<The Gilded Serpent


2013 - 2012 - 2011 - 2010 - 2009 - 2008 - 2007 - 2006 - 2005 - 2004 - 2002 - 2001 - 2000 - 1999


Deep Study of Dance with Culture for 20 Hours! Yasmina Ramzy's Crash Course, August 2013
Check your ego at the door and be prepared to learn true Egyptian technique and correct what you’ve been doing incorrectly for years.


High Concept – High Style “Dangerous Beauties”, February 18, 2012, A Show Review
The entire production was moody, dark and intense; just the way a Dangerous Beauty would like it.


Listening with the Arabs, ASWAT's February 2011 Concert
The concert consolidated a much needed expression of hope, excitement, and pride. I felt lucky to be in the audience, to share solidarity, and to be exposed to songs novel to me.

A True Arabic Experience, November 2010 Arab Dance Seminar in New York City
His seminar emphasizes the cultural roots and context of this dance form; it is a form that is experiencing a disconnect as more dancers are entering the community through fusion and often not developing an understanding of its historical origins. Each seminar is themed to focus on a variety of elements within the culture, dance, and music of the Arab world.

Taiwan Bellydance: 2 Events Are Perfect Ending for 2010, Nefertiti Bellydance Carnival & Bellydance Evolution
I admire those dancers participating in the production for their talents, skills, and artistic qualities, however, I feel the framework of story-telling compromises dancers from better expressing their love for this dance (or through it). They are acting through dance rather than dancing to the music.

A Day of Middle Eastern Rhythms Taught by Adriane & Tezrah
The two workshops combined a brief tutorial in the history of rhythms, practicing skills, and learning new combinations. I received a solid foundation in identifying and developing a familiarity with Middle Eastern rhythms.


"Where the Middle East Meets the Frozen North", Review of Eva Cernik's Performance on Friday, October 2, 2009
On stage an ageless, timeless beauty, her 30 years as a professional dancer have given her poise, wisdom and a huge range of emotional expression. Her great expressive eyes dominate an elfin face that will pull you into her pain or disgust one moment and crack you up with a sparkle, head slide and lip shimmy the next, all washed down with a wink and natural smile that says not to take that too seriously either.

Tribal Belly Dance Matures into its Prime, It All Unfolds at L'Amour de la Danse
Although the show was not intended to be a Tribal show, because the Bay Area is the cradle of Tribal style, the line-up did a marvelous job of presenting this genre's rich variety.

The Muwashahat with Mohamed Shahin and Karim Nagi
The Muwashahat genre is inspired by tenth century court poetry of Arab-Andalusia, developed when Arab intellectual and artistic culture flourished in Spain. The rhythms are complex.

Jillina Advances Dance Theatre, A Review of Jillina's Bellydance Evolution,
Bellydance Evolution is a full-length theatrical event directed by dancer and choreographer Jillina, ushering belly dance into the world of dance theater. The production is a melding of narrative with a wide variety of traditional and cutting-edge Middle Eastern dance and music. I saw the dress rehearsal of Bellydance Evolution when it debuted in Glendale, California in August, 2009.


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Astryd de Michele, A Workshop in Modern Egyptian Style,
And can we please ask all workshop instructors to show their feet? Maybe even knees?

Yousry Sharif Makes a Stop in Tennessee
Yousry sat on the front row during the performance, and is rumored to have remarked “that is me dancing up there!” when Virginia made her appearance.

ASWAT: Arabic Music Concert
They'd hired a different director this time, all the way from Cairo, Dr. Sari Dowidar. Dr. Dowidar got professional results even out of amateur performers - probably by pushing them hard. That kind of pressure isn't always fun, but it really pays off. Maqams (maqamaat) are hard enough for the uneducated ear to distinguish without muddying the waters further with inaccurate pitch and tone. 

Tarot:A Fantasy Belly Dance Concert
The large, well rehearsed cast--musicians, temple maidens, acolytes, and servants with a variety of props--deftly played up the campy quality of the piece, contrasting the work's darker messages about the fickle cycles of gain, loss, and impermanence.


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Elena Lentini and Carvanserai Dance Theatre: “ Argumentum Ornithologicum” Report and Review
November 7-10, 2007, Hudson Guild Theatre, New York City, most photos by author, show photos by Mia Moy

Review: "Allure of the East: Orientalism in New York, 1850-1930" at the New York Historical Society
This small one-room exhibit with its narrow geographic focus--the city O. Henry dubbed “Baghdad-on-the-Subway”--presents much for dancers to consider. As belly dance continues to gain popularity, what is this continuing "allure" of the Orientalist inspired arts? When is attraction to this aesthetic drawn from a desire to understand other cultures and when is it driven by desire to market ourselves?

Gypsy…Un,Deux, Trois, A Review on the “Journey Along The Gypsy Trail” Workshop
with Hadia, Jalilah Zamora, and Amrita Choudhury, Photos by Denise and Tracey Vilbert, Event held on January 5, 6, 2008, in Montreal, Canada


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Californian Adventure " Prop til ya Drop" The San Francisco Chapter of MECDA Gala Concert Dec 3, 2006
A stage presentation is totally different from dancing at a restaurant, party entertainment, school concerts, haflas and displays.
At these venues you do not necessarily expect all of the above. The stage gives dancers the opportunity to strut their stuff in an entirely different light.

Bellyqueen vs. Barbary Coast: It’s an east coast west coast showdown! Gina Grandi puts on a show of astronomical proportions.
Comedic timing, clever costuming and an endless supply of mojo bring about the wonderment of the early settlers of the California gold rush, with a taste of burlesque, and a taunt of influences from around the globe.

Fifi Reloaded! Review of Fifi Abdo Workshop and Show
Sponsored by Little Egypt Holiday Inn Select, Dallas, Texas May 18-20, 2007

Dahlena, The Classic Style Prevails,
Raqia does everything from the knees, and Dahlena said not to do that! What's a girl to do?

Le Serpent Rouge Reviewed
The blending of theater and dance was really outstanding with broad comedy moving seamlessly into dance.

Elegance and Power, A Weekend Workshop with Raqia Hassan, Gala Performance Show,
April 21 and 22, 2007, Odd Fellows Hall, Redwood City, CA. Her personal style was an oddly elusive mixture of street attitude and elegance, both "fierce and friendly" as one person said.

An Evening with The American Bellydance Superstars,
Marin Civic Auditorium, March 3, 2007. "Even though the dancing from Egyptian cabaret to tribal and venues in between is incredibly bold, excellent in stylizing and format… it truly is an American tableau of how we represent this art."

Tribal Throwdown Photos and Workshop Review for Heather Stants’ “Appetite for Deconstruction: Urban Tribal Style
March 17, 2007 Live Oak Center in Berkeley. Heather’s task was to transmit that fusion thought in the workshop. She did an excellent job.

Fresh off the Plane from Cairo, A Workshop Review of Astryd Farah deMichele
So how does Astryd select the signature moves she wants to teach? What she looks for first and foremost is being entertained.

Ballet Afsaneh and Carmen Carnes Dance Ensemble Reviewed
Full Circle Little Theater Marin Civic Center, San Rafael, CA February 16, 2007. And since when was Rumi associated with Mother Earth?

My Experience in a Suhaila Salimpour Weekend Workshop
It’s a good kind of tired, one that makes you want to sleep, dream and then wake up and do it all over again. That’s the way I felt after a weekend in Austin, Texas, with Suhaila Salimpour, one of northern California’s most renowned dancers.

The Flame and Shadow Performance
To this observer, the production seemed like an important breakthrough in oriental style Dance Theater.

Perfectly Masterful Teaching: Drum Solo Master Class with Jim Boz
With his shaved head tied up in a bandanna, with a burly torso, powerful legs, and a thick neck, he looks more like a biker, a bouncer, or a circus strongman. Thus, his grace and posture is even more amazing.

Ansuya's San Francisco Performance Reviewed
Superstar Ansuya and Belly dancer enthusiast and event producer Gina Grandi provide warm environment to feature up and coming local talent.


