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Maura Enright
Attended East Islip
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Maura Enright

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Updated Melaya Leff article:  A friend asked me to include more of my own voice into my website articles.  In my own defense, the effort I put into finding and sharing sources is personal, non-trivial , and expensive, and I don't spare words if I have a new insight that I think worth sharing.  But I see no need to rework the original, magical voices of the sources just because that is the convention;  I LIKE those voices and I want to share them.  I see no need for me to reconcile or explain the differences and similarities between them; they harmonize and clash on their own terms, with vigorous words and with the nuances the original authors intended.
 
Updated with some new voices.
Vivacious, Flirty, Look but Do Not Touch! :: at BabaYagaMusic.com
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Cute costuming pamphlet, but I don't think I'll buy more.
 
I purchased one of Farida Fahmy's e-books on costuming.  I am trying to  decide if it is worth the $10 I paid for it.

The 'book' is 16 pages long, 11 of which are dedicated to drawings, one per page, of costume designs.  Twenty years ago these would have been very helpful.  Today, in a world of Google images and similar, not so much.  Then there are three pages of description with two smaller pictures.  The first page discusses how the costumes we think of as 'saidi' costumes were actually developed by the Reda troupe for their theatrical presentations.  Interesting. The subsequent two pages of dance costume tips (eight paragraphs) (NO diagrams) might be useful to a novice sewer (avoid stiff or limp fabric; attaching sequins or coins in diagonal lines is tricky; necklines cut close to the neck need an opening that is fastened with a hook) -  but for $10?   Buy a used book on sewing for $1 and get a lot more basic info.

I suppose I'm voting with my feet ---  I haven't gone back to order any other e-books.
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Now I'd like to see it! you've stirred my curiosity :)
So it's here right? http://www.faridafahmy.com/costumes.html
I'm amazed at those drawings, they look so similar to what my daughters used to draw! so cute!! I'll have to find one and share it. will tag you when I do -
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Maura Enright

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A short, succinct, rather hilarious video during which several Tribal Names describe what they do and why it is different from other styles.  The narrator cleverly organized the interviews from Carolina of FCBD (who has a plan and an explanation, for sure!) through Amy Sigil (who would prefer to be called a world dancer at the point that this video was made) to Rachel Brice (who wasn't sure how to describe what she does or what she'll be doing next year).
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Maura Enright

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Prediction for a dance art with a very active social component:  "I believe when performance tango and competition tango grow, social tango will proportionally begin to have health problems and premature aging."
 
I recently read someone describe the difference between art and entertainment as the difference between learning / experiencing something new and experiencing the familiar in a pleasing format.  Here the death of tango is predicted and mourned:  killed by professionals and competitions.  An eloquent exposition of a complicated subject.  You don't have to agree to enjoy the article.
The one who believes she'll live forever, takes the biggest risks. The Body Tango is us.  I'll call her, Señorita Tango, but she is us.  The Body Tango says to itself, "I live forever!" Denial of mortality is rather normal, I...
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"The one who believes she'll live forever, takes the biggest risks." :)
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THE COSTUMES of MAH PEEPS:  younger folks who think they know what cultural appropriation is missed the ethnic clothing designs of the 70s.  Sometimes we rendered a useful design in sensible fabrics, but other times ... !!!  A Finnish man's jacket, originally in very heavy wool twill, rendered in cotton and covered with big honking red and yellow eagles... with feather stitching (of course!).  A Macedonian-patterned shirt covered with 3-dimensional poppies.  A Turkestan-pattern tunic decorated in 3-dimensional fluffy ducks. The almost-translucent-linen  tunic of ancient Egypt,  interpreted in American poly poplin with an almost-life-size (padded!) applique of an Egyptian on the front of the tunic.   A Russian tunic transformed into an Easter dress of pink rayon with giant maroon letters spelling JOY appliqued (but not padded!) down the front - and around the back neck - and across one sleeve edge. And the Burmese vest whose entire front is a stenciled, padded and appliqued picture of Peter Rabbit.

I guess one must crawl before one can walk!

