Marv and Olouse

Marv and Olouse
Bandon, OR. 1981?

Thursday, December 13, 2012

More photos just because

I just loaded these random shots because they are lurking in the archives. From the top First one was taken at a Fat Tuesday celebration in Seattle Second is a rear view of the Shimmy Dance, probably taken in Bellingham at an outdoor festival. Third is another rear shot of the final bow at the Fat Tuesday celebration and next to that is Saheed doing a solo Algerian number because I forgot my costume (!). This was taken in Powell River, B.C Fifth is my favorite shot of Shayla from Pt. Roberts Sixth is John tuning the kanoon at a workshop in Vancouver, B.C. Seven is another favorite. This was a dance that John, Muzzy and Marty did with hand drums. It was taken at Pt. Roberts, a very popular dance! Eight is John playing for Sahira on the glasses. Nine was at Pt. Roberts, our last year, Saheed and Yasmela And last is my favorite troupe shot.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Bou-Saada was always striving to do better. With no internet, no videos and big cities to the north and south but no Middle Eastern culture close at hand, it was challenging. I think that may have been why we became so involved in each other's business, why we were a family. All we had to rely on was each other, and the chemistry on stage was truly remarkable. I heard about and saw some Egyptian style dancing in the early '80's. After Vicki Peacock left us and moved to Oregon, we visited and stayed with her, parking the bus in a field out in the woods. When she moved in to Eugene and started teaching, she taught us a Said'i dance she'd learned in a workshop. We performed it to The Apricot Song, which we learned from Sirocco and Farideh. It was a group dance and the first piece in which we sang.
We loved the costume changes...most of the time...and we layered and layered in order to offer our audiences a folkloric look. Sometimes it was as simple as a tunic and other times, the costumes got quite elaborate as in the Algerian. The backdrop behind us offered a place to do quick changes and adjustments. We gave a lot of thought to how the sets were structured in order to make time for costume changes. For Tunisian, my speciality, I adapted a traditional haik for use over my other costume.
But there was lots of fun on stage and getting ready to go on stage...
The last photo was taken on the bus. I think we were all looking at some "muscle magazine" that Gwynne brought on board. She went on to be a body builder after leaving the troupe.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Old friends:
The first photo was taken in Seattle with Omar Baptiste, a well respected, charming man from Seattle with a vast knowledge of folkdance and music. He was a mentor to many of the Northwest dancers and much beloved. The second photo was taken when Hamza el Din was in residence at the University of Washington. He generously gave his time to both Muzzy and John as a mentor and teacher. It was Hamza who first inspired me to into the field of research while I was still in high school and discovered his albums on Vanguard Records. I had the incredible honor of dancing for him when he came to one of our performances at the Seattle Center, and later was thrilled to see him in a small concert setting as part of his time as an adjunct professor at UW. The last photo was taken at Town Hall in Seattle at a performance Bou-Saada did with Sirocco. Sol and Armando were always good to us as we wound our way through the learning process of Middle Eastern music and dance. Sol was an old acquaintance of Muzzy's from the folk music scene in Southern California in the early 1960's. I saw Sol and David Lindley with the rock band Kaleidescope, when they performed at the Avalon Ballroom in San Francisco in 1967. It was the first time I saw belly dancers with a rock band, and I beleive it was Marta Schill, who was with Sol at that time. We finally met in person when I became friends with Farideh/Cathryn Balk, who moved from the Bay area to Vancouver B.C. She and Sol had a daughter, Fairuza Balk, and Sirocco (Sol and Armando) often stayed with us in Bellingham on their way north to play in Vancouver B.C. Armando passed away in December 2012 and will be sorely missed for his great warmth, generous praise and encouragement and enormous talent. He was truly a Great Soul.
More goofin' around pics. The Puyallup Fair did give us ample room for silly pics. We all loved The Penetrator:
And Top Class Dancing Girls
And the trip to Disneyland where we got to park our bus in the "Bus Zone" and take a tram to the gate. At the infamous Campbell River gig, we rode in the Salmon Days Parade and took a pic with the honorary camel.
More photos because we all like photos. Saheed, Gail Smedley, was the last dancer to join Bou-Saada. Gail taught in London. One of her most notable pupils, Wendy Buonaventura, went on to publish several books on Middle Eastern dance and to create her own threatrical dance productions with a decidedly feminist/middle eastern flavor. Gail borught her own unique style to the troupe, quickly mastering our group material, learning to play in the band, and eventually adding her lovely voice as we expanded into vocal interpretation. This first shot is of Gail teaching before she moved to Washington State and joined Bou-Saada.
Two Gail solo shots:
Gail and John Zeretzke
Gail performed a basket dance to an Armenian piece, and became my partner in the Algerian/Ouled Nail.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Very early on we started running the troupe like a band, with regular rehearsals twice a week, three times if we were working in new material and getting ready for a tour. It evolved to where we had a repertoire of a certain number of pieces that we did for the year and we mixed and matched for the various shows we had contracted. Some sets leaned toward the more educational, ethnic side and others were flat out belly dance designed for taverns, bars, rock 'n' roll. We rehearsed as a full group, musicians and dancers, because when the dancers weren't dancing they were part of the band, and eventually, the musicians danced too. About the middle of our 10 year active run, we added singing. John Zeretzke's incredible ability to play several instruments really added to our ability to explore different music from a wider variety of countries. Some of the experiments were more popular than others, some dances were favorites of the group and some that were audience winners were loosers in our minds. We had a whole set of troupe language and set phrases that meant nothing to anyone but us...I guess you could say we were tribal, but the intention to be a "tribal dance troupe" was never conscious. It just evolved. Below are some rehearsal pictures. However, the first one is called 'The boys in the hall". It is a companion piece to "The girls in the hall". Both were taken at the Western Washington State Fair in Puyallup. We played there 2 years in a row, parking our bus at the back with the other carnival caravans, which we thought was wonderful. One evening after the show we came back to the bus to find the aisle occupied by a life sized wooden cut out cow. Randy the Roadie just couldn't resist.
This last one is Marj at the Fair with her new sword!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Screwing around, on stage, off stage, back stage, on the bus, in general.
Girls in the hall, Puyallup Fair, early 80's

Janet and Lani on the bus

Outdoor show? On one of the islands? Help?
The Ladies

On the street, Eugene, OR

Pt. Roberts
Setting up in 105 degrees, Banning, CA

The Bousaadettes with the Atlantics, political rally, Maple Ridge, B.C. Canada