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Jan. 16th, 2012

The next show for the Ahlam Selene Dance Company is including a lot of other types of dance - it looks like it will be a great show! Salsa, hip-hop, Capoeira, and of course bellydance - tribal, cabaret and folklore.   Ahlam Selene Dance Company will be doing a revised and improved melaya leff

Benefits an awesome cause too - a group that helps sex trafficked girls in Nepal.

Into the Fire

A Passionate Evening of Middle Eastern and Belly Dance Fusion,                                 Snake Dance Theater (Najmat Photography)

Along with  Flamenco, Salsa, and Brazilian Capoeira

A dance concert to benefit Maiti Nepal and founder Anuradha Koirala,

CNN Hero 2010, in their fight against Human Trafficking in Nepal and India

Sunday, March 11, 2012  7-9pm

YMCA Theater 820 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA

Featuring new choreography by Johara & Snake Dance Theater Company

Special Guests: Za-Beth, Ahlam SeleneDance Company,  Accents Dance Company, Eve Agush, Salsa Y Control, Capoeira Brasil Boston Academy,  Naraya,  Lady Snake and more!  

Tickets: www.joharasnakedance.com Information: (617) 780-8890

Originally posted by nepenthe01 at [MA] Raks Nativity: A Christmas Pageant in Middle Eastern Dance
Have you been waiting for a holiday show that is perfectly suited to you?  While there are many opportunities to attend Christmas shows, from the Nutcracker to the Revels - no other show brings you Middle Eastern dance and music AND the original story of  Christmas. 

The Ahlam Selene Dance Company presents - for its second year:

Raks Nativity: A Christmas Pageant in Middle Eastern Dance
December 11, 2011 7:30 PM (Doors at 7)

Website: http://raksnativity.bellydancernepenthe.com
Tickets - 15$ Individual, 12$ for Groups of 4+

Featuring Johara as the Little Drummer Boy, Badriya Al-Badia as the Angel Gabriel, Aurel as a feisty tea-seller, and Najmat as the Star of Bethlehem.  These are only a few of our many stars from the New England bellydance community.

This show is a great opportunity to share the beauty of your avocation - Middle Eastern Dance - with your family, friends and co-workers.  The show intends to broaden cross-cultural understanding by taking the beloved Christmas story and setting it to Middle Eastern Dance and Music - both the story, the music, and the dance all originate from the same part of the world!

Which of the following reminds you more of glaciers and ice?

A)  or B) or C) 

Poll #1772303 Fabric

Which of these fabric swatches reminds you MOST of a glacier?

A - Turquoise Glitter
B - Blue/Turquoise Tie-Dye
C - Royal Blue Glitter


Notice of Auditions for Raks Nativity

Notice of Auditions
Auditions for Raks Nativity
September 11th 2:30-5:30pm
Third Life Studio, Union Square

Auditions for Raks Nativity are scheduled for September 11th at Third Life Studio in Union Square, Somerville. We are casting for a wide variety of roles for both men and women.. Some roles are mainly character roles while others are mainly dancing. There is only one speaking role - narrator. Performers will not be paid as the events proceeds will be donated to our charity, Cradles to Crayons.

Performers auditioning for a dance role will be taught short combinations - Please come prepared to dance. There is no need to bring a prepared piece. If you are auditioning for a dance role. If auditioning as narrator, we will provide a script to read in lieu of dance. People auditioning for character roles will rehearse a short scene and may be asked to do some character development exercises.

Categories of Roles and Schedule:
Village Entertainer (bring your talent - snake charming, juggling, contortionist, balancing acts - may be a dance role but need not be - imagine you are a street performer in ancient Bethlehem). Contact Nepenthe in advance if you’re interested. 2:30 - 3pm
Dance roles (but all have an acting component - please stay for character roles) 3-5
Character roles (non-speaking / non-dancing) 3-5
Narrator 5-5:30

Bring a copy of the form included at the end of this note.

