Traditional & Fusion Bellydance Artistry
Media Coverage (Print, Radio, Etc)
Fuse Magazine - Fall 2012 (cover + interviews)
Steampunk Magazine - issue #7, 2010 article
The Star Ledger - "Dance Revolution - Merging subcultures, she creates a new art form "
Zaghareet! Magazine - Tempest has been featured several times in this publication:
-March/April 2008 - Interview/Artist Feature
-March/April 2012 - Cover/Article/Artist Feature
-September/October 2012 - Interview
Halima Magazine - the top German publication on Bellydance
-1st Quarter 2008 - Interview/Artist Feature
Belly Dance - A Raks Sharqi Magazine
Bellydance Artistry DVD
"I bought this DVD from Tempest at Tribal Revolution and was super excited to get it home to watch. I've been a fan of her approachable teaching style for years and when I saw that this video was about digging deep into the right brain, I was eager to learn Tempest's creative process. Tempest's style of performance is highly unique. She builds fantastic and whimsical imagery using music, costume, stage presence and form. In this DVD, she leads you through the cerebral processes of creating your own work of art, as well as giving you some fun Nouveau Noir and Steampunk inspired combinations to play with.
With over 2 hours of content, this DVD is *full* of information! The video begins with a warm up that leaves one exhilarated, not exhausted. Then Tempest breaks down 10 arm positions and 15 combinations, with clear and precise coaching on "giving good face", proper form, and traveling steps. After the instruction of each combo, there is a short run through with music and there is also a lengthier segment of the DVD that allows the viewer to follow Tempest and two of her students in a review of all combo material.
My favorite part of the DVD is when Tempest addresses the viewer's process of creation. She encourages the viewer to consider what they are communicating to the audience and offers advice on finding inspiration, building a foundation from the dancer's talents and developing a story using music, concept, costume and movement. She then walks, step by step, through two of her performance pieces from concept to creation, culminating in a performance of each.
I believe dancers of all levels will find this DVD useful. Whether a beginner looking for movement training or a pro searching for her next theatrical inspiration, Tempest covers all the bases, from concept to creation." -Sarah Schneider Koning, Boheme Tribal Belly Dance, www.bohemetribal.com
"Released in 2011, Tempest’s instructional DVD Belly Dance Artistry with Tempest explores a bellydancer’s relationship with movement, music and the creative process. Tempest guides the viewer through warm-up sections, movement vocabulary and creative steps with the intention of enabling the viewer to create a full-fledged performance. The benefit of this DVD is that all of the exercises can be broken up into sections and paused at the student’s leisure or they can taken as a whole, equivalent to a full-length workshop.
Belly Dance Artistry begins with a warm-up section in three parts, divided from slowest movement to fastest. Again, these can be taken individually or mixed and matched for a warm- up of varying intensity. Then begins the “Foundation Flow/Elemental Energy” section. In this portion of the DVD, Tempest uses the four natural elements (Earth, Air, Fire, Water) to build movement on the body in four parts, from the ground up. Here Tempest establishes the importance of grounding and posture, subsequently layering on arm movement, torso movement and travelling steps. Her explanations of posture and placement are detailed and helpful without being too wordy. As the DVD transitions to the “Fusion Finesse” section, viewers can see how these elements become the building blocks that make up the following combinations. “Fusion Finesse” makes up the “meat” (or tofu) of the DVD. I especially enjoy how Tempest draws in multiple influences from the early Modernist era, from 2-d to 3-d art, mentioning Ruth St. Denis, Theda Bara, flapper movement and Steampunk fantasy. The larger section begins with a smaller selection of arm position descriptions, broken up into even smaller sections for easy navigation. Then follows the “Combinations” section, with more full-body and travelling combos that incorporate layered movement. I also enjoy how Tempest breaks down the description of each combo and then subsequently dances it up to tempo with Nathaniel Johnstone’s music. Some of my favorite movements were the Charleston Strut, Charlie’s Hip Turn, the Egyptian Hot Stepper, Global and Berber Flap and the Ghawazee Grilled Cheese. Many of these catchy combinations are inspired by Tempest’s technique base in Turkish bellydance and also North African dance.
I was enthusiastic about Tempest’s detailed notes on arm positions with each combination, since arm framing is such an important component of bellydance. The extended practices following the combinations are both an effective movement review and aesthetically
pleasing performance, complete with assistance from Tempest’s students. The “From Concept to Creation” segment of Belly Dance Artistry articulates helpful steps in the creative process, from finding inspiration to allowing self-reflection and critique in after arriving at a complete product. In order to draw a parallel, Tempest summarizes her own creative process for the two dances that conclude the DVD. Those familiar with Tempest’s bellydance blogs may remember familiar concepts in this portion as well.
