Rhythms of Diplomacy

Music producer Dawn Elder paints a vivid portrait of Middle Eastern music and dance in American society, yet she "steered clear" of the greatest single influence that motivates the majority of non-Arab Americans to embrace these arts: belly dance ("West-East," by Joseph Braude, Nov. 26). This beautiful and compelling dance form is studied by millions in this country. To ignore belly dance as a deeply vital influence in Middle Eastern music and dance education in the United States is to create an incomplete picture of American appreciation and achievement in this extraordinary genre.

Marta Schill Kouzouyan

Vice President

Middle Eastern Culture and Dance Assn.


It's so refreshing to learn that Elder uses the power of music to narrow the gap between cultures. What she has managed raises her to a level that few public figures have attained.

Evan Dale Santos


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