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Who's Who?: Samia Gamal History Buffs

Nov 21, 2017 9:00:00 AM

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Who's Who Challenge History Buffs! -


Congratulations to our history buff in November: Dido Victoria! She did research into the life of Umm Kalthoum and investigated how she impacted our dance form. We'll include her research and sources below so you can learn more about her as well! And if you didn't participate this month, join us for the next Who's Who challenge and you might get $5 off your next month of membership to Datura Online! Way to go Dido, we loved reading your answers!

Find out more about Samia Gamal!

1. Who was Samia Gamal? 

"Samia Gamal was one of the most famous raqs sharqi dancers of the golden age of Egyptian film, appearing in over 50 films from the 1940s to early 1960s. Born Zeinab Khalil Ibrahim Mafouz in 1924, she was fascinated by dance and particularly inspired by the dancers on the silver screen. She escaped a difficult childhood and moved to Cairo at the age of 13, dreaming of dancing in the famous Opera Casino. At the young age of 15 she was discovered at the Gamal Cafeteria by the son of the owner, who then introduced her to Badia Masabni (renowned dancer and founding owner of Opera Casino). She was trained by Badia, who renamed her Samia Gamal (as a tribute to the man who introduced them) and gave her a well paying job as a chorus dancer. After her first solo performance ended in her being booed off stage, she became even more determined and sought out private lessons with the Lebanese choreographer Isaac Dickson. She then took back to the stage and t...

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0 Comments | Posted in News History Who's Who? By Datura Online Staff

Who's Who?: Samia Gamal

Oct 30, 2017 9:00:00 AM

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Who's Who Challenge! -


It's time again for another Who's Who Challenge! Members: if you answer our questions in the DO blog AND cite your sources, you'll get $5 off your next month of membership!

The Rules:

1. We give you a historical figure or event to research and you have a few questions to answer about the historical figure or event in order to complete your challenge. Post your answer in the comments below!

2. You can use the internet, books, DVDs, magazines and journals, etc. to do your research. In order to win the challenge and get $5 off your membership, you must already have a membership to Datura Online and you MUST cite your sources using MLA citations (Brush up on your citation skills here: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/01/ or use this handy dandy tool: http://www.easybib.com/). To participate in this challenge we must refrain from embedded opinion: supported and cited facts only, fellow scholars!

3. You don’t have to write a paper (unless you are super nerdy like we are and enjoy that sort of thing), just answer the questions we give you in at least three sentences per question. Of course, you are more than welcome to share any fascinating tidbits you find in your quest for knowledge. If others share the same information as you, that’s ok! But let’s do our best to share different resources and knowledge so we can all grow together.

We’ll compile several of the juiciest Who's Who? challenge winners’ answers in a separate blog post, along with all the...

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7 Comments | Posted in News History Who's Who? By Datura Online Staff

New Feature Film - Ethiopia Dances for Joy: 9/27/17

We are very excited to share a brand new feature film for our members filmed, produced, and directed by our dear friend and master teacher Tamalyn Dallal: Ethiopia Dances for Joy!

Ethiopia Dances for Joy

 

Ethiopia Dances for Joy!Ethiopia Dances for Joy!

"Ethiopia Dances for Joy" is a fascinating look at Ethiopian dance and culture. The full documentary is available for members on Datura Online. In this film, renown dancer Tamalyn Dallal goes to Ethiopia. With help from a circus school, she explores life in Ethiopia during Orthodox Easter. She winds up on the same flight as the Pope of the Ethiopian Orthodox church, and sees fabulous processions of priests, bearing colorful umbrellas and huge, ancient crosses. In other towns, she films 17 dances, has an encounter with hippos at the base of the Blue Nile, and travels to a holy Muslim city with ancient dances and customs all their own. "Ethiopia Dances for Joy" was filmed, produced, and directed by Tamalyn Dallal, and edited by George Achi.

2 Comments | Posted in News History Special Offers By Datura Online Staff

Belly Dance Trailblazers: Mish Mish

Oct 4, 2017 9:50:00 AM

Belly Dance Trailblazers

Belly Dance Trailblazers: Mish Mish

We all know belly dance trailblazers...dancers who created their own belly dance path and had many adventures along the way. So many wonderful dancers have graced theater stages, restaurants, clubs, and cabarets over the years and we want to share their stories with you!

In sharing their history and stories we hope you will feel a connection to the dancers who came before us, be inspired to continue on your amazing dance journey, and have many exciting adventures!

Our first spotlight dancer is the beautiful Mish Mish.

Mish Mish

From Mish Mish in her own words ~ 
 
"It was 1970 when some friends invited me to go with them to the Renaissance Pleasure Faire. I had never heard of it but got soooo excited!!! Give me any reason to dress up and get into some kind of drag!
 
I already had the perfect dress (15 yds of Burgundy velvet skirt with under hoops, neck and waist edged in baby pearls and a 6 ft pink chiffon train at the neck) which I originally wore when portraying a Romeo & Juliet skit at our friends Raggedy Ann & Raggedy Robbins Circus Wedding at Glide Memorial Church. This was all back in the days when I was doing some performances at the Palace Theater/Midnight Movies and Cockette shows in North Beach.
 