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Oriental Dance Festival in Belgium
I went to this festival for my two heroes–Aziza and Jillina–and came home with three!

Luna’s Café Bellie Serves Up a Mix of Dance Delights
Ten bones gets you a great lesson, and the best local talent worth absorbing…

In a New England Snowstorm, Hopes of Spring...Amel Tafsout,
At some point, one collapses into a dream, but this dream world is the most real of realities.

Rachel Brice Goes Balkan: Pogonometric Revue Reviewed
Sunday, March 12, 2006, CELLspace, 2050 Bryant St., San Francisco, Cost: $15 and worth every penny

Belly Dance Superstars ~Raks Carnivale!
Am I jaded because I was part of the company for so long? Am I unable to view the show from unbiased lenses? How I yearn to have virgin eyes, seeing belly dance for the first time.


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A Weekend with Horacio & Beata Cifuentes, Part 2,
For me, if I am still thinking about it and what I gained from it as a dancer, months or years after I took it, then that is a “golden” workshop. Making it “golden” takes the effort of a lot of people involved.

A Weekend with Horacio & Beata Cifuentes, Part 1,
What is it about certain workshops in which the profundity and joy of the workshop stays with you long after it is over?

Haft Paykar: "Seven Beauties" Seeking Love and Enlightenment in 12th Century Persia,
Even when a show attempts to borrow at least the external forms from some body of myth or literary work, it is unusual for the producers to be as aware of the allegorical content as Gray is of the deeper meanings behind Haft Paykar.

Workshop with Issam Houshan March 26, 2005, San Francisco
In the solo improvisational forms of Middle Eastern Dance, the chemistry between the drummer and the dancer is a vital ingredient.

Dancing With A SuperStar Jillina’s Drum Solo Workshop in Vancouver
If you have the opportunity to dance with this amazing, educated, experienced, beautiful, and did I mention fun? woman, do not hesitate to do it. It is worth every penny and every minute!

Sultans of the Night performing Pandora’s Legend
Olympic Hall Munich, Germany April 27, 2005. What progress it is to see Belly dance as something more than a flesh show!

Farida Fahmy Workshop
What you know, leave at the front desk in a little bag.


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Hakim’s Washington DC Concert Rates a “C”
From the moment I found out about the concert, it was like nothing I’d ever experienced.

Suhaila Salimpour’s “Sheherezade” review
"...while I can't comment on what percentage of the show was new material, it kept me very well entertained nonetheless."

An American Belly Dancer: The Significance of Jillina,
workshop sponsored by Amina Goodyear, at Dance Mission, San Francisco, California, January 25, 2004
It seems quite evident that it wasn't Jillina's motivation to become the Superstar title which now precedes her -- that she is, in fact, just doing what she loves, being who she truly is, working hard at it -- and the rest sort of fell into her hands.

Yair Dalal in Boulder, Colorado,
The concert received a standing ovation from a packed house.

Celebrating the 5 Elements: Earth, Air, Fire, Water & Ether with Morocco and Tarik Sultan,
Presented by World Fusion Dance Theatre in April 2003. This is definitely a show I’ll never forget. And that’s not necessarily a good thing.


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Review of Dalia Carella's "Transparancy"
While I have seen a few outstanding belly dance shows in the San Francisco Bay Area...

Magana’s Marathon: Belly Dancer of the Millennium Contest!

Hakim and Cheb Khaled Concert Review
revealing look at Arabic music today and an indicator of how exciting the possibilities are when cultures share influences, yet retain their individuality.

Building Bridges Benefit
Nobody seemed to mind the tight quarters and a good time was had by all.


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Summer Caravan 2001 Lumbers Through the Bay Area with Heavy Feet
Born and raised in Lebanon, Lilly puzzles over an American bellydance festival in Oakland, CA

The New Bal Anat, A Personal View, June 30, 2001
The premiere of the New Bal Anat reviewed by a former student of the old Bal Anat's originator.

Bellydancer of the Year Pageant, May 19th, 2001,
Are the dancers setting the trends, showcasing the trends, or simply trying to appease the judges? This was one of the questions we pondered during Leah Aziz's 28th Bellydance of the Year Pageant.

Tara Al Nour's aim is off in solo recital
Much-hyped instructor and Raks Sharqi dancer fails to find heart of the material in program of Lebanese and Egyptian songs

Tarzan & Jane in the Jungle,
The pace of the show is almost unbelievable!


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Googoosh's World Tour
Only the truly fashionable need attend.

Magana's Marathon: Belly Dancer of the Millennium Contest! ,
There were those who were sitting close enough to the stage that felt his performance was
emotionally moving, "straight from his heart!".

Aisha Ali Workshop in Phoenix, AZ,
Aisha Ali, a long time pioneer in North African-style dancing, was the teacher for the Saturday workshop

Club Galia Grand Opening
Salamat Sunday and Babylon Friday moves to a new venue

Belly Dancer of the Year 2000,
Leea's contest in San Ramoan, California, for troupes, duets, soloists and Grand Dancer.

The performance of "Transcendance of Inanna by Titanya Monique Dahlin"
She refers to herself as a "StoryDancer".

Workshop Review-Raqia Hassan
Raqia Hassan is one of the top choreographers in Egypt.

Pyromaniac's Dream Event!


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"The Living Goddess",
Theatrical Dance production by Dhyanis

Videos & Film

2013 - 2012 - 2011 - 2010 - 2009 - 2008 - 2007 - 2006 - 2005 - 2004 - 2003 - 2002 - 2000


Beyond DVDs - Try Live Streaming! Online Dance Instruction: Ansuya, Sadie, and Cera Byer
Oh, Technology! You’ve brought us so many new ways of advancing our dancing skills: instructional DVDs, belly skypes, Raqs TV rentals, recorded classes online–and now–live, interactive classes online. Just how helpful are these cyberlearning tools? Let’s talk about the “Powhow” classes.

Luscious: The Bellydance Workout, a DVD Review
If you are looking for something that is a mix of dance practice and a workout, then I think you will enjoy this DVD. It is a perfect selection of moves that are combined to work on your stamina, polishing your technique for choreography.

2 Instructional DVDs: Unprofessional or Homespun? “The Basics With Outi” & “Step-By-Step Bellydance”
The two DVDs that I received for review and comparison for Gilded Serpent were by a group and individual with whom I was unfamiliar. In fact, I had never heard of either one. Both had their strong points, but in my opinion, were fraught with significant problems also.

Bellydance in the Real World- Bellydance Superstars ¨The Art of Bellydance ¨Live from Shanghai DVD, VIII International Oasis Festival Show Harem Saint-Petersburg Russia DVD
Many new performances can open your mind to interesting, fun fusions from around the world and help you to prove how stylization can vary–country to country.

Who's the Fairest of Them All? Enchanting Bellydance Choreography by Sandra, Captivating Bellydance Choreography With Amar Gamal
Fairies are enchanting magical beings that many mortals would like to have the gift of seeing, and while I haven’t seen any fairies personally, I felt that I was one of the luckiest of mortals recently when I had the opportunity to become enchanted by two new DVDs from skilled, talented, and perhaps enchanting, dancers.


Layers and Levels, “Layers with Leyla”, “5-Layers from the Ground Up” with Nadira
If you are a dancer who loves dancing with the guidance of a choreography involving complex moves and intricate combinations (like me, for instance), then you are always on the lookout for the release of new DVDs about layering–in search of fresh new combinations that can enhance and advance your performances.

This DVD is a good choice for dancers who are more into ritual, sacred, experimental, and related fusion forms of belly dance

Shahrazad at Large, Then, Now and…Forever?
I didn’t want belly dance to change. I used to be stuck on issues of authenticity and historical integrity but I think I’m not now. There are so many possible modern re-readings of belly dance, and there are no reasons why there shouldn’t be. But in any case, there’s no stopping things when they go viral.

If you’re like me, you have tubs of fabric and always see the “need” for more. But our love of fabric is NOT just manifested in our stashes and projects, it’s also reflected in our dance, our beautiful veil dance and more recently the fan veil dance. Each of these three DVDs offers something positive for different dance goals.

