The following was sent 12/30/02 by Shirley Roper:
I don't post reviews very often, but I just had to tell all of you about what came in the mail today: The premiere issue of the new quarterly MED magazine, The Chronicles ... A Dancer's Oasis. My sincere thanks to The Isis Foundation (the non-profit organization which publishes the magazine) for sending it to me. With nearly 50 pages of articles by Amaya, Bert Balladine, Fahtiem, Hadia, Harry Saroyan, Jamal Mohamed, Jasmin Jahal, Karen Barbee, Margo Abdo O'Dell, Morocco, and Suhaila Salimpour, I was expecting something pretty special, but this publication is nothing short of stunning!
The Chronicles is a full-sized (8½ x 11), glossy magazine, printed on very good, heavy paper, and well worth saving. The front and back cover are full-color (the Egyptian art on the front is gorgeous!), while the photos inside are all black-and-white. But, what incredible photos they are! Much of the photography is professional, but even the snapshots have obviously been very carefully selected.
Even with the high production values, the very best thing about The Chronicles is the top-notch writing by respected members of the MED community and the talented staff writers. Harry Saroyan's "The Time Has Come...", which addresses the sensitive issues dividing the community, brought tears to my eyes. In addition to eight articles on various aspects of the dance, and two feature articles ('Drumming', by Jamal Mohamed, and "Mesopotamian Menus", by John Lawton), there are three autobiographical articles (Karen Barbee, Suhaila, and Reyna), reviews, listings of teachers and events (very reasonable priced, by the way), and no less than seven regular columns. I found these very interesting, especially 'Let's Keep in Touch' (excellent advice from a professional health-care practitioner on maintaining the good health so necessary to expressing yourself in dance). You may prefer 'The Goddess-Sized Dancer', 'The Essence of Feng Shui', 'Just One More Reason', or the two advice columns, one for costuming problems ('Ask Ashera'), and one for 'Advice for The Game of Life' ('Ask Senet...').
Although published in Texas, and dedicated to 'spotlighting all those "best kept secret" dancers and musicians in the middle of our country', The Chronicles can already hold it's own beside any national dance publication...
Shirley Roper, Associate Director
Ethnic Music & Dance Alliance, Inc.