Tempest’s Belly Dance Artistry DVD provides a formidable amount of practice material for the bellydance student. I would recommend this more for somewhat experienced dancers and above, though the beginning dancer not intimidated by the breadth of material on the DVD will gain an early start if they wish to advance their creativity. Original music by Nathaniel Johnstone provides a “custom fit” of music and movement, allowing Tempest (and students’) movement on the DVD to look and feel more organic. A pleasure to watch; a challenge for mind and body." - IrinaXara
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"I just wanted to let you know how much I'm enjoying the DVD! The format is great, and I love how laid back feeling it is! All the sections are great, but I think my favorite is the Foundation Flow/Elemental Energy. I think the lack of that connection was holding me back. It is really helping me take my dance to a whole new level! There is so much fantastic information packed in that I know I'll be turning to it for a long time and get something new from it each time." - Christina Steeves
"I got my copy of Bellydance Artistry with Tempest, by Tempest & Med'Devi Ink with music by Nathaniel Johnstone, in the mail today. I've worked through the first 45 minutes, and am loving it! I am a complete beginner, and even though I have a long way to go I find it much more accessible than the other bellydance DVD I'd tried. It seems like experienced dancers would find it useful too. She demonstrates a lot of creative techniques and ideas." - Ruth Duncan
5 Star Reviews on Amazon.com
Check out the review of the DVD by Alexandra Lancette in the Fall 2011 issue of Fuse Magazine
November/December 2011 issue of Zaghareet! Magazine
The 2012 issue of The Tribal Bellydance Guide + The Bellydance Chronicles
"I have had the pleasure of hosting Tempest twice in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Both times, my events sold out completely! From a producer's standpoint, she's a dream to work with, as she's friendly, flexible and professional! And from a student's standpoint, I always walk away with my creative fires stoked! Our most recent event was part of her Ocean to Sea tour in June of 2012. Tempest presented a costuming workshop, where we all learned how to design a costume that suited our individual assets. She also allowed us to have a hands on look at her own costume collection, to understand design concepts. From the first moment Tempest takes the floor, it is clear that her purpose is to inspire each student to find their own artistic voice. I urge anyone who hasn't studied with her to really do so!"
- Sarah Schneider Koning, Boheme Tribal Belly Dance, www.bohemetribal.com
"We were very flattered to have Tempest kick off her Ocean to Sea Tour at our studio, where she presented a workshop of her many Nouveau Noir Bellydance stylings to a very appreciative audience. Her teaching methods are clear, effective, and a lot of fun. She also gifted us with a performance at our evening showcase, which held the crowd in thrall. As a professional teacher and entertainer, Tempest is top notch. She very much understands the business, and is savvy about what makes a workshop (or other event) not just work but succeed with flair and panache. What I most enjoy about Tempest as an artist is her sense of style, which is her own unique blend of elements that answers to no one. Definitely book this talented lady when she next blows through your town!"
~ Dina LeDuke, Proprietress, The Gypsy's Cauldron
(Indiana) "Our group hosted Tempest for a weekend of workshops in April 2010. All the participants thoroughly enjoyed Tempest's teaching style, which is very mellow with lots of humor and conveys a lot of information! Yet, somehow, we retain the information extremely well. There was a good balance of theory and exercises. Some of the participants were a bit hesitant at first with the exercises but Tempest helped them work through that fear and they ended up enjoying doing them. Tempest is also very generous with her time and advice giving. She did two fabulous numbers that showcased different aspects of belly dance. I'm really looking forward to hosting Tempest again, hopefully in the near future!" - Celeste, Black Rose Caravan
(Spring Caravan) "I really enjoyed taking your workshop. I was afraid that I would get lost at some point, as I am pretty much a beginner and find it hard to follow along with instructors at times. You went at a nice pace though and were very clear in your instruction, which I really liked. I wish I lived closer to you, as I would love to take the regular classes that you offer. Maybe someday :-) For now, I'll keep an eye out for any more workshops that come my way. Oh, and I just started working with your instructional dvd and am enjoying that as well. Hope to see you again sometime soon." - Jess
(Tribal Fest 10 & Tribal Treffen Germany) (compiling)
Durga Tour 2009 / 2009 General
(North Carolina, passed on by Sara Beaman, event sponsor):
“ Tempest was funny, informative, and taught wonderful new moves and combos. Thanks to the Devoted for such a great workshop! ”
“ AWEsome! ”
“ It was wonderful and Tempest was an awesome teacher. So full of life and just plain fun. I was excited about the new and different things I learned and loved it very much! ”
“ I had a fantastic time. Her personality was wonderful! Plus shopping was a bonus as well! :-) ”
“ Tempest was GREAT! Very knowledgeable about the history of the moves she was teaching....She was super nice and made the workshop alot of fun. ”
(Iowa) "Thanks for coming to Iowa. That was a blast! Coming to see you and Tim was a great experience. I will use your ideas in my home and my dance. It was good to have the message reinforced to get back to the 'roots' of the dance. And the idea of dancing with live musicians, you were SO preaching to the chior honey! It was great being with you tonight. Thanks again!
