A Special Evening of Belly Dancing, "Bellyhood Consortium", featuring @eric-boucher on the doumbek!

in story •  last year

A Special Evening of Belly Dancing, Bellyhood Consortium, featuring @eric-boucher on the doumbek!

Have you ever heard of the Arabic word “Hafla”?

This signifies a “gathering”, “get together”, “party” or “ceremonious social event”. Though a bit immersed into the belly dancing communities in many areas where I have lived over the years, this passed weekend was the first time I was introduced to the term and what a gathering it happened to become.

My partner, Taissia, and a handful of her students had prepared a special presentation showcasing the advanced students and herself. Meanwhile, I’d be the token live drummer, so to speak… Many names have been tossed around as to what could be the official groups name and so far one name seems to have stuck in my heart and soul: “Bellyhood Consortium”.


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(From left to right, elated in the afterglow of our performance: Haley, Carla, @eric-boucher, Taissia and Louise. Photo credit: Lynette Harper.)

For so many years, about 15 by now, I have been asked to play for bellydancers in settings of all kinds, from super casual hang outs to performances made for audiences in their hundreds, to playing for individuals and small groups in teaching settings, which has been the case with Taissia students for the passed 6 weeks. In this case, we had been invited to perform at one of Taissia best friend's place, Lynette, an incredibly talented dancer who, over the years, has practiced a variety of styles from the Mediterranean regions and abroad. This humble abode was about to rumble…

The procession of guests, mostly women, one young girl and, @integra-mare and I, came with an array of foods from the crossroads of the Mediterranean; Olives, feta, figs, dolmades, etc. An assortment of delicacies from all over the world accompanied the main theme and, soon after the great majority of people had showed up, the foods and conversations were up roaring the early evening. Dispersed through the living room adjacent to the kitchen, laughters and sounds reflecting the levels of scrumptious tasting sustenance elevated themselves along with the resounding throb of Arabic music. For the newly acquainted with this sort of gathering excitement, joy and shyness combined with colluding spirits were exchanging looks among the experienced. For the latter, a palpable thrill was building. Not that anyone was trying to eat faster than their neighbours but there was a definite objective in mind: Dancing!

At one point we must have been about 20, all packed in this small living room where music, warm vibes and joyful exuberance cooperated in a melting pot of cultures both socially and musically. The heat was rising and the energies building, the dancing solos had started and the group of women congealed as one forming as big a circle as they could, including all.

Now that playfulness had set the pace within the group of women, the natural warmth and mutual recognition of womanhood rose to the surface while a celebration of their being emancipated itself and, like wild fire, spread over each and everyone present featuring one and two and three dancers at the same time within the confines of the small circle. As if the ring couldn’t bare its entanglement, the energy was brought out and lead into a spiralling snake by two of the leaders of the group, women who created a dynamic of group movement resembling a round of follow the leaders trailing behind them every single participants.

I couldn’t contain my joy and excitement to have been part of this event, to my eye this resonated straight back to the very source of what we call today belly dancing with the celestial memories of countless generations of women who gathered over the millennia to rejoice in life, womanhood, dance and music, family, friends, and community dancing to and with each others’ recognition, all elements, their ancestors and the ones yet to come.

It came time for our little troupe to perform and, after a small interlude of dancing with Lynette, I sat back down, and we all welcomed the proud group in their newly changed outfits. It was show time and, since I had anticipated recording the show, organized the filming and got ready for the drumming. So, without further ado, here’s a small taste of the evening with “The Bellyhood Consortium”:



Performing for you here were Tassia, Louise, Carla and Haley with their dance performance choreographed by Taissia, for the musical piece by the legendary percussionist and musician Hassam Ramzy and his ensemble entitled “Zaar Naar”. The “zaar” rhythm is an Egyptian sufi folk rhythm used in transe inducing practices of healing. The dance pays dues to the transe nature of this rhythm while including elements of humour and playfulness and the ever present sensuality. You might have picked up on the cheerful demeanour and delight of sharing in the dance that each performer radiates with as the dance evolved. As you might have noticed, I happened to be drumming on a doumbek, actually given to me by the friend through whom Taissia and I connected a few years back but that is another story all together...

