313 Highland Avenue, Somerville, MA
Advance Tickets: $20
($25 at the door, pending availability. Cash only)
Anabee has been studying Middle Eastern Dance for the past eight years with Jamileh out of Portland Maine, as well as attending numerous workshops including those taught by Karim Nagi, Mahmoud Reda, and Zoe Jakes. She has been teaching and performing in the New England area for the past three years. "I have fallen in love with the art form, and its history. The gypsy blood of my ancestors has been woken up, and now I just want to share the dance with as many women as I can."
Ariella enjoys performing American Oriental, Egyptian, and Lebanese style shows and dancing with her veil, cane, shamadan, zills, wings of isis, and fanveils. Having performed for crowds between the size of 10 and 1,000, Ariella is a dynamic artist. Ariella has studied not only belly dance but also traditional folkloric styles of the Middle East. Her instructors include Shadia, Najmat, Phaedra, and Meiver De La Cruz. Currently she performs as a solo artist and as part of Shadia's folk troupe the Mirza Dance Ensemble.
Aslahan began studying Oriental Dance in 1992. By the late '90s she had developed a particular passion for Turkish music and dance. She has been dancing professionally for more than a decade, bringing spontaneity and fire to her performances, insatiable curiosity to her studies, and warmth and individual attention to her teaching.
Badriya began her study of belly dance over ten years ago, and has largely trained in Egyptian raqs sharqi and folkloric styles. She is a regular performer in Boston area Middle Eastern clubs and restaurants, as well as belly dance community haflis and shows. In addition to her deep love for Egyptian styles of dance, she also performs gothic belly dance, and is the promoter of the annual gothic belly dance event Raks Spooki, now in its sixth year.
Heléna Melone, M.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies/ Dance Therapies, is an international dancer, specializing in American and fusion styles, as well as Rom and flamenco, having studied widely in the U.S., Turkey, Egypt & Spain. She has woven dance idioms into a signature style, Flamenco- Belly fusion, which she teaches throughout the U.S. and U.K. Interviewed for the novel "Flamenco Academy" as well as Oprah magazine, finalist in Top Belly Dancer competition, Heléna is a Maine Arts Commission juried educator and teacher at Phillips Exeter Academy. At home in Maine, Water is her patient and reliable teacher of strength and fluidity. Nature is Muse and Mentor in all areas of life, including her work painting silk veils!
Jaylee started her life in dance learning Indian folk dances from her best friends from New Delhi, India. Soon she found that not only did she love being on stage and sharing dance with her peers, but she also discovered tribal fusion belly dance. Fast forward almost 11 years later, and you can find Jaylee, the chapter head of the Boston NBDA, teaching her signature snaky pop and lock style of improvisational fusion dance regularly in Brookline, MA on Sundays, teaching workshops at TribOriginal in North Carolina, and performing bi-coastally at events like TribalCon in Georgia and TribalFest in California. Many thanks to Meiver and the MassRaqs crew for making this magic happen! Jaylee is thrilled to be here at MassRaqs this evening, and feels blessed to share a stage with so many talented artists.
Kaylin is a local Middle Eastern dancer who is interested in and studies a variety of bellydance styles. As a soloist, she specializes in Oriental Style and American Cabaret Style bellydance. As an artist Kaylin strives to embody the thrilling power and subtlety of Middle Eastern music and dance. Her most influential instructors include local dancers Melina of Daughters of Rhea, Brooke Bishara, and Najmat. She is a member of the dance trio Troupe Moirae which specializes in fusion styles of bellydance. Kaylin finds the study of bellydance technique and Middle Eastern culture to be continuous inspirations in all aspects of her life. For more information on Kaylin's local performances or beginner bellydance classes visit her website.
While living in Egypt, Melissa stumbled upon a dance culture that forever changed her life. She studied ballet, jazz and modern dance forms previously, but nothing moved her like the rhythms and emotions of Oriental Dance. Mesmerized by its beauty and empowered by its movements, she devoted her time to studying all elements of this art form in Egypt, Turkey, Iran and the U.S. Melissa has spent the last three years teaching and performing in South Korea and Thailand. She has recently returned to the U.S. to produce a series of Oriental Dance documentaries while aspiring to empower women around the world through this dance.
Nepenthe Ahlam has been studying dance since 2002. She has studied with many teachers in the Boston area, including Amira Jamal, Najmat, Shadia and Katia. Nepenthe performs Egyptian Raqs Sharqi, American bellydance and folkloric dance for many charity benefits and at restaurants around Boston, such as Khayyam and the Middle East. Nepenthe has performed with Jemileh Nour's troupe Tribal Storm, and often performs in Snake Dance Theater productions. She also worked with the variety troupe Oddville Vaudeville. She is the producer of the holiday show Raks Nativity. Nepenthe is an ancient Greek word translating to 'one who chases away sorrow', and she hopes her dancing does that just that.
Sara is an active performer of Shadia's Mirza Dance Ensemble, a folkloric troupe. She began her dance journey at age six beginning with ballet, jazz and tap. Bellydance made its way into her life after giving birth to her daughter eight years ago. She considers herself a student of all styles and is particularly enchanted by folkloric styles. She has been lucky to study with Shadia of Boston, Jillina, Carolena Nericcio, Kristine Adams, Rachel Brice, Kami Liddle, Leila of Cairo, Randa Kamel, Dr. Mo Geddawi, Lubna Emam, Tamalyn Dallal, Amel Tafsout, Bozenka and Joanna Saahirah. Sara also teaches American Tribal Style and is the first sister studio of Fat Chance Belly Dance in Boston.
Shakima Laila began to study belly dance in 2005. Her style shows many different influences. She had danced at The Athenian Corner, Basha Café, Khayyam Restaurant, Shiraz Restaurant and Mechanics Hall in Worcester. She had performed at private parties, at People's Choice Charity, at Amira Jamal's class shows, at Meiver's shows and at Za-Beth's shows, Baraka (2010) and MASSRaqs (2010) shows. She was guest star in the "Journey along the Silk Road" Bellyqueen show (2011). In 2008, Shakima Laila won third prize, and in 2009, she won second prize and the People's choice award at The Boston Grande-Dame "Viva la Diva" competition.
A dynamic dancer, Zameena Asmar shares her enthusiasm for the music of the Middle East and India with audiences in the Greater Boston area through her lively and elegant performances. Born in India and raised in Canada, she uses her exposure to multiple cultures to explore and create in dance. She owes her artistic development to several amazing dancers and teachers in Massachusetts, most notably Phaedra of Boston, Aurel, and Shadia.
This "call to performers" is for the Friday night event to be held on Friday, September 9, 2011, at 8:30pm. These performances will take place right after Katia's career retrospective presentation.
In 2011 the MassRaqs weekend will again feature two beautiful dance showcases: a Friday night celebration featuring MassRaqs participants, a live band, and a headlining star, and a Saturday Night Theater Gala, featuring the MassRaqs faculty as well as star talent from around the US.
This Friday night show will be followed by a party, where guests will be able to enjoy live music and open dancing. Yup, this year we are having aparty! Woohoo!
Download the Call to Performers PDF to learn how to apply.
UPDATE: The MassRaqs 2011 Call to Performers is officially closed.