I reviewed two very pleasant, fun DVDs, Istanbul Nights by Ansuya, and Turkish Roman Dance with Elizabeth Strong. Both DVDs have much to offer, and are surprisingly different from each other in their interpretation of Romani Dance and teaching styles.

Fire and Ice, Sugar and Spice! Mystic Moves With Ava Fleming and Hip-Notic Bellydance With Kaya
I have had the pleasure of reviewing two very good DVDs: Mystic Moves with Ava Fleming and Hip-Notic Bellydance with Kaya. Both dancers adhere to different styles of Cabaret or Oriental Bellydance, and I found their approaches both engaging and refreshing!

Conditioning and Floor work; Two Strong Strengtheners! Cassandra’s Conditioning Class, Ruby’s Flawless Floorwork,
It was with a bit of concern that I agreed to review these DVDs, as I have an extensive background in these topics.

Two Musical Sundaes with Dancers on Top, “Babelesque Live in Tokyo 2009”, Bellydance Superstars Series, “Dancers for Dancers, Volume 5”, produced by Cheeky Girls,
Two DVD’s. Two live shows. Two very different productions! It is hard to stand them side by side.


Are These the Droids You've Been Looking For? Two Pop & Lock Fusion DVDs Reviewed
I’ve seen some very groundbreaking, mindblowing blends of belly dance with modern, hip hop and world dances. But more often than not, I see dancers in an easily definable costume, dancing to easily definable music, without stylized movement. I believe it takes a balance of all three elements to achieve good fusion, with stylized movement being the strongest ingredient in any form of dance.

Learning to Dance the U.K. Way, Hillary’s "Beginners’ Egyptian Dance" and Charlotte’s "Learn to Bellydance"
Strange names for movements used in the U.K. such as “snaky arms”, and the most repeated “wobbly walk” and “wobbly movement” in describing shimmies, as well as “quiver in your bellybutton” are off-putting.

Dance Combinations – Uneven, Misnamed Productions Still Worthwhile, “Cool Combos ‘a La Galit” and “Combin-Ography by Bahaia"
Through the process of comparing and contrasting these two DVDs, I learned that in our technical age, although there are many people out there that have knowledge that can and should be shared, production value really does count for something.

Metamorphosis of a Latin Belly Dancer, DVD review of Bozenka’s ¨Journey of a Dancer¨
This caused me wonder: she states she improvises 99.9% of the time she performs, but how does she improvise her work while she performs on stage (if she likes it, she memorizes it?) and teaches it later in her workshops?

And Here’s a Work from…the Lovely Jenna DVD: "Bellydance, The Next Level"
When I’ve gone to Jenna’s classes, I noticed she had a knack for making the students comfortable with themselves while learning new steps. This persona still comes across on DVD.

Bottoms up! Two Belly Dance Starters, Bottoms Up! Two Belly Dance Starters Cory’s "Learn Belly Dancing" & Said’s "Get Ready to Dance"
Reviewers of Cory’s other DVDs have often complained that the quality of filming and lighting were not good. I didn’t find this to be a problem with Learn Belly Dancing. Although it’s not a slick production, you can see and hear everything you need to perfectly well. Cory has a clear, pleasant manner of speaking that is easy on the ear.

Global Glances, Homage to Mahmoud Reda: A Life for Dancing, Full-Tilt Boogie presents: Belly – Sensual, Scarred, Sacred
As Unmata’s Amy Sigil observes, the dance is taking place in a kind of self-supportive bubble to which the general public is really irrelevant.

Beginnings Made Easy: Basics, Improv, First Shows!
Cassandra, Tanna Valentine, and Nadira Jamal. While all three are classified as "basic" level videos, one is geared to the absolute beginner, another to the newer dancer ready to perform, and the third to the performer who is ready to graduate from choreography to improvisation; a dancer should take care to choose the correct one for her current developmental stage.

Amera's Dina DVD Reviewed An evening of Arabic Dance and Music featuring World Renowned Belly Dance Artist DINA
Nonetheless, we need to move beyond her expressions. Her dance is Dina. She is agile, melodic, rhythmic, and her movements are so intertwined with the lyrics and the music that she exists as the music–always reaching out to us and, thereby, bridging the gap.

Off the Beaten Path Cory Zamora's "Belly Dancing for Seniors" & "Learn the Art of Male Belly Dancing"
However, I have a couple of issues with this DVD. One of my issues is that, other than stating the ages of the students (60, 63, 75) and making a fleeting mention of a few physical issues they have (problems with feet, back, etc.), there is not a great deal of material specific to senior dancers.

Turkish Dance DVDs: For the Birds? Danceuse by Asena" and "Sema Yildiz: Turkish Belly and Gypsy Dance"
I enjoyed her Roma dancing the most and felt that it would be amazing to watch Sema in person to experience all the facial and tiny pelvic movements.

Get Down to the Root of it! Yasmina Ramzy's Asala I & II,
Ramsey's ability to show movements of grace and femininity comes across strongly by presenting the dance as respectable and as a valid form of dance expression.


Dances of the Mahgreb, Tamazgha, or Berbers, Amel Tafsout in Performance,
I'm glad Amel included her singing and drumming along with her dance performances. Her Berber Chaoui song is especially strong and powerful.

Ready, Set, Go! Leila's "Belly Dance for Beginners" & Dhyanis's "Absolute Bellydance Basics: Fundamentals for All Styles"
I stopped being the target market for beginner DVDs a long time ago, though, and I'd be happy if somebody purchased this DVD aiming for a gentle, sexy-feeling workout and fell in love with Belly dance through its influence.

Strong and Sweet: Neon Serves Up a Dance Fitness Video Hard Candy, The Bellydance Workout by World Dance New York
Regardless of your particular fitness poison, I am not surprised that Neon has managed to challenge the viewer and integrate useful and challenging movements that are actually helpful to your skill as a dancer.

Be Amazed & Dedicated in Your Dance! Hands, Arms & Poses by Aziza and Turn In, Turn Out & Turn Around – Vol. 1 by Said El Amir,
After watching both of the DVDs in depth, I would describe Aziza & Said El Amir as amazing and dedicated instructors.

Tough to Choose What's Best from Ranya! Belly Dance Egyptian Style: the Baladi,Belly Dance Egyptian Style: Modern Oriental
A dance friend described it aptly as something you can "geek out" on. It is jam-packed with information about the music, different styles of baladi, and the movements to use in this improvisational style.

A Glimpse of the Middle East, Arab Film Fest Features: "The City of Life" and "Wedding Song"
The audiences' reaction to certain scenes will be priceless. In a nutshell, this film has wonderful actors pushed into an impossible wedge of history.

Master Zilling with Movement,The Art of Playing Finger Cymbals with Momo Kadous,
Things start to get really interesting when he introduces variations of tone, and I wish he had devoted more of the DVD to this technique.

Tribal Videos Today, Tribal Fusions, Volume 2 from Bellydance Superstars Tales of Desire from Hollywood Music
It's my belief, that as dancers, it's good to keep up with what's happening within the greater dance community, even if it doesn't suit our taste or style. It's especially important for dance instructors to recognize who the industry leaders are. It doesn't matter if it's Egyptian Raks Sharki or Flamenco/Gypsy/Zambra Mora or in this case, Tribal Fusion–knowing who is the current crème-de-la-crème will give you a stronger knowledge base from which to teach your students. Investing in one or two high-quality professionally made Tribal DVDs will add breadth to a dancers video collection.

Got Baby? Two Prenatal DVDs: Amira's Bellydance & Yoga for Pregnancy, Prenatal Bellydance with Naia,
For students who are looking for a quick but easy workout with some light and simple bellydance movements, Prenatal Bellydance with Naia may provide a slightly more satisfying pace. However, new beginners may be overwhelmed, and would do better to select Amira's Bellydance & Yoga for Pregnancy. Neither DVD offered a challenge for advanced dancers, while both DVDs are more suitable for a dancer in her second or third trimester, as they may be too easy for a dancer in her first trimester.

