Wednesday, 30 May 2007

Egyptian belly dance 'in crisis'

By Malcolm Brabant
BBC News, Cairo
Published: Wednesday, 30 March 2005, 12:45 GMT 13:45 UK

Exponents of the art of belly dancing - a unique element of Egypt's national cultural heritage - believe it is undergoing a crisis and is in danger of being driven underground.

Two years ago, the government banned foreign dancers from performing, but has recently done a U-turn and allowed them back.

One of the country's former belly dancing divas, Nagwa Fouad, is now calling for the establishment of an academy to preserve the art.

Dressed in a turquoise harem outfit, Iranian-born Liza Laziza practices in her studio high above the Corniche alongside the River Nile.

Liza is a world-renowned belly dancer who came to Cairo five years ago to fulfil a dream of living where her art began many centuries ago.

Even to my unpractised eye, it is clear she is a fine exponent, combining grace, interpretation and sensuality.

Declining art

But Liza has not performed on one of Egypt's great dancing stages for two years.

"The dance, from what I see, is at the moment rapidly fading in the background, whereas before, it was right up front," she says.

"It's very serious and I'm part of what's going on. I'm part of the big decline that's going on in the dance."

During the ban on foreign dancers, Liza was forced to teach for a living.

Now she is free to perform again, but she has had trouble finding a suitable platform for her talent.

"Egypt has been the central nervous system of the dance for a long time now," she says.

"It's not as great as it used to be and that's because of the climate of the times, socially, economically, religiously.

"And there isn't any education on the dance in Egypt, so I really do predict it fading into the background as we speak."

'Part of Egypt'

One of Liza's students is a Saudi Arabian woman who must be in her 50s, who has taken up the dance for the benefit of her husband.

She prefers to remain anonymous for fear of shocking relatives in her arch-conservative homeland.

"Like the Sphinx or pyramids, belly dancing is part of Egyptian culture and it would be a shame to lose it," she says.

On board a Nile river boat, about 200 tourists are taking a two-hour-long supper cruise.

The highlight of the evening's entertainment is supposed to be a demonstration of belly dancing by a 27-year-old Egyptian dancer called Wafaa Fowzi.

To borrow the words of Jerry Lee Lewis, there's a whole lotta shaking going on - but none of the sinewy grace of Liza Laziza.

Miss Fowzi believes that Miss Laziza and her Saudi Arabian pupil are scare-mongering.

Brilliant moves

"I'm not worried about the dance. It can't really die out in Egypt. It's an important part of our popular heritage," she says.

Nagwa Fouad used to be one of Egypt's belly dancing divas.

She is of indeterminate age, and went into retirement about five years back.

Madame Nagwa is very worried that subtleties of an art dating back to Pharonic times are being lost and she wants Egypt to set up a national academy to teach the dance properly.

"What you are seeing nowadays is just shaking, which is very Turkish," she says.

"Egyptian dancing has many more brilliant movements, which is why there must be an academy to teach it, where I could lend my expertise."

But belly dancers here worry no one will take heed and that their cultural heritage will be consigned to history along with the pyramids, Tutankhamen and that great seductress Cleopatra.

Source: BBC

Monday, 28 May 2007

Born to Dance?

Published: Circa February, 2006
By Jennifer Viegas, Discovery News

Professional dancers are born with at least two special genes that give them a leg up on the rest of us, according to a new study.

Recent research also has suggested that intelligence, athletic ability and musical talent are linked to our genes and brain hard-wiring.

With dancing added to the list, the evidence indicates that certain individuals are born with a predisposition to specific behaviors and talents, and that at least some of these qualities may represent evolved attributes.

"I think that dancing is an evolved trait," said Richard Ebstein, who led the recent study, published in a recent Public Library of Science Genetics journal. "Animals have courtship dances and I think that human dancing represents the further development of a very ancient animal trait."

Ebstein, a psychology professor at Hebrew University's Scheinfeld Center for Genetic Studies, said, "Also the fact that dancing is universal and existed in all human societies, even those communities of man separated geographically by tens of thousands of years (native Australians, native Americans, Africans, Eurasians) attests to the very early origin of dance in our evolution as a species."

First, find your dancers

Ebstein, doctoral student Rachel Bachner-Melman and their colleagues examined the DNA of 85 currently performing dancers and their parents. They then did the same thing for 91 competitive athletes and 872 people who neither regularly dance nor often participate in sports.

