|Posted by [email protected] on October 27, 2015 at 10:15 AM||comments (1)|
Well after over a year of planning, organising, choreographing, rehearsing, costume arranging, etc Casino Tahia is over. It has been a fantastic experience that has taught me a lot about myself and others. Things I never knew I could do, things I needed to learn, my lazy points, my learning points and my strengths. The show went really well, the dancers did a great job and the audience seemed to enjoy, even those who had not seen belly dance before. I won't say too much more about the actual show here as I have been asked to write about it.
I produced the show as being a production from my company - Arjana, and so of course I had my current members as soloists in the show. I could have invited professional dancers to be the soloists, and if I do the show again I may well do this, but for a first show I wanted it to be about my company. I auditioned for additional members for the group performances, giving dancers a good couple of months to prepare before the audition as I wanted dancers of a certain ability.
There were of course negatives, the dance community can be fickle, and that is all I will say about that!!
As for where next, I do not have definite plans for the show, but I am offering dancers a chance to learn one of the choreographies from the show and perform it with The Baladi Blues Ensemble at my 12 years of teaching Anniversary Hafla on Sat 21st May 2016. I am also looking for 4 soloists, dancers who either have not performed with a live band before or have only done so once and wish to improve on that performance. If you are interested in either then come along to the workshop on 23rd January 12-2pm (facebook event- Live Music Performance Opportunity).
Picture from 'Casino Tahia'
My Beginners requested a list of music they could buy to listen to to help them get a feel for Belly Dance, so here are my suggestions for some classic songs and music that will help you find your rhythmn. Play them in your car, and as much as you can, it will really help you in class. All these albums are available on itunes.
Jalilah's Raks Sharqi (Amar 14, or any of the Vols)
Guy Schalom and The Baladi Blues Ensemble Vol 3
Amir Sofi- Raksa and Amir and The Princess albums
Hossam Ramzy- Ruby, Faddah, Best of, any of the Sabla Tolo's
10 Songs Every Bellydancer should know
There are also albums not available to download from Bellydance Superstars (amazon or their own website) and Yasmina of Cairo cds, and a good selection available from www.faridadance.com
Coming up in November-
Level 2 class and Level 3 will be performing at The Shimmy Sisters hafla on 13th Nov, then level 3 will be performing in Coventry on 20th and Leicester on 21st, and Sutton in Ashfield on 27th.
A new 5 week Beginners course will start (numbers depending) on Wednesday 11th November 7.15-8.15pm. From Thursday 26th November there will be a Drills/Technique 4 week session 7-8pm (£24 members £20) to take us up to the Christmas hols. Level 3 10 week course will start Thurs 26th 8-9.30pm and will break for 2 weeks over Christmas and New Year. Level 1 and 2 10 week courses will recommence in January.
Make sure you are following Diana Mehira School of Dance page on Facebook as I post class updates on there, including any cancellations due to weather etc. Its wise to go visit the page itself periodically or make sure you select 'get notifications' otherwise the updates will not show up in your feed.
You can also follow me on Twitter- dianamehira
|Posted by [email protected] on August 4, 2015 at 8:50 AM||comments (0)|
The new autumn term is almost upon us. This September I am joining Level 1 and Level 2 classes in order to allow those who have been attending level 1 for some time, to move into Level 2 gradually. Then by January hopefully we will have some from the Beginners courses who are ready to move up into Level 1 and I will run Level 1 and 2 as separate classes again. We will be focusing on reviewing some old choreography as well as going over technique and having some fun learning about Egyptian Shaabi style.
Level 3 students will be focusing on learning a choreography to perform as a group, which some members have already learnt but some time ago. It is a routine which was used as our competition entry piece for Miss Bellydance UK back in 2013, so will be new to some and a reminder to others. We will also be going over technique for solo's and reviewing the previous terms choreography as some performances coming up.
I have been busy working on my show 'Casino Tahia', tickets are now on sale, available from www.robertludlamtheare.com
This has been a challenge, as we have all performances to live music, I have had to make sure that the choreography is easily adaptable for any musical variations which may occur on the day. I have been using cd versions of the songs to choreograph to, but on listening to the bands live versions, I know that there are always some differences. Weather that be in tempo, melody, parts of the song used. So where as I would use more moves, and more intricate moves if using cd version to perform to, I have had to ensure that the choreography is simpler and easily adaptable. The girls in the show are having to work hard on their musicality and adaptability. We only have the day of the show to practice with the band, so I ensure they have different scenarios and a back up plan to prepare them! Of course this situation means that if we present a part of the show anywhere else, as we won't have the band apart from on the show day, it means performing to the cd version. The choreography may then look overly simply for what people are expecting, as it is for a show, when in fact it has to be, as overly complicated combos following exactly the melodies in the cd version, will not work to the live band. For a start some of the songs we are using have sections with instruments that we won't have on the performance night. Am I crazy to be doing this?:roll: Quite probably lol, but I have faith
|Posted by [email protected] on March 23, 2015 at 11:30 AM||comments (0)|
2015 is well under way, we are already coming to the end of the first term of the year. Beginners are progressing well and some will soon be ready to move up into Level 1 to further their studies. Levels 1-3 have been working on new choreography and will be presenting their respective dances at various events coming up throughout the year.