Lots and Lots of Combinations, Review of 2 Belly Dance Step Combination DVDs: IAMED's Ultimate Combos #5 and Combination Nation #2 by Cheeky Girls
With the Belly dance market being saturated with all plethora of instructors, genres, production companies, etc., it's inevitable that the same type of DVDs will be produced. As I've said before, its difficult to decide which titles to buy unless you are certain you enjoy the dancer/instructor.

Rainbow Dancers of the Dunes; Amera's Khaleegy DVD
Amera, a legendary Australian dancer who worked in the Middle East, begins with a brief poetic, documentary presentation of Khaleegy basic background history and how it personally touched her heart.

Drumming for Bellydancers and Bellydance Drumming Wannabes: 3 Drumming DVDs reviewed
However, the three "how to play the drum" DVDs I am reviewing really do introduce the beginning drummer to the drum and, if used as a three unit package, these three DVDs can take the drummer or dancer/drummer from absolute beginning level to the stage.

More Fans, More Veils…
She includes a lot more ground information by using combinations, aptly named tables and turns, and the introduction to a lengthier fan veil that is 3 meters long instead of the standard 1.5 meters.

Galit Mersand Teaches the Shisha Dance
This is a unique dvd for the performer who wants to widen her horizons.


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Drum Solos: 3 Masterful Approaches, 1-2-3 Drum Solo with Bahaia, Arabic Rhythms and Combinations with Tamra-henna, Dynamic Drum Solo: Technique & Choreography with Sadie
Overall, if I were an advanced beginner through advanced intermediate student with only enough money for one of these videos, I'd purchase Arabic Rhythms and Combination with Tamra-henna.

Tasting Cairo Stars in Your Home: Randa, Diana, Leila, Natasha’s Video Package- "Masters of Egyptian Choreography"
Begin with the interviews and you will benefit from an understanding of their individual teaching methods.

“Habibi, You are My What?..”DVD- Essential Arabic for Dancers, Vol 1 reviewed
However, I have never had such insight into the words as this DVD taught me! Now, thanks to Leyla, I have an added dimension to teach my students.

Pop, Locks and Shimmy x 2, 2 DVDs with Almost the Same Name
So what’s with the title dilemma? who deserves the crown for the first pop, lock, and shimmy DVD, or who did the best one? After dancing along several times to each DVD, what matters most to answer the question who did it right - the appropriate title to the appropriate production.

Knowledge and Skills for Becoming an Excellent Performer: Sadie’s Complete Bellydancing Guide Secrets of the Stage Vol. 1 With Michelle Joyce
Common anxiety attacks that almost every dancer experiences before getting on stage are discussed

2 Balancing & Sword DVDs Reviewed: The Art of Sword and Shamadan by Princess Farhana DVD & Sword and Tray Balancing for Bellydancers with Cory & Laura
It’s a shame that this DVD wasn’t a remastered version.

3 Instructional DVDs for Beginners:Wide Range in Quality: A Course in Belly Dance by Galit Mersand, Aziza’s Ultimate Practice Companion, 1-2-3- Belly Dance with Bahaia .
I am going to review 3 videos that are mainly for beginners or practice.  They are from 3 vastly different dancers who each have unique styles. 

Sensual not Sexual:Exploring Sensuality in Bellydance, DVD Reviews of “Sensual Belly Dance with Blanca”, and “Sensual Passion with Tamalyn Dallal”
“Sensual Passion” (the DVD) is not about sensuality! Again, like Blanca’s “Sensual Belly Dance”, this DVD is not another “charm your man and get him to fall in love with you” instructional DVD.

Middle Eastern Dance Theater:Erotic Chantal and Mythogical Ishtar
This is where I had to stop and get a drink of water. Thrusting pelvises on the pyramids was wild and not at all the way had I remembered the pyramids!

So, If You Cut up a Rose, is it still a Flower? Fusing Bellydance With Other Dance Forms
A reader’s position at this point will depend on whether you think that bellydance and Middle Eastern dance are one and the same, and whether you feel any particular sense of ownership over either one of those terms.

Thrillin'Zillin"; DVD Review of "Belly Dance with Zills "
This is helpful for dancers who have a problem playing zills while dancing, or who are OK with just a drum playing the rhythm but get confused when playing to a song.  Elsa uses some familiar songs in this DVD which will give you the feeling of  "Oh, I've danced to this before; maybe next time I'll add my zills".

The Girlz Got Skilz: DVD review of Asharah's Modern Tribal Bellydance
Those who are interested in tribal fusion, I would definitely recommend this DVD to get a feel for the specific moves that are popular among tribal artists. If you’re already a tribal enthusiast, then this is a must have in your DVD library.


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Fabulous Fan Veilzz w/ Mahsati Janan
Like I said before, this video is for those who are familiar with belly dance already. The fan veil is a new concept and performance skill , as well as a new prop in Middle Eastern dance.

Kaleila’s Belly Dance Baby DVD, Dancing While Pregnant
In this touchingly personal video, Kaleila sets out to “inspire other pregnant women to feel beautiful."

Unveiled: 3 Instructional DVDs on Veil Dancing
Fabulous 4-Yard Veils by Shoshanna, Seven Veils Romantic Bellydance by Sarah Skinner, Bellydance With Veil by Sarah Skinner

Getting in Shape: Three Core Training DVDs and One Special Treat
Core Training for Bellydancers Bellydance, Yoga Conditioning with Ariellah, Industrial Strength Dance Workout with Shakra, Bellydance Arms & Posture with Rachel Brice

2 DVD Reviews: Must or Must Not for Your Library? FCBD DVD Steps and Combinations, Vol.7 Fluid Precision Belly Dance DVD
In search of the perfect library for a bellydancer I have found these wonderful elements for the bellydancer in need of fundamentals.

Teach, Reach and Dance- 3 DVD Reviews: “ Hilary Live: Belly Dancing Around the World with Hilary Thacker”,“ Angelika Presents: Oasis at the Races” and “Belly Dance with Jrisi”
This uneven exchange between music and dancer, I feel, took away from a performance that had the potential to be much more dynamic.

Bellydancing With Fire with Leslie Rosen Reviewed
Leslie gets an "A" on fire safety. Her safety section is a great overview, covers just about everything, and has clear visual demonstrations of fuel handling, dipping, and shaking out the excess fuel.

One DVD reviewed by Two- Pop, Lock and Shimmy! Belly Dance with Michelle,
With the current titling issues of Pop, Lock and Shimmy and IAMED’s upcoming Kaya and Sadie release however, I decided to pull out my notes and give the original drill DVD its due.

Sacred Bellydance: Level One DVD Review
Produced by Temple of Jehan. This is followed by a “body prayer” performed by a number of women in similar garb. While this segment is graceful and calming, I found it at the same time somewhat creepy, perhaps due to the haunting background music and repeating vocals.

Jillina Redoux- Bellydance with Jillina DVDs Reviewed
On the whole, this is a great set of instructional DVDs. They are top-notch quality and well worth the price. Even the minor annoyances of the camera work on the performance sections is very small compared with the wretched production quality of many comparably priced instructional DVDs. These are definitely top of the line.

Welcome to the Gothla! Dancing Along the Sulk Road Review of 3 DVDs
The costumes are fabulous. It's almost like—who needs all that dance technique if you're wearing an enormous leather headdress that makes you look like an alien refugee from Star Wars? Tempest's approach in particular is a painterly one, not surprising from a student of the Rhode Island School of Design.

Journey of Desire: A Foreign Dancer in Cairo, 2006, Review
I believe that any dancer who has the desire to go to Cairo to work will benefit from the experiences of Yasmina and the other working dancers whom she asked to contribute. One will come away having a better understanding of the Arabic culture and how the dance is viewed within that culture.

Serpentessa – Do not try this at home…. DVD review of "Belly Dance with Snakes: Embody Your Inner Serpent"
There are things in this video I can get behind and things I can’t. A blessing and a curse of this video is that there is so much information that it is difficult to navigate through it all.

Aruna's "Dancer's Body" Reviewed DVD
One of Aruna's claims to fame is being 50 and being tougher than chicks half her age. And it's true, at least with regard to the strength training - which was her profession for many years. Considering that most belly dancers want to be as youthful as possible, it's a nice change to have someone so athletic who's still improving with time.