The scientists discovered that dancers tend to possess variants of two genes that are involved in the transmission of information between nerve cells.

One of the identified genes is a transporter of serotonin, a brain transmitter that contributes to spiritual experience. The second is a receptor of the hormone vasopressin, which many studies suggest modulates social communication and human bonding.

"People are born to dance," Ebstein told Discovery News. "They have (other) genes that partially contribute to musical talent, such as coordination, sense of rhythm. However, the genes we studied are more related to the emotional side of dancing - the need and ability to communicate with other people and a spiritual side to their natures that not only enable them to feel the music, but to communicate that feeling to others via dance."

Ebstein believes some adults may possess the special gene variants, but they perhaps never nurtured the related skills or recognized their hidden talent.

He said, "Many of us surely have the ability, but for a hundred reasons never exploited that particular talent."

Ebstein explained that the identified genes seem to be linked to every form of dancing, from tap to hula, since all usually involve social communication and connecting to music or rhythms.

Other factors to consider

Irving Gottesman, a senior fellow in psychology at the University of Minnesota and an emeritus professor from the University of Virginia, is one of the world's leading experts on genes as they relate to human behavior and psychology.

Through prior research papers sent to Discovery News, Gottesman emphasized that genes are only one part of "complex causality" systems that make us who we are. For example, Gottesman confirmed that intelligence can be in our genes, but that socioeconomic considerations, such as a quality education, can have a greater influence on a person's intellect.

Ebstein agreed that genes were not the whole story. He said those of us without a twinkle-toed predisposition can still become good dancers, since "it's not only a question of having the right genes, but also training and motivation, that make professional dancers."

Source: Discovery News,

Sin eaters: Sheiks condemn charity meals from bellydancers

Published: February 2, 1997
From Cairo Bureau Chief Gayle Young

CAIRO (CNN) -- As the sun sets during the holy month of Ramadan, volunteers prepare a meal for the poor.

Muslims fast during the day, abstaining from food and drink, then break the fast with an evening meal, known as Iftar.

It's considered a good deed to offer an Iftar to the poor -- except when the charity comes from the likes of Fifi Abdou, one of the most famous belly dancers in Egypt.

She and other bellydancers earn big money -- and are known for their generosity to the poor.

But some religious leaders say their behavior shakes the foundations of Islam, and their Iftar offerings are tainted.

Religious leaders from the prestigious al-Azhar University, who wouldn't consent to be interviewed during Ramadan, have preached that accepting an Iftar or charity from a bellydancer is a sin.

The pronouncement is being fiercely debated in Cairo.

Al-Azhar is one of Islam's highest authorities. But many here are poor and rely on charity for the meat and vegetables they cannot afford.

Volunteer Madam Hanaan says Fifi Abdou's nightly Iftars flow from a generous heart. "May God give her a long life," she says of her patron.

Bellydancer Dalia Fuoad says she considers herself a good Muslim, faithful wife and devoted mother.

"How can it be sinful to give charity to those who have less than we do?" asks Fuoad.

Bellydancing is wildly popular in Egypt. One study suggests it represents the country's fifth largest source of income.

And for the poor who benefit from the dancer's gifts, the sheiks' decree may be difficult to swallow.

Source: CNN

Egypt dance brings life to City of Dead

Published: circa September, 2006

CAIRO - In the depths of Cairo’s City of the Dead, Umm Essam unveils her latest creation: a blood-red bellydance costume, complete with golden pearls.

BellydanceBut there are no models or podiums in this dressmaker’s tiny workshop hidden deep in the alleys of one of the city’s oldest cemeteries.

At the bottom of a sandy path, erected over a tomb, lie two cramped rooms and a minuscule kitchen: her workshop by day, her home by night.

Like thousands of Egyptians, Umm Essam, whose real name is Fawziya Mohammed al-Sayyed, was driven to this unlikely spot of real estate by the housing crisis and dire poverty that plague Egypt. The gradual migration to the necropolis forced authorities to connect the area to the electric and water grids.

“Three years ago, I decided to embark on the job of making bellydance costumes, as my previous job of dressmaker was in decline,” said Umm Essam, still enthusiastic despite her 60 years of age and a life of hard labour.

