Bellydance Fashion Week – A 1st & a Success!

Flashback to summer of 2015. I’m looking at tweets from various rock stars about their wives being at Fashion Week – one in particular was doing the marketing and promotions for it. I’m thinking…where is the Bellydance Fashion Week? Why don’t we have that? Eureka – the Bellydance Fashion Week was with me. I decided I wanted to do this. With the help of some amazing people, we did!

A few meetings later with MissBellydance.com , Atlanta Fusion Bellydance and voila, the idea is approved. The first note about Fashion week went out on MissBellydance.com’s Instagram, blog and social accounts in late September and several reminders came after that. By January/February the schedule was set, partnerships in place, Babylon Cafe onboard (thanks Kelly!) and we were set to go.

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Panel Discussion At BDFW 2016 – Babylon Cafe ATL

The first night of BDFW took place at Babylon Cafe – let me say the service and venue were perfect. Kelly is very attentive and wants things to go right. I can appreciate that. Anyone can. She’s really good at what she does and it is appreciated. Her staff this particular evening were overly gracious and kind. That’s VERY hard to find these days when it comes to customer service. So given that we had this wonderful pampering and delicious food we were in good spirits to have a lively discussion on fashion, travel and costuming in the raqs world. Of course we talked about other things and that led us to decide we really need to have these discussions quarterly. We covered a variety of topics, we disagreed, we agreed, we questioned things, we all but danced! It was awesome! Huge thanks to Majda, Amani, Jendayi, Alima and Zaia for their contributions. This was a good thing! It must continue!

Highlights From the Week
I loved staying up til midnight with Heidi and friends talking about culture, music, celebs we love and some of the funniest dance stories from various genres. Heidi has such a great personality that we were glued to her great experiences in dance. That along with the class made for an amazing Tuesday of Fusion and Tribal learnings.

Another cool item was Diana’s wardrobe that she brought with her when explaining Flamenco fashion and fusion. She has the most amazing Bata de Cola dress that was custom made for her. She also shared with us various skirts and dresses that can be and are used in both Arab and Spanish (Spain and the diaspora) culture. They were just splendid and this picture does not do them justice. Before class we talked about the state of Flamenco dance in North America. Surprisingly we do not have as many teachers here as I thought. There are even fewer in Canada. That is scary. I think it’s crucial we begin to highlight their work and offerings more so that those like me who adore this dance as much as raqs sharqi can better support the art of Flamenco locally.

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Diana’s wardrobe!

Thursday Aziza raq’d the studio with her course on performance. We got to meet Cassandra Fox early and Maddie the dancer came as well. Friday was cancelled as it is a busy day for dancers and few could attend. We’ll save our shimmies, kisses for Aya and glasses of Shiraz for another night.

Weekend Workshops
When I wasn’t volunteering up front discussing fashion I sat in on the workshops. I went to Cassandra’s Caribbean Fusion workshop. She incorporated stories about her Jamaican-born family’s background before going into certain moves. What I saw demonstrated by the attendees was not something I was familiar with in the raqs family. I’ve seen Tito do moves that play on some of the poses she does but this looked completely different and more along the lines of what I’ve seen from western artists in their various pop-art and western dances. It was not twerking but a lot of “shaking” and “shimmying” one’s behind vs. hips. I kept trying to place it in different cultures within the raqs world and I came close, even thinking of a few videos of the Houwairat but I’m not sure. The attendees seemed to be having fun doing it and also said this reminded them of many things 😉

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Eshta Amar taught a great class on costuming. Some of us sat in the back… the smart kids up front soaking it all in.

I also sat in on the first part of Eshta Amar’s Porportions and Embellishmens for Every Body Type. She did an excellent job of explaining what cuts and designs look best on everyone. I suggest this class to all whether you are looking to dress yourself for bellydance or just going out. This is a practical guide for all occasions especially when it comes to foundations. Thank you Eshta!!

The Fashion Show
This went really well. This took place in what was transformed into the Mehmet Theatre as Mr. Bellydance.com built the stage from scratch with his bare hands…his bare hands! Teşekkür ederim for that!

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I was so happy to see all of the designs from MissBellydance.com and Eshta Amar well presented by those who were enthusiastic and in the spirit of modeling. Everyone looked good. Their make-up was done well as was the fit of the costumes. Judith and I picked them out over a span of time and matched them with the models. Our lady Nusrat and her family came to model for us as well and that was a treat. Nusrat is our official MissBellydance.com model as is her troupe. They have been amazing supporters over the years and we’re happy to call her family and an official member of MissBellydance.com’s raqs team.