The new term is due to start week beginning 6th April for Levels 1-3, Beginners starts week after.
Level 1 will be working on completing the choreography to the first few mins of Bitwannes Bik, Level 2 will be going over their latest choreography to Hymn to Hathor and will be re visiting the remaining part of Bitwannes Bik ready to perform it at my Summer Hafla on Sat 11th July along with Level 1 students.
Level 3 will be rehearsing Amir and The Princess ready for the various weddings and events coming up in April-June, as well as working on technique in preparation for the next choreography which will be to Al Radwa by The Henkesh Brothers.
So far this year students have performed at a couple of WI talks and demos, a hafla near Coventry, we have more haflas coming up in April, summer festival on 20th June (Furthest From The Sea Festival in Derby), more WI talks and then my summer hafla in July.
My dance company Arjana has been busy preparing routines and rehearsing in readyness for the many events we are performing at organised by Furthest From The Sea, starting on 4th April in Northampton, then running through the summer and into Autumn. As well as learning new choreography and preparing for our show 'Casino Tahia' which is on Sat 17th October, with live music provided throughout by Guy Schalom and The Baladi Blues Ensemble. So make sure you save that date in your diaries now, as you do not want to miss this show!!
As for myself, I have also performed at some events and taught a performance make up workshop, I am teaching another this coming weekend in Northampton at The Crick Holiday Inn just off Jnc 19, Fire and Ice event, and also performing in the evening show. Then I will be dancing with Arjana as mentioned above, and have been very busy with choreography and show preparation this year, as well as working as a make up artist on a few projects with a local photographer and film company. More on that later...!
This past weekend I hosted Guy Schalom for a workshop, he taught us how to use the quater staff in a performance to Ashra Baladi music using the traditional male way of dancing. A fantastic workshop which I can recommend to anyone interested in learning the routes of saiidi style as opposed to the adapted stage style we tend to favour.
|Posted by [email protected] on October 24, 2012 at 8:05 AM||comments (7)|
So we are into Autumn and I still have loads of dance performances coming up this year, ontop of my regular classes. Time to start looking after my skin, winter can be a nightmare. Heating dries up my skin, cold wind batters it, a mix of warm then very cold temperatures attack it. Not to mention all the viruses out there that try to take hold of us. It can be easy to just want to curl up infront of the fire, eat chocolate and do nothing! A professional dancer I am though, so to avoid going on stage looking like death warmed up with make up caking to my dry flakey spotty skin and lacking energy, one must take care of oneself.!
So how do I keep healthy -
I Take vitamin C supplement daily, gives the immune system a helping hand to fight of viruses and clear the skin.
I make flapjack using oil, golden syrup and a banana, keep this in ther house instead of cakes and biscuits and snack on it after dance class (our bodies need protein after any period of intense exercise to help re build and repair). Before a class this slow release energy snack will help fuel you up.
Eat an apple a day, - keeps the dr away (some truth in that old wives tale!) Pectin is good to help keep the skin clear and of course its fruit.
I eat less crap and more good stuff in smaller portions throughout the day instead of big meals. View your food as fuel and you may start to appreciate what your body actually needs in order to help you get through what you have going on in your life, rather than just what you have trained it to desire....There is of course, still room for cake and biccies now and then, and uh hum, mini cheesecakes (well they are fruit topped...;))
I exercise - walk, dance, gym whatever just do not allow yourself to get stiff and wheezy if you can help it! (Who wants to loose their independance just because they've been a lazy ass??!)
I take time to relax in front of a fire with no music or tv and just enjoy whats going on in the garden or outside world, even if that's nothing much. Being able to be alone with ones thoughts is vital to our being, its part of being happy with who one is.
Skin care- I am currently a big fan of Lush. They have an amazing body butter collection which I use when I have returned from teaching however many hours of dance or fitness and just want to lie in bed. I use 'Buffy', in the shower, it exfoliates and leaves the skin oiled and massaged so that I can just get straight into my fluffy pjs without having to moisturise first. https://www.lush.co.uk/product/68/Buffy-Body-Butter-200g" target="_blank">http://https://www.lush.co.uk/product/68/Buffy-Body-Butter-200g
My skin has a tendancy towards dryness anyway, so especially in winter I use a body souffle, or butter to moisturise rather than a lotion. Loving Holland and Barrats Dr Organic range, and they have just brought out some new products to which I shall be trying shortly Lush again is good for me, if I do have time and the inclination, I will often use one of their massage bars to moisturise before bed. I find them a touch to oily to use before getting dressed, but great at night. Coconut oil is also good, but the cats tend to go a bit crazy for it so best used when they are not in the room!
