The “heart” of the program
Veil manipulation for arms and back muscles srenghtening (you need to prepare to carry your baby and handle the stroller).
Ondulation – hips and belly
Contraction and release of the pelvis.
I am offering you, from september 1, to meet Mondays and Fridays from 12 to 1pm, in Funfit Club, Kralja Milana 4. You can bring your baby to class if you want!
I am avalaible for your comments and suggestions.
Girls, do you want to know the secret of a happy, fulfilled, fun, and sexy pregnancy (three in my case)? As you know, it comes from the head, however not only…
Having the double experience of motherhood in France and in Serbia, I can assure you that, despite all my happiness to live among the Serbs, I thank heaven to have started my career as a mom elsewhere!!!
As soon as my stomach began to show, I was regarded as an alien, a very friendly one indeed, but totally irresponsible! Then I realized, I who was expecting my third child (!) and behaving exactly like the previous two times – active from the first to the last day of pregnancy, full of energy and enthusiasm -how big the cultural gap between Serbian women and myself was.
I gave birth, in term, to a baby in great shape, calm and peaceful, which I could take everywhere with me and who turn into a sociable and curious child, open to the world.
Briefly, here are the benefits of the practice of oriental dance, during and immediatly after pregnancy:
- Forcing you to leave home and get ready for your rendez-vous with the mirror. Oriental dance loves and respects curves, and a regular practice will prevent these curves to turn into undesirable overweight.
- Give you a space to dare Thousand and one night outfits, both comfortable and ideal to highlight your changing body. This is the time to dare necklines that would cause car accidents
Belly dance or oriental dance?
In Arabic, the dance is called “raqs sharqy”, literally meaning “oriental dance”.
Although it was performed, in the pharaoh’s times, as a fertility dance that emphasized the belly, we are almost sure the appellation “Belly Dance” is a western deformation of “Baladi Dance” (dance from the country).
The two pieces costumes, revealing made-up belly-buttons, appeared in Egypt in the Fifties as a response to the occidental expectation.
I have the feeling “Belly Dance” is better perceived than its French translation “Danse du Ventre” which, apart from being reductive (the whole body dances, not only the belly), lacks an artistic connotation.
For instance, you remember there was a fun belly dancer in this couscous restaurant, but you couldn’t say how she danced like, whereas you will make sure to get good tickets for your favorite oriental dancer’s next performance.
Maybe just a vocabulary issue, but in the marketing era, a very important one!
Soon, people call me Alex.
I am french, leo, arabophile, and thanks to an improbable twist of life, married to a Serb and expatriate in Belgrade where I teach oriental dance…in Cyrillic.I can say all that without taking a breath, but you, are you still following ?
No, seriously, I learnt the language, and believe me, to evoke undulations, shimmys, and poignant emotions in a language you can draw with a ruler, it’s not given to everyone, and just for that, respect, read what I have to say !
Since the emergence of my Balkan adventures, I promise myself to take notes, to make indelible all those caviar pearls accumulated over the years. Almost 10, I just can’t believe it !!!
Status of things in 2003 : salsa is showing off , not a single party without cuban dehanchés, but no oriental dance on the horizon.In 2013 (almost), glitter has gained ground. My school, Nedjma, a star in arabic, never seems to empty, and the milky way ‘s spreading over neighboring countries.
Of course, there are filiations I claim more than others, but I must be honest, I am proud and happy with the success my mission as ambassador of the most beautiful dance in the world has.
I feel like telling you everything, why oriental dance, since when, against which prejudices do I have to crusade, what is my style, which inspirations feed it, which artistic metissage call me, etc…Ask me everything, I dream of this bridge between you and me, and I promise you lines and lines of delirant delight. Generally, I prefer curves, but for you, I will make any effort.
So I am expecting you, let’s meet,
La danse orientale a Belgrade, c’est de ma faute !
Knowing where the first civilizations appeared, we could say that, as soon as there were humans, and as soon as they started to dance, there was oriental dance. So our beloved dance finds its roots in prehistory!
Oriental dance through centuries
For what we can trace, in the fifth century, hunger made most of the Gypsy tribes leave India. Some left for Europe through Turkey and settled in Spain, where flamenco was born, a combination of Indian holly dance, Arabic and Andalouse influences.
Others followed the south coast, and, crossing Mesopotamia, arrived in Egypt.
In the pharaoh times, women were dancing in temples for the goddess of love and fertility.
This goddess, Ishtar in Syria, Aphrodite in Greece, Salome in the Bible, was taking possession of them, making them holy and ready to offer themselves to men.
In the nineteenth century, western men start travelling to the Orient and reporting their experiences. Bonaparte’s men, after their Egyptian expedition, talk about “endless desert, warm sand, and dark-skinned dancers who follow the army and abandon themselves to men’s pleasure”.
Delacroix paints a Jewish wedding in Morocco, Nerval and Flaubert talk about luxury and decadence. Light and landscapes emphasize women’s eroticism, men’s senses are overwhelmed.
Oriental dance in cinema
Then comes the cinema, in 1916, and with it, the western vision and fantasy of colonized women. In Charlie Chaplin’s parodies, dancers execute funny undulations with their hips. In “le Marchand de sable”, they are half naked. Mae West, Marlene Dietrich, Rita Hayworth, Liz Taylor and others interpret many Cleopatras and Salomes. Costumes are out of a fairy tale, an explosion of light and transparence.
In 1926, the Lebanese Badia Masabni opens the dance school and cabaret Casino Opera in Cairo. A lot of artists she coached make a career in the cinema.
Tahia Karioka is the one to introduce the shimmy in the steps. She probably got the technique from Brazilian samba which she danced as well.
In the Fifties, finally, the movie Ali Baba from Jacques Beker reveals a real dancer, with a well controlled
Please don’t dance at any price!
I am not talking about dancing in expensive and upscale places rather than affordable and popular ones, I am not talking about selecting your public according to its financial possibilities. I am talking about changing the way people look at you!
It is sometimes smarter to offer your performance at no charge if you don’t want to miss a nice opportunity to be exposed, rather than bargain it.
Quality always has a price, people need to get used to it.
If you regularly appear in cheap clubs or events, you might be very busy, but no one will ever call you when an exceptional performance is required.
It is a choice to make, and it is not an easy one, since we all need to work.
We are confronted with another issue.
Oriental dance, in its most urban form ( in our jargon ‘”raqs sharqy”), can be very elitist and sophisticated, but one shouldn’t forget all its popular and village forms (saiadi, shaaby, baladi, etc) that requires a real complicity and participation of the audience.
How to set an audience on fire with never falling into vulgarity, how to be inviting, generous, teasing, but never accessible (affordable)?
Today, the best dancers in Cairo perform in hotel discos (5 stars, but still), in the middle of the night, followed by a “russian show” (a group of Slavic young chicks doing nothing but standing there ) for a few addicts like me, but mostly for fat drunk guys with big cigars. And if you don’t get the information through some confidential dance circle, you will never even get to those shows, since no one wants to promote them.
Then you have the American belly-dance.
American dancers adapted Egyptian dance to western culture and mentality. They made beautiful shows, with spectacular choreographies and perfect looking dancers. They made it look so perfect, it lost its spirit.
By making it acceptable by all, they washed its identity away.
Let’s admit it, without Hollywood and the Americans, belly-dance would probably have stayed limited to a