Recommended Books, Music and Videos

This is a choice list. Certainly, you can spend time on the internet or asking around and get different sources. Trust me, though, when I tell you I have pre-selected good resources.

For intermediate and advanced students, please see alternate list.

Books:

  • Serpent of the Nile: Women and Dance in the Arab World. by Wendy Buenoventura.
  • A Trade Like Any Other: Female Singers and Dancers in Egypt. by Karen van Niewkerk.
  • The Belly Dance Book: Rediscovering the Oldest Dance. by Tazz Richards (ed.).
  • Grandmother’s Secrets: The Ancient Rituals and Healing Power of Belly Dancing. by RosinaFawzia al Rawi.
  • Bedlah, Baubles and Beads. by Dawn Devine Brown

Popular and versatile music:

  • Natacha Atlas,
  • Hossam Ramzy
  • Omar Faruk Tekbilek,
  • Hakim,
  • Amr Diab,
  • Reda Darwish,
  • George Abdo,
  • Eddie the Sheik Kochak,
  • Sayyed Balaha,
  • every serious dancer should own : Jalilah’s Raks Sharqi, volumes 1-6 (from Piranha records).This is an excellent series that!

All of these artists (and books above) are available through

  • Hollywood Records
  • Dance Emporium <www.auset.ca>. Both also carry videos, costumes, finger cymbals, scarves
  • and jewellery.
  • Amazon.com, Chapters, PEKO/, or possibly through local vendor Cheryllynn Saramaga, or at  Au Set Belly-Dance Emporium <www.auset.ca>. Both also carry videos, costumes, finger cymbals, scarves and jewellery.

Video/DVD:

  •  Hadia, Canada’s superstar, offers a series of 6 videos, volumes 1-3 would be most accessible to advanced beginner students. She covers the fundamentals of Egyptian dance, for intermediate to advanced level. She recently put out a series of technique and performance DVD’s that are also excellent. With award-winning choreographies and superb technique, Hadia is a master.
  •  Cassandra of Minneapolis, America’s best dancer, has 2 performance videos and one technique video that are excellent. They are available through her website, Cassandra is an amazing improvisational dancer in multiple styles, masterful choreographer and truly divine instructor.
  •  Suzanna del Vecchio is a very precise teacher of American technique. Please do not confuse American content with Egyptian–they are very different.

Websites for Shopping, Information & Networking:

  • Turquoise International offers videos by Cassandra, Mona Said, Raqia Hassan, and other masters, as well as costuming and music,
  • Dahlal Internationale is an excellent site for costuming how-to’s, ready-made costumes, music, info, and video.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! Also,

  • Maqam Music,
  • Classical Arabic Music,
  • Maqam World,
  • DiscoverBellydance.com,
  • Belly Dance Shop,
  • Shira.net is excellent, well-balanced, well-informed and has LOTS of information posted regularly.

You can get cheap bellydance gear off of eBay, but be warned, it is usually of lesser quality. The really high quality, well-made belts, costumes and cymbals cost more money but will last you longer and stay looking nicer. Note: that goods made in India, China, and other East Asian countries may be marketed as “bellydance” ware, but are not made to put up with the rigors of the dance, and may be culturally inappropriate. Bellydance is very, very popular and many people are trying to make money from unsuspecting students and consumers.

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Author: Nicola
Copyright: © 2005 Nicola
Last updated: 2005/10/10

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