I like Nina Gilkenson. I think that should be a shirt.
You may have heard that she’s a good dancer. That rumor, like all others, is absolutely true.
You may have even heard that she belly dances. There is actual video evidence of that. Above is a clip of Nina and Naomi’s (I like her too) belly dancing debut in the Cabaret division at ALHC 2002.
You may not know that she’s so good that she was featured in a full length belly dance show a couple of years ago. It’s true.
When I say show, I mean a full on stage production. Not some gig at the local falafel house. There was a box office , live music, and lights of different colors that were turned on and off at artistically determined intervals. All the markings of a big time production.
I know what big time productions look like. I once played Charlie Brown in my elementary school Christmas pageant.
The original show was produced by the dance company Ancient Rhythms and staged at American University. It follows the story of a princess (Nina) who loses her memory and wanders the desert getting into belly dancing adventures.
This is a far cry from her real life as a champion dancer who forgets lots of things and roams the world getting into Lindy Hop adventures.
It’s not a short show, so I was pleasantly surprised to find that someone has uploaded the whole thing onto the YouTubes. Here it is in six parts. Nina actually starts dancing in the last three clips, but don't skip the others since you might miss the belly dancing with swords and s#!%.
The show was followed by several dance solo’s including this one by Nina.
Finally, here’s Nina and Naomi reprising their first belly dance routine a couple of years ago at another show.
If you haven’t enough of this then you should know that a little birdie (Naomi) told me that both Nina and Naomi will be teaching a belly dance classes at Herrang Dance Camp next summer.
Moment of Zen: Two American women teaching Middle Eastern folk dance at an American vernacular jazz dance camp in Sweden.
That whistling you hear is the sound of the wind whipping through your empty skull because your mind just got blown away.