Peace, Love, Happiness," - Becky
(Minneapolis)" I wanted to write you as I am very impressed with your talent which is more than technique. Your sheer charisma, creativity AND technique make you a dancer one has to stop all to sit and watch." - Medea
(Nebraska)" I just wanted to say thank you for bringing the Durga Tour to Lincoln. We very much enjoyed both you and Tim Rayborn. And we love the music we picked up from you! Again, Thanks, Michele Schuler
Assoc. Director, Benu Dance Company / Dancers Oasis Studio, Co-ordinator Tribal Dreams Festival
(Cinncinnati) "I wanted to take a few minutes to thank you all for coming to Cincinnati during the Durga Tour. Not only was it great to see you again (and meet you, Tim), but I really enjoyed working and dancing with you! Everybody had a great time at the workshops and the show. They especially liked Tim's solo (which we seldom get the opportunity to enjoy), and the way that both you & Asharah danced to a recorded piece and Tim's drumming. It was generous of you all to dance/play for us so late at night (especially after all your travels and Golden Corral! haha!), and we all loved it! If you're planning a stop nearby and would like to do something in Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky in the future, I'd love to have you back (separately or in any combination)! Just drop me a note, and we'll start working on it. Blessings" -Zahara
(Arkansas) " I want you to know it was such an uplifting experience for us all, and since your time here we have gained some new dancers to our troupe and they will definately be long term spice to our future endevores THANK YOU for all of your hard work for us :) - Always DeAnna
PS when you have recouperated I would like to ask you about possible workshops for "teaching the teachers" perhaps we would come to you? I loved your warm up and would like to use it for a base to do something similar for my own classes, but naturally I'd have to learn the "Tempest system" first."
(Seattle) "Hello! Just writing to say that I enjoyed taking your workshop, both for the combos as well as the new perspectives on the steampunk genre. And I also was quite relieved to see you allowed a little dorkiness to creep into your teaching technique--too often I've been to workshops where a teacher seems too self-conscious to really be herself ^.^ Looking forward to future workshops and performances," - Sandhya
European Tour 2008
"Hi, Thanks for the Reading workshop, It was truly inspiring. Ruth and I are still buzzing from it. We've just spent 2 hours discussing your aesthetic. For me your workshop was an epiphany. I haven't been bellydancing long but I was already feeling restless. I've always felt slightly alienated by the Egyptian and tribal styles- they were roles I put on rather than inhabited. However, your dancing moves me. You have great geneorsity when you dance. Not only do you capture the expressive beauty of the dance of the fin de siecle you also invoke the pioneering spirit of its artists." - Melanie (UK)
(from review on bhuz.com on Gothla UK)
"My next workshop was with Tempest on "Dancing on the right side of the Brain". I have to say that of all the workshops this probably had the greatest impact on me, not on a technique level but certainly with having the confidence to use expression in dance. I loved Tempest's honest and down-to-earth approach, and her lack of yoga, drilling, or running about (after 6 hours of workshops with another 4 to go, I really needed a break). We did some great exercises on improvisation, considering storytelling, character, mood etc and some very different styles of music. I came away feeling very much the artist, and looking forward to my formerly dreaded improv sessions in regular class." - Kash
Thanks again for the inspiring workshop - I have to stop myself from doing the various poses/movements at work, as the customers already think I'm crazy and I don't need to add fuel to the fire. What, doesn't everybody turn around and make a cheeky face every third step? :)
I hope to see you again next year!
I hope you reached home stresslessly. If I make some mistakes in my english expression, please forgive and remember "fledermäuse" and "wackeldackel" :-)))
Both of you I like very well, and I have learned a lot. I like this kind of bellydance, for I can really express myself in diffenent ways. I enjoyed it very much to have some time with you. So, I think I have to stop it now, otherwise you could think "what does this lady want from us? Money? Or anythingelse?" Nononono!
Your workshops have been impressing to me, and I always remember the "bunny"-jump of tempest. Haha, you wanted to see how far we would follow, eh?
I wish, here in Hanover were people like you, but all I see here is either the correctly clothed employee or boring other stuff. Here´s no one really crazy like you. Maybe I should be the first?
aahhrrgh I have to use my dictionary for the second mail, so that I could use marvellous and exciting words to explain all I want to say. Now I end this mail, put my stuff and money, and walk out for a shop to buy a vinyl skirt that I do not need.
Please come to hanover again, before we all are old and grey and stiff and ugly and poor and and and. But WE will never be!
- clarissa (Germany)
It was really great to have you here :-)
Your workshops and performances were excellent and we all loved them! And some dancers stil regret that they could not make it your workshop..And I enjoyed every minute we spent together...