Dance Today! Bellydance with Neon DVD
My pride, however, was not insulted. Go ahead Neon, clap your hands and count from one to eight as if I just stopped teething yesterday. I don’t care; I want to learn how to be a better bellydancer and if I learn effectively from a professional performer who reminds me of my kindergarten teacher, then so be it.


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A Review of 2005’s Tribal Fusion Bellydance, Yoga, Isolations and Drills: a Practice Companion with Rachel Brice,
Overall, this is a fantastic workout that I recommend to anyone. It will tone and strengthen your abs like a lying-down, crunches workout cannot do.

Tribal: Fusion, Bedouin, What's the Difference? 4 DVDs reviewed and compared
When I see a dancer I really like, I want to *be* her, or him, right at that moment. My heart leaps at the music and then leaps again when I see what they're doing. With this one, I was interested, but not that engaged.

Farida Dance presents Cairo Nights: 2005 and 2006 DVDs
There are so many nuggets packed into these 3 DVDs other than the 3 dancers for which I purchased them. I keep finding things that I really enjoy as I go back to watch them time after time.

Two For One, Two very different DVDs on Turkish Dance reviewed,
I Love Turkish Dance by Sarah Skinner & Turkish Style Belly Dance by Elizabeth Artemis Mourat

Four Bellydancers... I AIN'T SCARED! Bellydance Superstars- Introduction to Bellydance DVD
The ladies seem to enjoy each other’s company (except for an occasionally withdrawn Sonia) and the chemistry that they have with each other comes across well in their instruction. That is if you don’t get bored or tired before the video ends.

Working the Core, Bellydance Core Fitness DVD
What I found instead was a not-very-flashy production of a good workout that is filled with unexpected and unusual (for bellydance) moves accompanied by sound anatomy and posture advice and coaching.

Glimpses Into the Past:On DVD at Last!
Some current dancers may find that the sentiment of the 70’s feels alien and therefore unable to relate to it. However, I believe many dancers will be thrilled to see faces attached to the names of some of our dance legends like Bert Balladine in Gameel Gamal.

Dancing the Big Belly, Bellydance Prenatal Fitness and Dance Instruction Program DVD
The slow pace may seem agonizing for a fit, nonpregnant dancer and may seem slow during earlier stages of pregnancy, but as that weight starts adding up and the fatigue returns in the third trimester, I have a feeling the pace does not seem so slow.

Tamalyn Dallal's DVD- 40 Days and 1001 Nights,
Thus, the film did expand my visual awareness. Now, did it deepen or extend my understanding of what that diversity implied? My response would have to be no.

By Dancers, For Dancers DVD reviewed
As working professionals, these dancers present the style of performance you would see in an intimate restaurant or at a house party.

DVD Review: Oriental Dancers of Europe
This is not your slick Hollywood production...

Rhythms of Oriental Dance, Starring Nesma and Khamis Henkesh,
Nesma and Khamis's discussion of the complexity of Arabic music and dance is both appealing and easy to grasp.

Bellydance Basics and Beyond, Technique for a solid foundation with Jenna
This is probably one of the best and most complete beginner instructional DVD that I have seen in a while.

Bellydancing the Sacred Shapes with The Goddess Dancing
Ultimately, this is an excellently taught video which a beginner bellydancer may benefit greatly from, if only for the anatomical breakdowns of movements.


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Fitness and Dance Fusion, Multiple DVDs
It may be a challenge to adequately achieve all three fitness parameters while also offering a technically solid and tasteful representation of the dance form.

Azar’s Belly Dance Workout Volume 1,
The first section is “alignment” which I was thrilled to see. Far too few teachers stress the importance of proper alignment.

Dancers Arms by Aruna,
Why you must get this DVD and why some instructors don’t want you to know about it…

Expo: Magic of the White City The Chicago World's Fair of 1893
Alas, there is a dark side to what could have been a superb documentary – the way it handles nearly every subject related to women, including the Middle Eastern dance performers.

Shades of Goth Fall Upon Belly Dance Gothic Bellydance: The Darker Side of Fusion DVD
"There have been heated discussions on several Belly dance forums about this DVD..."

Leyla Jouvani's DVD 21 shimmies and 1001 variations
An IAMED production. I would recommend this video. This video is very long at about 2 hours and 15 minutes running time. You certainly get your monies worth.

Princess Farhana's Instructional DVD Bellydance Basics Reviewed
The best section in the video is the “Figure Eight.” P. Farhana does an excellent job explaining all types carefully.

"How to Bellydance with Dondi" DVD Review
Dondi is a beautiful, voluptuous woman, who's pleasing voice direction matches her visual cues in perfect sync.


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Rakset Assaya: An Introduction to Egyptian Saidi Technique
So what could be better than learning Egyptian Saidi technique from an Egyptian of Saidi background who is the renowned master of the dance? How about learning it from his partner, who breaks the steps down verbally in the American teaching style!

Shareen el Safy's Exploring the Drum Solo “DVD”
I am pleased to report that what she said was true—everything she covered in the workshop is on the DVD. Finding it, however, is another matter.

The Superstars Back In Action, A Review of the DVD, "Bellydance Superstars Live in Paris at the Folies Bergere"
The show is well staged and well filmed, the music is fabulous and the dancing superb...

American Bellydancer, the Film
Film reviewed on April 10, 2005, postscript added about DVD edition with bonus features

The Golden Apple: Bellydance Stars of New York
Released by WorldDance New York, this DVD provides an almost spiritual viewing experience.

Review of Princess Farhana's Bellydance & Balance: The Art of Sword and Shamadan
This may not be the most professional-looking bellydance video you ever bought, but it definitely serves its instructional purpose -- perhaps more so than many high-budget productions.

Visual Melodies produced by Serena and Hossam Ramzy
The essence of Oriental dance is in a dancer’s ability to interpret Arabic music.

Keti Sharif’s A to Z Advanced Stage Instructional DVD and booklet review
It is rare that an instructional video marketed to advanced dancers follows through to actually challenge experienced students or performers. This one does.

Wings, The Complete Technique, a private lesson with Ayshe
Well, I have to say that I must take a bit of an issue with the title of this DVD. “A private lesson” with Ayshe? More like an intensive, private seminar! This 2-hour “workshop” is one of the most comprehensive instructional DVDs for dancers I’ve seen.

Belly Dance Super Stars Video Review
Produced and Directed by Jonathan Brandeis Executive Producer: Miles Copeland. "... However, as there is no audience, most of the dancers have a difficult time conveying the emotions of the dance to the video viewer. Only Jillina and Dondi seem to overcome this obstacle. "

Comments On American Bellydancer
A documentary film or video is made up of "real" images constructed in such a way to reflect the point of view of its maker. So a documentary film is a fiction, especially when financed by its key subject.


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DVD Review - "Instant Bellydancer, Curves, A Crash Course in Belly Dance" by Neon,
So, with a somewhat more open mind, I popped the DVD into my computer and from the opening shot found myself captivated!

"Raqia Hassan presents Ahlan Wa Sahlan Oriental Dance Festival Opening Cairo 2003."
While my personal preference is to focus on the dancers, some people may enjoy celebrity spotting, or looking for friends and fellow dancers fortunate enough to have attended the gala.

Video Review: Veena and Neena’s Discover Bellydance
Marina’s three performances are worth the price of the entire set of DVDs.

DVD Review of Bellyqueen’s Bellydance Jam
The videography is still excellent, even in the darkened club setting,...

Marquerite's Video, "Spins & Turns,"
Her spotting technique was intriguing and involved a finger-snapping exercise.


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An Evening of Experimental Middle Eastern Dance Video
...this genre encourages performers to intermingle other dance forms with belly dance, to develop a theme or make a statement.

Classic Cabaret Floor Work with Anaheed Video reviewed
Good lighting, good sound, clear instructions and good camera work seem to be the hallmarks of IAMED videos.

Jillina’s DVD or All Jillina, All the Time
In fact, the production quality is exemplary.