When we arrived at the Fairgrounds (the old original site in Marin, not Blackpoint) after parking they had buses that drove us to the entrance. It seemed like we were on a Magical Mystery Tour, what with everyone in traditional English dress and speaking o...
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9 Comments | Posted in News History Belly Dance Trailblazers By Datura Online Staff

New Feature Film & Members Only Specials: 9/27/17

Sharing knowledge and history of our dance form is important to us here at Datura Online. We also are continually seeking ways to support the members of our community who are working hard to create projects of their own and give you, our members, a little something to make your membership extra special.

The Fez Documentary

With that in mind, we are beyond excited to be partnering with Roxxanne Shelaby to bring to the members of Datura Online The Fez Documentary.

The Fez DocumentaryThe Fez Documentary

Director Producer, Roxxanne Shelaby, a world renowned belly dancer, brings us into the heart of the Golden Era of Hollywood with “The Fez”- the first Restaurant and Nightclub dedicated to the Arab culture on the West Coast. Opened in 1959 in Hollywood, the legendary Fez not only became a center for the Arabic community in Southern California, but a catalyst for Arab music and dance going on to inspire generations of musicians and dancers well beyond Los Angeles. This project intends to document a piece of Arab Music and Dance history, the cultural center that The Fez became for the Arab community and those drawn to the beauty and richness of the Arab culture AND the nostalgia of old Hollywood! The Fez Documentary showcases the insiders view of the first Middle Eastern club in Hollywood where all the classic stars were seen and introduced to Middle Eastern Arts and Culture. Featuring Arabic Music, Belly Dancers, and the best Middle Eastern food in town, The Fez had the hott...

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5 Comments | Posted in News History Special Offers By Datura Online Staff

Who's Who?: Umm Kalthoum History Buffs

Jul 25, 2017 9:00:00 AM

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Who's Who Challenge History Buffs! -


Congratulations to our history buffs in July: Kennedey, Azhara, Devorah, and Anjali Ayala! They did research into the life of Umm Kalthoum and investigated how she impacted our dance form. We'll include their research and their sources below so you can learn more about her as well! And if you didn't participate this month, join us for the next Who's Who challenge and you might get $5 off your next month of membership to Datura Online! Way to go everyone who participated, we loved reading your answers!

Find out more about Umm Kalthoum!

1. Who was Umm Kalthoum? (Devorah) "Umm Kalthoum was a legendary Egyptian singer, songwriter, actress, and film producer who left a lasting impact throughout the Arab world and remains a beloved figure to this day. She was born to a poor family in the Nile Delta area of Egypt sometime around 1889-1904, although the exact date of her birth is unknown. Kalthoum was a talented singer from a young age and – dressed as a boy – started out performing religious songs with her father. She began to pursue a professional career in the early 20’s and quickly gained stardom. The peak of her career extended from the 30’s through the 60’s, with great success in both performance and cinema. With the Egyptian Revolution in 1952, Kalthoum became a symbol of Arab Nationalism and an ambassador for Egyptian culture. Umm Kalthoum passed away in 1975, but lives on in the enduring popularity of her music. Her musical style is known fo...

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0 Comments | Posted in News History Who's Who? By Datura Online Staff

Who's Who?: Umm Kalthoum

Jun 30, 2017 9:00:00 AM

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Who's Who Challenge! -


It's time again for another Who's Who Challenge! Members: if you answer our questions in the DO blog AND cite your sources, you'll get $5 off your next month of membership!

The Rules:

1. We give you a historical figure or event to research and you have a few questions to answer about the historical figure or event in order to complete your challenge.

2. You can use the internet, books, DVDs, magazines and journals, etc. to do your research. In order to win the challenge and get $5 off your membership, you must already have a membership to Datura Online and you MUST cite your sources using MLA citations (Brush up on your citation skills here: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/01/ or use this handy dandy tool: http://www.easybib.com/). To participate in this challenge we must refrain from embedded opinion: supported and cited facts only, fellow scholars!

3. You don’t have to write a paper (unless you are super nerdy like we are and enjoy that sort of thing), just answer the questions we give you in at least three sentences per question. Of course, you are more than welcome to share any fascinating tidbits you find in your quest for knowledge. If others share the same information as you, that’s ok! But let’s do our best to share different resources and knowledge so we can all grow together.

4. We’ll compile several of the juiciest Who's Who? challenge winners’ answers in a separate blog post, along with all the resources you find so they’re all ea...

Read More
5 Comments | Posted in News History Who's Who? By Datura Online Staff

Who's Who?: Badia Masabni History Buffs

May 24, 2017 9:00:00 AM

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Who's Who Challenge! -


Congratulations to our history buffs in May: Laura, Kennedey, Milica, and Nicole! They did research into the life of Badia Masabni and investigated how she impacted our dance form. We'll include their research and their sources below so you can learn more about Badia as well! And if you didn't participate this month, join us for the next Who's Who challenge and you might get $5 off your next month of membership to Datura Online!