(San Antonio) "Hello ,..my name is Sharon..I experienced your classes on Saturday in San Antonio...I just wanted to say a very grateful THANK YOU.. I'm just a bit shy and it is a wee bit intimidating to talk to someone of your esteem..of course you don't come off as someone unapproachable but what do I say without sounding dumb! Loved your wit... your humor and all those double entendres...you are a riot...3 of us dancers in the class are military wives...you gave us a day of distraction (looming deployments for our guys to Iraq) and it was great to just be me...If you have any notion of how you affected me..just know that you are a moment in my life I will never forget...(of course I am trying to not sound cheesy)....so as a sound off thanks for the "Meow"...hope the Egyptians get their balls back..and I will keep the hot lava in mind..and naughty veils deserved to be punished...Goodbye and Thanks" - Sharon
(Ritual Dance Intensive)
Thank you for the wonderful workshop yesterday...it really helped me with a focus for my upcoming solo. (I am the lady with the gray hair). I have been studying for about four years with Vikki at the Hipnosis studio. I also really appreciated that you didn't use up any workshop time with yoga or an extreme warm up. I admit that I am intimidated by workshops because they are usually geared toward very young bodies, and at 60, I have trouble keeping up. But yours was a great pleasure and truly a spiritual dance experience. and, by incorporating what we learned into the opening ritual, you took us full circle. The energy was palpaple.
Thank you so much again,
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I wanted to thank you for an awesome workshop! Gothla was the first gothic belly dance event for me, and I was just amazed! If I could dance without looking at the audience I would, lol. Oh and Collide's cd that I bought from you, Amazing! I love it. By the way, I'm a Gemini too (^_^) ( could u tell by the way I dart from one subject to another)? I look forward to taking more workshops with you! - Monica
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(NYC - Nouveau Noir workshop)
Just thought you'd like to have some written feedback about your new workshop. Please feel free to use any of this text as a testimonial in your promotional materials--I know how important participant feedback is when you're promoting a new workshop.
I especially appreciated the organization of the class, how it was organized into upper body and lower body movements, and how each of those categories also included the options of strong and soft movement. Organizing the class in this way made it easy to follow and absorb so much new material.
I've taken a few of your workshops, and I believe you are an articulate and generous teacher, gifted in being able to translate the hallmarks of your personal style and imagination in the way they affect movement. Plenty of people can tell you that gothic bellydance is all about attitude. It is. Not so many teachers can say how gothitude translates to gesture and movement, and that is where you excel.
The idea that "sass" can come from strong postures and a reversal of expectation is very gothic because it calls on energy manipulation; where are you directing your eyes? what kind of arc is your body making, and are you hoarding your energy, withdrawing from the audience, only to spring on an unsuspecting audience a few beats later in the piece?
I also enjoyed seeing how the Art Deco aesthetic affects movement, as far as the off-kilter geometrical shapes to be made with the hands and arms. Personally, I have a hard time with arms; I never know what to do with them, and I learned many practical postures for arms that I will be utilizing in my choreography.
I had a marvelous time yesterday. Thanks for a great workshop!
I truly enjoyed the workshop and was surprised to be able to retain some movements. I've attended workshops before but unfortunately it was hard to retain information because there's so much to know. I also liked the fact that this workshop introduced me to the concepts of gothic bellydance as being more than just spookiness. I'm not a goth per se, just another poor schelp trying to get by in this world. Not to mention that I found most goths to be intimidating! That being said, I found the workshop and the gothic concept to be very approachable and I thank you for that.
Even though cabaret is the basic format where all forms of bellydance originate, I'm constantly amazed and interested that there is always a cabaret movement out there that I always wanted to learn but was never exposed to it in my classes. I'm referring to the 3-step tightrope, spooky tightrope, and some of the arm movements in conjunction with a hand holding the head. I would not object to any future cabaret movements in your workshops because they maybe movements that I never encountered before. Thank you for that.
(Tribal Fest 8)
I'm the chick with the purple hair who took your workshop on Friday. I wanted to thank you for a great class! if you're teaching in the area again I will make it a point to attend.
oh and I also got a TON of compliments on the little peacock hat! :-D
thanks again! I hope you have a safe trip home and that our paths cross again soon.
- M Bunny
Spokane, WA - Hosted by Nadiyah - November 2007 - Workshops & Show reviewed in Zaina Hart's Bellydancer Magazine by Nazana
First, I gotta say, for those who didn’t take the workshops, you missed out!!! Tempest has a wicked sense of humor, and was just a hoot. They were two very enjoyable and entertaining chunks of time that were well spent. I came out of these with all kinds of fun stuff. Handouts were provided in both classes, something I always appreciate. Tempest brought core values and principles to the class, but embellished them; hence, Raqs Gothique. The first workshop, “Belly Dance and Dramatic Body Language” was an intro to Gothic Belly Dance, using cabaret and tribal movements, and adding a Gothic flair. This was an informative class, with twists on old movements, making them fresh and new. She broke down the dramatic body language into four sections, starting with the head and neck, moving down to shoulders, arms and hands. Next were the ribs and stomach, and hips, and finally legs, knees and feet. We did traveling and in place moves, and drills to music to apply them. There were interesting names assigned to these movements, such as “Zombie Bride,” “Innocent Virgin” and “Serpent Kisses.” She also shared some insight into the Gothic culture.
The second workshop was called “Between the Veils,” and some things I had learned elsewhere and had forgotten about, so were nice refreshers. Others were brand new takes on ways to use “your partner, not your prop.” I SO appreciated that she told the attendees how and how NOT to pick up your veil off the floor. Tempest went over wraps, different ways to use your veil, and different types of veils and what they are best used for. There is at least one new wrap I am taking back to the troupe! I also will remember a couple of new veils tricks, and speaking of, Tempest had some great tips for getting out of tricky dance situations with grace and class. see the whole review here...
