Dorothea performing at one of many Rakkasah Dance Conventions
Photo by Carl Sermon Photography
Dorothea performs regularly at nursing homes and assisted living facilities. She has designed the programs such that they are fun, educational and, importantly, interactive with the residents. Dorothea includes 1 or 2 other dancers in the show. All performances are presented indoors. Photo by Michael Baxter.
CHAKRA BELLY DANCERS IN PHOTO GALLERY (From L to R)
#1 Nefertiti & Dorothea
#2 Sayuri, Rosalia & Dorothea
#3 Dorothea & Rosalia
#4 Dorothea & Diannha
How can it be that I have been involved in the Middle Eastern Dance community for all these years? Tempus Fugit! In a lightening flash of a time warp it happened! It has been a journey into my soul many times over. It still is a magical carpet ride into self and back into reintegration - and the cycle repeats! I cannot even begin to imagine my life without this dance and all the joy that comes with it! It has brought me experiences that could only exist through and in dance. It has brought me lasting friendships that began in the dance community.
From 1980 through 1990 I produced and directed semi-annual Middle Eastern Dance Haflas featuring live musicians, guest professional dancers, my own solos and my dance troupe performances.
HIGHLIGHTS OF MY DANCE CAREER
In being introduced to my audiences I have the emcee include: "Dorothea always says - Although I have performed in many once-in-a-lifetime-venues, the performance which I am about to give is the most important performance of my life"!
* Performed en-troupe and solo at The Grand Opening of "The Ramses Exhibit from Cairo" held at the Museum of Science in Boston, MA 1988
* Performed with the late Bert Balladine in California and Boston 1980's
* Invited guest performer at a wedding celebration in Cairo, Egypt 1990
* Performed with Nadia Hamdi of Egypt in New York City 1990's
* Invited guest performer at a christening celebration in Kalamata, Greece 2017
* Yearly performances at Rakkash Dance Conventions in California and New Jersey since the 1980's.
"CHAKRA BELLY DANCERS" PERFORMANCES
I with 1 or 2 other dancers have entertained for many years at local area nursing homes and assisted-living facilities. Our dance program is fun-filled, vibrant and interactive with our audiences. We are not just performers, we are entertainers!
In addition to dancing, both solo's and troupe, we engage our audiences by having them get involved in the presentation! We have residents playing on the tambourines and pounding on the Egyptian "dumbek" drum!
After introducing myself and the dancers and performing our first troupe dance, we show them how to clap their hands and how to make a unique shouting sound of excitement, called a zagareet......as I saw done in Cairo Egypt!
We tell them to scream really loud doing the zagareet because that is how the Egyptians do it! Our audiences love it! Laughter abounds and continues throughout our show! One could wonder how much stress is released by happily yelling and wholeheartedly laughing!
Prior to each performance I include a bit of information about the dance style and about the prop being used. We use various props such as zills (finger cymbals), veils, fan veils, canes, golden wings and tambourines.
Our music is traditional Middle Eastern music of various tempos and compositions.
We arrive 30 minutes early (already costumed) so we can "set up" in the activities room and be there to meet and greet our guests as they arrive in the room. The performances are for an hour. We remain for at least 30 minutes after the show chatting with our guests, answering their questions and, often, listening to their unique stories. We are "never in a hurry to leave"!
I am an experienced fashion designer and seamstress and thus able to design and make costumes for myself and my troupe members. I taught myself how to "handbead" fringe to decorate costume bedlah sets (tops and belts). That was indeed an experience unto itself! I purchased the beads for my first bedlah in Cairo, Egypt in January 1984. The photo above is my very first hand-beaded belt. Thousands of tiny gold "seed beads" and blue "bugle beads" I also made the beaded top and a beaded necklace to match. I wore my new "bedlah" at my hafla in Fall 1984. I have hand-beaded several other sets as well. I have a sense of inner joy when I look at one of them!
I have been writing poetry for many years and enjoyed being part of a local poetry and art group. We members broadcasted "live" on monthly TV shows at our local TV station, reading poems and showing artwork. I am and have been a member of The Massachusetts State Poetry Society for several years.
Here are 2 of my poems about "dancing" that I wish to share with you!
To dance is to fly away on musical notes
Far away from the mundane.
To dance is to allow my spirit to soar...
High into high places.
To dance is to get in touch with a part
of me that exists only through and in dance.
Oh spirit, may you ever guide me
inward and upward,
Oh soul, may you ever keep reminding
me to celebrate what and who I truly am.
I delight in the music that carries me
Into new expressions.
I am delighted to be a dancer
Who delights audiences.
I am delighted that I am blessed with
Perfection in health of mind and body.
I am delighted with myself
That I stayed delightedly on-track
Taking care of myself and
Never giving up dance.
CONTRIBUTING AUTHOR FOR "BELLY DANCE CHRONICLES" A NATIONAL PUBLICATION Beginning in 2021!
Thanks to my dear friend Ma*Shuqa Mira Murjan, an accomplished dance teacher, performer and writer for The Chronicles, for asking me if I would be interested in writing for the magazine and then introducing me to the owners, Isis and Del Bartlett. There will be 3 issues in 2021, the first being in January. The magazine is a free on-line publication promoting the ancient art of Middle Eastern Dance - its history and dreams for the future!
enjoy at: www.bellydancechronicles.co
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