January 21, 2004
Court rejects belly dancers' appeal

CAIRO (Reuters) - A Cairo court has rejected an appeal by Russian and Australian belly dancers against a ban on working in the country they consider the home of the dance.

Oriental dancing is big business at Cairo night spots, from four-star hotels for tourists to cheap smoke-filled bars in the seedier parts of the city.

Read entire article here.
Posted by Ellen at January 21, 2004 05:54 AM

eMail this entry!

Hi Ellen, I emailed you this this morning, but your mailbox is full.


Posted on Wed, Feb. 11, 2004Belly-dancing gets exposure
By Anita Amirrezvani
Mercury News

function openWindow(url){bName = navigator.appName;bVer =
parseInt(navigator.appVersion);if ((bName == "Netscape" & bVer >=3) || (bName ==
"Microsoft Internet Explorer" & bVer >=4)) {br = "n3";}else{br = "n2";}if
(br == "n3") {var remote =
(remote == null) {remote =
photos Susanna Frohman - Mercury News photographsRachel Brice practices
"the corkscrew, a dance emphasizing arm movement.

Rachel Brice, a belly dancer, had just finished performing at Rakkasah,
a major festival in Richmond, when a guy who said his name was Miles
Copeland offered her a job on the Lollapalooza rock tour.

Then she went home, Googled him and, as she puts it, ``freaked out.''

Copeland is a promoter from Los Angeles who has managed the Police and
Sting and who also has a dance troupe, the Bellydance Superstars and
Desert Roses -- which now includes Brice. It toured with Lollapalooza to
25 cities last summer. The group's second national tour, of 55 cities,
begins Thursday in San Diego with stops in Palo Alto on Saturday and in
San Francisco on April 17.

Brice's surprise was understandable. Although the Bay Area has had an
active belly-dance community since the 1960s, major concert tours are
rare. Despite the extent of local activities -- classes, open-mike
performances, festivals and private gigs -- belly-dancing is still not
exactly mainstream.

But that's changing. Just as Indian movement forms were all the rage
with pop stars a few years ago, Shakira and Britney Spears have
popularized belly dance by working the moves into their recent videos. As
Copeland says, ``The rock world tends to pilfer to keep itself vibrant.''

The South Bay has at least 30 belly-dance teachers, some of whom report
a surge of interest over the past several years. Shira, a Sunnyvale
resident who teaches belly dance in Mountain View (and uses only her
professional name), has seen her classes more than triple, from 15 people to
50, since she started teaching in 1997.

Classes also are moving into fitness centers. Two years ago, Brice
offered a class at Gold's Gym in San Francisco, but it didn't take off.
Four months ago, she tried again, and ``now it's packed.''

``I don't expect it to last forever,'' Shira says. ``But I hope the
American public will come out of it understanding a part of the Middle
East that has nothing to do with terrorism.''

Copeland says his national tours were inspired by his love of Arab
music, which he sells through his label, Mondo Melodia. ``The vocals and
instrumentals are very powerful and make you want to dance,'' he says.
``You put that together with beautiful exotic dancers, and it's a natural

The current tour features an all-female cast of dancers from around the
United States, accompanied by a single male drummer. The dancers are
performing various styles, solo and in groups.

One of Brice's goals on the tour is to show non-dancers the
sophistication of the art form. She says that even though some attitudes have
changed, the old stereotypes haven't disappeared. ``Most people assume that
it doesn't take much work or skill, and think the dancer doesn't have
much respect for herself or is a silly dancing girl,'' she says.

``People have this hootchy-kootchy idea about it,'' agrees Alyne, who
teaches belly dance in San Jose and also goes by one name. ``But now
that it has gone Hollywood glam, it's more of interest to people.''

Rakkasah 7-11 p.m. March 19, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. March 20, 11 a.m.-8 p.m.
March 21 at the Richmond Memorial Auditorium, 27th Street and Nevin
Avenue, Richmond; $12-$15, $6-$8 for seniors and children; (510) 724-0214,

The Desert Dance Festival 10 a.m.-10:30 p.m. Sept. 18 and 10 a.m.-8:30
p.m. Sept. 19 at the San Jose Civic Auditorium, 135 W. San Carlos St.;
(408) 277-5277, (510) 667-9333, www.desertdance.com

The Bellydance Superstars and Desert Roses

Where The Edge, 260 S. California Ave., Palo Alto

When 8 p.m. Saturday

Admission $18 in advance, $20 at the door

Information (650) 321-6464, www.bellydancesuperstars.com,

Workshop (beginner/intermediate level), 1-5:30 p.m. Saturday at the
Cubberley Community Center, Room L6, 4000 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto; $45
in advance by registering at www.yolandabellydance.com, $50 at the door

Also the group will perform 8 p.m. April 17 at the DNA Lounge, 375 11th
St., San Francisco; $20; (415) 626-1409.

Posted by: liz on February 11, 2004 04:14 PM
Post a comment

Email Address:



Remember info?