Opening letter from the chair (Published in Mosaic Summer 2017)
It is with a mixture of excitement and trepidation that I am stepping into this new role as Chair of MADN. Thank you Aileen for holding the fort and to the amazing close knit team and members who make this Organisation what it is.
We will miss Yvette Cowles and Adam Warne who both contributed so much to our dance and music. This issue is dedicated to them. I was very lucky to hear Adam play in concert with the Baladi Blues Ensemble and witness the ease and joy with which he played. Yvette was a great support and encouraged me to share my work with others. Her humour and positive attitude were an inspiration. I know many of you will have thoughts and memories you hold dear. Condolences to family and friends of these special people. We celebrate their lives and hold them forever in our hearts.
By members for members is a brief that brings us all together, with this in mind, if you have an article or thought to contribute to our magazine please send it to Liz. If you think there is a subject you feel we should cover be the first to introduce it. We the members make the content what it is.
We aim to keep MADN relevant and in the forefront of promoting all things related to Arabic Dance. Are you interested in joining the committee and having your say? Do you feel passionate about Arabic Dance? Do you love MADN and in some way want to contribute to the organisation? Do you feel your demographic or interest is under-represented? Now is your chance to shimmy in and be part of the future of MADN.
We will look to re-introduce performance platforms and training support. An AGM will be announced in the next issue and a new approach will be taken as we all live in different parts of the country and abroad.
MADN as Arabic and Middle Eastern Dance Network is here to link us all and to this end we will open up the channels of communication and make advertising easier.
As of next issue we will have an events page where members can announce on one line the details of their upcoming events for free. We already have an events page on Facebook; we will look for you there as well. Advertising on a larger scale will be a lot more affordable. Please do share your events and help each other to fill the dance calendar harmoniously.
We will endeavour to make our material accessible to all and to this end we are working with the RNIB to introduce alternative formats such as Large Print, Braille and spoken versions. If you are interested in an alternative format we would love to hear from you.
PPL is a complex subject. We are setting up a member scheme if you are interested let us know. Although lot of our music is not covered under this arrangement and there is a track checker on their website, many studios require it and some teachers use other music.
Teacher listings will be reinstated and we hope you will help us by keeping your details up to date.
As we review and update MADN we will keep you appraised. Your feedback and ideas are always welcome. You are what makes MADN work for you and even a moment of your time makes a difference to our ever growing network.
Like us and keep an eye on Facebook and our webpage for our updates. We will keep you informed as improvements are made, three of which are mentioned below, so no need to wait until next issue for all the news…
MADN is starting an exciting project soon. You will be able to share your memories and create new ones. Send us your videos, audio, scanned photos and written accounts. Create your own interviews and add these too. Tell us how long have you been dancing, who taught you, where you have travelled? Share your anecdotes, your sad times and your glad times, your research and more. Are you a sole star or a group constellation? This is a unique networking project. We will add live interviews and content to your contributions.
MADN are in the process of setting up a MADN bnb networking hub to help dancers travel safely and affordably. Find a home from home and make new contacts along the way. We welcome all subscribers to add a spare room or sofa and will tell you more asap.
We also have a fun MADN tee-shirt offer and other items such as mugs are available on request. More details coming to our website soon. The great thing is that you can add your own words and possibly other details just ask! We will do the rest…
This is a very interesting time in the Arabic Dance world. Perhaps this statement has always held some modicum of truth. Now is a time of change, a time to re-evaluate, to look at ways of bringing people together. Social media has increased a sense of connection, allowing us to network and find like minded people in all parts of the world. But also people are travelling less and there is a need for healing, networking and support. We need to work together, respect each other, support one another’s efforts, where possible attend Haflas; share ideas for training and in every way possible strengthen our community on the ground. Conflicts in the world affect us all. For some in small intangible ways, we think, we care. In some cases the stark reality of losing homes, loved ones and livelihoods and hearing of others affected by difficult events brings a change in outlook. We are all touched by events to some extent. Who knows what will happen when or where. Dance and music unite us.
Our dance is helping people manage their experience of Cancer, Parkinson’s and other conditions. It is helping people improve their general wellbeing. Belly Dance is now performed in the Paralympics freestyle competition and is accessible to many people from different walks of life. Whether drawn to an aspect or the whole, it brings us together in a unique way.
Spread the word about MADN, set those darbuka drums rolling and tell your friends, your students and anyone interested in Arabic dance, music and culture about us.
In brief, I dance.
Love is music, dance and people. My dance journey includes: Scottish, Irish, World Folk, Tap, Jazz, Ballet, being head manager of the managers of a drill team in Texas, Latin, Ballroom, general boogieing in just about any situation; and of course Belly Dance. I have been Belly Dancing for about 17 years, starting on my own at home and later attending lessons and in recent years studying technique with Galit Mersand via Skype; attending workshops and Haflas; and doing the JWAAD courses. I am on Communications with the JTA committee and compile the newsletter.
I currently teach and perform in Norwich and host teachers for workshops and Haflas. I work with all ages and abilities which is both hard work and very rewarding. A dear friend once described Belly Dance as “A way of life” – it has transformed mine…
Please direct any responses to this letter to firstname.lastname@example.org
Rosemary Le Fevre (Chair)