Get to Know a Bellydancer: Chemagne

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Name

Chemagne Martin

Where are you from?

Born and raised in Toronto

Astrological Sign?

Capricorn

Who do you dance with (Soloist/Company/Studio affiliation)?

My business name is Chemagne Dance. I am a solo performer and instructor. For many years I taught classes/workshops and performed at various venues in the GTA.

How long have you been dancing?

I started dancing when I was 13 doing jazz and baton twirling. In 1999 I took my first belly dance class at Arabesque. I have been teaching, and performing belly dance for 15 years. During those years I studied with Arabesque, Roula Said, Mayada, and Suhaila Salimpour. I also took various belly dance workshops and other dance/movement classes, such as yoga, Pilates, pole dance fitness, Latin Dance, African Dance, Classical Indian (Odissi), jazz, and ballet.

What is your favourite music?

I love classic Egyptian music, and the songs of Om Kathsolm, Fareed Al – Atrach, and Abdel Halim Hafez, have always moved me. I especially love drum and percussion solos! But I appreciate all kinds of music from classic rock, 80’s pop, funk, jazz, disco, house music, and world music from Latin America, Caribbean, Africa, and the Middle East.

Favourite costume piece?

My turquoise blue and purple costumes are my favorite. I adore costumes that glitter, are rich in colors with different patterns or beading. Also, having a veil, as part of my costume is important because I love how a veil can float around you while you dance ☺

Your Vices?

Although it may be a virtue, sometimes my vice is that I am hardworking. I have to remind myself to take a break.

Your Virtues?

I’ve been told I am loyal, committed, and resourceful.

Upcoming project/event?

I don’t have any upcoming events or projects right now, but I think this is a good thing because I am open to whatever goodness the universe brings me.

Why belly dance?

Years ago I had a dream to do it. I won’t get into the details about it, but if someone told me that I would be a Belly dance artist, I would not have believed them. Anyways, I took my first class and I fell in love with it. I love the complexity of movement (ie: layering), the music and culture of the dance. The movements can be fluid and graceful or powerful and intensifying. It’s a dance that is very expressive of a woman’s femininity and sensuality. Beautiful in all styles, it is a dance form distinguished by its movement, technique and artistic expression.

Who inspires you?

Many things inspire me and I can’t say its just one person. In the dance world, the Alvin Ailey Dance Company always inspired me. Their work and technique is incredible! The Belly Dance community and the larger dance community of Toronto because there is so much talent in the city. I am really inspired by any artist who can be vulnerable in their art, or who are innovators and go outside the box. I also appreciate inspirational success stories of people who achieved their goals and realized their dreams.

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