Friday, March 25, 2016

On making dances - Videos from Fédra's FDBD - Nov '15

These are my latest performance videos, both recorded at the Jubilee show 'Transmission' of my dear dance friend and colleague Fédra of Belgium last November at Wolubilis in Brussels, BE - Celebrating her 15th year in oriental dance.

This is our isis wings duet to 'Mosavo Misrlou', a choreography we co-created especially for this event

About 3 seconds into our performance I broke my left wing stick (too much kettlebell swinging, thanks Pavel!), but I was able to hold it together, literally :) The isis wings are from Ayshe (US) and they are, except for the sticks (which you can order separately), virtually indestructible.

A picture from our rehearsals at the studio:

We started working together on this dance at the studio in Würselen, DE in July 2015.

Fédra and I had performed a wings duet before (which was based on this isis wings solo choreography from 2011), but for the Transmission show we wanted to create something new, with more stage dynamics.

First we mapped out our placements on the stage for each part of the song, then we filled in the movements drawing from a solo wings choreography I had created earlier for a workshop to the same song, plus techniques from the duo portion of my Isis Wings DVD

One of the inspirations for this piece was a beautiful duo choreography by Azimé and Lies I saw while judging the Benelux BD championships a few years ago. I will post a link to it here if they ever post it online. The music inspiration came from a workshop by the lovely Marratu Sekhmet of BE. 

The second video is my solo performance at the same event - A double silk veil fusion to Wael Kfoury's 'Omry Kelou'

This choreo is a revisit from a dance I created especially for my very first teacher's sister Yamila's International BD Festival in Heerlen, NL.

The use of 2 rectangular silk veils was originally unplanned. I had ordered one custom veil from les soies de Minifée in Canada to match this costume, and by coincidence she had sent me 2 veils to choose from: A brightly colored one and a slightly more muted version. I found it too hard to select just one, and the difference between them was minimal, so I decided to buy them both.

At the time the veils arrived I was just about to finish a no-veil choreography for the show (which would be happening a few days later) to this beautiful Wael Kfoury song.

A few minutes into playing around with the veils in my living/dance room with them half-tucked into my costume skirt (like so - they were/are a bit too long for regular double veil work) while listening to the show music a flash of inspiration hit me: What if I..?

And bam, just like that, this double veil choreography was born. The dance had been almost ready at that point, it just needed the veils as a finishing touch. I performed it 3 days later :)

You can find the original (February 2012) performance here:

The things I've learned from looking back on the choreographic process of these 2 dances are:

1. Work and 'input' is never lost.
Even if a dance you work on is never performed, it still has value as a learning experience, and it can be a source of inspiration for a later piece. Similarly, each performance you see, every piece of music you hear, every dance practice (or other movement style!) you do can one day be part of something you create, so be sure you gather or document your inspirations in some way.

2 Trust your intuition.
At any point in the process of creation, the most unusual or 'un-thought-through' ideas often turn out to be the most remarkable ones. I've often found that 'last minute additions' to a dance, or places where I was 'stuck' in a choreograpyh eventually become the ones that make the dance more meaningful, personal and unique. The more you trust your creativity, the more expansive it will become.

Until next time!

xx Khalida

PS: You can find a free (!) downloadable double veil class in the pinned post of my KDanceOnline FB group here, and a full overview of my DVDs/downloadable classes here and here.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Books and Articles of the month - March 2016


Can't believe it's March already! Here are my favorite (dance and life) related book and articles of the month:

Book: The Art of Learning
by Josh Waitzkin

The Art of Learning - Josh Waitzkin

I picked up this book for the first time last month, and it is one of my favorite reads on the process of learning and developing performance skills. I am planning on re-reading it for many times to come.

From the Amazon page: 'With a narrative that combines heart-stopping martial arts wars and tense chess face-offs with life lessons that speak to all of us, The Art of Learning takes readers through Waitzkin's unique journey to excellence. He explains in clear detail how a well-thought-out, principled approach to learning is what separates success from failure. Waitzkin believes that achievement, even at the championship level, is a function of a lifestyle that fuels a creative, resilient growth process. Rather than focusing on climactic wins, Waitzkin reveals the inner workings of his everyday method, from systematically triggering intuitive breakthroughs, to honing techniques into states of remarkable potency, to mastering the art of performance psychology.'

Check out a free chapter and audio excerpt as well as a video interview with the author here:

Goodreads link:


On balance, alignment and movement dynamics:

On developing performance skills:

Interiew with Mahmoud Reda, living legend of Middle-Eastern dance:

Music recommendation:

Check out these 2 treasures,  Simon Shaheen, The Music of Mohamed Abdel Wahab and Mercedes Nieto, Layali El Hob Vol. 2

Highly recommended for anyone who loves rich orchestral arrangements of Middle Eastern music, with special thanks to Razia Star for recommending the first CD to me, and Mercedes Nieto for producing the second:

Simon Shaheen, The Music of Mohamed Abdel Wahab

Mercedes Nieto, Layali El Hob Vol. 2

Happy reading/listening!

xx Khalida

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Khalida - Enta Omri (live music performance) - February 2016

New video online! Performing to Mohamed Abdel Wahab's 'Enta Omry' with live music at the Mercedes Nieto workshop and Hafla weekend, hosted by Salwa of Belgium.

Thank you Marc Antoine for the video!

xx K.

See this link for the original (subtitled!) concert version with Omm Kolthoum.