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Satin Rouge a film by Raja Amari,
Subtle communication is the film’s core strength. The characters struggle with public vs. private life through a delicate balance of “don’t ask, don’t tell”...

Raven and Zephirah Dance In Light Rain
"...dared to go public with a depiction the sensual, sexual nature of belly dance and have managed to do so in an artistic way."

"Festival of the Nile XXI" from Beledi Productions Featuring Shoshanna,
To market such a video for profit is a travisty, in my opinion.

Fire at the IAO,
This high quality of dance is rarely seen.

Egyptian Drum Solo Choreography Video, Volume 1 b
If you are looking for a video that will inspire you ...


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Armando's Drumming Dazzles the Dancer
Video review of "Uncle Mafufo's Riqs & Defs: a practical approach to Middle Eastern Frame Drums"

Amaya's Gypsy Fire Video


2013 - 2012 - 2011 - 2010 - 2009 - 2008 - 2007 - 2006 - 2005 - 2004 - 2003 - 2002 - 2001 - 2000


Tradition, Passion, and Fusion, “Ro-He, Classical Egyptian Dance” 2003, and “Egyptian Rai” 2006 by Hossam Ramzy
In this review I am critiquing two CD’s by Hossam Ramzy. I write in detail about each CD, it’s interesting parts, or special interests as well as critique. I then compare the two at the conclusion of this article. Enjoy…the incredible talents of Hossam Ramzy!

Ramzy's Old and New
In conclusion, and personally being a purist with a lot of my Bellydance music, I like Hossam Ramzy’s “Best of the Best”; in my opinion, it’s hard to improve on that collection. However, I would recommend giving all of these albums a try, as they are all high-quality music. If you are a World-music fan, and love music that jams with a bit of rock thrown in, you’ll like “Rock the Tabla”!

Technique, Rhythm and Passion, Sharing the Intangible, All by Hossam Ramzy: Rhythms of the Nile: Intro to Egyptian Dance Rhythms, Baladi Plus: Egyptian Dance Music, Sabla Tolo III,
Rhythms of the Nile is one of the most important CDs in my library. While I have lots of instructional rhythm CDs, this is one of my top three – all the others are just collecting dust.




Hossam Ramzy Plays Fast and Loose, Two CDs for Classical Egyptian Dance
Honestly, I hadn’t expected to like this album (noodling has not been to my taste in the past), but I found it refreshing and rather healing, as the relaxation and delight shifted my state of mind every time I danced to it.

Ramzy's Take on Egyptian Classics for Dancers, “Best of Om Kolthoum and Mohammed Abdul Wahab”, “Best of Abdul Halim Hafiz, Hossam Ramzy and his Egyptian Ensemble” ,
I find this to be the best of all possible worlds, if you have a short workshop performance or an Arab event there is a selection suitable for you.

A Whole Lot of Sax Going On! A Review of 2 CDs from Hossam Ramzy Featuring Saxophone Music, Afrah Baladi with Mostafa Sax,
The saxophone was popularized in beledi music starting in the 1970s. Although I wasn’t introduced to Middle Eastern music until the ‘80s, I believe the first recordings I happened upon featured Samir Sourour.

Three CDs: Movie Music! "Domtekastan" The Darbuki Kings, "Cairo Blue" Sands of Time, "Cinematic" Zikrayat
In the case of their inserts, however, all three leave a little something to be desired. It often occurs to me that I’d like to know more about the artists and also would like more information about the music and songs they are playing.

Egyptian Classical Music: Entertainment or Education?
The Art of the Early Egyptian Qanun Vol. 1 & 2, performed byThe Traditional Arabic Music Ensemble & Egyptian Taqasim: Produced and distributed by Nesma


Where There is Music, There is Dance. Ahla Andalusi, 40 Days & 1001 Nights
They are islands of beauty and as the two albums dance in my head, I am lost in a dream of visions – colors, light and dark, pure and hazy, and smells of incense and flowers wafting in the breeze of temperate temperature which encircle me and the choreographies of my mind.

In the Land of Big Sound: The Masters of Bellydance Music, Vol 2,The Farha Tour, Sydney 2008, The Essence of Bellydance,
All three of these CDs I am reviewing here are for the fans of big, full, sound, with lots of variation in instrumentation, changes in volume and tempo, and plenty of drama–in short, the music you might want for your big show! When you want to fill the room with music, these CDs are exceptional choices.

Listen and Learn Musical Expertise! Dr. George Sawa: Egyptian Music Appreciation & Practice for Bellydancers
The idea is to listen, learn, and use the clips to get the rhythms, in particular, into your body through free dance practice. If used to the fullest, this resource will give you a wonderful grounding in Egyptian music.

Fusing Jazz with Middle Eastern, Souren's "Taksim, It's About Time" and Vince's "Beginnings", Two CDs Reviewed
However, in all reality, now in this world when we fuse a Belly dance with everything as well as the kitchen sink (pots, spoons, mop handles, bowls, vases, trays) why not consider seriously performing to one or both of these Jazz fusion CDs played by some of the most respected Middle Eastern musicians in the field? If dancers perform already with fusion music, why not use music that is specifically fusion?

Recreating the Live Sounds of Egypt, Yasmin's "Dancing with Genies-Hafla al Afareet"
Upon first hearing this CD, I liked, no, I loved, the way it sounded like a live show. Exciting! Nevertheless, I question why some tracks sounded like they were recorded in a sterile studio.

Creating and Listening to Musical Ecstacy, CD Review-Yasmin's "Cry to the Moon, Taqsim lil Qamar"
Taqsim traditionally follows a certain melodic progression… Following the introduction, the improviser is free to move anywhere in the maqam and even modulate to other "maqams" as long as he returns to the original. Taqsim is considered by many to be a connection to the spritual world.

3 Music CD Reviews: A Dancer's Choice,
Amera – Asal: Music for Arabic Dance, Soul Nahawnd – Music for Kitty, Leila presents Sukara: Egyptian Bellydance Music Vol. 2. It's always intriguing to find music presented by or influenced by a particular dancer. What does it mean for the album in question: was the music composed for the dancer?

The Art of Listening, Faisal's CD, "Madar"
This CD is best for dancing in the mind, not in the class. (There are, however, several tracks that are dance pieces.)

Magicians of Music, Three Excellent New Music CDs
Dancers owe a huge debt to the artists who produce music of the very highest quality, music that isn't merely a background for dancing but a star of the performance in its own right. Consider the albums listed here as potential classics that you may treasure for years.

A Look at Three Different Classical Egyptian CDs: Leila's "Om Al Dunya", Samy Farag's "Classic Egyptian Belly Dancing Music", Hamoudi Ali's "A Gift from Cairo",
Classical Egyptian music and dance style have been around for decades. This is both positive and negative for dancers looking for music in this style. On one hand, there is a lot to choose from. On the other hand, it's so easy to locate the best known pieces by the best known artists that it is hard to find something new and inspiring.

Three New Music CDs: New York, Lebanon, and Worldwide: Sayyah, BDSS 6, BD New York
Three good albums came to me for review: one a fine choice for a student, one a good choice for lovers of original music, and another for the dancer who wants everything!


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Two Finger Cymbal Products reviewed: Belly Dancing Book & Kit Zill Speak, CD and Booklet by Artemis
The finger cymbals: The cheapest money can buy, likely made by orphaned children in a third world country, yet an exceptional value for $9 at Borders books.

Roads Less Traveled: 3 Unusual Audio CDs- Experiments in Bellydance by Rebecca Wolf-Nail, Passages by Middle-Earth Ensemble, Desert Winds by Transition,
Here’s a collection of music for those searching for something off the beaten path!

Zills: “Voice” of Bellydance 2 CDs of Finger Cymbal Instruction: Mastering Finger Cymbals By Mary Ellen Donald, Raqset al Sajat, An interactive CD,
A special thanks to the artists and producers who made these CDs possible, and may they individually and collectively preserve and revitalize an aspect of the dance, playing finger cymbals, that, sadly, has been withering on the vine in the community of late.

