have got to get to Milwaukee for this one. Not only Carolena and
Megha, but Helm...! My last encounter with Carolena and Pura was only one
day, but was very worthwhile. This promises to be even better. We tribal
folk are scarcer than other kinds of bellydancers, so we have to jump at a
chance like this when it comes; this is what it's all about, from the
ultimate tribal master teacher.