Music, p. 30

Dance and music mediate between the sensual and the spiritual life.  Ludvig van Beethoven (modified quote)

thAt The Roosevelt Club, the Dessert Room, the joint was hopping, while the Lindos dined upstairs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Music, p. 83

Dance and music mediate between the sensual and the spiritual life.  Ludvig van Beethoven (modified quote)

1930’s – Cuban Rumba as a conga was very popular; it still is. In 1935, Stefan Lindo walked El Malecón in Havana, Cuba, to witness the conga line.

The conga line is a novelty line dance that was derived from the Cuban carnival dance of the same name and became popular in the United States in the 1930s and 1950s. The dancers form a long, processing line, which would usually turn from a snake line into a  circle. It has three shuffle steps on the beat, followed by a kick that is slightly ahead of the fourth beat. The conga, a term sometimes mistakenly believed to be derived from the African region of Congo, is both a lyrical and danceable genre, rooted in the music of carnival troupes or comparsas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Music, p. 209

Dance and music mediate between the sensual and the spiritual life.  Ludvig van Beethoven (modified quote)

th When is music “quieter than silence”? Perhaps when the vibration between notes is finely heard. As Hezar Pareh explains in his worldwide “Quieter than Silence” project, “The silence that is quieter is beyond the physical. There are so many levels of expressions that words cannot express them except through music and silence. That is when they can be expressed.” I would add dance. Between the notes is where the best silence can be captured.

Thus, the following is a compilation of Rumi quotes into prose:

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     Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion. When you do things from your [being], you feel a river moving inside you, joy. {Let that river be a dance.] We carry inside us the wonders we seek outside us. [Look inward when you dance. Be silent, even be still, when you dance.] Your heart knows the way. [Dance] in that direction. Let silence take you to the core of life. Let silence be the art you practice. Let go of your mind and then be mindful. Close your ears and listen. The message behind the silence is the voice of the heart.

      In the silence, there is eloquenceStop weaving, [just be in the movement], and see how the pattern improves. Close your eyes, fall in love, stay there. There is a voice that does not use words, listen. Dance until you shatter yourself. Then, dance when you are perfectly free…It is only from the heart you can touch the sky. Become the sky, and let yourself become living poetry. The source of now is here.

 

 

By way of introduction, there are several styles of spiritual dance that connect you to ‘eternity’ or ‘the source’. Click here.

Music, p. 48

Dance and music mediate between the sensual and the spiritual life.  Ludvig van Beethoven (modified quote)

thMadame Dara premiers at the Chiari’s soireé, before the elite of Colon, Panama, performing a similar dance.  This style of dance is how she would transmit code during the Allied-Axis conflict, when supported by Latin American businessmen and politicians who would spy for the Nazi Party.

 

Music, p. 33

Dance and music mediate between the sensual and the spiritual life.  Ludvig van Beethoven (modified quote)

thLe Petite Gazelle premiers at The Roosevelt Club on December 12, 1934, in Willemstad, Curaçao.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Music, p. 44

Dance and music mediate between the sensual and the spiritual life.  Ludvig van Beethoven (modified quote)

thThe night of Friday, May 14, 1915, Andreis attends a party where he hears “Gracia mía,” a genteel song by Enrique Granados from his collection of Canciones Amatorías.  The lyrics presage an unexpected encounter. (Page 44)

Montserrat Cabellé, soprano  |  Alfredo Rossi, piano

Lyrics

Gracia mía, juro a Dios | que sois tan bella criatura | que a perderse la hermosura | se tiene de hallar su voz. |  Fuera bien aventurada | en perderse en vos mi vida | porque viniera perdida | para salir más ganada.  |  ¡Ah! Seréis hermosuras dos | en una sola figura, | que a perderse la hermosura |se tiene de haller en vos.  | En vuestros verdes ojuelos | nos mostráis vuestro valor | que son causa del amor | y las pestañas son cielos; nacieron por bien de nos.  |  Gracia mía …

A Brief Review by the Author about the Novel

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DAUGHTERS OF THE DANCE started out over a decade ago as a screenplay, but it became problematic when submissions for consideration required that a screenplay be reduced to less than two hours to film. Since it is a historical novel covering three generations of two families—mother-daughter-granddaughter and three high-powered brothers from Willemstad, Curaçao, the task became daunting. So, although the screenplay was completed to x-number pages and later shelved by me, I copyrighted it. However, the same friend who told me to write the screenplay later told me to convert the story into another format. Thankful for the time-lapse in converting the screenplay into a novel, I gained access to historical information that did not exist earlier on the worldwide web, making the endeavor flow beautifully. The final draft took almost a year to complete. Within two months, three publishers approached me; and I selected Page Publishing of New York because they were the most transparent and were not a hard sell.

As a historical novel, it afforded me the opportunity not only to develop fully the early protagonists but also to introduce new characters to enrich the diverse and rich Dutch cultural tapestry of the Sephardic-Ladino community of Curaçao, Netherlands Antilles, but also of the Netherlands, Panama, and Spain.