Find out more about Badia Masabni!

1. Who was Badia Masabni? (Milica) "Badia Masabni (born Wadiha Masabni) was an actress and a dancer. She is one of the most important figures in history of belly dance. She is often cited as the matron or the godmother of modern day belly dance. Badia was the owner of several influential night clubs in Egypt in 1920s. She was also working at theaters and a movie cinema which was part of her nightclub."

2. What did she do to impact our dance? (Laura) "In 1926 she opened her first dance hall “Sala Badia”, often referred to as “Casino Badia” where 'casino' at the time meant a music hall with entertainment provided by actors, singers and musicians. 

Casino Badia was very successful. The performances appealed to the local audience as well as to the many Europeans who lived in Cairo. Madame Masabny – as she was known at the time – added some new elements to the traditional Egyptian-style dance in order to make it more palatable to a foreign audience as well. She was inspired by European classical dance an...

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3 Comments | Posted in News History Who's Who? By Datura Online Staff

Who's Who?: Badia Masabni

Apr 28, 2017 9:00:00 AM

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Who's Who Challenge! -


We love love love to learn here at DO! And we know you do too. That’s why we’re introducing this brand new series where we all take a look at some important figures and events in belly dance history and share our resources to find out more. And, check it out members: if you do the research, follow our guidelines, and share it on our Facebook page or the DO blog, you get $5 off your membership! Think of it as a research challenge to supplement your dance practice. Knowledge is power!

Here’s how it works:

1. We’ll give you a historical figure or event to research and you have five questions to answer about the historical figure or event in order to complete your challenge.

2. You can use the internet, books, DVDs, magazines and journals, etc. to do your research. In order to win the challenge and get $5 off your membership, you must already have a membership to Datura Online and you MUST cite your sources using MLA citations (Brush up on your citation skills here: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/01/ or use this handy dandy tool: http://www.easybib.com/). To participate in this challenge we must refrain from embedded opinion: supported and cited facts only, fellow scholars!

3. You don’t have to write a paper (unless you are super nerdy like we are and enjoy that sort of thing), just answer the five questions we give you in at least three sentences per question. Of course, you are more than welcome to share any fascinating tidbits you find in yo...

Read More
12 Comments | Posted in News History Who's Who? By Datura Online Staff

The Power of Dance

Oct 5, 2015 11:34:18 AM

The Power of Dance

A short documentary about Colleena Shakti by Julianne Reynolds

The Power of Dance

We're happy to share with you a newly released documentary about Datura Online teacher, Colleena Shakti: "The Power of Dance". Directed and produced by Juianne Reynolds, this short film is a window into the work of an American born contemporary fusion artist who has steeped herself in the culture and traditions of India for the past 15 years, studying Odissi and Rajasthani dance and using these art forms to express the transformational potency of dance.

The director describes it as:

"Colleena dedicates her life and dance to the power of her "lineage" and guru. But its even beyond that, for it takes passion to stay on a path that has many challenges for an American living in India, and being a foreigner. This inner calling to know and seek truth has not only changed her life, but changes those that have seen her on stage and have studied with her at the, Shakti School of Dance in Pushkar, India.

This short documentary, shot in India and the US, captures the essence of her mission to teach the importance of lineage, but it also captures the essence of the mystical path of that Colleena walks, in the world, on the stage and at home in India. Her students can only lend the most humble voice to Colleena's hard work as a teacher and dancer, but to Colleena the role she admires the most in her life is that of her being a "student", and staying curious, and striving for something higher."

When asked what the ...

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3 Comments | Posted in News History By Datura Online Staff

Introduction to Rajasthani Dance

Feb 26, 2014 6:31:00 AM

Introduction to Rajasthani Dance

On the occasion of releasing Colleena Shakti's new workshop, Introduction to Rajasthani Folk Dance, we also would like to share a short documentary filmed by Devansh Jhaveri in Rajasthan in 2013. This short film features Colleena dancing with her friends and mentors from a Khalbelia tribe in Rajasthan, India. She has been dancing, studying, living with them on and off since 2001.

Enjoy this vibrant glimpse of Rajasthani Khalbelia folk dance.

More about Khalbelia 'Gypsy' Dance from Colleena's website:

"From the desert region of India, Rajasthan, comes the snake charming dance of the Khalbelia 'Gypsies'. Wild and sensuous, the skilled dancers accentuate subtle, snake-like movements. As they dance, they fall into rapid spins, whirling their large black skirts adorned with ribbons of color. Dancers are accompanied by percussion and a wind instrument called the ‘poongi’, also known as the ‘snake charming flute’. In recent history the Sapera dancers were hired by great kings and maharajas to perform their dances outside of their own village communities. The Khalbelia are semi-nomadic, many living in loosely assembled shelters made of brush on the outskirts of towns. Due to their low status in the caste system, they are thought of as outcasts, often associated with squatters and thieves. The Khalbelia live much like they have for centuries." 

Colleena teaches many movements and steps in her new online workshop, as well as gives a brief discussion on the c...

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0 Comments | Posted in News History New Classes By Datura Online Staff

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