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Such lovely ladies & beautiful performance! I could never do that...When it comes to dancing, I am stiff as a wardrobe! And when I do try to dance and release the stifness, I can only imagine I look exactly like one of the Teletubbies.

I could watch this all day and still be amazed!

Namaste & sending you lots of love and light @eric-boucher.

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LOL! You are so funny... Thanks for the early morning laughter, as I'm still giggling... Teletubbies...

Thanks a lot for the very kind words too! I pass the words over to the crew, I'm certain they'll greatly appreciate. By the way, I think you missed the latest Dream Yoga article, here's the link: https://steemit.com/life/@eric-boucher/dream-yogas-the-art-of-living-on-the-edge-of-dreams-and-every-day-life-part-i

Again and as always, much light & love your way too, a great big smile and have a wonderful day.

Namaste @szuri :)

Did you feel badly outnumbered by the dancers, Eric? Must be tough to be the sole drummer :-)

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Most of the evening, I was outnumbered 18:1!!! OUTRAGEOUS!!!

As it is often the case, the inner pain of having to suffer this magnificence will be leaving me crippled for life, eventually! Till then, do I ever enjoy!!! I know you understand the suffering and feel the sincerity of your empathy equally deeply. LOL!!!

Thanks for the fun early morning laughter, have a great night, keep your smile too, thrive on and namaste :)

Wow @eric-boucher, my extreme compliments both for your drumming and for the lovely dancing. Very professional!!

Something strange:While watching with my son, at the end of the video there was a man in the audience that said "yaaaah" and then "well done". WE were both convinced that it sounded just like me!

Am I a time traveler?

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Has the time-space continuum is not limited to past or future, maybe so!?! Mind you, it may very well be my friend @integra-mare who was standing right beside the camera then...

Thanks a lot for the great compliment, I'll also pass the good words to the crew when they come over on Tuesday, for our next practice as we are getting ready for our presentation in Victoria within the next few weeks...

Namaste :)

<3 I love those dances, they are fantastic, I really enjoyed it, it made me want to dance and everything. excellent.
I follow you.

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Your joy and excitement is palpable through the electronic highway and it is a great pleasure to be able to share this with you. You compliment is warming my heart and I will be able to share the comment with all the ladies tomorrow. No doubt, they will be flattered and even more motivated by your kind words. So much gratitude for your presence of heart, fellowship and kindness of spirit.

Namaste :)

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aww the truth if I loved it, maybe you can make some videos to learn step by step. Not to mention that that dance is sensual summation. : D

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Maybe Taissia will end up making tutorial through Steemit one day, if she can get access to a blog site!?! Meanwhile, I gladly make the videos and give her and her students exposure here. Thank you so very much, your enthusiasm is a major compliment and the genuine kindness you come from is delectable. They will appreciate.

Namaste :)

How nice this is! I hope you had a super great time. The bellydancing is cooll but your drumming is certainly as cool! You have super rhythm. Do you play in large drum ensembles as well? Improvisation for instance? I always love it when I'm eg on Ibiza on Benirrás beach to listen to the drummers playing at sunset times.

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We sure did have an amazing time, thanks!

The next video will also underline the fun we've had. Much gratitude for your kind words in relation to drumming as well. I have drummed over 30 000 hours in my life, so far, and have played with styles and rhythms the world over, this was a little taster. the next video relating to this specific evening has more of my improvisational skills rising as I do so along with Lynette, the owner of the house who is an excellent dancer too. I improvised with over 200 people at one point, what a blast that was, not to mention the countless hours of drumming among groups of musicians and drummers.

thanks for mentioning Ibiza and Benirrás Beach, what a great place to be, and live I assume?!? I'd be one of those drummers if I lived there...

Namaste :)

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30.000 hrs: WOW! That is a LOT of hours! And improvised drumming with a group of 200 drummers, that must be an amazing event! I'm looking forward your next videos. This kind of drumming I really like!

