Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Happy Birthday, Bekah!

Bekah - Hope you have a birthday full of frolic and fun! Woo-hoo! 21 again?

Go Team Edward!

Thanks for sharing the laugh, Sheena. I'd link to her blog so you could see the comic there, but she is private. It took me a second, but then I had to laugh out loud.

Where in the world do they come up with these things?!?!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Dream, dream, dream

There must be something crazy about me and Friday nights. The past two Friday nights I have had vivid, if not somewhat disturbing, dreams.

A week ago I dreamed that a friend and his entire family were in a natural disaster. I don't remember much of that dream because it has been a while and I didn't record it. It was disturbing enough to compel me to contact him and make sure they were truly alright.

Last night I had a wacky dream that Nairobi was a country (not a city in Kenya). And possibly not even in Africa. And that it had similar laws for women as Iran and Iraq.

In my dream I was on a cruise with some friends and decided to take a detour, by myself. I swam to shore from the ship (where welcome to Nairobi was spelled out on the beach in rocks and in English), stole a berka from someone's clothes line, and went touring around the country.

By nightfall, I decided it was time to swim back to the ship--which of course had left. So I went back to some big city to watch for Americans. I was pretty nervous because it was late, I was in a berka, alone and female. I found an American soldier somehow at the last possible minute and had to take asylum because some bad guys were after me. He was able to sneak me to the American Embassy before I woke up.

Anyone care to interpret it for me?

So weird! Anyhow not too bad for someone who doesn't usually dream (or doesn't remember her dreams). Two in two weeks and at least I was in the dream this week!

I'm looking forward to next Friday night to see what other crazy happenings happen.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

There And Back Again

So... it's been a while since I've posted. Or, so I've been told. But I'm back.

Last weekend, I went with some of my belly-sisters (friends from troupe) to watch the Art of Belly Dance in Park City. Bellydance Super Stars was on tour! Live! In Utah! I've seem them on youtube, have several CDs, and have several friends with their DVDs. In total there were eight of us: Sadira, Ariel, Rihannon, J'adore, Araylia, Watara, Basima, and Nahia. This was the first time any of us had seen them live.

Sadira scored us some killer seats, and we had a delicious potluck dinner at her home before heading to the show.

The show was nothing short of amazing. Their movements and execution were sharp and on cue. The flutters, shimmies, and backbends left me tired and a bit green with envy. Maybe someday!

Isaam Houshan's magic fingers beat the drum and taught the audience call and respond rhythms. He would beat part of the rhythm out on the drum and the audience would finish the rhythm with claps and leg slaps. His drumming was passionate and beautiful--and you could tell he knew it too. Several of the belly dancers performed solos with the drum. I was surprised at how emotional the solos were. Some had me holding my breath, hardly believing what I saw. With others, I laughed out loud. They were able to draw me into their world.

Throughout the show, the superstars exhibited different types of dance showing the similarities in movement and execution. It was like listening to a Romance language conversation without personally knowing the language spoken. The different accents colored the movements, but similar forms, shapes, and motifs appeared.

One of my favorite pieces was performed by a ballerina and two tribal dancers. I had not seen ballet and belly in comparison like that before. The dancers were fabulous, but the movements were enlightening. The bellerina performed toe shimmies en pointe. She seemed to float effortlessly across the stage.

Another dance style performed in the show was hula. I had noticed the similarities between belly dance and hula while taking a hula class several years ago. It was beautiful here on stage with the dancers dressed all in red and their frenzied foot, arm, and hip work. They also performed a folk knife dance. One of the dancers tumbled and flipped.

Petite Jamilla spun us 'round, 'round. Several months ago, Halima taught a double veil workshop. I wasn't able to attend, but have attempted some double veil work on my own. Not smoothly and not very prettily, I must say. She began dancing with two veils. Beautiful turns and swirls of color.

Eventually another double veil dancer slipped Petite Jamilla two more veils. She continued to dance with four veils as effortlessly as she had with two.

Color showed from all four veils as she spun and twirled. Two more times other double veil dancers slipped Petite Jamilla their veils. In the background dancers spuns in skirts that reminded me of the tall mother from the Nutcracker that had all the children under her skirt. At the end of the dance, Petite Jamilla gently dropped one veil at a time until she held none.

The energy of the show was high. The colors were vibrant. The dancers were ripped and talented. There was only a twenty minute intermission. By the end of the show, I was not ready to head home. I wanted more.

Luckily, Basima and I helped us all score tickets to the after party at a swanky gallery on Main Street. While the dancers changed, we perused the art gallery and nibbled on chicken satay, parmesan artichoke spinach dip, taquitos, veggies, fresh fruit, sandwich pinwheels, salsa and chips, etc. They also had an open bar. I could have really gone for a water or soda, but to no avail.

First we met Zoe Jakes, a tribal dancer and one of the drum soloists, at the party. She introduced us to Samantha. Next we met Sonia, the ballerina/belly dancer. Before we left, we met Adore.

The night was still young, but we weren't sure how understanding the husbands would be if we kept their wives out all night.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Signs of Spring

Thia's Springfest was held on Saturday, and Desert Gypsy Dance Company performed at high noon, filling the house with energy and color. And the crowd went wild!

Today's Deseret News featured a picture of one of our dance company dancers (Rani) in an article about yesterday's Belly Dance event. Her picture is left, and the article can be read here. The Deseret News picture slide show can be seen here.

Sherry (Watara?) posted pictures and music on her blog here. Two of the dancers performed with knee braces (one a result of a volleyball game gone bad and the other a slip and fall on the ice). Additionally, several dance company members are in various stages of pregnancy.

There is nothing quite like the excitement of a performance well done--especially after all of the hard work we have put into it.

On Friday evening, at the American Fork Junior High School Desert Gypsy Dance company will perform at a free recital of the belly dance students who have been taking classes in Utah County, mostly through the community education program. Ocassionally, hula and other ethnic dance students will also perform the materials they have learned in their past class series. It is a fun, family friendly, cultural event for all ages.


Oliver, I remember how small you were. How you whined and cried when you were left alone in your box/kennel while you were being house trained. I remember how you took to Cambridge, wanting to be with him everywhere. I remember sitting with the two of you, having structured together time; Cambridge was not fond of the new puppy and needed encouragement for patience, lessons on sharing, and reminders not to nip at the puppy. You hated going somewhere Cambridge did not go and wanted to go everywhere he did. You were always eager to love, ready for a pat on the head, playtime, offering a lick to the hand, even when I didn't put my best foot forward. Even when I scolded.

What a small fluff you were. Loyal and anxious and mischievous. Wanting to climb into laps. Wanting more food, more time, more love. Always thinking you were still a puppy. Wanting to be the center of everything. Stealing toys just to steal them. Camping trips with you and Cambridge in the tent with me because I was worried something would happen to my dogs if they weren't in the tent too. Road trips. Potty training. Your sad cries mixed with Cambridge's when I left you at the kennel and went on a cruise. Chewing EVERYTHING, except what was okay for you to chew! Usually you had a non-discriminate appetite.

I remember the Friday I came home and both dogs were gone. Escaped from a fenced backyard on walkabout. How my heart sank when I couldn't find you. Then when I thought I knew where you were how sad I was to not be able to rescue you until Monday during work hours. I laugh thinking of how you both went on walkabout while I was at youth conference and my parents were tending you. They were beside themselves that you had gone. How grateful we all were to have you both back again.

Now, wrapped in a white cloth and buried under a tree in my backyard with a chew toy you will not chew. Miss you.

(And, no, this is not my hairy leg.)