We also had a slew of local and professional performers who put a lot of time and energy into their presentations. Aziza Nawal and Majda were notable showstoppers and Maddie presented her raqs with flames. We thought maybe she’d dance to Prince’s Little Red Corvette in her cute Eshta Amar ensemble (the really neat red/Alice checker/race car flag one we saw at the Andrus show). Majda noted to us earlier that her purple veil was in honour of Prince. I thought that was really sweet. Heaven knows so many of us in that room have a connection in one way or another. Maybe his beloved Mayte can come join us for something one day. Let’s discuss that after things settle down, bless.

The Du was as energetic as always. She and Josh had quite a lovely number that felt like a salute to France. She wore her Eshta Amar that featured the Fleur-de-lis. Many others had costumes that had a theme to them including “The Tuxedo” worn by Inara. The costume Karma adorned and floored us with in performance had hearts strategically placed throughout the design. It was really impressive. MissBellydance.com fans came and danced in their bellydance costume sets and Scarlet opened the performances using MissBellydance.com veils to one of the musical selections from the Bellydance Superstars. The show ended with all of the stars coming to the stage doing a great bow and the very talented MC Preston closing the program.

This entire week was a little different from what I originally envisioned. Being a stereotype of my age group, I had planned for it to all be online (I know, the horror!!). Each week various things to view and enjoy. But I’m happy that AFBD and MBD decided to make it 3D by bringing it to life with courses and a discussion others can be a part of in person. While the next BDFW may not look the same,it will have the energy and passion of this one if not more. We’ll also do our best to keep things at a time that fits the schedules of the majority – so weekday classes just skirting ATL traffic may disappear. We’ll see.

Huge thanks to all of the models, our great MC Preston, the dancers. Many hugs to our dear Nusrat and a high five to Mehmet for the amazing work and countless hours he put into the show. Big thanks to MissBellydance.com the faithful sponsor and supporter of so many events in this town as well AFBD who produce some of the most engaging an exciting professional events that are right on par with other international conferences I’ve attended. Shukran Jazillan to all of the guests and attendees! I think we all have but one more thing to say to each other, “You betta werrrk that raqs!”

Cheers and thanks for reading!
-AA

Savouring the Salimpour Style

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Suhaila’s Atlanta Team 🙂

*These are my personal thoughts, just a Nigerian (first gen Am) loving the dances and fusions of the cultures I grew up with in various international communities. Been a fan of Suhaila since 1999 and I love it when she comes for a visit.

Suhaila came, she took her Atlanta team to new heights and now she’s gone and left us with the huge responsibility of carrying the torch, keeping her family’s legacy of dance alive on the east coast. The dedication that so many brought to this 6 day event deserves a lot of recognition. People drove in from near and far, out of state and from out of the country to participate. Saturday was focused on Jamila Salimpour’s work while the remaining week was a level 2 certification. Salimpour soldiers who were familiar with her material from level 3 and beyond were also present during this week as well. Pictures, social media shares and more detailed the outstanding stamina that these young men and women had in their quest to become many of Suhaila’s best. It was extraordinary to watch. Shout out to her Aunt Alima who comes down every year to support Suhaila’s presence in the city.

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Jenny was there! She’s one of my favourite people on the planet. Photo by Faaridah (head of AFBD)

Sunday was a special treat. We as a community had the opportunity to see the fruits of the dancers’ labour. At Atlanta Fusion Bellydance, family and friends were invited to see what this east coast Salimpour school had done. It was clear that they had practiced really hard and were striving to make their sister/Uhkti Suhaila quite proud. I was fortunate to sit next to her again and had no shame showing my enthusisam for her work as attendees of the Salimpour Collective zilled out their best bellydance and Salimpour family raqs moves. There were times I just cried. It was a full circle moment for me. It’s awesome how you can be a kid watching someone online and years later sit next to them among their fan family watching their work praised by devotees. I won’t go into my annual reminder of how I have photos of Suhaila from years past still on my phone. But I will remind all how grateful I am for moments like these! Hard to put it into words,  you just have to be there and feel that energy.

Talking about the show is one thing, seeing it is another. Let the pictures and video speak for themselves. I was too busy chair dancing to write and take notes for the blog. Each section was introduced with great historicaal background on the song, composers and detailed info on the music and much more. As for performances, I envy anyone that can spend that kind of time in this discipline, memorising choreographies to that extent. It takes a lot and they put in hours and hours of sweat and love. Mabrook, congrats to all who completed a challenging week. Suhaila’s format is no joke and you will feel every second of it…and come out victorious like our beloved friends and extended family at AFBD!  Shukran jazillan to all involved!

