Dance class or Production Meeting?

Picking between going to a regular dance class or going to a preproduction meeting leads to frustration.

Betty Boop dances

I’ve been missing quite a few dance classes recently. Usually I’m at 1-2 hours of ATS classes on a Monday night and 2 hours of Bellydance on a Tuesday, with 5 hour workshops twice a month (Performance technique and teaching bellydance). It is important to me to get to my regular classes: I don’t go to a gym, and it’s my main source of exercise. It’s also how I cope with stress, and relieve the build up of stress-related tension in my muscles.

However, with all the film projects I’ve got going at the moment, and with how busy it has been at work, I keep missing my dang dance classes. It’s so frustrating!

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London Bellydance Debut: photos

Photos from my London Bellydance Debut

Nasmat London Debut

Thanks to Maani Photography for these photos.

This event The Arab Quarterly show on Sunday 17 February 2013 in the Hoxton Hall.

My costume was from Zara’s Zouk.

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Nasmat London Debut

Announcing my London Bellydance Debut

Sunday 17 February 2013 sees the London debut of bellydancer Nasmat (aka ME!)

Tickets are on sale now for the Arab Quarterly event at the Hoxton Hall. Tickets are £18 each, and are available for purchase from the Hoxton Hall website

The Arab Quarter at Hoxton Hall

The Arab Quarter

Sunday 17 February 2013 at 7.30pm, Hoxton Hall,
130 Hoxton Street, London N1 6SH

Doors open at 7.00pm

The Arab Quarter at Hoxton Hall is set to move hearts and send minds racing with its punchy, dramatic and eloquent narration taken from Palace Walk by Naguib Mahfouz. Palace Walk is part of The Cairo Trilogy, and the epic master piece of the Nobel Prize-winning writer. As yet Naguib Mahfouz is the only Arab writer to win this prestigious literary award. Scenes rich in atmosphere and cultural significance will fill Hoxton Hall and create a special magic. Around these passages will be enthralling and highly authentic Arabian musical and dance entertainment provided by members of The Arab Quarter Band and a host of fine oriental dancers, colourfully costumed and interpreting Arabian music of immense soul and beauty.


The Arab Quarter

I took part in two Bellydance workshops today, and have been invited to perform at the Arab Quarterly at Hoxton Hall in February.

I went to two Bellydance workshops in Shoreditch today. The first was a Hat and Cane choreography; the second, a choreography for veil. The classes were from The Arab Quarter: Bellydancer Melanie Norman taught the classes, with support from live musicians: Hassan on tableh, Georgie on synth, and Emile on violin.

The workshops were great. I can highly recommend them. Melanie is a wonderful teacher. It was really great having live music there; not only for the experience of dancing with musicians (which every dancer should experience), but because one can avoid the issue of having to go from the start of the CD track every time you want to go over a part of the dance. But, I digress.

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Dance Shows – a weekend of Bellydance and Cabaret

The teachers of the Bellydance classes that I have joined both were performing this weekend. I went to both shows.

I’ve joined two Bellydance classes since being in London.

One is what I would consider an Advanced class, focussing on Arabic Theatrical Cabaret.  The teacher is an Egyptian man called Shafeek; the ladies in the class have been dancing for years, some teach classes themselves. I’m really enjoying extending myself.

The other is a Beginners Class with Hayaam Bellydance. I’m taking it because I like to see how people teach the fundamentals. It’s good to go over them myself too. I was drawn to Hayaam’s website from a Google Ad, and found it to be a very professional site.  Adrianna is a Brazilian teacher who is invigorating her new students into Bellydance.

This weekend, both teachers were performing, and I went to the shows.

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Bellydance Teachers in Wellington

A list of teachers to contact for anyone looking to learn Bellydance in Wellington

Want to learn how to Bellydance? Want to join a dance troupe? As I am no longer teaching in Wellington, you may like to try these teachers and groups…

Firstly, when picking a dance teacher, think about these things

  • what sort of style do you want to learn? Look into Cabaret Bellydance/Raqs Sharqi/Orientale, or Middle Eastern dance, or Tribal (ATS). You can do a Beginners Course and go from there;
  • the teacher’s experience: workshops attended, how long they’ve been dancing, what their students say about them;
  • the location where they’re teaching;
  • the price (at the moment you’re probably looking at $10-$20 for an hour class);
  • do you ultimately want to perform? You don’t have to if you don’t want to, and no teacher would pressure you to if you didn’t. If you do though and you’re starting out, you probably wouldn’t be performing for at least a year. Tribal takes a bit longer, as there are cues to learn and you need to be able to work with the group.

Photos from Azphodel feat. Nasmat gig

Photos from ‘Azphodel featuring Nasmat’ at Mighty Mighty, 09 November 2011.

Thanks to Olex from Lenscraft Photography, we have some photos from last night’s gig at Mighty Mighty.

Azphodel feat. Nasmat
Wednesday 09 November 2011

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Zills and muffles – links for my Bellydance Students.

Both Bellydance classes that I teach have been learning to play Finger Cymbals, known as Zills in Turkish or Sagat in Arabic. I am currently working on a Zill Drills teaching resource for my students. This is in addition to the Middle Eastern Rhythms worksheet that we have been going through.

For my students, we discussed Zill Mufflers for practice in class. Here are some links to information on Zill Mufflers, including links to patterns for crotcheted Zill Mufflers.

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Azphodel feat. Nasmat

Wednesday 9 November at Mighty Mighty

I am performing next Wednesday night with Azphodel at Mighty Mighty

The gig is Free Entry.

Turkish Electronique and Bellydance
Music by Azphodel

Acoustic and electronic musician Zane Lazos created the electro-acoustic fusion musical project Azphodel in 2007.  Following a second round of lessons in Istanbul with master tanbur and yaylı tanbur performer and educator Sadun Aksüt, Zane aims to fuse his disparate influences (classical percussion training,  bass guitar, and world music studies).  Some of the instruments utilized in the music include: Yaylı tanbur (yai-luh tan-bur); the long-necked bowed lute that is derived from the older plucked Ottoman art music instrument called tanbur or tambur. The mey; a Turkish folk oboe with a large cane reed. The def or daf (in Turkish parlance: Arbani def); a frame drum with distinctive metal bangles and evocative tone.
Bellydance by Nasmat

Nasmat has been performing Bellydance in Wellington for over 10 years. She performs Raqs Sharqi and Orientale in Cabaret style.



Films and Study and Hafla

Okay, anyone who doesn’t see me over the next two months, this is why.

As well as writing up my blog posts from the last week of the film festival, here’s what I’m up to.

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