The designer, whose only assets are a strong will and an old sewing machine, draws inspiration for her costumes from the Arabic superstars she watches on her tiny television screen, the only distraction in an area of few tarmac roads and smelly septic tanks.

She has come a long way since her first outfit. Today, she is the queen of an improbable kingdom, where dozens of neighbours help her cut and bead fabrics, while the laundry dries between tombstones used by the local children for games of hide-and-seek.

Each costume, a fitted bustier, a low-waist skirt and a wide belt, requires one kilogram (2.2 pounds) of glass pearls and several metres (yards) of colourful fabric.

“We make about 100 costumes a month. My daughter Madiha takes them to the (Red Sea resorts) of Hurghada and Sharm el-Sheikh,” says Um Essam referring to the country’s top tourist hotspots, popular with foreigners.

But despite the high output of costumes, which keep the designer up till dawn, the gains are slim.

“I sell each costume for a little over 150 Egyptian pounds (26 dollars), but in reality I only gain about 20 pounds (about 3 dollars) because the rest is spent on fabric, pearls and payments to friends,” she says.

But at least this little sum of money allows her to put food on the table for her family, in a country where most people earn less than 600 pounds (104 dollars) a month, and where unemployment is rampant.

“The retailer sells my costumes to tourists for at least 500 pounds (87 dollars),” she says bitterly.

But despite the hardship, Um Essam continues to produce daily and has even brought in her granddaughters to help, in the hope of one day escaping the neighbourhood of the dead.

Seven year-old Fawziya works on the children’s costumes.

“I learnt by watching my grandmother do the job,” she says, balancing a bowl of pearls on her knees.

“We have three sizes — adults, adolescents and children,” says the grandmother, who throws sideways glances at her granddaughter to check on the yellow pearls being attached to the latest costume.

“From time to time, we manage to sell a costume to a heaven-sent foreigner, who hears about us through word of mouth, like the Qatari man who ordered some costumes a few months ago,” says Umm Essam.

“I had to design custom-made patterns because he ordered bustiers for some pretty voluptuous chests,” she says, trying to hide her laughter behind her hand.

Source: AFP

Belly-dancing makes ripples among Asian women

Published: circa April, 2005

KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) -- Belly dancing is creating ripples among women in East Asia as enthusiasts from Malaysia to Taiwan pick up the ancient art of seductive shimmying -- and get a good work-out at the same time. From teenage schoolgirls to businesswomen and housewives, belly-dancing students say learning how to undulate their bodies and sway their hips is more fun than the traditional exercises available in the gym.

In a dance studio hidden in a leafy suburb of Kuala Lumpur, belly-dancing instructor Sherlyn Koh teaches her students to "shimmy" and do the "camel" to the rhythmic beat of Middle Eastern music.

"Imagine your body is like water or a snake," she says, coaxing her students to bend their bodies further than they ever thought possible. "This is a very good cardiovascular exercise, good for your waist, for nice curves," she intones as she glides from student to student.

"It's an interesting work-out rather than going to the gym," says beginner Miriam Al-Arishee, 51, who runs a business in the oil and gas industry. "I have a treadmill at home but I never use it.

"Belly dancing is good for the right parts of your body, it tones your tummy, hips and breasts.

"When I first started, I only gained aches and pains. But it exposed my own weaknesses, I realised how unfit I was," says the glamorous Al-Arishee, who attends the class with her 27-year-old daughter. "It's something everyone can do, regardless of your age or body shape. It's an all-girls environment so you feel comfortable, nobody's going to laugh at you, there is no self-consciousness unlike at a gym.

"It's simply a beautiful dance. A form of self-expression," she says.

Writer Mavis Hooi, 26, who has been belly dancing for the past 15 months and has achieved "advanced" status, says she has found a form of exercise she can stick at.

"I had already tried theatre, all sorts of dancing like the waltz, flamenco. They didn't capture my interest," Hooi says. "Belly dancing did. It has made me move muscles I have never moved before," she says, adjusting her sparkling Egyptian hipscarf adorned with dangling gold coins.

Teacher Koh says one of the reasons women find the centuries-old dance so attractive is that it indulges their love of wearing jewelry and make-up.

"They like the coins, the costumes and of course, the dance. It's very feminine," says Koh, whose own hips are adorned with a black crocheted hipscarf with glittery beads.

"It's very pleasant to watch. It shows a lot of body silhouette. It's very exciting. It's a celebration of the soul and body."