#ethnicwear  
#ethnicclothingpattern  
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Maura Enright

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A long description of a near-fail and a short, pithy description of course corrections.  A good read for anyone involved in a organization.

http://www.ssireview.org/articles/entry/how_the_hub_found_its_center
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Have her in circles
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Maura Enright

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"Nijinsky's great achievement in Le Spectre de la Rose,  which no subsequent male dancer has matched, was to seem inhuman - not a man dressed in rose-petals pretending to be a flower, but the very spirit of the rose itself, all human movement and personality miraculously sloughed away."
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Maura Enright

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Conchi Madson wrote this in an article on ethics for Crescent Moon magazine almost twenty years ago:

"The typical Middle Eastern student and dancer is between 20 to 40 years old, with a college degree and a career, married and some with children. We are, therefore, dealing with adults whose personalities, behavior patterns and ethics were formed long before coming to us... People who have difficulty getting along with others, especially co-workers, will bring the same problems to the dance group. Those who experience jealousy of their co-workers’ successes and achievements and have not learned how to cope in a positive and constructive way, will experience the same problem in a dance group...  People who are willing to step on their peers so that they can advance or get a better job will use the same tactics with their fellow dancers. We have all heard of dancers offering to dance for less pay so they can get a job away from another dancer. It is quite sad and destructive..."

"If students come with a desire to learn how to dance but refuse to follow basic human rules of behavior and ethics, it is not because we have failed in our teachings, but because there is something lacking within [the students]... Unfortunately, we do not have a radar to alert us when trouble is walking through the door. A lot of pain and hurt is experienced by all before the decision of severance takes place. Everyone is affected, including our dance community. Luckily, we all learn and grow from our bad as well as our good experiences."
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Still relevant today.
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Maura Enright

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Oddly enough, I DO have an opinion about Orientalism in dance... and why (despite its tendency to dumb down the dance into boring-if-not-embarrassing) it is such a common device.
#orientalism
 
From a professional audience member's POV (mine):   No, a touch of the 'exotic Other' is rarely interesting... so why is it so common?
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Maura Enright

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Per Mahealani Uchiyama:
"In 1956, Madeleine Mou'a...formed Tahiti's first professional dance group, Heiva. This company restored Tahitian dance to a position of respect in the eyes of Tahitians... She paid close attention to the quality of costuming, drumming and dance technique. She produced grand spectacles based on legendary themes. Her group Heiva was soon placed under the patronage of ... the daughters of the late Queen Pomare. This prompted young girls from respectable families to join dancing groups in record numbers.... Prior to this time, there was not a mutually agreed upon repertoire of the dance technique. The practice of holding the heels together, of formalizing the difference between the various hip isolations, emphasizing the regal and dignified carriage of the torso now associated with ori Tahiti, all began with Madeleine Mou'a.

"A change in the dance began in 1979, with the opening of the Conservatoire Artistique Territorial. A state sponsored school of Tahitian dance, the Conservatoire is based on the Western model of formal dance lessons. At the end of a multi-year curriculum, students are awarded diplomas equivalent to those given to graduates of European music conservatories. Here, dancers are trained in specific dance techniques which stress the student's virtuosity and creativity as a performer. A result of this new system was the codification of the movement vocabulary providing instructors a unified language for teaching dance in the classroom.

"Additionally, the COnservatoire encouraged innovation and creativity in ori Tahiti. As a result, the steps, posture and technical aspects of the dance have shifted do the point where those of us who learned the technique prior to the 1990's have had to nearly relearn how to perform and talk about Tahitian dance."
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Maura Enright

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There's really no need to tailor harem pants as much as folks think there is.
 
An update to my article on making harem pants and pantaloons is online now.
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Have her in circles
209 people
Work
Occupation
Programmer, requirements analyst
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Female
Story
Tagline
"Music is a release from the tyranny of conscious thought."
Introduction
Fiddle player, costume maker, dance enthusiast, programmer.  I am considered the epitome of feminine grace and tact .... in New York City.
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Everyone is employed and no one is in jail.
Education
  • East Islip
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