In the mornings I use another Lush product- a christmas pud themed facial scrub cleanser. https://www.lush.co.uk/product/5709/Buche-de-Noel-Solid-Cleanser" target="_blank">http://https://www.lush.co.uk/product/5709/Buche-de-Noel-Solid-Cleanser It gently exfoliates the dead skin cells away and contains oils which leave the skin nicely moisturised. My skin is then well based for my day cream, just found a lovely BB cream, superdrug own brand, paraben free and BUAV approved. Moisturises, and is tinted so you do not need a foundation, and SPF 15. I then use a Dr Organic Dead Sea facial wash at night to remove make up, followed by coconut oil. This seems to be keeping my skin looking ok, apart from the occasional monthly break out!
I did start trying to use a weekly Montange Jenuesse face mask, but I keep forgetting! MUST remember to buy a couple. If I remember I like to use one the day before a performance, a deep cleansing one. To prepare my skin for the heavy stage make up. *Note to self- get face masks*
And one final thing that helps my motivaton -
|Posted by [email protected] on December 15, 2011 at 7:55 AM||comments (0)|
Just looked at the cd for the full set of photos taken at our recent 'An Evening of Egyptian Dance' Event, some amazing photo's of all the performers, I am going to have some of the best printed to use as a display in my new studio. Photos can be purchased from Dana - contact her at [email protected]
|Posted by [email protected] on November 29, 2011 at 8:20 AM||comments (0)|
Since I auditioned the girls back in May for my new professional dance troupe- we have been very busy, dancing either as 'Arjana' or with my other troupe 'The Desert Jewels'. Cannot believe where the past year has gone!
Arjana has had a great start with some really good bookings, we had a great time dancing at 'Derby Dernek' Bosnian society bash back in October, and also down in Kettering with The Nile Band at a Wedding in a fab venue. More recently we performed at a Student Charity Ball in Nottingham in November and last weekend for 'The Leanne Burke Show's - Dream Another Dream Charity Ball' in Derby, where we got to meet TV presenter 'Alison Hammond' and the very funny comedian 'Charlie Hale', we managed to get on film and the event is being featured in 'Derbyshire Life' magazine soon.
It is so nice when people film or take professional photographs of us as we cannot do this ourselves when we are dancing! I set up a facebook page for 'Arjana' so that anyone who does take pictures of us at any events that has a facebook account can easily find us and tag us so that we can see them. Unfortunately people still keep tagging just me as- Diana Mehira and forget to use the actual Arjana page!
The Desert Jewels have also been very busy performing at hafla's around the country, we are in Leeds this coming weekend for Nawarras Christmas Hafla, and I will perform solo with The Nile Band.
We had an amazing weekend with Hossam and Serena Ramzy just a couple of weeks ago, great workshops and a fantastic evening show. Many of the audience members were totally new to belly dance so this was their first experience and they were bloan away by the talent of the dancers and the artistry of the dance, having come with some of the usual preconceptions about bellydance. It was just a shame that more members of the large Midlands dance community did not come and see the show, as we put it on for the dance community and it ended up being largely friends and family. It is always a shame when people do not attend professional shows as they can learn so much from watching other dancers. It seems that people only want to attend hafla's when they themeselves are dancing, so they want to be watched perform, but do want to watch professionals... I find this very odd. I know money always plays a part, and that there were a lot of other bellydance events that month, but this event had been advertised for more than 9 months so other events could easily have avoided it to support the show and people had adequate time to budget for it...When there are similar events on but far away down in London etc people complain that there is nothing of similar standard local, yet when there is, they dont attend. So what can we do?! We all had a great time both performing in the show and watching the wonderful Hossam, Serena and The Ramzy Dance Company, you don't get to see a bellydance show of that standard often let alone for that price! So all in all it was a success, if exhausting
The year is not yet over, I still have a succession of solo professional bookings coming up, dance bookings in general have been fairly numerous this year either for myself as a soloist or with Arjana, as such I have not performed at as many local halfa's as I normally would do, but instead have encouraged my students to do so. Having 9 of us in the troupe means that we can attend 2 different events on the same day if we need to, to show support to all. Quick moan time- If we have said we will perform at an event, we will do so, and when we get there, we will sit and watch the other performances and not sit in the changing room until its our turn and then leave after we have danced. (Really dislike this kind of arrogance in performers). We are also happy to just attend a hafla without dancing, where we do dance we do not mind where we are in the programme, and we will certainly never perform 2/3/4 songs one after the other going on for 10mins or so in our slot when everyone else has stuck to the 5mins allocated (unless we are asked to that is..), and we will never never ask to have another slot after the star guest dancer has been on.
Christmas party to look forward to on Friday in Derby, and then off to Leeds with Desert Jewels on Saturday for another Christmas party. Brief respite on Sunday and then on with more dancing - we love it
At Sayuri's hafla on Sat 26th Nov, perfoming Hossam Ramzy;s 'Eshta'