My husband Lawrence 'Larry' Carradini was a great dancer husband, to be sure, but he was also a part of the New England Middle-Eastern dance community in every sense.
We always considered that our relationship began one night in the summer of 1996, when I was dancing at the Middle East Restaurant in Cambridge, Mass., and he came to see me.
But he served as more than dancer chauffeur, photographer, videographer, bodyguard, and sword roadie, although he did all that and more. My journey in dance was part of our shared journey in poetry, the arts, and in life.
Early on, we talked about how we might collaborate, as Larry was also a poet and involved in the local performance poetry scene.
In 1998, we created 'Dance of The Beloved,' an homage to the mystic poet Rumi and love poetry in its many forms ancient and modern. It debuted at the Poets' Theater at Club Passim in Cambridge in June 1998 and we performed it together at several venues throughout the area over the years.
Early on, Larry turned his writing talents to chronicling events, and became a dance journalist in his own right, writing for Belly Dance New England and also for Jareeda magazine, for which I am also a writer.
He was an artist and promoted and respected Middle Eastern dance as an art. Those who knew him know he was supportive of and caring toward them as well.
Many friends who also about Larry's health struggles supported us greatly, including Susan Morgaine Stanley and her husband, Joe, who organized a benefit on our behalf in September 2011. We continued to draw strength from that event and from the dancers - and their spouses, partners, and families -- who contributed in performances, raffle prizes, and their presence.
Having shared the dance of life with him for 18 years, I have a lot to be proud of, a lot to cherish, and a lot to miss. The stage is a little emptier. But here at home, and wherever my travels may take me now, Larry's legacy still sparkles beyond the veil.
Morgana Mirage is associate editor of Belly Dance New England.
Calling hours are set for Friday, May 9, 4-7 p.m. followed by a memorial service at Morse-Bayliss Funeral Home, 122 Princeton Blvd., Lowell, Mass. All are welcome. For more information visit www.morsebaylissfuneralhome.com.