Applicants must be available on occasional Mondays or Thursdays for rehearsals in the evenings, and be willing to practice/rehearse on their own or in small groups. All performers must be available on the evening of December 3rd for a tech/dress rehearsal, as well as all day on December 4th for the performance itself. All rehearsals will be held in the Boston Metro area and accessible by bus/train, except for the show itself, which is in Chelmsford MA.

Directions to Third Life Studio in Union Square:
Leave extra time if driving to find parking. Union Square is an easy bus ride from:
Central (91), Harvard (86), Porter (87), Davis (87), Sullivan (86, 90, 91), Lechmere (87, 88), Arlington Center (87), Cleveland Circle (86), Wellington (90)

If you have any questions, please contact Nepenthe@bellydancernepenthe.com.

Audition Form

Stage Name:

Phone #:

Email Address:


Brief Summary of Dance Experience (# of Yrs Dancing, Styles, Teachers, Previous shows):

Types of Roles Especially Interested in:

Types of Roles NOT Interested in:

Availability and Schedule Limitations (Evenings and Weekends that are best, as well as when you can’t rehearse):


making a choice (dance)

Working with Anadi Alek on the Diane Tarkhan CD, I think that it's not a sha'abi song - it's a pop saidi song. The more I listen to it, the more it calls out for cane. That may be why I was having trouble choreographing it without cane - it may need a cane.
The thing is that I don't want to do cane in front of bunch of dancers who are probably far better with the cane.
The question is - should I switch songs - and use my other choice - which is Tabel El Mony from the Suzi El Helwa album (Yousry Sharif). It's more of a baladi song (not a progression but with aspects of one). I'm more comfortable with baladi.
But then working on cane, could be a nice challenge for me.
And I do have four cane instructionals now (Hadia, Virginia, Nourhan, and now Mohammed Shahin).


New York with a baby was such a bad idea. Now, it's probably one thing if you live there, and can head back to your apartment for naps. But when you take in the NJ Transit for 45 minutes, it's a different story. We took the light stroller because it fits in the car easily and it is easy to fold up to get on/off the train and up and down stairs. However, it doesn't recline, so he basically didn't sleep ALL day.

Kai was not himself at all. Without naps, he was just a nightmare, squirmy, alternately joyously happy and insanely cranky, with a lot more crying than usual. We felt awful because we had no way to fix teh situation but we realized we were not meeting his basic need for sleep. It just escalated through the day.

So, the morning was good, with the museum. He also greatly enjoyed his first train ride, into NYC. At the museum, I personally loved the Silk Road exhibit, the main reason I wanted to go to the museum. My BFF just left the museum's service last week but she had pre-reserved some tickets for us, so we got in for free. We also headed up to the dinosaurs, clearly the most popular part of the museum, and saw the Polar Expedition exhibit too.

Then we headed over to Columbus Circle by way of Central Park to meet ggirl. The park was lovely if a bit hot, and there was plenty of fresh air to breathe here. Seeing all that green was really good for my mental state, and Kai's too - he seemed very content.

At this piont, we were starving, so we went into the mall there. The food options were limited. Bouchon Bakerie was closed due to the holiday, and every place else was an expensive sit-down places. Of the options, we decided to try BarMasa. It's supposed to be amazing sushi. Honestly? It wasn't that great. I almost choked when I saw the bill. So, they have something on their menu called "Omakase"? At a less pretentious sushi place, it would be called "the sushi special". There was nothing omakase about it, at all. Alli had that. I wanted to save money so I only ordered a piece or two of sushi and a roll. I'll give them credit - the Shimaaji was amazing. But the Toro was cut wrong (last time I should have toro anyway - it's going extinct...serves me right that it sucked this time) - and my roll was ridiculous. Okay, spicy julienned potatoes in an inside-out roll with amberjack on top. Just too much potato. Interesting flavor but it was sorta like eating potato chip maki or something. But I will give them credit - they were very nice to Kai, and made him what was probably the most expensive agadashi tofu on the planet. However, he loved it - practically licked the plate clean.