Benirrás Beach: Indeed live! And not a fixed ensemble, everyone with a drum can join in. Sometimes it is a small group, sometimes a large group. It usually take them a bit of time to get in exact the right rhythm, I suppose since some of them are not super experienced. But it is surely great to experience, I dont live their, but spend from time to time vacation on this magical Island. I can advise you a vacation on this island.

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There is such a thing as "overdrumming", and depending on the techniques used, one can seriously hurt themselves for life... Anyway, I'm glad you enjoyed the drumming. You are very blessed to be able to go to this island of beauty and spend time along with the elements while inspiring music plays along. I'd surely be there right in. Thanks for sharing!

Namaste :)

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overdrumming: I can imagine, some seem to use a lot of force and RSI can lurk around the corner I suppose.

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It often seems like we are hitting hard, but doing so will in deed damage your body on the ling run. Hitting properly will still be heard loudly and clearly though it will seem from the person looking that you are hitting it hard. The trick is in the "whip". Just like when you play badminton, it is the whipping of the wrist that allows for the birdy to be smashed with swiftness, the the hard and strenuous attempt at moving the arm forcefully. Constantly moving in terms of circles helps a great deal in not having to move against your original impulse and thus a flow builds with which the drummer can dance along its breathing and dance.

Namaste :)

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Thanks for the explanation!

Awesome 👌post
I really 💕like this lovely💖 ladies 🎸performance
Really great post
Keep it up @eric-boucher

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Wow, thanks a lot! I'll be sharing the comments and replies with the ladies over the course of tomorrow. I love the emoticon here and there, it is both colourful and joyful, loving'em!

Namaste :)

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Thanks! Namaste :)

What a wonderful group! The older dancer has my attention. Such a vibrant spirit! It put a little more "kick" in my stride this morning. Thanks for posting!

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Well, I'm sure she will be pleased to read this comment of yours. The group is in deed quite something and has loads of potential. what a pleasure it has been for me to drum for them and witness the growth of their spirit as well as being part of it too. Thanks for the wonderful comment!

Namaste :)

thanks for sharing @eric-boucher, wonderful article about belly dance, picture is nice and video is outstanding.good work.

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Thanks a lot @rabeel! I really appreciate the kind words and will be passing your kindnesses to the ladies too. Namaste :)

you are so blessed!!! Beautiful!!!

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Thanks @teresa-robinson! I completely agree with you and feel the same, I am greatly blessed, leaving me almost nothing else to say but to smile!

Namaste :)

Great work, you've lifted me right up, early on Sunday morning. Deep thanks!

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I'm so glad this piece got your Sunday grooves going. Thanks a lot for sharing, namaste :)

Outstanding performance of beautiful women

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They sure did a great job and their beauty can't be contradicted. Thanks a lot for the kind comment, I'll share it with them tonight. Namaste :)

That was amazing, dance as well as your performance

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Thanks a lot, I'll pass the good words around, namaste :)

i enjoyed a lot your belly dance....keep it up.have fun

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Thank you for sharing, I'll let the girls know, namaste :)

Very lovely, dont forget to have fun

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We had such a blast, thanks, namaste :)

wow...amazing belly dance.....
love it...
@followed and upvoted

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Thanks a lot for the kind words, fellowship and upvote! Namaste :)

Dance is quite very good. this is very beautiful
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Thank you, I'll let the girls know, they are very good in deed! Namaste :)

Excellent Dance. A good music played by Doumbek. I like that moves of hair. That up and down. well w ell. Checkout my latest post @aonraza its about a visit(travel).

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Thanks, the ladies will be seeing the comments soon and surely appreciate the good words! Namaste :)

Extraordinary performance of beautiful women i like it keep it up

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Thanks a lot, I'll share your words with them as soon as they come over tonight! Namaste :)

Wonderful demonstration friend, they do it very well, I invite you to visit my blog, greetings

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Thank you, they are very good in deed, thanks for sharing, namaste :)

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Thanks @lemouth! We had a great time, namaste :)

Good sample, have fun over there.

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We had a great time, thanks, namaste :)