3rd Coast Tribal Festival, Texas 2007
*I know everyone has been saying "Thank You" but really Thank You for your insightful and entertaining workshop. I am so glad that as my first ever workshop it was yours that day. I just wish I hadn't been so nervous in front of you, that I couldn' t think when we were dancing on the stage. Anyhow, YOU ROCK!. Thanks also for letting people know about the "music" issue for GBD, it annoys me some times what people actually think is Goth music. I am trying to make plans for Tribal Fest, hopefully all works out and I can be enlightened once again. One more thing, I know we are the same age, but will you be my mom? Hahaha. MY goth mother.-Deidre
*Hello there Tempest.
First of all your performance was just astounding. Everything you explained in the workshops came through and put a lot of things in perspective. I would have to say my favorite was the first one which was just adorable, dark and silly all rolled up into one. The second was awesomely hard and captivating. I think some ladies from Houston didn't know what they were in for. I'll keep this short since you ARE a very busy woman. Thanks for coming to Texas and showing us the darker romantic side of bellydance. Please come back and maybe come further south to Houston, wink wink. Best of wishes. - Jessie
Thanks for 2 super classes! I'm blown away by the talent of the young dancers in your generation and inspired to keep trying new things. It would be easy to get into a rut after 33 years. I know that my students really deserve an up to date teacher and even though I would never claim to teach "Gothic Belly dance", I can use many of the ideas you presented in my lessons. -Meleea (Lady of the Feather Fans)
From the Durga Tour:
Thank you for coming to Minneapolis - it was absolutely wonderful to have you here.
I'm sure you hear a lot of things on tour - there must be compliments and wonderments and fawnings and (hopefully not too many) pawings ... the reality of being a celebrated artist on the road amidst her fans.
But I want you to know that I wasn't kidding when I told you that, by your very arrival in town, you heralded a new age here in dance. This is a strictly raqs sharqi town; we have one queen bee (Cassandra Shore) who has been the reigning shiznit since the 70s ... and another queen - once Cassandra's right hand - who is too magnificent to hide in the shadows although she was unable to usurp the throne, so she formed her own school ... Margo Abdo O'Dell. Glorious dance learned from incomparable women, but it's cabaret and nothing else here. We are belly dance's eastern block country! We have one tribal group ... allowed to live because their roots in community ed make them easy to dismiss ... and now, Mischievous Djinn - the Twin Cities' first fusion group.
Oh, I never intended to be anybody's first anything in the dance world, but I had grown tired of being sidelined in student choreographies for being a large woman - off to the side or in the back next to the tall girls and the girls with glasses. I began to wonder how much power The Island of Misfit Toys could wield if the dentist elves and polka-dot elephants had their own group ... where talent and stage presence and passion were the requirements for participation. There seemed to be nowhere to go with the art when you weren't being groomed for prancing in sparkles in a Middle Eastern restaurant. I was that productive kind of angry you get into when wanting to scream "Fuck you, I hate cutesy choreography with no goddamned teeth!" turns into a plan ...
When I wrote to you about your Durga Tour, I just desperately wanted something different to see and do; I wanted to /go /to the thing ... hosting was the furthest thing from my mind. And then ... there you were - just like that. And we were scrambling to launch MDjinn a year before we were truly ready - just to make it legit and host the thing properly. It was not perfect, but it was better than I could've hoped for ... 33 people came to a class where 12 were anticipated. And more arrived for the gothla. Lemme tell ya, we took no end of shit when we announced the tour - pot shots and digs and disparaging remarks ... mostly, I think, for the sheer audacity we showed in not asking anybody else for guidance or ... permission to have an event. 33 people plus, and everyone was on their very best behavior suddenly. Hmmm. Go figure.
A couple of Saturdays ago, I went to a hafla with Hypatia to cheer on a fellow dancer trying her hand at group choreography. The emcee was a woman who had intended to perform at the gothla, but had an emergency meeting at work pop up that night. She announced that she was going to perform her solo at long last and talked about Mischievous Djinn and The Durga Tour and Tempest ... the whole place erupted into shouts and applause and zaghareets. We just sat there and smiled and shook the hands that were extended to us. A gothic minx from the West Coast, 33 people plus, and the world is changed.
We are having a belly dance fundraiser this Saturday for a local animal sanctuary; we wondered who would perform and who would come to see us the weekend before Thanksgiving ... but what the hell; it seemed like a good idea so we ran with it. The dance roster filled immediately and, from all accounts received, we will pack the place to the rafters and beyond. The president of the Guild of Oriental Dance asked if she could participate (we said 'yes'). We are looking for a studio space to make our lives easier. A local television station wants to interview us.
A gothic minx ... 33 people ...