Koh points to one of her students from her advanced class practising for an upcoming public performance.

"When she first came to me, she used to have very low self-esteem," she whispers. "But now, she's totally different. She's very confident.

"Belly dancing really makes you a more confident person. It makes you feel more comfortable with your body, regardless of what size you are.

"All women can do belly-dancing, naturally," says Koh, who was first "mesmerised" by the ancient art when she saw popular Latin pop star Shakira perform some three years ago.

She began studying the dance under instructors from Egypt, including the renowned Raqia Hassan, and then established her own school.

"I went to Egypt to study. Whenever I travel, I make it into a belly dance trip. Whenever I go to Singapore, Australia or America, I make sure I go there to hook up with a belly dance teacher."

Her students include celebrities and the wives and daughters of government ministers and business tycoons. "In any part of the world, especially Malaysia, people in high society love belly dancing," she says. "The costumes are very glamorous. You dress up for belly dancing, make yourself beautiful, it's part of the whole costume. The makeup, a lot of accessories, thick eyeliner, you need to look very sophisticated. It appeals to those in high society."

Belly dancing parties are also becoming fashionable, she says, adding that she has performed for members of Malaysia's royal family several times. Women-only 'haflas', where members of the belly dancing community meet up and show off their moves, are also on the rise.

In Taiwan, belly dancing lessons were introduced about two years ago by 32-year-old Violet Lee, who learned the dance while studying in Israel. She has taught thousands of students, mostly female office workers and housewives in the past two years. She has six part-time instructors in her dance studio in Taipei.

"I think Taiwanese women like belly dancing because it's fun and not so difficult to learn. It also provides a channel for women to express their beauty and sexiness," Lee says. "Most housewives take belly dancing lessons to lose weight and for fun while many office ladies use belly dancing to release pressure from work."

In Hong Kong, an Egyptian restaurant has been flying in professional belly dancers for the past three years not only to entertain diners but also give classes in the ancient art.

Hosni Emam, manager of Habibi, said the last set of classes, held thrice-weekly between October and December last year, attracted over 500 applicants, but with room for just 15 students each class, many people had to be turned away.

Source: AFP

Dance Discrimmination

Published: May 21, 2007

Dance schools and dance companies have strong ideas about what a dancer should look like. Different dance forms, classical and contemporary ballet, jazz, musical theatre, modern etc all have ranges of body types and colors. Dance body types are not anointed by the gods, nor are they predetermined by our genes, they are cultural, which means they are decided by what everyone is accustomed to seeing.

Long-legged delicate sylphs were not always the norm in ballet. Once upon a time, the basic ballet body type was short and stocky, because stocky dancers tend to be stronger and have better endurance than the delicately boned creatures who now inhabit dance, but Balanchine liked a different look and he had the power to change the world. Now stocky (muscularly built) girls are relegated to the dust heap of classical dance and even stocky men have a hard time of it.

Dance companies say that people only want to see what our culture deems 'beautiful dancers' but it's a vicious cycle, what we see as beautiful was decided for us and we all went along. Give us something else and, after an appropriate amount of complaining, we'll see that as the norm and the sylphs will have a hard time getting in the door.

"I think there's something about a denial of death in all of this, and connected to that a denial of change, that our bodies change and decompose over time," said the San Francisco choreographer Eric Kupers, "A lot of these standards that people try to measure up to are trying to freeze us in time...In dance, fashion, the movies, we want people to look like adolescents...We don't want wrinkles, cellulite. We don't want to see the indications of our own mortality."

Source: RiDance

Funny, You Don’t Look Dancerish

Published: May 20, 2007

THE press kit is a crucial weapon in the arsenal of any media-savvy choreographer. A sort of all-purpose calling card, it includes photographs, biographical information and favorable reviews. As a popular choreographer in the middle of his career, David Dorfman has no problem supplying rave notices. But one year, fed up with a certain pattern of description, he flirted with the idea of using less flattering press descriptions: those calling him chunky or stocky, or — his favorite — saying that he looks like the owner of a hardware store.

Mr. Dorfman, 51, looks like many healthy men his age. He has, in varying degrees throughout his life, carried a few extra pounds. Never mind the quality of his movement, which is silky and quick; for many audience members and critics, apparently, he simply doesn’t look the part.

