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Volume 1 / 2012

The ISPAHAN Oriental Dance Company is a vibrant and exciting dance group, based in the (south of the) Netherlands. All dancers have a sturdy background: many years of experience in dancing, performing and some even in teaching Oriental dance. More information is available on: For questions, copy or bookings, please contact us via:

-Please note that It is not allowed to copy or use anything from this ISPAHAN Magazine without permission of the editor. So please always contact us first, if you would like to share, show or redirect on Facebook or other (social) media, internet or print. Thank you.-



Ispahan Magazine, Volume 1, 2012

We LOVE To Dance! This is our very first Ispahan Magazine and we are thrilled to be able to present it to you. We hope that our love for dance in general, and for Oriental Dance in particular, will bounce of these pages! In this first issue, we want to give you a glimps into another world, a world that might seem to be as shallow as glitter to you now, but hopefully, along the way, we will be able to bring some nuance to that. In order to do so, this issue and the next ones will include several ‘behind the scenes’ subjects that will give you an inside view to the Belly Dance World of Wonders, giving you an idea of what it is like to be a performer. How carefully we try to mix all those different cultures into a beautiful marriage and thus show that one and one equals three, if you are just willing to see that. This new year, 2012, is all about doing what you love to do.., what you always wanted to do, but maybe were to unsure of, or to shy for. Even if this means taking in some ridicule, because we certainly get some of that along the way.. But we are tough women as well as elegant and good dancers. We can take some punches even if they are below the (Belly Dance) belt!

Oriental Dance, unfortunately, is not a broadly accepted art form or sports (yet!) and there are lots of preconceptions surrounding the subject.This is why Ispahan Magazine wants to open up this, without a doubt, new world to you. For our fellow Oriental Dancers, we want to offer room to discuss a broad range of subjects, such as: How should I adjust my performance (or not at all?) to the venue, occasion and/or audience that I am performing for? What to do if a specific audience member, or a group, is behaving badly and the organisation is not acting on it? What is a resonable price for a gig? And many more interesting subjects. So, you are invited to comment, supply subjects or blog away! Simply send your copy to our mailbox. We would love to hear from you! And of course, there has to be some fun too!! Things we love (and yes... there’s ‘bling’!) or just simply need..! Girly stuff. You know what I am talking about!! Enjoy! With Love, Kashka



Who’s Who? This is our team:




Oriental Dancer & Teacher

Oriental Dancer



Oriental Dancer

Oriental Dancer & Editor


Oriental Dancer & Yoga Teacher



Oriental Dancer

Oriental Dancer

Dance.. An activity that requires an intense and modified conscience, to reach the Rio Abajo Rio*: the river under the river. Even when dancing is prohibited, women dance.. in the forest, in the basement of their homes, taking out the trash.. Even when cultures where destroyed, artist where killed, women kept on dancing. If you dance, you’re part of an ancient tradition.

Dance..!! * Women who run with the wolves/ C. Pinkola EstĂŠs


Everything in the universe has rhythm. Everything dances. (Maya Angelou)

Fine dancing, I believe like virtue, must be its own reward. (Jane Austen)

The heart of the dance, is the heart of the dancer. (Ghazallah al Badriyyah)

I would believe only in a God that knows how to dance. (Friedrich Nietzsche)

What do you dance?

(Traditional African Bantu greeting, to a member of another Bantu tribe )

Dancing is just discovery, discovery, discovery.. (Martha Graham)

There are short-cuts to happiness, and dancing is one of them. (Vicki Baum)


TABLE of Contents In Every Issue:


03 | Editor’s letter

09 | Costume Design(er)s / in the picture!

04 | Who’s Who?

10 | Web site Ispahan Why should you visit and what will you find..?!

Our team and contributors of this magazine..

07 | Table of Contents 12 | Oriental Recipes

18 | At the Venue..! 16 | Ispahan One-on-One In this Issue: Iserona!

20 | Highly recommended 27 | How it works Send us your copy!

28 | What’s so Funny?!

Inspiration: 14 | At the shops.. Glitter Galore!

