Autumn 2019 Bay Area Belly Dance Festivals!

This week I wanted to highlight three upcoming Bay Area Belly Dance Festivals for Autumn 2019. I am still so happy and inspired from my memories of Carnival of Stars the weekend before last, and I can’t help looking forward to more ways to immerse myself in belly dance for a day or two! I hope this helps students plan ahead if you’d like to go.

BABDAMA’s Fabulous Fall Belly Dance Festival on Nov. 9, 2019

First up, the 2019 Fabulous Fall Belly Dance Festival put on by the Bay Area Belly Dance and Music Association (BABDAMA). This happens annually in Los Altos and it is always a wonderful afternoon of dance, music and of course belly dance related shopping.

This festival takes place on November 9, 2019 this year. But it’s the closest on to us on the Peninsula so that’s why I am putting it first.

BABDAMA’s Fabulous Fall Belly Dance Festival 2019 in Los Altos

BABDAMA’s Fabulous Fall Belly Dance Festival 2019 in Los Altos


Coastal Belly Fest on Sep 21, 2019

Just a little under 2 months away is Coastal Belly Fest in Santa Cruz on September 21, 2019. I have never been to this one because it always falls on the birthday weekend of one of my children, but I wish I could go!! I have known the dancer who produces it, Setareh, for many years and she is a beautiful dancer, amazing artist and a nice person too and I am sure this will be a great day celebrating belly dance!

Coastal Belly Fest in Santa Cruz on Sep 21, 2019

Coastal Belly Fest in Santa Cruz on Sep 21, 2019


Sirens Fest Oct 3 -6, 2019 in Sebastopol, CA

Sirens Fest is a bit further away for us to drive to, but I felt it was SO WORTH IT when I went! If there is any way that you can make a day or a weekend of it, you will not regret it. This festival is produced by TerryAnne Guitierez who is am amazing dancer, choreographer and percussionist, and she also really knows how to throw a belly dance party!

It looks like Oct 3rd and 4th are workshops and one of the teachers is Leila Farid, whose Saidi clip we looked at last week. I’ve been lucky enough to take a class with her and she is an amazing, fun teacher, and really kind and down-to-earth despite her star status. My teacher Amina is teaching as well and she is also an incredible instructor with such a wealth of information to share. So I recommend that if you’re interested and can get up there during the week!

SirensFest Belly Dance Festival in Sebastopol, CA October 3 - 6, 2019

SirensFest Belly Dance Festival in Sebastopol, CA October 3 - 6, 2019

I hope that’s helpful for any of my students interested in attending a belly dance festival. I will share information about upcoming live music belly dance events in a future posts, because that is another great way to experience belly dance!

Happy Dancing,

Alisa

Saidi Performance with Leila Farid

One more quick Saidi performance today as we will continue working with our Saidi routine tonight in class. This is the beautiful Leila Farid, an American belly dancer who lived and worked in Egypt for many years before returning the the US. She dances in a classic Egyptian style and I could watch her for hours!

This clip shows a belly dance Saidi performance in more of a nightclub setting, rather than a stage setting. Notice that it is more about a feeling of playfulness and fun and about involving the audience, rather than whirling the cane around at breakneck speed.

Leila Farid Saidi Performance at the teacher`s party of the Bellydance Camp Negum Cruise (Egypt, Luxor-Aswan, 23-28/01/2013)

If you missed it, I shared some clips that illustrate the progression of Saidi style dance from Tahtib to performance last week, and the week before I shared a favorite clip of a Saidi belly dance routine by the Egyptian belly dancer Lucy.

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It was great to see some students at Carnival of Stars last weekend! I was lucky in that I got to attend both days and it was lovely to connect with so many dance friends, see some great performances, shop a little bit and just get inspired by being immersed in belly dance. I’m looking forward to talking about it in class tonight.

And then finally, I will be performing at El Morocco in Pleasant Hill on Sunday, July 28th. This is a live Arabic music and belly dancing show and it is one of my favorite things to do. Hope you can come!

Casbah Night at El Morocco this Sunday, July 28th!

Casbah Night at El Morocco this Sunday, July 28th!







Egyptian Stick Dancing - From Folk Dance to Stage Performance

Hello Dancers!

Since we are doing Saidi style dance in class this week (in Intermediate/Advanced), I wanted to share a few videos that show where Egyptian stick dancing (Tahtib) comes from and how it is adapted for the stage by both folkloric dancers as well as belly dancers doing cabaret style nightclub shows.

