The Tour is now complete! Read on for some history, and don't miss the Tour Photos or the Daily Travel Blogs of Laura Rose and Delilah on the Visionary Dance web site.

Delilah is Coming! Sirocco is Coming!
Caravan Tour Fall 2003

by Candra

Delilah, of Visionary Belly Dance Productions and the famous “Delilah’s Belly Dance Workshop” video/DVD series, who is also widely known for her annual belly dance retreats in Hawaii, is joined by the dynamic musical duo known as Sirocco! They are all caravaning to the East Coast for a tour of 40 days and 40 nights; New York to Florida. The Dynamic trio will be engaged in performing and teaching a variety of belly dance and belly dance music classes, workshops, and mini retreats in a variety of cities during the month of October through the middle of November. Sirocco has been serenading dancers for decades on the West Coast with their folk and classical Mideast and Andalusian melodies. Now it’s time they come to the east; Armando on percussion and Sulyman, a multi-instrumentalist, on oud, saz, violin, cymbulum, ney, defs, zurna, as well as flamenco guitar.

Sponsors often invite Delilah to their cities to teach her unique brand of belly dance techniques which have been well seasoned by years of professional night club performance and her commitment to the creative process and it’s benefit to the participant experientially. However, the sponsors often miss the most impassioned ingredient of her holistic artistic belief system: the attitude of being in the present moment imbued with real expression. By Delilah’s artistic standards, this is a soulful place best achieved by dancing to live music with musicians who are willing to get out there as much as she is and meet her on that playing field in the present moment. Sirocco IS willing! So here we have an exciting match.

Armando and Sulyman el Coyote, aka Sirocco!

Delilah does not choreograph her music, she gets inside of it and swims (she was a competitive swimmer in high school and this is where much of her inspiration for her dance style is derived, as well as for her Maui retreats). This is something that can only happen with the ingredients at hand; time, space, live, breathing music, a dancer’s bodily readiness, emotional accessibility, intellect, and a ripe lively audience to receive the messages transmitted. “This ain’t no ballet folks. This is real earthy art. It’s not risk free. It’s a little like playing in traffic” she jokes. “It takes a real gutsy belly dancer. But it teaches you more about the dance of life than a paint-by-numbers approach.”

So she has thrown all restraint to the wind and is saying, “If you will build it, we will come to the entire East Coast!” The tour has been arranged with live music, dancers and all! A huge endeavor to organize. Their attitude is they are not going to wait for Armageddon. They need to dance for you now ! So don’t miss this show!

Delilah will offer different belly dance workshops in different cities and the musicians will offer music workshops tailored by the sponsors’ wishes. Uncle Mafufo (AKA Armando) will teach Mideast drum workshops. Sulyman will teach a finger cymbal class including a gypsy technique of playing two different tones of cymbals. He will also offer a beginning ney class in some cities, each student will make an instrument, learn the different embouchures of breathing into the instrument and finding its voice, and then learn about its mystical history. Each student will leave the class with an instrument in hand.

The Caravan show will be a simple fare in most locations (approx 90 minutes), but may be more elaborate depending on sponsors and their productions. The show will include a debut performance by Laura Rose (Delilah’s daughter) and in most cities feature a local guest dancer or two. Delilah will perform a finale with a 7 part cabaret belly dance routine. This dance is symbolic to her of Salome's 7 veils, Inanna’s decent into the underworld, and at the same time is as practical as the intuitive cabaret routine cultivated in the 50s - 70s in America.

Delilah explains fervently, “It is an art being lost to us in lieu of the exuberant nanosecond and the abbreviated dance bites we see at belly dance festivals. Still, our metabolism and our hearts beat at the the same speed as our ancestors, even though our minds may have been chained to a cyber terminal in the past two decades. It takes time to go somewhere physically. Dance is physical.”

Delilah and Sirocco bring you the rare art of the full routine in real time. Do not miss seeing these legends in their live performance!

Also along for the caravan ride is Laura Rose, daughter of Delilah and composer Steven Flynn. Delilah and Laura Rose are in a generation between great masters. Delilah the aspirant of the great Mother of belly dance in America, Jamila Salmipour . Laura Rose is of the X generation following Jamila’s daughter, the internationally known Suhaila Salmipour. I mention this because of the heritage of great artistic generations this dance has touched in America. We all have something poinient to say from out of our evolution of life and dance experiences. . . And the dance goes on.

The Next Generation

Laura Rose will be an important part of the tour’s entourage this fall. She’s new to performing belly dance, even though she has been vicariously participating in belly dance since before she was born in utero. As soon as she could stand, she whirled around the living room with circle belly dance skirts. All the little girls in the neighborhood loved Laura Rose’s costume closet. Laura has always had a flair for drama, costuming and a dynamic performance. This will be her first formal debut.

Growing up, Laura Rose witnessed some amazing events and hung with legends in both the ethnic belly dance world as well as the rock, rhythm and blues scene. She listened to Seattle heavy metal, punk, techno music as well as the fusion of them all. However, her early introduction to dance and music could not be more natural. Delilah, Laura Rose and her younger sister, Victoria, would take costumes and musical instruments on camping trips and dance in the Hoh Rain forest, or on the Beach in Maui. The girls both participated in dance performances when they were small — on stages with the Tanavar Dance ensemble, as extras, on retreats, and in solstice parades.

Laura Rose has experienced this dance as a daughter of a great dancer, but perhaps more acutely through the eye of the camera. She recently graduated from The Evergreen Sate College with a bachelor of Arts in Film and Video. She has been designing and authoring DVDs for Visionary Belly Dance Productions for the past two years.

When she was editing Visionary Dance’s newly-released DVD called “A Retro Choreography/Fire at the Iao,” she painstakingly built bouncing-ball graphic overlays of Delilah’s image so students can follow hip moves as Delilah dances them on screen. Building these graphics brought Laura Rose a deeper understanding for the movements and their construction. During the process of editing, Laura Rose would review, and go over every frame of the program with a fine tooth comb. She would hear the instruction over and over again, as you can well imagine, it moved deep into her mind and body. She often arose from the editing suite exhibiting Delilah’s perfectly executed moves, which prove challenging to Delilah's most advanced students. This just emphasizes the power of cyber review; for repetitive viewing of a movement or technique via educational video or DVD mediums. They sent her to school to learn film and video and she learned to belly dance in the process. Cool ! Laura Rose has a style all her own. She looks forward to meeting everyone and dancing with Sirocco on the Visionary Belly Dance caravan East Coast Tour!

Travel Journal

As the Caravan tour begins and takes place the entourage will submit weekly installations of photos, videos, sound files and a written travel journal about what they encounter. It will be on the Visionary Dance web site, so you can vicariously ride a along on their Caravan Tour!

Learn more

Bios of these individual performers, their expertise, and experience as well as more details about the courses offered in each city by Delilah and Sirocco see The Visionary Belly Dance Caravan Tour.

Another Article about the Caravan Tour By Delilah