21 | Ispahan Gifts & Glamour 22 | Remember this..? A wonderfull Hafla from the past.. remembered

24 | Big Events! 25 | Inside your Purse What to bring to a performance?



Costume Design.. 101


We at , like to design our costumes ourselves, but that is certainly not necessary..! Plenty of designers make stunningly beautiful costumes so you have more than enough to choose from.

We would love to hear your story about how you ‘found’ your favorite costume and why you love it so much!

This is YOUR page!

Names like Eman Zaki, Pharaonics of Egypt and Bella (who are very popular in Western Europe, at the moment) are well known, but there are many more. Would you like to be on this page and tell your story about a particular costume you own? Then please e-mail us at: and also include a picture of you wearing the costume. (Not for shop owners or designers, if you have a commercial aim, please look at page 27 for more info on the possibility to show your designs, shop or event!)



The ISPAHAN web site & what you can find there.. *How and why ISPAHAN was founded, how we operate, our vision and our good cause. *Information on our group name, background stories and some cultural information as well. *How to book us (for both private and business parties). *How to join us (if you are an Oriental Dancer) *Our performance scedual (in case you would like to see us dance) and a brief history of past performances. *Videos and lots of pictures of past performances & photoshoots. *A blog, of all our ISPAHAN adventures, updated quite frequently, so you can taste the atmosphere and feel part of our team. *Information on al ISPAHAN dancers, their background, projects & links to their personal pages. *Our ISPAHAN fan store, were revenues go to our good cause. and much, much more..

Please Visit!

What else is there to discover..?! ISPAHAN Sweets... at Pierre HermĂŠ ISPAHAN Lingerie by Lisa Charmel ISPAHAN Perfume by Yves Rocher ISPAHAN Carpets ISPAHAN Restaurant, Brussels

09 11




: W O H HERE’S *Heat 2 tbsp oil in a tagine or casserole and gently cook the onion until soft - about 10 minutes. *Add the ground spices and garlic and cook for a minute. Stir in the harissa and cook for 2 minutes. *Stir through the squash and carrots and toss well to coat with the paste and the onion.Pour over the stock, add the apricots and bring to a gentle simmer.

olive oil 2 tsp each of ground cumin and ground coriander 2 onions, thinly sliced 2 garlic cloves, finely sliced 3 tbsp harissa (look in the spice section) 1 small butternut squash, peeled and cut into chunks 4 carrots, cut into chunks vegetable stock fresh, cube or powder made up to 600ml 75g ready-to-eat, dried apricots, roughly chopped 400g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed a bunch flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped a bunch coriander, roughly chopped FOR THE COUSCOUS 300g couscous vegetable stock fresh, cube or powder made up to 600ml 4 tbsp flaked almonds , toasted

Cook over a low heat for about 25-30 minutes until the vegetables are very tender. Meanwhile, put the couscous in a large bowl, bring the stock to the boil and pour it over. Cover the bowl and leave to stand for 5-10 minutes until all the stock has been absorbed into the couscous. Gently fluff up with a fork and stir through the toasted almonds. Add the chickpeas to the tagine and stir through half of the herbs. Season, then simmer for 5 minutes. Spoon the couscous into bowls then ladle the tagine on top. Serve scattered with extra herbs. Serves 4 Ready in 1 hour and 15 mins


When in doubt.. Ad more glitter.

Heavy Metal Glitter by Urban Decay Urban Decay products via : (Now on sale: Body glitter!) or at Sephora.


Twinkle Toes is glitter for -I kid you nothorses! OMG


Iserona ............................................ ............................................

Oriental Dancer & Yoga Instructor

One-on-one, with:

Iserona How did you discover Oriental Dance? I had danced my whole live and after a short break, suddenly the thought of being an Oriental Dancer came to mind, without ever seeing one perform! I decided to make some calls to find out where I could take dance lessons and found Rubina Bellydance. From the first lesson on, I just knew this was what I wanted to do and untill this very day, I am still in love with this lovely dance style!

time I performed at Christmas and ‘dropped’ my veil during my dance, very elegantly, in a Christmas tree!! After which, I almost fell onto the slippery floor! Well, you just have to pull yourself together and continue with your performance..! And with Ispahan, these last couple of years, I had so many lovely times, I could fill many pages with that! What do you enjoy the most, when it comes to dancing in a group?