“Engaging & exquisite….Do not let the title of the book, Daughters of the Dance, fool you. With a focus on the Sephardic-Ladino community of Curaçao and the menace of the Spanish Civil and world wars as backdrop, the book becomes epic-like in scope yet never loses its intimacy”.   TVA, Botanist Ph.D.

            Unraveling the Narrative

Dealing unabashedly with classical adult and controversial themes, the plot and characters cleverly tempt the reader to connect the idea and symbolism of what and who these “daughters of the dance” are. The men are high-powered, driven by oil, wealth, trade, religious beliefs, and their views on female submissiveness and sexual boundaries. They face uncertain survival amid three wars in continental Europe during 0a39e9b7f345e30629c1e88b7b9ed269the first half of the 20th century and the inevitable expansion of these wars to the Netherlands Antilles and to the Western Hemisphere, especially affecting the Sephardic-Ladino community of Curaçao. The Third Reich’s far-reaching pogrom in Spain and in the Netherlands, the theology of sexuality, the suppression of wise women and of the secular intelligentsia due to conservative religious fervor, including botanical lore, also ring true in the novel.

So who are the “daughters of the dance”?

On the surface, uprooted from Algeria, the matriarch Dara is transplanted to  the New World, bringing her sensuous dancing skills at a time when the danse du ventre became a marvel to behold but was not without its scandals in Europe during World War II. This was when the Dutch Mata Hari was not the only “spy” who danced exotica.

And, the women in the novel do dance!

At the turn of the 20th century, Andrei Lindo of Willemstad, Curaçao, meets the enchantress Dara in Colon, Panama, at an elite soiree in celebration of the Panama Canal becoming operationally a treasure trove. It was love at first sight soon to become a forbidden affaire de cœur. Two other such affairs emerge within the pages of the novel.

Metaphorically speaking, the reason the “daughters of dance” survives in the reader’s consciousness is that the archetype typifies the eternal quest to feel free in one’s own skin. In the words of the Persian poet Rumi, “Dance when you are perfectly free and enjoy each step along the way.” One could ask, “Why is it that this method of exploring to experience self-liberation from fear is forbidden, verboten?”

Last of all, this historical novel of romance—DAUGHTERS OF THE DANCE—is a dare.

The underpinning thread in the novel is its use of unapologetic sexuality. The author deceptively flaunts the literal and symbolic aspects of sexuality in counterpoint to bring awareness to the differences between carnal and spiritual sex. The various dualistic expressions can be due to aberrant aversion or addictive desire that obstruct breaking the chain of rebirth. Historically, woman is blamed for the fall of mankind, when, in  fact, “the tree of life and its fruit” personifies wisdom—and mankind’s lack thereof by seeking it outwardly instead of inwardly.

Written in transcendental style, the novel foreshadows an ultimate mystery of temporal death.

According to wisdom literature, the final chance to break the chain of rebirth, while in the last Bardo of existence between death and rebirth (a Tibetan Buddhist concept), is to visualize one-pointedly the sexual union of the yin/yang (female/male) deities that help set humans free. The answer to what is that last chance is provided in the “Afterword.” The foreshadowing is found in Chapter 15, which comes from the Hebrew book, Solomon’s Song of Songs. Lastly, the logic is that, by using the mental and corporal bodies as a spiritual tool, the consenting adults can transcend dualistic thought (e.g., yin and yang, light and dark, time and space, good and bad and tap hidden power sources with the divine. Doing so earnestly could result in the phenomenal goals of creative insight, physical vitality, and even enlightenment.

In case you missed the “veiled” message referenced above…,                                             the author invites you to take a journey into the world of the early sojourning Jews of the Spanish Netherlands and into the realm of the nature of mind that witnesses the mind as  projector, seeing a grand, amorphous picture show.            

PAPERBACK PURCHASE (e-Book is in the works)

Onenesstree

Whence Came this Child?

suhailaBW

          The best and most beautiful beings and things found on earth are best not to be acquired but admired. They must be seen by and felt with the heart ~ Armida

Inspiration comes from everywhere.*

When I began to develop my characters for DAUGHTERS OF THE DANCE, the photograph (left) of Little Suhaila of California was my inspiration for the character Nona . . . and then she became Ayana as well.

At that time, when the inspiration came, I was studying belly dancing in South Beach, Miami Beach with such teachers as Amar Gamal, Maja, and Tamalyn Dallal. It was Maja who introduced me to a video of Suhaila Salimpour dancing.

* Inspiration is defined as something that makes someone want to do something or that gives someone an idea about what to do or create; a force or influence that inspires someone;  a person, place, experience, and the like that makes someone want to do or create something.

It is all of the above.

 

Please let me know who is your favorite and why?

