1001 Likes – August 2016

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Lynette Harper watches a powerful Egyptian documentary. Reprinted with permission from the Middle Eastern Dance Association newsletter, Sahda, August 2016.

Dancers is a mesmerizing film set in Cairo. But don’t expect to see the gorgeous costumes or inspiring performances that grace most films made about Egyptian belly dance. Director Celame Barge takes us deep into the lives and struggles of the working dancers of Mohammed Ali Street, revealing daily struggles and difficult choices. We follow them as they walk along crowded Cairo streets at night, down squalid corridors in markets and nightclubs. We watch them carefully applying make-up in their bedrooms, at the hairdressers, and in back rooms before they arrive on stage.

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One of the first women we meet is preparing to perform. While dressing, she chats with women of the wedding party about life, work, and her husband. The women help to fix her outfit, give her a pin to secure the dress over her bra, and compliment her well-shaped breasts – before noticing that they benefit from extra padding. Two young men stop by to snap photos on their phones, and young girls hover about asking to join the dancing: “There are no women who can’t dance.” So she first dances for women, teens, and young girls in a small room before entering the large, garishly decorated wedding space packed with men. Onstage she works hard to prevent enthusiastic men from touching her or from making overtly sexual moves.

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1001 Likes – June 2016

Lynette Harper finds belly dance plays a role in two powerful films. Reprinted with permission from the Middle Eastern Dance Association newsletter, Sahda, June 2016. This term, I’m teaching an anthropology course about Arab women in the Middle East and the diaspora. Two of the most influential films that we watch are “Four Women of Egypt,” a 1997… Read more…

1001 Likes – December 2015

Lynette Harper updates her list of Christmas gifts available online. Reprinted with permission from the Middle Eastern Dance Association newsletter, Sahda, December 2015. Gift-giving season again, and I’ve been reviewing my annual column of online gift ideas. My absolute favourite is still Shira’s “Gifts for the Belly Dancer in Your Life” http://shira.net/advice/lifestyle/gift-ideas.htm   This is a brilliant list, practical and… Read more…

1001 Likes – November 2015

Lynette Harper admires the good hearts of BC belly dancers. Reprinted with permission from the Middle Eastern Dance Association newsletter, Sahda, November 2015. The generosity of our dance community is remarkable. Throughout the year, individual dancers and troupes donate their time and performance skills for a wide range of worthy causes. Others have initiated and organized events to raise… Read more…

1001 Likes – April 2015

Lynette Harper visits an outstanding Facebook group for belly dancers.  Reprinted with permission from the Middle Eastern Dance Association newsletter, Sahda, April 2015. Read more…

1001 Likes – December 2014

Lynette Harper updates her shopping list for Christmas gifts and ideas online. Reprinted with permission from the Middle Eastern Dance Association newsletter, Sahda December 2014. Read more…

1001 Likes – November 2014

Lynette Harper considers the letters “F” and “G” in an alphabet of likes. Reprinted with permission from the Middle Eastern Dance Association newsletter, Sahda, November 2014. Read more…

1001 Likes – August 2014

Lynette Harper begins a belly dancers’ Alphabet.  Reprinted with permission from the Middle Eastern Dance Association newsletter, Sahda, August 2014.   Read more…

1001 Likes – July 2014

Lynette Harper rediscovers a DVD treasure. Reprinted with permission from the Middle Eastern Dance Association newsletter, Sahda, July 2014. Read more…

1001 Likes – May 2014

Lynette Harper watches a reel interesting documentary. Reprinted with permission from the Middle Eastern Dance Association newsletter, Sahda, May 2014.     Read more…

1001 Likes – March 2014

Lynette Harper appreciates the values embedded in hula. Reprinted with permission from the Middle Eastern Dance Association newsletter, Sahda, March 2014.   Read more…

1001 Likes – January 2014

Lynette Harper subscribes to a glossy magazine – for free.  Reprinted with permission from the Middle Eastern Dance Association newsletter, Sahda, January 2014. Read more…

Belly Dance Fact & Fiction: References

Belly Dance Fact & Fiction: References

OPA Showcase Lecture/seminar, Victoria BC – presented by Lynette Harper Ph.D. November 2013 References – Books (*specific articles cited) Belly dance around the world: New communities, performance and identity. 2013. Caitlin E. McDonald & Barbara Sellers-Young, editors. Jefferson NC: McFarland & Company. * What is Baladi about al-Raqs al-Baladi? On the survival of belly dance in… Read more…

More books for dancers

More books for dancers

Four essentials for a dancer’s bookshelf, published in the last two years:  Belly dance around the world: New communities, performance and identity – The belly dance reader – Global moves – and You asked Aunt Rocky: Answers & advice about Raqs Sharqi & Raqs Shaabi.  Each book offers powerful ideas, analysis, and inspirations – and they’re… Read more…