“Of course there’s always room for a Danny DeVito or a Lawrence Goldhuber,” said Lawrence Goldhuber, the 300-plus-pound actor who came to prominence in dance in 1985 as a member of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, one of the few major troupes to embrace some variety of bodies.

Mr. Goldhuber, who just presented work by his company, BigManArts, at Dance Theater Workshop, has made a name for himself as, in his words, “the only fat guy in dance.” But, he added, “I think for the most part, in all the performing arts, paying customers want to look at beautiful people, people more beautiful than us.”

It is tempting to believe that people’s deeply ingrained expectations about how dancers — like movie stars and models — should look apply chiefly to ballet. But contemporary dancers are also held to rigid physical standards, which generally have little to do with ability or health, let alone art. “Like most issues that appear to be aesthetic,” Mr. Jones said, “they are in some ways social, in terms of time and place.”

Performers who deviate from the norm are often treated cruelly in school; deemed physically unacceptable by university deans, they are told they will never make it professionally because they aren’t thin enough. Once out of school, they often face typecasting and disdain from their peers and, sadly, even from themselves as they struggle against the same social conditioning.

“Teachers who thought I was a great dancer and would put me in the front of the class and would cast me in the lead roles were still discouraging me from making a career out of this,” said Gina Bashour, a full-figured dancer who graduated from Adelphi University in 2000. “Those stereotypes are very much alive inside the dance world.”

When the choreographer Larry Keigwin envisioned “Bolero NYC,” he said, he imagined performers of “different shapes and sizes.”

“My objective is to mirror New York,” he explained last fall. “I’m not going to put a bunch of ballerinas on stage imitating that.”

But neither did he look to his peers; instead he held open auditions. The final group, which danced with his company last month at the Skirball Center at New York University, might have been a snapshot of the foot traffic on any given city block.

Differences for civilians are one thing. “Bolero NYC” shared a program with two other Keigwin works, including “Natural Selection,” performed without one of its original dancers, Hilary Clark. Reviewing the show in 2004 in The Santa Barbara News-Press in California, Ted Mills took issue with Ms. Clark’s body, drawing unfavorable comparisons with the “unceasing athleticism” of the other dancers. “Not that you’d know from the publicity or, from what I can tell, most reviews,” Mr. Mills wrote, “but Ms. Clark is a plus-size dancer, and her inclusion in this last work raised questions about Mr. Keigwin’s intentions.” Mr. Mills saw “old-fashioned shock-the-bourgeoisie” tactics at work.

Ms. Clark’s membership in the company ended shortly after that review. When rehearsals resumed on the company’s return to New York, she said, she was not informed. Mr. Keigwin said that the break had stemmed from “a combination of things,” but Ms. Clark is skeptical. She heard through a friend, she said, that Mr. Keigwin wanted “a more classically modeled company.”

Ms. Clark, who now performs with Tere O’Connor Dance, found her dismissal, she said, to be “a result of the larger issue” that “the unfortunate and superficial assumptions of who and what type of body should be dancing diminishes dance’s very potential and range of experience.”

Many dancers and choreographers echo Ms. Clark’s sentiment, tying the bias to America’s problematic relationship to fitness and to a misunderstanding of what it means to be a contemporary-dance artist. The virtuosic ideal of major touring companies, they suggest, has become the only standard by which many judge contemporary dance. And those big companies are well aware of what their audiences want.

“Looking as good as you can look is a plus,” said Moses Pendleton, the artistic director of Momix. “Not just a plus, we demand it. It’s part of the image. The repertory I have now does not require a character who is 10 pounds or 20 pounds or 50 pounds overweight. They would stand out in a negative way.”

The conceptual and intellectual elements of contemporary dance are often lost in the sheer physicality of various dance genres, which have reached new heights of athleticism in recent decades, as many dancers have been swept up in America’s fitness obsession. The idea of going to a gym, the choreographer and dancer Neil Greenberg pointed out, would never have occurred to a modern dancer 20 years ago. Now dancers have avidly embraced that culture, even though, as Mr. Greenberg noted, a performer’s mobility can actually be hurt by overzealous gym work.

“When I talk to people who are not in the dance world and I say I make dances, they immediately assume that I’m in a constant state of exercising,” said Miguel Guttierrez, a New York choreographer. “People think dancer equals person who moves, not artist.”