What is it that appeals to you? Well, to start with, it is ideal that you don’t need a dance partner..! Haha. During my previous carrier in Ballroom dancing, obviously this was not the case and despite the fact that I loved that dance style aswell, Oriental Dance gives me much more freedom to be and express myself. Furthermore, the female aspect appeals to me, as well as sharing the joy for dancing with fellow dancers. And then there’s the music, the atmosphere, de costumes... for me, this dance style fits me like a glove! Do you have a preference for a specific style in Oriental Dance? No, not really.. I have tried and danced numerous styles and like them all.. As long as I can dance.. I am having so much fun! Can you tell us a nice anecdote? One experience I will never forget was the


The interaction with the other dancers, of course! We stimulate each other when we prastise together and we have so much fun creating and rehearsing our dances! Which dancer from the past do you admire? My first rolemodel was Aziza, later I also discovered Orit Maftsir and Samia Gamal. All tree are top dancers! How would you describe yourself, as a dancer? Wow, that’s not easy.. Well, others describe me as an elegant dancer with lots of presence. People say that my joy for dancing shows. I don’t per se see myself as a dancer, but more as a woman who likes to move her body to music. Apart from Oriental Dance, I am a Yoga Instructor and


that is similar, really. Feeling at home in your body..I simply like to move. How do you see your future, as a dancer? I really don’t know what the future will bring. As long as I can dance in it, I will be fine. Dancing keeps me mentaly and physically young, so I hope I will be able to dance for a long, long time! I am not thinking of quitting at all!!



At the venue..

Here’s my story.. On this page we would like to share stories about gigs, your experiences as a dancer and tips.. For instance: What would you advice, in case a Oriental Dancer is asked to perform at a bachelor party and you don’t know the groom-to-be or his party? How do you prepare yourself in case a request comes in from a venue you have never seen before and can’t be found on the internet? Do you go there first, to check it out? What to do at a restaurant, when performing and the guests don’t seem to appreciate you being there? Or even more personal: what does your spouse/boyfriend or family think of you being an Oriental Dancer? Please share!



Highly recommended... "I am the dress that my mother refused to buy for herself. So as to pay my school fees." Joumana Haddad. Publisher: Saqi Books ISBN-10: 0863564275 ISBN-13: 978-0863564277 "Joumana Haddad is a revolutionary, this book is the manifesto. Read it or be left behind." —Rabih Alameddine, Lebanese American novelist "A very courageous and illuminating book about women in the Arab world. It opens our eyes, destroys our prejudices and is also very entertaining." —Mario Vargas Llosa, Nobel Prize for literature 2010 "Joumana Haddad is an authentic writer. She belongs to the rare species of intellectuals that cannot be intimidated. This book is a lesson of courage for all those who aspire, try and fight in order to go beyond their own limits and chains." —Roberto Saviano, Italian writer "In this courageous book, Joumana Haddad breaks down the taboo of the silent absent Arab woman. Scheherazade has to die to be able to tell her own story: that is, to become a human being." —Elfriede Jelinek, Nobel Prize for literature 2004

For "Sahara" the TV program is fairly upbeat. The book, on the other hand, is more honest and discusses or mentions many problems not featured in the TV program. The trip involved traveling all around and through the Sahara Desert. It started in Gibraltar and went through Morocco, Western Sahara, Mauritania, Senegal, Mali, Niger, Algeria, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria again, Ceuta, and back to Gibraltar and the trip covered 10,000 miles and took three months. It's a very impressive trip, and the book does an excellent job of describing it all. Despite the negative aspects of the trip the book still shows Michael Palin's wit and charm, and one does get a very good impression of what it was like for him to make this trip.



In our Ispahan shop, you can find something for anyone: Men,Women and Kids.. and all revenues go to a good cause..

G o

t o

t h e


s h o p

h e r e :


Remember this..?