 

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One thing I was taught to appreciate is footwork and synchronicity… look at their little feet…speaks volumes

Lively and energetic

Thanks for reading!
AA

Andrus Ramir… the “A” Stands for Awesome!!!

People travelled from hours away to be with Andrus today!

People travelled near and far (some hours away) to be with Andrus today!

Today was a beautiful because Andrus Ramir was in it. He arrived early in the morning and we went to lunch, hung out, hugged as much as possible (though I could have hugged him for two more days without ceasing) and rehashed the great years we spent together at raqs sharqi conferences. It was lovely to be with him again, this time with Atlanta’s Jenny Nichols and Deance of Team Essence by our side. I’m going to put this out there right now; I pray to G-d that Andrus is a part of Essence of Bellydance 2016. Just lunch alone with him made me want him to stay forever. Andrus is more than the person we once knew, he is *ALL THAT* and heaping helping of Yaaaasssss!!!! He has gone from dancer to ICON in just a few years…Miami’s BellyMotions is more than fortunate to have him there, they are blessed beyond words!

The workshop he taught today, Oriental Shine, might need to be renamed because it was so much more than that. The title doesn’t do it justice. The workshop was so good I was frozen with admiration. Every movement, every turn …just breathtaking. He delivered what I like to call, “the secret sauce” to each dancer. Each one turned his work into something very personal and perfect. All attendees did such a spectacular job, so much so, I felt tears swelling up in my eyes for those that weren’t able to make it. I was simply amazed at his skill level. It began with a thorough warm-up which was incrdible to watch on it’s own. Just like Yanis Marshall’s workshops, the opening to the course was so exquisite one wouldn’t even know one was warming up. Near the end, Sable of Sable’s School of Bellydance and Drum made it in. Wow, Andrus fans together again! After a water break and hugs he went right into the choreography and took it up a notch with a fantastic entrance that included an 8-count walk in two strides. There was a great deal of torso work and at one point he lifted his shirt to demonstrate what muscles were moving so the class could better understand the tummy flutters. This gesture also revealed an incredibly fit body that fluttered with such ease. It was so beautiful I had to look away. His signature turns and spins were there and he spoke of their origins. The entire routine was just packed with so much raqs magic. Though it looked a bit “fast and challenging” at times, the attendees pushed forth and made it work for them. Kudos to all who kept going through such a dynamic set. Again, it was simply breathtaking.

His work has soared beyond anything that he’s done before. He has taken the workshops and raised the bar, adding some really advanced material that looks really good. It’s a shame he is only here for one more day. He’s one of those instructors that I wish taught and performed regularly here in Atlanta. I know I’d be eager for his work the way I’m eager to see Tito Seif when he comes through town. I’m more than impressed with Andrus, I’m in love with his skill let alone Andrus as a person.

I admit today I was a little melancholy. Having the privilege of spending so much time with him at other conferences, gelling and meshing with fellow fans and outstanding dancers, we both remembered how sad we felt when we had to part ways. I fear day two (Sunday) just a much as I feared the Monday we separated back in 2012. HE leaves an imprint on your soul that is completely captivating. You just have to experience it for yourself.

I’m going to get some rest and try to deal with the fact that we only have him for another 24 hours…but he has got to come back. He is too much of a treasure to miss. Huge thanks to all who shared in the magic moments of the day. What an incredible workshop! Tomorrow, Sha’abi and Sa’idi at Atlanta Fusion Bellydance… it’s a can’t miss opportunity!

Thanks for reading…and huge thanks to Jenny who went above and beyond today!
AA

Anxiously Awaiting Andrus Ramir!

image After an amazing weekend observing Yanis Marshall, I have a double helping of extra appreciation for the men in the global dance community. It’s rare that I am suddenly bragging about anything but I made Mr. Marshall’s arrival very public on my social media pages and the fact that I was going to get to see him. I would have happily paid $100 to just to watch him. He is so worth it. So when Andrus Ramir told me that Mr. Marshall is one of his inspirations I just beamed. Two people I absolutely admire coming through Atlanta is a dream come true. Where Yanis Marshall is a bright and shining light for contemporary, modern and a multitude of dance genres, Andrus Ramir is our Raqs World Diamond! His presence lights up a room in ways I’ve yet to have seen from other dancers. I can’t help but put him on a pedestal.

