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Middle Eastern dance magazine Zaghareet! talks with expert Sword dancers.

Interview with O'Leary, Riggs, Mavi, Belladonna and Ruric-Amari

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March, 2011 -- Zaghareet! columnist Anna Cancelli included Ruric-Amari in her interviews with nationally-known sword dancers for her article, Dancing with Dangerous Toys II. Each artist had a different viewpoint on why and how to dance with a sword and what kind(s) of sword they preferred.

O'Leary is famous for her "carnivalesque" approach to entertainment and her "drunken sword" dance. Riggs favors a very theatrical style that includes stage combat. Ruric-Amari prefers a dramatic style that incorporates the sword as a partner; musicality, line and layering are important to her. Mavi & Belladonna incorporate sword dances into their signature Gothic presentations.

All the artists agreed that there is "so much more to sword than just balancing." The article was filled with opinions as to what constitutes a brilliant sword dance and the necessity of adequate training to ensure both an engaging performance and the safety of dancer and audience. O'Leary was very articulate about the necessity of "honoring a sword's power as well as the style of dance it is being incorporated into...someone merely taught to march through a series of combos with no sense of the power, meaning or consequences of the blade, in my opinion, oozes well-intentioned a cute kid in their mom's high heels."

The article wrapped up with suggestions on where to purchase dance swords. Saroyan is the historical favorite but they are no longer being manufactured. Kult of Athena was suggested as an alternate quality source.

Ruric-Amari on stage at Worldfest 2014

Dancer, Ruric-Amari; Costume, Maura Enright; Photo, Sandra Mulders

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