I am grateful to you for sharing your beauty and talent with us. And I am grateful to the powers that surround you for their blessing of space and act in our town. Do we want you to come for a weekend? Oh, hell, yes! 2007 or 2008 - whatever might make sense with your impending move back to Philly and our budget for the year. Now that we have changed the world, Ms. Tempest, it is probably high time to make history.
*blessings to you, to Keith the Music God, and Da Mischief*
- Lee (Mischievous Djinn, Minnesota)
Thank you for such an awesome workshop! We've got to have you back to Raleigh-Durham again. I'm sure if we could ever do something on a weekend, we would have a much better turnout, because since the Durga Tour I've gotten a lot of feedback from people in neighboring cities who would have liked to come. I know you're already booking for Durga Tour NW but if you ever have the time and interest we would love to host you again.-Sara Beaman
*We loved having you out! Thank you so much for taking the time to come through. I'd love to host you again if you end up coming through please let me know and we'll make it happen! - Gypsy Raihana (Tennesee)
*Tempest! Just want to say thanks again for the fantastic workshop on Friday. I found it so helpful during my performance that night. Except you could see the part when my left brain kicked in; my choo-choo shimmy stuttered and died! I have to say the things I've learned from you this spring and this past Friday have really expanded my mind as a dancer so thank you so much for coming to Chicago twice this year. -Lisha
* I just wanted to say that you rock! It was nice to meet you in person! I loved your workshop, a lot of what you said hit a lot of points in my dance and non-dance life. You are an awesome person and dancer. -Meg
*I want to tell you (somewhat) personally, that I really was glad to make it up to your workshop in Knoxville. I've used much of what I learned in my performances and teaching since then. You are a hoot and really fun to learn from. Thanks again. -DeLacey
*Hi Tempest, I went to your workshop when you were at the studio with Sashi in O.C. I just heard what a great workshop you guys put on in Minneapolis from a friend I met on the Ensenada cruise last weekend. They really enjoyed your workshop! See, good news does travel fast! -Zahira
*Loved the workshop and I have your artwork in my dance room. Thanks for all the great tips, and good luck with the rest of your tour! - Zahara (Ohio)
*Tempest, Just wanted to say thanks again for a great workshop with you and Sashi. Bringing the Durga Tour to Columbus was a real treat! You both brought great stuff to the class and you offer a nice balance between the two of you and your different styles. Also, thanks for the recommendation on the compilation CD- I love it. I've been listening to it constantly and I've been working on the techniques you shared- it's stuck with me (a great sign of a great class!) So, thanks again, and I hope to run into you again one of these days. -Adhira
*Tempest,I just wanted to thank you for the DC workshop. I have always been pretty troupe/choreography dependent and you have inspired me to step outside my comfort zone and make an attempt at solo/improv. I left with lots to think about. :) You and Sashi were both amazing in the show!-Danielle
*I just wanted to take a moment this morning to thank you again for coming out to visit us after your fabulous workshop. I know you were tired, but everyone really enjoyed meeting you both. We sat around and watched your Beautiful Freaks afterward, the production looks really nice, and I like the Victorian/burlesque performance you have on there very much! It is my favorite of the performances I've seen you do, just thought I'd mention it. - Zebeebah (Tenessee)
*hello tempest, I just wanted to say thank you for all that you had to share today, both in the workshop and performing. i'm a pianist and i've always had to learn things in a very left brain way and then make that side lay down while the right brain took over when actually getting a piece "up to snuff" thinking of casting a circle and telling a story while dancing sounds like the perfect way for me to make that switch when dancing! thank you so much. it was a joy to meet you. - lucinda (Chicago)
*Thank you, again, for helping to make my first hosting of a bellydance workshop such a smashing success! We thoroughly enjoyed your workshop and performance--I received many positive comments from everyone involved. You have a fun and informative teaching style that really shone with your personality. - Zivah
Red Moon Tribe, Springfield, MO
Thank you so much for coming to Springfield! You really inspired me. I love your passion for the dance and your awesome sense of humor. I felt like I was hanging out with an old friend at dinner last night. Thanks again. - . Ananya, from the Red Moon Tribe
Hipnosis would like to thank Tempest for her excellent workshop this Sunday!
It was very well organized and covered a great range of topics that all fit together into a cohesive whole. It was clear that she had thought a lot about creating this workshop - very professional! There was plenty of time for dancing and practicing what was covered... we did group and solo dancing, streching into the nervousness of soloing for some, but that was good!! It was also really really FUN !! Some workshops almost seem like work, or a chore. This was not the case at all!! Tempest was fun and engaging (humm.... does she have to give up any goth cred because of this? .... nah!) and really took the time to explain and demonstrate. I highly recomend this workshop to all who have the chance to take it at any other location!