Amira’s Party in Roermond (NL) in 2010.. With performances of Amira, H e l i a , K h a l i d a and Aisa Lafour (and many more..!), a life band and bazaar.




12-14 Oct. 2012

Mundo Oriental is taking place at 12-13 &14 October of this year. This Great Oriental Dance Event is organised by Amira Shazadi, a German dancer and dance teacher, with strong Brazilian Roots. Besides Oriental Dance, Amira also teaches Salsa, Samba and fusion OrientalLatin American styles. New to her repertoire are Axé Bahia and Salsa Lady Style.., for more information on Amira’s Dance Studio, please take a look at these pages: At the Mundo Oriental Festival, dancers from all over the world are one big happy (dance) family. They perform on the Gala Show and teach workshops in multiple dance styles in the days before the show. Why don’t you join us?! For this year, ‘big’ names such as: Izida, Sophie Armoza, Aleksei and Nelly will be there, as well as... Ispahan! Do you want to know more? Then please visit: (or .eu), or the Mundo Oriental Facebook page: We would love to see you there!

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Amira Shazadi is based in Kempen (Germany). She is organising Mundo Oriental for the third time now and is also hosting Brazil Oriental 2012(on the 19th of May). Furthermore, Amira has her own show group, called Desert Breeze, she teaches numerous dance styles in regular lessons & workshops and, of course, performes herselves on many occasions.


Purse & watch: Ali Express

Put this in your Belly Dance Bag..!

Matching Earrings with lots of bling.. obviously! (

Something that gives you lots of energie, but doesn’t mess up your make-up at the same time! (Garden of Life) Airbrush Legs by Sally Hansen (Douglas)

Plenty of savety pins.. just in case

And something to take it all off, afterwards.. (Nivea)



Photo by Jennifer (xJNFR) through: www.Devian Art:



-an Oriental ‘glossy’ for the world of Oriental DanceWhy? Because we felt like it ;-) How? Easy as apple pie!

All it takes is You... and your input. Do you like it, are you missing something, is it fun? We would love to hear so!

Here is how it works: You can send us your copy via our e-mail address: (in English, but also in Dutch or German.., no problem, we will translate. This can be a response to one of our topics, or something entirely different and new..) For page nine, for instance, we would like to receive stories, about one specific costume you own, how you got it, who designed it and what is means to you, including at least one photo (in a high resolution quality and with permission to use) of you, wearing it.If you would like to send us your story, please make it about 120 words long. This page is not for advertisements, but for personal stories only. For page

nineteen tell us about your experiences at a venue or gig..!

On page twenty-four, you can advertise your event. There will be a fee involved, so please e-mail us for more information.The basic text can be about 150 words long, plus max. 50 words for additional/ background info (bottom page) and should include a photo of you (in good quality and with permission to use). For page twenty-five (things to take with you, in your purse, when going to a gig), you can suggest products. Please include a short personal note on how to use it and why you simply can’t live without it! For page twenty-eight goes the same: you can suggest funny or inspiring things you found on the internet, that have a link to Oriental Dance. And, as mentioned before, comments on things you saw or read in this magazine are also most welcome! However, sending us your copy is no guarantee that it will appear in this magazine and obviously foul language is not accepted. We will take the liberty to perhaps shorten your text or slightly alter it. In case you want to sell something (as in: I am a shop owner and want to draw attention to a specific item or to my (internet) shop, or: I am a photographer and I want to present my work, or: I am a dancer and want to sell one or more of my costumes, or: I am organising a workshop and want to attract clients, etcetera), please contact us at: and let us know what you would like (how many pages, etc.). Again, high quality photographs and the permission to use them are critical!


What’s so FUNNY!?! If you come across some funny or striking stuff, preferably about Oriental Dance, please send it in!!


Check this out!! For more info on our workshop at Mundo Oriental, go here:


Thank you.. & Good Bye! 30

ISPAHAN Magazine 1  

ISPAHAN Magazine, an Oriental Dance Glossy.

ISPAHAN Magazine 1  

ISPAHAN Magazine, an Oriental Dance Glossy.