My favorite part of the whole day was lying out on the Sheep Meadow in Central Park with ggirl, while Kai finally slept for a bit in the stroller (until a little girl woke him up). We were surrounded by families, in the shade of big old trees, taking pictures of eachother and catching up.

Then we had to figure out where to get dinner. We were in midtown and everything there is pricey, so we started to look at the village. We ended up at India row - all Indian restaurants, fairly low-priced, which was good after our lunch. However, getting there - omg. The subway is not air-conditioned in the slightest. We had to switch lines, climb stairs, Kai was crying because he was so hot, and we kept putting him in the Ergo to move him around - I had the folded-up stroller slung over my back and it kept hitting people - the subway was packed. Just insane. And the village is no picnic with a stroller either - much narrower sidewalks. At this point, I think it was 93 degrees outside.

So Indian food was, well, not that great. Not terrible because it's not like we got sick and died. It was edible. But I could make a better malai kofta and that should tell you something. Plus Kai cried/squirmed through the whole meal, either he was in our laps grabbing at everything, or he was in the stroller crying. Alternately we took him outside to calm him down. They didn't offer us a highchair - but when I went down to the bathroom, I saw that they had one. The service was shitty - they'd come, ask for an order, and leave the table while only half the people had ordered.

Okay - sidenote - it is much easier to have a good meal in Boston than NYC. In my experience. Now, you can have a much better meal at the high-end in NYC than in Boston, but you're also going to pay much much more. I think Boston sushi overall is better valued. I have yet to eat at a sushi place in New York that lived up to its hype, including Nobu here. No offense, New Yorkers, you may have more options, but that means you have more of both bad and good. In Boston, we have fewer consumers of food - so a bad place just doesn't survive.

It was 9pm before we finally got back to our hotel, resolving never to bring the baby into New York again until he's older. Our big mistakes - wrong stroller (although the big stroller would have presented issues in its own way - at least he would have slept, and then maybe we would have been forced to not get on the subway due to its size), and no naps. Otherwise I was well-prepared. The kid was clean, and had plenty of food and drink. Also, planning opportunities for him to get out of the stroller, now that he's older. One different thing about Germany was that on most days, we were not out for more than half the day. In Germany, he was content in the stroller most of the day because a) it was as comfortable as a bed and b) he was younger and less mobile (just starting to crawl then). Now, he wants to move around under his own volition more. We're at a difficult age because he doesn't walk, but he wants to. So, he's not happy being carried/held/strolled - but he can't actually go anywhere under his own power.


as promised, costumes for sale....

x-posted to Bhuz. Comment here if you're interested, but I did promise to respond to the first people on Bhuz. That said, there may be no interest on Bhuz.

Sexy Cappuccino
moreCollapse )

Turquoise Turkish TreasureCollapse )

Lush Velvet Valentine RedCollapse )

Also Gold D-Cup Neckelmanns.
Read more...Collapse )


Writer's Block: Ohhh, baby

If your best friend asked you OR your partner to help you conceive a child, would you consider it? How do you think it would affect your friendship and your relationship?

Interesting q. Interesting to read the other responses on this one! Obviously I have thought quite a lot about these issues, like when we were trying to conceive. Basically being a non-heterosexual relationship is an instigator to think about all the other alternatives. Then, having my own child gives me a whole new perspective on it.

Depends on the nature of help. I think I'd share my genetic material but would want involvement (aunt-like) in the child's life. The parents would want some kind of contract to prevent me from trying to claim parentage of the kid, but I'd want in that contract that we'd stay in touch too. Hopefully, if it's my best friend, THAT wouldn't be an issue. The kid would never have to know if my best friend didn't want her to. I'd be happy to help my best friend out in this way if she needed it - either one of them.