(Vikki, Jess, Maeve and Diana)"
The following review was published in the August 2005 issue of SAMEDA's newsletter, "The Papyrus"
Gothic Belly Dance
by Maha Hadi
On April 24, Tempest conducted what may have been San Diego’s first workshop on Gothic Belly Dance aka Raks Gothique. This exciting fusion was bound to happen within alternative culture. Belly dance and the gothic lifestyle share the expression of an ultimate fantasy and feminine ideal, high drama accompanied by a range of moods, as well as elaborate forms of make-up and costuming (many goths create their own costumes or have them custom made which can cost several hundred dollars). Middle Eastern dance rhythms have long been used in gothic music for their evocative qualities, exoticism, and beauty. Yes, the gothic subculture is not well understood, but for some of its participants, goth represents a precious lifestyle choice that reflects and reaffirms their interior beings, their individual dramas.
Tempest's workshop was not only fascinating but one of the best workshops I've attended to explain some of the basic principles behind belly dance. She emphasized the importance of first learning traditional belly dance techniques which of course takes time and practice. Only then can the two styles properly merge.
Tempest also addressed how some dancers in the community believe that belly dance should remain "pure" while on the opposite end there are dancers doing purely experimental dance...with a continuum existing in between.
She explained that Raks Gothique is separate from Tribal. Tribal is performed as a group interacting as a harmoniously flowing unit. Gothic Belly Dance is about the individual and expressing gothic moods such as a dark elegance, mystery...with perhaps a sense of danger. It can be very dramatic. Gothic Belly Dance can be more classic one day and more Tribal the next. It is a fusion incorporating dance moves from India, Flamenco, Tribal, as well as moves seen at gothic dance clubs around the world.
To prepare for a performance, Tempest demonstrated breathing exercises to relax the mind and improve performance. She commented how some dancers perform with an "I hope they like me" attitude. She said it's more interesting if the dancer presents herself, and the audience has to figure it out. When she dances, she tries to tell a story. "This is an art. You don't want to be in your left brain....Make it a story rather than thinking about movements." "Goth is all about class." Standing with back straight up and shoulders back yet relaxed relates confidence.
Tempest explained the importance of having a persona and direct eye contact with the audience. Eye contact is key to connecting the audience to the dance and making them feel involved. This can be utilized to create drama. Wherever the dancer looks—whether at her sword, hand movements, etc.—the audience will be looking. She demonstrated by looking toward her hip while doing some hip movements and then lifting her head up to look straight at the audience to bring them in.
Tempest's dancing is slow, intense, and drenched in drama. The audience can see every move and she knows how to take advantage of this added concentration. The pause is used for drama, suddenly stopping in relation to the music and then moving her hands ever so slightly while all else is frozen. I loved one movement while she was doing floorwork. On her knees, she suddenly fell back as if fainting.
In Gothic Belly Dance, a dramatic entrance and exit are key. Never run off stage. She demonstrated by leaving the stage with her back toward the audience, slowing stepping away and then slowwwwly glancing at the audience over one shoulder and then the other. Pick up any props with elegance as well.
The Gothic Belly Dance costume reflects the gothic aesthetic. The predominant colors are black (the base color of most costumes), red, scarlet, blue, wine, purple, silver, and other metallics. Actually any color can be used mixed in with a little black, of course. No bright, cheery pink or yellow costumes here. Other costume elements may include fishnet, lace, antique jewelry, PVC, leather, satin, medieval or Victorian designs, and metal accents such as chain maille or spikes. Tempest was wearing one of her own creations, a Corset Belt. (Another creation is the Skorset.)
Near the end, Tempest reiterated the need to have a solid background in classic belly dance. At our request, she graciously accepted to dance for us which is I think the true test of any instructor. She danced slowly, intensely. At times, a tremble overtook her body as if in seizure, a compelling sight. The most dramatic moment was when she suddenly, almost violently swung her veil in a circle perpendicular to the floor and crashed it against the floor, leaving it there as she slowly danced away. I think Gothic is always a little scary with a bit of unease to it. "It's not about shocking but making people think in new ways," she stated.
Tempest did a marvelous job. I appreciated her well thought out, comprehensive explanations along with her sharp, witty personality which put everyone at ease.
Vive le gothique.
Tempest is from the Bay Area and can be reached at her website www.gothicbellydance.com
New York 2005 (hosted by Chovexani)
Review & Article on MorbidOutlook.com by Mistress McCutchan
Livejournal Review by Willow
"First Gothic Bellydance Workshop in NYC" -review and article by Neon/The Hip Circle
Feedback & Praise for "Bellydance for Beautiful Freaks":
I'm sure you get messages like this all the time, but I had to send one to you anyway. I rented Bellydance for the Beautiful Freaks, and just got done doing part of it. I love, love, love it! I'm about as far away from being "goth" as you can get, but I had heard such wonderful things about you and about the DVD that I had to try it for myself. You seem like such a sweet, fun person. Like I said, I'm sure you hear these things all the time, but hopefully you won't mind hearing it from one more person. :)
I just recently purchased your Darker Side to Belly Dance and Beautiful Freaks DVDs and am amazed by the breadth of your talent - especially after exploring your websites! It is such a relief to hear someone express that dance isn't just about grace and beauty but drama, stories, and enjoyment. Not only are you incredibly talented and graceful, but it is also clear in your performances and teaching that you enjoy dancing - something I think a lot of professional dancers and teachers forget to express. Personally, I much prefer to see a amateur having a great time than a technically perfect professional bored to tears - and you combine both the joy and expertise. I have been planning to come out with a more gothic line of jewelry and your work is a huge inspiration!