Heartbeat of the Dance: Review of 4+ Drum Solo CDs Reviewed
Sabla Tolo 1 & 2 by Hossam Ramzy, Drum Attack by Tony Chamoun, Pulse of the Sphinx by Henkesh Brothers

Two Dance CDS for Performance and Listening "The Soul of Cairo" & "The Masters of Bellydance Music"
This family is dedicated to producing (and also finding) the latest and most popular bellydance music as well as reissuing classic albums in a remastered format with updated liner notes.


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Unveiled Musical Gems, 3 CD Reviews
Raqs El Qamar by Chris Marashlian, Rhythms of Turkey by Tayyar Akdeniz, Angelika Unveiled, by Angelika Nemeth and Raul Ferrando

"Aheb Masr, Music and Songs for Oriental Dance" CD Review
produced by Nader Zakaria, at Merryland Studio Heliopolis, Artistic direction by Yasmina. Depending on your mood and tastes, there should be something for just about everyone on this CD.

Bellylicious Raks CD review
So many other songs end abruptly and leave you hanging or just take too long to finish--not unlike an unsatisfying lover. Hasan, however, is truly satisfying. It will be my next new entrance piece for 2008!

The Magic Sounds Studio of Cairo, 3 Albums reviewed and Compared
CDs- Oriental Fantasy #12- Talisman, Nesma:Del Nilo al Guadalquivir (From the Nile to the Guadalquivir),Nesma, Memories of Cairo.
In a world where Egyptian dancers dance in the "less is more" tradition, the world of musicians seemed to be - more is better and lots more is best.


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Review of “Tribal Beats for the Urban Streets
Most songs had hardly any trace of Arabic music influence. Tribal Beats for the Urban Streets contains pop club music that is taking a risk when delving into the realm of the belly dance world. Will the electronic music on this CD still be the trend in ten years or will it be old news?

The Zar, Trance Music for Women,
produced by Yasmin of Serpentine.org. “Once a spirit is called, it must be appeased. Then it will always be there.” And it will have to be periodically dealt with.

Outi's CD, "Al Amoura" Review
I think that there is something for everyone on this CD as it contains some very useable pieces of music for performing.

In a Beirut Mood”: Jalilah's Raks Sharki 6,
I found the selections included make exciting listening. Each selection is a beautiful arrangement and a good mix. Best of all: each musical selection is useful and conducive for dance.

Macedonian Bellydance CD
On one of the mailing lists I'm on, there was recently a heated discussion on whether there was such a thing as "Balkan bellydance".

Veiled Visions: A Trip Down Memory Lane
The CD titled “Veiled Visions” is a re-release of music that was formerly produced on vinyl.


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Jazayer's "Enchanted Journey" CD Reviewed
“It is easy to make easy music sound good…” they say.


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Turbo Tabla Arabic music re-imagined Review
Traditional Arabic and Turkish with House, Hip Hop and Techno. "Mostly, the Techno style appeared in the tabla solos. I loved this CD because it has a mix of songs that are traditional, old Arabic, and Turkish."

Leila Haddad Presents: Traditional Vol. 2 SidiMansour. Songs and Beats from Tunisia.
This recording goes beyond mere music for dancing and listening. Whether one is a dancer who is studying North African /Tunisian Dance, a world music enthusiast, or an ethno-musicologist who specializes in traditional regional songs and music at its most pure level….this CD encompasses all of that --and more!


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Scott Wilson's CD "Efendi"
Scott's quest is to make Mid-East music more accessible to American audiences...

Scott Wilson's CD “An American in Istanbul”
The entire CD is laced with instrumental solos featuring each artist, many of whom are from the Mid-East, most notably George Strathos on clarinet, plus Rip Wilson, Scott's darabuka-playing Dad.

Millenium by Amir Sofi and Orchestra El Musaya
Some parts of this CD would work well in a performance...

Jalilah's Raks Sharki 6 “In a Beirut Mood” feat. Ihsn al Mounzer
This is a CD to enhance any collection! It will definitely delight the beginner or expert of Raks Sharki style dance.

Review of Americanistan CD “Mosaic”
This CD will certainly be a welcome addition to a Tribal dancer’s music library.


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Review and Rating of 2002’S MIDDLE EASTERN DRUM CD/TAPES
This is a review of eight of the most popular Middle Eastern Drum recordings produced this year. Incuding works by Reda, Susu, H Ramsy, Zaid, Mafufo, and more...

“Itneen- Tribal Dance, Tribal Drums” by Helm
Drumming like this is a gift.


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"Zig n Zag", a Music Review
All of the instruments used for this recording are acoustic, providing a warm and genuine sound; nothing is looped, sampled or synthesized.

"Right Where I Want To Be" Mimi Spencer's newest CD
...will be spellbound by this CD.

"Yarus” by Mirage
The Mirage sound is exceptionally clean ...

“Pangia, Classic & Original Music Arranged with the Dancer in Mind”
this well recorded music gives the “Belly Dance” a decidedly fusion flavor

Leila Haddad presents Traditional Tunisian Rhythms (2001)
>Be prepared to fall in love...

“Amera “Wahyatak Habibi: Music for Middle Eastern Dance”
...the production is meant to be "dancer-friendly" ...

Modern Bellydance from Lebanon, The Enchanted Dance”
You are going to have to strap on your dancin’ stiletto heels tightly...

Review of “Qanun El Tarab” By H. Ramsy and M. Serour
Ramzy has fired yet another musical salvo across the bow of your tall ship...

Nourhan Sharif Presents: "Arabic Rhythms Volume Wahid"
...consisted of rhythms disembodied from the motivational force of complete music


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"Faddah" (Silver) by Hossam Ramzy,
Dancers who have enjoyed many of Hossam Ramzy's 16 other CDs will doubtlessly be thrilled by this
beautifully produced collection of new music.

CD Reviews MahaMaya & Shri Durga by DJ Cheb I Sabbah
It mixes ragas with techno sounds in a special synthesis that will appeal to lovers of trance music.

Turkish Bellydance:
What an absolutely delightful surprise it was...

CD review -Fil Waha by Helm,
From raucous funky tribal tunes to lovely complex rhythms from southern Persia, ...


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Tribal Tales
The moods and flavors of the varied songs on this CD are sure to be useful for dancers and listeners who like something out of the ordinary to challenge and delight.

"Halawah"on Compact Disc by Reda Darwish
San Francisco's favorite Egyptian drummer has again produced a musical offering for the dancer and Middle Eastern music fans.

Amorphia's Audio Tape

Leila Haddad's Tape #2


2013 - 2012 - 2011- 2010 - 2009 - 2008 - 2007 - 2005 - 2003 - 2002 - 2001 - 2000


Egypt through a Rear-View Mirror, Middle East Journal: A Woman’s Journey into the Heart of the Arab World by Laila Abou-Saif
It is easy to recommend this book with a four-zill rating and I do. I applaud ground truth data–here, in the form of interviews–diligently gathered by someone qualified to interpret it.

Thoughtful Technique in a Beautiful Package, Jo Wise’s "The JWAAD Book of Belly Dance"
Fortunately, this beautiful book can be opened at any time, to any page, for any length of time you can spare, and it will offer you concise instruction, illustrative photos, inclusive models, creative costuming, witty sayings, insightful technique and imaginative choreographic notes!




And I thought I Knew Him, Horacio Cifuentes: Confessions of a Male Belly Dancer
Yes, I thought I knew Horacio Cifuentes, a San Francisco dancer who moved to Berlin to be with and wed Beata Zadou. After reading his book, I realized I really did not know him. The book, "Confessions of a Male Belly Dancer", is exactly that. It is a self-produced autobiography written in a very sincere, almost shockingly honest way. It is personal and personable.


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Two Finger Cymbal Products reviewed: Belly Dancing Book & Kit Zill Speak, CD and Booklet by Artemis
The finger cymbals: The cheapest money can buy, likely made by orphaned children in a third world country, yet an exceptional value for $9 at Borders books.