 

oneness-symbol

The Journey Begins

Dance when you are perfectly free and enjoy each step along the way ~ Rumi

DAUGHTERS OF THE DANCE takes place, mainly, on the island of Curaçao, Netherlands Antilles in the first half of the twentieth century.

Curaçao_-_Encyclopaedie_van_Nederlandsch_West-Indië-Antilles_part_2,_left (1)

THE USE OF SYMBOLS ARE POWERFUL, FOR EVERYTHING IS A SYMBOL. THE FOLLOWING ARE FAVORED, ‘oneness’ and ‘mindfulness’ from Radicalcourse, a movement, respectively….”A lot of people are already using these symbols in many different ways. [Open Source]”

Onenesstreemindfulness-symbol-reminder-tattoo

ADVANCE REVIEW FROM AN AVID READER IN NOVA SCOTIA

     I finished the book today! I’ve been up since 3:45 reading. I really couldn’t put it down.
It was so upsetting when […] died!
     The book is really remarkable Armida … I love how layered it is with all of the history and technical details and religion/spiritual aspects, the dancing and art/craft and sensuality. All of the relationships and details of how the people are connected in so many ways.
     A lot of aspects of it were personal to me, […] having […] and when they scattered her ashes and … […] dying was so sad! I did have tears several times reading the book, it is very gripping. I really think you’ve written something wonderful!! ❤ So glad I got to read it. ~ Kathi Petersen, Nova Scotia, Canada  http://pufferbellies.ca

In-print REVIEWS

Generally, I don’t read that much fiction as I usually stick to history.  You have a gift for writing with a real talent for cross-cultural complexities as they play out in personal relationships.  I particularly liked the genre….both the time frame (interesting period/span of world history) and the choice of the Eastern Caribbean, something of a geographic side-bar which is quite unfamiliar to most.  Off hand, I thing the  work could serve as the basis of a nice Netflix series, perhaps slightly adjusting to a more familiar geographic setting.  Personally, I liked the setting the way it is.   ~  BRS, Official, U.S. Department of State (retired)


I had to wait for my wife to read the book first. The sex scenes got her by surprise. |  I was once told that there is more history in fiction then in non-fiction.  Your book proves that.  The book is truly historical; scholarly, and I have to re-read some parts because there is so much in it. I enjoyed multiple references by all the major religions and their accuracy. Your treatment of the religions of the world did not surprise me as you had those interests when you were attending the Panama Canal College in La Boca.  |  The story I liked, and I will re-read for the multiple messages that you convey. I have that feeling there was too much to absorb factually.)  I am very proud of your accomplishments.   ~  Joseph Patrick Kane, Librarian, Panama Canal Collge, La Boca, Canal Zone, Panama (retired); author’s mentor

I found it easy to immerse myself in this intriguing historical novel (with informative footnotes). Do not let the title of the book, Daughters of the Dance, fool you. With a focus on the Sephardic-Ladino community of Curacao and the menace of two World Wars as backdrop, the book becomes epic-like in scope yet never loses its intimacy. ~ Thomas Armentano, Ph.D., Botanist

I read the book which was very informative, and you obviously did lots of research. It has grand themes, to be sure. I enjoyed it’s story very much.., the history of the Sephardic family was most interesting to me…. At three hundred pages…it took me time to read and see the direction you were taking, but that’s just me. I think you should now contact the Sephardic community blogs and Jewish magazines for getting a book review. Think they would find this historical aspect most interesting…. ~  Neil Thomas Evan, Panama City, Panama

I read the book which was very informative, and you obviously did lots of research. It has grand themes, to be sure. I enjoyed it’s story very much.., the history of the Sephardic family was most interesting to me…. At three hundred pages…it took me time to read and see the direction you were taking, but that’s just me. I think you should now contact the Sephardic community blogs and Jewish magazines for getting a book review. Think they would find this historical aspect most interesting…. ~  Neil Thomas Evan, Panama City, Panama


I found it easy to immerse myself in this intriguing historical novel (with informative footnotes). Do not let the title of the book, Daughters of the Dance, fool you. With a focus on the Sephardic-Ladino community of Curacao and the menace of two World Wars as backdrop, the book becomes epic-like in scope yet never loses its intimacy.  Thomas Armentano, Ph.D., Botanist


I had to wait for my wife to read the book first. The sex scenes got her by surprise. |  I was once told that there is more history in fiction then in non-fiction.  Your book proves that.  The book is truly historical; scholarly, and I have to re-read some parts because there is so much in it. I enjoyed multiple references by all the major religions and their accuracy. Your treatment of the religions of the world did not surprise me as you had those interests when you were attending the Panama Canal College in La Boca.  |  The story I liked, and I will re-read for the multiple messages that you convey. I have that feeling there was too much to absorb factually.)  I am very proud of your accomplishments.   ~ Joseph Patrick Kane, Librarian, Panama Canal Collge, La Boca, Canal Zone, Panama (retired); my mentor.