As the first, more traditional style folkloric clips below show, this is a dance that evolved from a martial art and that was originally done by men. When belly dancers do it as part of their show, they are almost doing a play on it. At the same time, it has become a beloved part of a belly dance show and many famous dancers have put their spin on it. I hope you will love Fifi Abdo doing her version. She is famous for it (among other things).

The last clip is of the Egyptian belly dancer Randa Kamel doing her version of Saidi in performance at a belly dance festival in Greece. Notice her head movements at certain parts! This is exactly what we talked about it class last week. Notice too something very important for all performers and especially belly dancers - her ATTITUDE!! She loses her hip scarf part of the way through her performance and she just jiggles it off and throws it out of her way and KEEPS GOING. She laughs and smiles. She doesn’t worry about it! This is the spirit of live belly dance, its all about going with whatever happens in the moment and enjoying yourself so that your audience can enjoy themselves too.

I hope you enjoy these clips even if you can just watch couple minutes of each one.

This 1976 video is published with the permission of Dr Magda Saleh. Rayyes Hassan and Rayyes Mahmoud. This video was taken in the region of SOHAG, at Sheikh Shebl.

Tahtib (Egyptian Arabic: تحطيب taḥṭīb) is the Modern Egyptian term for a stick fighting martial art originally named Fan A'Nazaha Wa-Tahtib (the Art of being straight and honest through the use of stick). The martial version of Tahtib also evolved into a traditional form of Egyptian folk dance involving a wooden stick, also known as "stick dance" or "cane dance".

Fifi Abdo Egyptian Cane (Saidi) style Dance

Remember too that I shared another really cute YouTube of Egyptian belly dance star Lucy doing her take on Saidi last week - be sure to catch that one if you haven’t!

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Carnival of Stars is this weekend! Two days packed full of belly dance, with performances on two stages, live music, shopping and food. It’s a wonderful experience if you can make it. I am performing on Saturday, July 20th at 4:50 PM to live music by Pangia on the Cafe Stage and again on Sunday, July 21st on the Main Stage at 1:20 PM. But you will see great performances any time you go. Be sure to get a program so you can know who is performing when. Let me know if you have any questions about this fantastic festival!

Alisa will be performing at Carnival of Stars!

Alisa will be performing at Carnival of Stars!

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I will also be performing in live music bellydance shows at El Morocco in Pleasant Hill on July 28th and at Tannourine Restaurant in San Mateo on August 2nd. Details on my Shows page :).

Have a great week!

Lucy's Saidi Tableau

Last night in Intermediate we were dancing to a song that quoted a bit of Saidi music and we did a some Saidi-inspired movements. I told my students that I would play a clip of belly dance Saidi so they could see some of the things I was talking about.

Long-term readers may remember this clip because I’ve played it before. It’s a classic performance by of one of Egypt’s most famous and most beloved belly dancers, Lucy. I hope you enjoy it. I love everything about this.

Lucy and her orchestra with singer Raafat, at a party for actors .

I will share more Saidi clips next week as we will continue to work on this in class!

In the meantime, I also recommend this past post I wrote about the Egyptian belly dancer Lucy, which features more clips of her dancing in different styles. Her feeling and musical interpretation are so beautiful to watch.

Just a reminder that Carnival of Stars is right around the corner! Two days packed full of belly dance, with performances on two stages, live music, shopping and food. It’s a wonderful experience if you can make it. I am performing on Saturday, July 20th at 4:50 PM to live music on the Cafe Stage and again on Sunday, July 21st on the Main Stage at 1:20 PM. But you will see great performances any time you go. Be sure to get a program so you can know who is performing when. Let me know if you have any questions about this fantastic festival!

I look forward to seeing everyone next week!

xo Alisa

Casbah Night At El Morocco

I am very pleased to be part of Khalil Abboud’s Live Music and Belly Dance Show this Sunday, June 23rd. I recommend this show to both those who know and love Arabic music and dance as well as those newer to the scene- beginning and intermediate students of belly dance who’d like to experience a live show :).

If you’ve never been there, El Morocco has beautiful ambience. You feel like you’ve entered another world as soon as you walk in. The food is delicious and it’s a really fun night. The band always plays extra songs for group audience dancing and this is an easy way to get up and try dancing to live music in a zero-pressure situation if you’ve never done it before and are dreaming of performing one day.

I hope you can join us!

Khalil Abboud Presents Casbah Night at El Morocco

Khalil Abboud Presents Casbah Night at El Morocco