If it required me getting pregnant and giving birth again, not on your life. It isn't just the work; I know I bonded instantly with my son. I wouldn't be able to give up a child born of my body. I know that now. I am smart enough to know that would cause problems, emotional issues, and I wouldn't be able to handle it. So I simply wouldn't commit to it. Besides, it IS a lot of work, changes to your body, to your life - even just during pregnancy. But most of all, it would be that the hormones that rush through your body at birth - oxytocin - has such an effect that you simply do not want to let go of the little person you made.


So as everyone knows, I was interested in replacing my Honda Civic 2dr coupe with something with 4 doors. I still wanted a fuel-economical, low-emissions, small car. I decided to look at the Fit, Civic Hybrid 4dr and the Prius. Today, Alli helped me do some research and we added the new Mini Clubman, which has a 3rd door. The Scion didn't fit into my parameters (I forget why), nor did the Ford Fusion (too big), or the Honda Insight (again, I forget why).

We decided to look at the Mini first because, as I reasoned, if I looked at the Fit first, I might just buy it. I wanted to try the Mini.

The Mini nearly stole my heart until I found out about the premium gas thing. One reason to get a high-mileage car is to save on gas money, especially with gas prices fluctuating as they have over the past few years. It handles beautifully, better than any car I have ever driven. Of course, it's adorable and I've always wanted one purely for aesthetics. It is exactly what I was looking for - a small car with a luxury feel. At 33, one gets tired of driving entry-level cars, and yet, entry-level cars are what you get when you want to go small. I was set to go buy it tomorrow - my only decision being stick or automatic (lots of city driving meant stick is less fun for me) ... and then I found out about the gas thing. I was even going to spring for the heated seats and moonroof. It's beautiful in the interior especially with some of the upgrades, things I never cared about before until I saw the difference in how it looks.

Now, some automotive boards argue the Fit handles like a Mini. And it is, of course, about 10K less. If I got it fully equipped though, it still wouldn't have the things that the Mini has standard. You can't even get a sun/moonroof on the Fit. I still may try out the Fit Sport.

Both cars are reliable cars, that retain their resale value well. Both have similar gas mileages, although the Fit uses regular gasoline.

The difference financially to me would be not insignificant but manageable in either case - and reasonably I can expect to make more money (or have my money be worth more) as the years pass. I have to drive the car for 7 years. In 7 years - I'll be 40. Will I want to be driving an entry-level car at that point? On the other hand, will I want to be locked into expensive gas if gas prices keep going up the way they are?

Maybe I should try the Prius, which has more options. But to get a Prius with the options equivalent to the Minis I checked out today, I'd have to spend 32K - completely out of my budget.
Andrew Zimmern's Bizarre World starts tonight. I think it's a much better show (I saw the one he did in Turkey) than Bizarre Foods, which arguably, I loved. But for me, there is so much more to travel than just food, bizarre or not. So I think it's cool that he's adding other elements.

The other show I'm so excited about - Mad Men. I'm so glad it's on AMC because we don't have any premium channels. Peggy reminds me (visually) of Julia. I watched Season I in Miami last year with my parents, and Season II on On-Demand, and now I have to watch it with commercials, like regular people. I really like it because of the historical factor - a history that my own parents lived through (making it particularly interesting to watch with them), and it's a visual delight. Each week, my stepdad and I chat about the episode and send each other interesting items from the blogosphere.

Speaking of which, my stepdad has been incredibly awesome. He came down last week to hang out with me while Alli was on her final interview. Now that I'm all healed, I don't really _need_ someone to come hang out with me, but he's planning on coming by on Thursday when Alli has to go in to work. Of course, I think KickAss Cupcakes and When Pigs Fly bread have tempted him. We brought KickAss Cupcakes up to my parents' house this weekend for his birthday and he wanted to know where they were. And my mom is addicted to When Pigs Fly Apple Cinnamon loaves.