Recently I was reminded of one of the
times I was the MC for a belly dance event. During the 1990s I was the MC for a
monthly showcase in Studio City at The Marrakesh restaurant and sometimes would
MC other events.
I unexpectedly ran into Anisa earlier this month at a non-belly dance show in North Hollywood.Anisa produces the dinner show King Tut
Returns every October. This year marks her 18th anniversary of the
show. Incredible!Time flies by
I was the MC for the show the first
couple of years. The first year I MCed as Elvis and second year I was myself
except that the show started off with my friend Brain-ella.Yes, Brain-ella.She was yet another of my crazy
creations, this one especially for Halloween.
I found a high quality rubber-like
brain at a store - not one of those cheap plastic kind of brains. Since brains are brains and have no limbs or a torso; the only way I
could give her a belly dance costume was wrapping a silver sequins belt around
her middle. I then sat her on a stool on the stage.
The script for the show is either
lost or stuck in a box in storage somewhere but basically it went like this:
“Hello, I am Brain-ella; the belly
dancing brain. Yes, I know I don’t have legs and arms to dance, but I do have
great rhythm, I can even shimmy if I try real hard.Don’t you love my costume?I designed it myself.
Brain-ella is not my real name. It’s
my dance name. We belly dancers always have a dance name. I did consider other dance names such as:Sarah-Bellum, Thala-mus, and my favorite: Medulla Oblongata.
Please do enjoy the show.”
I bet the belly dancers that happen
to also be brain surgeons reading this are just doubled over in laughter right now.
Unfortunately I don’t think I have
any pictures of Brain-ella, but I do have some great memories.Have a great Halloween!
Brain-ella looked something like this, but more awesome...with a very nice sequin belt.
you have experienced Middle Eastern Dance for any length of time or gone to an
Arabic night club you have probably seen and experienced an energetic and
fascinating dance called the Dabke. I refer to it as the most joyous dance in the world!
to one folk tradition, the dance originated in the Levant where houses were
built from stone with a roof made of wood, straw and dirt. The dirt roof had to
be compacted which required stomping the dirt hard in a uniform way to compact
it evenly. This event of cooperation is called ta'awon and
from here comes the word awneh, meaning "help." This developed
into the song Ala Dalouna, or roughly translated "Let's go and
help". The dabke and the rhythmic songs go together in an attempt to keep
the work fun and useful.
I didn’t realize there
were numerous ways to spell Dabke. I’d been spelling it “Debke”, which is one of
many ways to spell it.
The word Dabke is also
transliterated to"dabka","dabki", "dabkeh",
"debke", "debkah", "debki", "debka" is
an Arab folk dance native to the levant.
The dance is popular
in Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan, Bosnia, Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Saudi Arabia. A
line dance, it is widely performed at weddings and joyous occasions. The line
forms from right to left. The leader of the dabke heads the line, alternating
between facing the audience and the other dancers.
World Record Debke:
In August 2011, a group in a Lebanese village Dhour El Choueir, Lebanon set a new world
record. Organized by Dhour El Choueir Summer Festival, a human chain of 5,050
was made and currently holds the world record.
Dhour El Choueir event broke the record set by
Tollab, Lebanese Student Federation in Montreal, with the
participation of "La Troupe Folklorique Les Chevaliers du Liban" that
had made a human chain of 4,475 people dancing the dabke for more than
five minutes straight at Montreal's Marcelin Wilson Park.
Tollab had itself broken a record of 2,743 set
by a group of Israeli Arabs in Acre, Israel. An earlier
record of 1,700 had been set in Toronto.
These gigs would apply to performing at parties, restaurants
Here they are in no specific order:
networking - Attend local events of any kind, business and social. Be sure to
have plenty of business cards to hand out. Don’t just limit yourself to the
dance community; everyone is a potential employer.
Media – You need at least a FaceBook account. Add and interact with new friends
that are both in and out of the belly dance world.
3.Call and pay
personal visits to: Gyms, dance studios, restaurants, other dancers, and
friends old and new.
partners with other dancers you admire and respect. Collaboration can only help
your career in dance.