I bought ‘Beautiful Freaks’ through Amazon. I’m a waaaay amateur dancer, but I love to dance in my home alone so dance dvd’s are really important to me. Keep making them! I’ll keep buying them! J
To see that dark, or goth, or tribal dancing styles are meshing and becoming available is fantastic. I know you are a big part of that.
I am a painter, and I find dance to be part of a healthy way to release creative expression and energy without feeling the need for perfection. I know that lots of artists usually focus on one or two kinds of art they need to focus on and take seriously, which means sometimes it feels like hard work. For me, that is painting, and maybe for you it is dance. Music appears to connect the two. I use music to paint to.
Anyway, without rambling, I wanted to say “great job” and thanks SO much for doing what you do and being who you are. My brother-in-law called me “dark and shiny” once as a way of describing my personality. I would like to say I think that applies to you as well, so I hope you see it for the compliment it is.
Stay dark and shiny!
(Las Vegas, NV; moving to Portland, OR 2007)
"Bellydance for Beautiful Freaks" is wonderful for putting that darker twist to common bellydance moves. These moves can be done either on stage or on a dance floor at your local goth club. Tempest does a great job of breaking down each combination, then each move after showing what the whole thing looks like. There is even a mini workshop towards the end which contains information on Tempest's fabulous 'strange' presence (stage presence), that anyone who has ever taken one of her workshops, knows is invaluable. Then Tempest has graced us with not one but two fabulous gothic performances. I highly recommend this DVD if you cannot attend one of Tempest's workshops... or even if you can, this is a great supplemental guide.
- Haifa (Pennsylvania)
Hello Tempest, your dvd was just fantastic and very inspirational... I'm in love with your dancing and personality and want to dance gothically.I had ordered the East Coast Tribal, but I think you topped her! I am going back to teaching belly dancing after I quit when I was 30 years old, and no one has ever attempted to teach here again. So, I'm going to start this January.
I thought you were so down to earth, so beautiful, inside and out. I can see the goodness and the beauty of your inner self.
-Cynthia P.Hi Tempest!
Thanks for your reply, just thought you might like to know hubby ordered your DVD for me and is putting it away as a present for the holiday season, it arrived yesterday. I can't wait to watch it and start practicising. My birthday is in February so shall be hinting to anyone who'll listen for the GBD vest and corset belt pattern! Hope you can get to the U.K sometime, would love to see you peform. We struggle for tribal fusion classes where I live never mind gothic belly dance! Thanks for the lovely picture card that came with the DVD, that was an awesome extra.
Jan Hi Tempest,
Just wanted to drop by and say congratulations on the new dvd.
I showed Gothic Bellydance to several of the dancers in my troupe that were looking to expand and explore -- they were completely wowed and inspired.
I know one of them has already order your new instructional vid....and is patiently waiting for it to arrive. She had no idea that (and these are her words, not mine) "there were other beautiful freaks like her in the dance community!"
I have been working with them over the past few months to help them move more towards what is really reflective of them as individuals. They have loved tribal -- but I know that for at least two of them, being able to be Goth and a bellydancer has really made a difference for them. Althought they have worked hard and are very good tribal dancers -- it has meant submerging who they are to a certian respect, which to me is never a good thing. They now have a connection to a broader community with more common interests -- and a passion and understanding of what they want to convey in their dancing.
Will let you know how they progress -- and perhaps I can convince them to connect with you themselves!
I have just bought your video. Here is how it came about....
Last week, I looked at my 43 year old self in the mirror and sat upon my bed and cried. I had gone to the Masque Ball at Element NY last Sunday and watched Sky Claudette dance her muscled pixie body around with fire, whilst Jeniviva and Isis moved their flat bellies to tribal rhythms. All the while I wondered why my feet hurt, why I had scoffed down most of my 4 year old's Halloween candy and how very out of touch with my woman's body I have become. I am a spaz, from the get go and have always been ( tho' I can move somewhat gracefully in those tall fetish boots) and it is time for me to feel actually good about the body I have been given, instead of dreaming about some miraculous windfall of money that will permit me a radical makeover at the hands of some misogynistic surgeon. In any event, I have been immersed in the gothic subculture of Gotham for many, many years and have looked with envy at the young things that have mastered this art of Raks Gothique and other tribal dance. I am doing this for total self-connection and expression - physical, emotional, sensual. If you have any words of inspiration for this old bird, please send them.
Right now you are my inspiration. I hope you have had a beautiful tour.
Thank you for introducing me to this beautiful form of expression.
Jana (La Fee)Hi Tempest,
I just ordered your video from Amazon, and I have to say you're quite inspirational! I am fairly new to belly dance, but I have always been goth so the combination feel so much more natural to me than the cabaret style I am currently learning. Hopefully you'll consider coming all the way to the Maryland/D.C. area for a workshop in the future. Good luck with everything...keep it up!!!
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