Turkish Roman music/video

Music from my past workshops All cd’s listed here are available on Amazon.com, some through Chapters Indigo, and one from iTunes.  All of them are terrific! Performed by Turkish Roman (gypsy) musicians: Selim Sesler  – Road to Kesan: Turkish ROM & Regional Music Thrace       track: Tulum 5:01 Selim Sesler and Brenda MacCrimmon – Karsılama… Read more…

BC Mainland dancers

BC Mainland dancers

Vancouver http://rahmahaddad.com/Rahma Haddad, Vancouver BC “A powerful dancer of grace, charm and soul” And my favourite cousin! – LH http://www.ammara.ca/ Ammara Studio BC “Home to one of the finest groups of Middle Eastern, Brazilian and African dance and drum professionals in the Lower Mainland.” Lava Studio Lava, Vancouver BC A dynamic performer, choreographer, instructor, musician, and director/choreographer of “Sisters… Read more…

Global dance connections

Canada www.hadia.com  Hadia, Canada  A performer, master instructor and choreographer, Hadia has achieved recognition and renown among her peers around the world. Om Laila  Roula Said, Toronto ON   Roula is an amazing multi-faceted artist who has dedicated her talents to Middle Eastern music and dance. One of Canada’s leading lights in the world of bellydance, Roula… Read more…

Turkish music for dancers

Turkish music for dancers

Gypsies of Turkey with Ahmet Kusgoz Ve Arkadaslari Karsilema until you drop! This album is chock full of 9/8 rhythms played at different tempos (mostly fast), alternating with ciftitelli and other regional instrumentals. I regularly recommend this energetic and passionate album for dancers who want “real Turkish Rom” music, as it is readily available from… Read more…

Arab music for dancers

Arab music for dancers

Egyptian music appreciation and practice for bellydancers by George Dimitri Sawa A must-have for dancers, teachers, and students who wish to develop their understanding of Egyptian music!   The quality of the package is awesome – exceeding my already high expectations of  creator George Sawa, an Egyptian born historian, musicologist, qanun virtuoso, a true master… Read more…

Vancouver Island dancers & teachers Spring 2019

Vancouver Island dancers & teachers Spring 2019

**************************************************** MID-ISLAND TEACHERS INFORMATION 2019    Please contact these teachers for updated info on classes and events    Nanaimo  Taissia  250-758-6688 Teaching through Parks & Recreation. Inquiries & registration 250-756-5200 Lynette  Privates and semi-privates  250-797-7953  dancetarab@gmail.com  www.lynetteharper.ca   Ramona   250-616-3824 Ramona@bellydancer.ca  Veronique Rioux info@choose2be.ca  www.choose2be.ca  Zumba, yoga, circus camp, belly dance, and PTS, FIS, YTT certifications. Ladysmith Saidi Sisters Studio  with Deb Shields and Karensa Camplair at… Read more…

Ethnographies worth reading

Ethnographies worth reading

Guests of the Sheik: Ethnography of an Iraqi village Elizabeth Warnock Fernea, Random House, re-issue 1995 Though Elizabeth Warnock Fernea’s book was first published in 1969,  her writing provides useful insights into daily life, for Arab women in  a particular place (rural Iraq) and time period. “A delightful, well-written, and vastly informative ethnographic study, this… Read more…

Books for dancers

Books for dancers

READ THIS BOOK!!!! Belly dance: Orientalism Transnationalism and Harem Fantasy edited by Anthony Shay and Barbara Sellers-Young   For over a century, solo improvised dance, especially belly dance, has had enormous popularity, and by the 1970s and 1980s in the wake of the feminist movement, over a million women in the United States, and many… Read more…

Arab & Turkish music for listeners

Arab & Turkish music for listeners

Minor Empire – Second Nature Great music for listening and dancing – this new album of  Turkish / world music  is made in Toronto!  I couldn’t stop dancing during the Minor Empire set at the Islands Folk Festival last summer, where the whole crowd was mesmerized by Ozgu’s truly enchanging vocals.  Guitarist/composer Ozan describes their style… Read more…

Victoria area dancers and teachers

Victoria area dancers and teachers

  raksbobbie.com  Bobbie, Victoria BC  Bobbie is passionate about Middle Eastern Belly Dance and has been studying this beautiful and expressive art form for six years. (Bobbie is in pale yellow in this photo with her Bashirah MED Company, photo by Laura Scotten) Asmira School of Oriental Bellydance Victoria, BC  Asmira Dance Theatre is comprised of advanced… Read more…