Belly Dance Novels, Light and Dark: The Belly Dancer by DeAnna Cameron, Midnight Rose by Wendy Buonaventura,
“The Belly Dancer” has mass marketing appeal to many women as a light, entertaining romance novel; it is a good introduction to the art form which, I believe, will even entice more than a few ladies into our classes. In contrast, “The Midnight Rose” has a darker side and is not for the faint hearted who want to read a happily ever after type novel.

Currents of Intention"Doorway to Ecstasy" Book Review
Sherry says that Prema Devi seemed to download information directly from the temple priestesses of antiquity, admonishing her students to condition both body and soul. She guided students to focus their attention, breath and movement to receive and channel higher energies.

Academia? Like it or Trash it! 2 Books Reviewed: Dancing Communities & Dancing Fear and Desire
One thing that I have found within our community is the general lack of scholarship and a feminine voice within the research.


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Training Aids or Trainer's Ads? 3 Books Reviewed
The E.D.A. Handbook for Middle Eastern Dance by David of Scandinavia, Tribal Vision by Paulette Rees-Denis, Belly Dance for the Versatile Dancer V. 1: Foundations by Zanbaka

Love and Romance, Egyptian Style, Book Review of The Poison Tree, planted and grown in Egypt by Marwa Rakha
Bravely baring her soul and laying her innermost fears on the altar of Truth as she sees it, the author gives us a rare glimpse into the inner workings of Love and Romance, Egyptian Style.

A Big Picture Book Review: Martha Burns' "Belly Dance, Celebrating the Sacred Feminine"
Every page is a work of art, a truly astonishing array of images. The content is very inclusive and features all age ranges, body types and styles. You will see yourself, your best self, in these pages.

Jenna Wood's "The Dancing Cymbalist–How to play music with finger cymbals and dance at the same time."
I was eager to review this book in hopes that it would be a new tool to help revive the dying art of finger cymbal playing. Jenna Woods seems to share that hope.

A Trade Like Any Other: Female Singers and Dancers in Egypt,
mVan Nieuwkerk had as her main objective an examination of the professions of musician and belly dancer in contemporary Egypt and an identification of the influence of these professions on the status of their practitioners, the underlying question being "Are dancers and singers considered disreputable, and if so, for what reasons?"

Academics and Belly Dance, Two Books Review
Belly Dance: Orientalism, Transnationalism & Harem Fantasy edited by Anthony Shay and Barbara Sellers-Young & Choreographic Politics: State Folk Dance Companies, Representation, and Power by Anthony Shay

Have Belly Will Travel by Tanya Lemani
The process of getting booked on these shows and her relationships with other artists, both famous and unknown, who help her on her way is the most interesting part of the book.


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Dynamic Belly Dance, The Joyful Journey of Dancemaking and Performing by Ramona
This book would be excellent when coupled with a good dance instructor or Ramona herself. She is thorough with her information and was successful creating a book that people can enjoy, if their wallets were big enough.

Danza Del Vientre by Devorah Korek Book Review
Book is in Spanish. Once in a while an object of desire comes along, which is deemed important by its obscurity. Such could be the case with this hardcover, difficult to acquire tabletop adornment from Devorah Korek, an American-born Belly Dance teacher living and thriving in Spain.

Belly Dance Wisdom– For Fitness, Pregnancy and a Divine Sexuality
This book, although not as deep on certain subjects as some may expect, does a great job at rustling the leaves away from a crooked sidewalk or blowing the dust off an old spice jar revealing an inner glow of warmth to share with others.

Flamenco Dance: Secrets of the Professionals Book
Paco Sevilla, one of the foremost flamencologists, writes nearly an encyclopedia and professional reference book for the ambitious dancer let alone, flamenco enthusiast, musician or dancer.


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A Book Review: "Also Known as Sadzia! The Belly Dancer" written by Merrill Joan Gerber,
The dance information portrayed in the book is, largely, sound, (although Sandy’s instant success as a “natural belly dancer” is a bit unbelievable!) and Sandy’s growing self-acceptance and brightening future are compelling.


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On The Costumer’s Bookshelf,
Beaded Embellishment Techniques & Designs for Embroidering on Cloth by Amy C. Clarke & Robin Atkins
Well-written directions for all of the most useful stitches for the application of beads are accompanied by clear illustrations.

Tribal Bible Reviewed
And I suppose to some dancers, it is a way of life. There is repeated emphasis placed on the concepts of bonding, healing, empowering, and connecting throughout the book. From the sound of it, American women are desperate to connect, to be part of a tribe, to belong.

Embellished Bras: THE How To of How Tos A great book by Dawn Devine Brown,
The subtitle on the cover is “Workshop in a book”. That’s no joke. This is the most complete “how to” costume book I’ve read in a long time.

“Snake Hips: Belly Dancing and How I Found True Love” by Anne Thomas-Soffee
To say I enjoyed the book would be a gross understatement.


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A Young Woman's Multicultural Adventures in Columbia, by Tamalyn Dallal ,
If we had the farsightedness to use dance as a form of diplomacy and ambassadorship towards human rights and dignity throughout the world

Adventures In Belly Dance Costuming
This is a good book for both sewing veterans and beginners alike.

Review of "Style File, A Visual Vocabulary of Middle Eastern Dance Costume",
Dawn Brown has created a handy reference guide to the main costuming trends...

To Cabaret or Not Cabaret?
"Cabaret Belt and Bra" Book 3 in Dina Lydia's Costuming Series

BOOK REVIEW-“The Belly Dance Book" Edited by Tazz Richards"
This book has a surprising change of format from all the various books that have been published recently...


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Frank Words about the Whimsy of Costume, A Review of The Costume Goddess’ Flattering Costume for Bellydancers
Book 1 in Dina's costuming series

Belly Laughs Gives Reviewer Terrific Case of Reader’s Indigestion,
“Belly Laughs: Adventures with Celebrities & Other Unusual Characters” book written by Rod Long.

On The Costumer’s Bookshelf,
Indian Embroidery by Rosemary Crill, Davina's second in a series of book reviews. This book includes a chapter on textiles made specifically for export to Europe and other parts of the globe.

Learning from the Goddess,
No matter what your body type, there is a style in there for you. This is the first reference guide I have ever found of this sort.

On the Costumer’s Bookshelf ,
The Splendor of Ethnic Jewelry. For the reader or researcher interested in ethnic jewelry, this sumptuous coffee table book is worth every penny of its rather steep price. This is the first in a regular series by Davina!

A Book Review: Iris Stewarts's "Sacred Woman, Sacred Dance"
For years, I've used dance and movement to commune with the Divine.


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Tribal Style Made Easy
Book review of "Turban to Toe Ring", by Dawn Devine Brown and Barry Brown

Other- including web sites, restaurants, other products


Heads-up for a Daughter-Mom Fun Op i-Dressup.com: Interactive Digital Paper-doll Experience
Wanna fun belly dance diversion for you and the favorite little girl in your life? Check out i-Dressup.com! In a nutshell, this site offers an interactive digital paper-doll experience. The interface is easy to use. Simply click on the wardrobe component your are interested in using and it appears on the accompanying doll.

Market Yourself with Michelle Joyce, RaqsTV.com Exclusive Content Streams to Your Screen-"Insider Secrets"
Unlike so many dance DVDs produced these days, the audience for Insider Secrets is not just any dancer. The information is aimed directly at the professional (and almost-professional) performer. Here Michelle Joyce acts as your personal mentor and guide to marketing topics, and she clearly knows a lot about the subject.


My Disastrous Experience at the New Luxor Restaurant in South San Francisco!
We noticed patrons around us being brought drinks, and food, yet not one waiter stopped by our table. In true Egyptian style she was showered with dollar bills during her performance from both men and women alike.

A review comparison of Mini-kit gift items:

This would be perfect for young girls, teenagers, any age, as a wonderful, unique primer on dancing and the exotic appeal it portrays to the regular population.


Review of the Sultan Restaurant,
You'll have more power in numbers.

Web Site Review- The Egyptian Castle

A full report of Dalia Carrella's Workshop & Show
Snake Tossing in Taiwan
Second Annual Giza Academy Awards

The Gilded Serpent

Gilded Serpent