There is a sense in America “that it’s irresponsible or shameful, somehow, if you’re a mover and your body doesn’t look a certain way,” Mr. Gutierrez added. “That must point to a defect like laziness, or a genetic shortcoming.”

In a recent review of Mr. Gutierrez’s “Retrospective Exhibitionist” in The Burlington Free Press in Vermont, Lauren Ober described his “physical softness.” “Underneath his roly-poly exterior,” she added, “Gutierrez is clearly a trained dancer.” Ms. Ober, who is not a dance critic, said in an interview that she had “never seen anybody who looked like Miguel” in ballet or in the big touring troupes like Pilobolus or the Merce Cunningham Dance Company.

In American dance, Mr. Gutierrez said, “skinny and beautiful and strength and power are the universal standards.”

“The notion of a body that deviates from that is only articulated as being different,” he added. “Then the conversation ends. There’s no acknowledgment of that initial assumption.”

And these standards, he noted, are absurdly narrow. “I have a 34-inch waist,” he said, laughing. “It’s not like I’m making an appointment for stomach surgery any time soon.”

The choreographer Stephen Petronio says he has often received commentary on his dancers’ bodies, mostly the women, despite the unstinting athleticism required by his aggressive vocabulary.

“How would they know what a modern dancer looks like?” Mr. Petronio said, referring to audiences and reviewers. “I don’t even know what one looks like till they step out in front of me.”

Mr. Dorfman tells of a postperformance discussion in Arkansas, in which a man asked him, “Why do you keep so much weight on?” Mr. Dorfman, whose father was in the audience, was wounded by the remark, he said, but he also found it mystifying.

“The thing that people love about dance is that it’s bodies on stage, doing it live,” he added. “But then why can’t we really own that, that they can be all bodies on stage?”

The choreographer and critic Gus Solomons Jr. is unapologetic about describing dancers’ bodies. “The bottom line is: Can they cut the cheese?” he said. “Can they dance? If someone were too thin, you would not hesitate to say they couldn’t keep up, and the opposite is fair game as well. It’s nice when reviewers can stick to the issues in the choreography. But to the extent that the performers affect the vision, that needs to be noted as well.”

But whose vision are they affecting, the choreographer’s or the viewer’s?

“I think there’s something about a denial of death in all of this, and connected to that a denial of change, that our bodies change and decompose over time,” said the San Francisco choreographer Eric Kupers, a co-director of Dandelion Dancetheater, which has, since 2001, run the Undressed Project, featuring nude performers of all ages, sizes and abilities. Mr. Kupers said he had been dismayed by the number of colleagues who had dismissed his work and by the sense that he must “prove myself in a different way than I used to” since ceasing the punishing regimen necessary to maintain a streamlined body.

“A lot of these standards that people try to measure up to are trying to freeze us in time,” he said. “In dance, fashion, the movies, we want people to look like adolescents, basically — men and women. We don’t want wrinkles, cellulite. We don’t want to see the indications of our own mortality.”

The choreographer Alexandra Beller, who danced with Bill T. Jones from 1995 to 2001, has had abundant opportunity to ponder, she said, “what makes people so scared to see someone who does look like them onstage or doesn’t.”

“I was probably the first woman in a major company with a body that was not the expectation,” she added. The press coverage, overwhelmingly focused on her body, was devastating.

“For all the attention, I felt very unseen,” she said. She described finally losing her cool at a postperformance discussion, after a woman lavishly praised her for being able to dance like everyone else despite the 40 extra pounds on her frame: “I was like, you know, 60 years ago, somebody would have said: ‘I can’t believe you’re a doctor, and you’re black. You’re as intelligent as the white people, I guess, congratulations.’ It’s not a compliment, it’s a crazy statement.”

Ms. Beller continues to suffer such treatment. A recent interviewer for Dance Magazine, puzzled as to why she wouldn’t want to talk, pressured her to serve as a role model for the plus-sized community.

Bristling, Ms. Beller noted that even creating such a category was marginalizing. What, she asked, “makes a woman who’s a size 12 different from a size 4, unless you say she’s different?”

She got no answer. Before the phone call ended, she said, the reporter managed to ask if she was dieting. All she could do was laugh.

Source: New York Times

How It All Began

I'm starting this blog because I've come across interesting articles related to dance, kept the links and then discovered later when I wanted to re-read them that they've been moved or taken offline.

Gathered here are all such articles, as far as possible with the original links and name of the publication. Enjoy.