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Shakti's Sacred Dance Workshops

Shakti is ecstatic to be back on Kaua'i and is offering 2 classes on ancient sacred dance in celebration of her return:

The workshops will be held at the Bodhi Tree Yoga Studio in the Dragon Building. Suggested donation is $10/class or $15 for both classes. For more information, please contact us at shakti.dance@gmail.com.

Shakti Bellydancing     

Music used in Dance classes

There are so many wonderful CDs out there! This is by no means a complete list! If you have any other suggestions that you like and want to share please feel free to email me or bring it to class.

Music used in Beginner's Dance class:

Fire Dance by Brian Keane & Omar Faruk Tekbilek: One of the great classical albums that creates the sense of wandering from village to oasis on the back of a camel. Every song provides a distinctive, intricate, highly dancable, memorable, and beautiful performance by 2 great masters of their instruments.
dolphina Soundtrack to the original version of The Goddess Workout With Dolphina: Bellydance for Fitness: Body, Mind and Spirit. Possibly out of print. See also Videos (below). Runs a fun, progressive gamut from calm, soothing warm-up music to simple rhythms with lovely melodic overlays to dance frenzy complex arrangements and back down into nice cool-down music.
Book of Secrets by Loreena McKennitt: Very peaceful, soothing, beautiful and lightening music. Who knew that Celtic rhythms overlapped mideastern so well? Source of the Marco Polo choreography.
Diaspora by Natacha Atlas This CD contains 3 excellent dance songs (tracks 1, 2, & 4) plus an unusually heartfelt ode to her cultural heritage (tracks 5-6) that clearly evokes desert winds and shifting culture.
Freedom! by Jim Gagnon: We use this CD for cooldown frequently. It features Charlottesville artist Jim Gagnon's thrumming didgeridoo playing, djimbe, and peaceful, soothing lyrics.
Rapture Rumi A lovely journey to Mecca expressed as music.

Music used in Intermediate Dance class:

Seed by Afro Celt Sound System. Those Celts! Where did they get their rhythms? One friend told me it resulted from trade routes to the Middle East in the Middle Ages and tribe relocation. If you know the full story, please e-mail me because I would love to know more about the relationship between Celtic and Mid-Eastern rhythms. This band is celtic-african fusion which somehow creates an extremely dancable Americanized mid-eastern hybrid sound.
Ahsas by Solace: The kind of music that makes you think of monks singing in a cathedral if the monks happened to be musically gifted. Reminiscent of "Dead Can Dance" but with an international flavor.
Desert Roses & Arabian Rhythms, Vol. 3 (Compilation): Modern mid-eastern pop, very funky with techno back-beats.
Nomad: Best of Amina Beautiful, lyrical, very dancable mid-eastern music. Lovely vocals with good polyrhythms that are easy to follow, yet offer complex opportunities.
Bellylicious (compilation): Another mideastern dance club remix album. Includes the hit "Chicky". More sexual than most.
Halim by Natacha Atlas, who is an international pop star in the mideastern genre. Her music is very groovy and dancable and yet authentic and real. This is her best dance album so far.
Salt Rain by Susheela Raman: American-style music with an international tone and emphasis on female empowerment

Music used in Advanced / Accellerated Dance class:

Secrets of the Eye by Hossam Ramzy. Chock-full of fabulous rhythms and superbly dancable and diverse musical overlays, this is another of the great albums of modern mideastern dance.
Arabesque (compilation): Mid-Eastern remixes, club-style. Very fun and dancable.
DASI: Prayers by Women: A beautiful and soothing collection of women singing prayers in their native languages.
Dancing Drums by Susu Pampanin and the Cairo Cats: Susu is the daughter of a dancer and is a superb & intricate drummer. If you like dancing to drum solos, this album is full of good ones.
Niyaz: Traditional tribal fused with modern techno-beats and drones.
Galactic Caravan (compilation): Pumped up remix of various mideastern songs, including an excellent club mix of Amina's "Lirrili". Very dancable, especially if you're into club music.
Arafunk, The Sound of Arabia by DJ Nightshade. My favorite of the remix albums, this continuous-play club mix album contains a lot of excellent songs in their own right pumped up for extra groovaliciousness.
Mel De Cabra by Misirli Ahmet: Outrageously superb drumming from one of the most accomplished percussionists out there.

Other music which occassionally crops up in dance class:

Of course you can dance to any music that moves you from Santana to KD Lang. Intricate rhythms provide more opportunity for polymorphing your dance to express how it moves you, and are abundant in Latin and African music, just to name 2 of many genres. So grab your favorite CD & go wild!
The Art of Bellydancing By George Abdo & his "Flames of Araby" orchestra. Lovely cabaret style bellydance music.
The Best of Natacha Atlas by Natacha Atlas: Contains many of her good dance tracks, including "I Put a Spell on You" and "Mon Amie La Rose", but is better for individual song selection than continuous listening.
Fifty Gates of Wisdom by Ofra Haza, who has a beautiful and uplifting voice.
The Search by Misirli Ahmet: Advanced drum rhythms for the afficionado. Requires expert dancing skills to keep up.
Street Signs by Ozomatli: This metamorphic group conjures up gypsies for our time. The album is a unique fusion of hip-hop, latin, and american rock. Quite dancable.

Recommended videos

Yoga for Bellydancers: Just what it sounds like. Very good for daily practice, increasing flexibility and control slowly and steadily over time
The Goddess Workout With Dolphina: Bellydance for Fitness: Body, Mind and Spirit: This is an excellent practice video for beginners who are also taking classes. Dolphina has a very positive attitude towards bellydancing and women in general. She runs through many basic drills in this video which form an excellent daily practice regimen. The video is light on explanations of proper posture and movement techniques which is why it's best used in conjunction with an instructor.

Recommended books

Grandmother's Secrets: Ancient Mideastern dance has been passed down form mother to daughter through the generations. Bellydance as a form of male entertainment has a different thrust than traditional forms. This book is written by a woman who learned in the traditional way - from her grandmother and explains the moves within their proper cultural perspective.

Other Mideastern & Sacred Dance Class Topics

Cinnamon Phoenix offers Mideastern and Sacred Dance classes in Kaua'i, Hawai'i
For more information, please contact us at: shakti.dance@gmail.com
(808) 635-0688