I first saw Andrus in 2006 or 2007 during the last part of the summer when one of the former Bellydance troupes, The Fates, hosted one of the incredible conferences we have in our gem of a city, ATL. At Paris on Ponce he was walking outside and just his walk alone made me turn my head and I completely froze in my tracks. Surely the heavens laughed saying, “AA’s life is about to change.” Unable to speak for a few moments, I finally asked others around me, “Who is that beautiful person?!” No one from Atlanta seemed to know at the time but as soon as he got on that stage with those veils and tummy flutters that define perfection we all wanted to know who he was…the rest is history. He won us over within seconds!!! He began to get invited to Atlanta annually and in the three years he’s been away learning from the greats and further developing his signature style, his craft has become incredibly seasoned with even more amazing fluidity, class, beauty and the trademark Andrus Ramir awesomeness that we crave uncontrollably. He is …everything! I could easily write a book about this man…and I might!

Whether you’re a long time fan or new to the Andrus Ramir kingdom of crazy shimmies and ta’arab for days, you’ll be pleased with the upcoming workshops taking place next weekend hosted by Atlanta Fusion Bellydance, World Bellydance Alliance and their partner MissBellydance.com. Andrus is teaching three courses and one of them is Sha’abi. There’s also a show on Sunday night at Steve’s Live Music featuring some of the International Raqs Community Members who have moved to the states as well as some of the areas top stars that often work on Saturday nights (i.e. Karma); so it’ll be a treat to see them in show on Sunday where they can give us the gold! 😉

I certainly plan to be in the audience, savouring every second of Andrus’ outstanding work and performances. Go ahead and join in on the fun. You can register here. MissBellydance.com is giving away some cool prizes to troupe leaders who bring in 5 students or more. If anyone even tweets @missbellydance w/any of the blogs, event flyers, links to the event, etc. on their Instagram, Facebook and Twitter accounts their store automatically enters the profile to win cool prizes. It’s gonna be awesome!!! Looking forward to seeing everyone!!

Cheers!
AA

Bellydance Time Capsule – Celebrating The History of Raqs Sharqi

*As always these comments are all mine and do not reflect the views of any organisation or team with which I am affiliated. These are just the thoughts of one international community member. I speak for myself and not the entire expat community of Atlanta or the Southeast.

Raqs Al Seniyya - Maghreb tea tray dance, beautiful addition to the historic show

Raqs Al Seniyya – Maghreb tea tray dance, beautiful addition to the historic show

The theme was ‘time capsule’…and the brilliant minds made this into a true Raqs Theatre style show on par with the ideas and programs that are done in Raqs Theatre in Egypt and beyond. So I was very happy that there was a context versus a bunch of beautiful women appearing on stage out of nowhere and just doing their thing. This allowed for those who are not from or familiar with the culture to understand what was being presented. So there was Faaridah and Maeia preparing for the show and they stumble upon this treasure box. The box contained items from every era of Raqs Sharqi since B.C. The intention was to feature each prop and then present the dance that matched it? I think they decided at the last minute not to do that as it would take up so much time and there were already…what? 27 performers? I don’t know. But…each piece had an outstanding historical intro so that was really all that was needed. I would like to see this done again but perhaps video taped and sold as “The Best of Raqs Sharqi…a time capsule” and include the historical skits and settings. Then, distribute it globally. If any of the producers are interested in doing that let me know. We can discuss it…then work out the funding and get it done.

Highlights
Here are just *some* of the amazing performances from that evening. There were more than 12+ sets, so the show was exceptionally long but very nclusive!

Jendayi and her team presented the B.C. style of Raqs featuring the series of Goddesses that are often referenced in this era. It was a very nice opening to the show. What stood out for me were the costumes. They featured a lot of the era’s script and symbols in a very tasteful way. It didn’t feel kitschy or silly. It looked good. Congrats to this team for thinking about their music, fine details and respectful choreography void of stereotypes.
Again, excellent opening. I wish this had been presented at the Fox with bold lighting striking down like lightening highlighting each person’s moves. Very nice piece…

imageTallita’s Meleya Leff routine was awesome! I really wish we had more Egyptians in the audience and fans of this genre with which to get into it. I was ready to get up and wiggle around like my uncles (and bold aunts) would do for this one. She wore a red dress with the traditional flower accents on it and a black meleya with which she spun around playfully. Meleya Leff is one of my favourite dances from our industry and I’d happily have that piece presented at important milestones in my life. Tallita did a fantastic job! Mabrook wa shukran.

Aziza Nawal’s raqs team presented a piece from the Mazin family (Egypt). I won’t go into historical facts about them because that would require a publisher and a summer for readers to finish it due to their vast history in the region. In short, the Mazin sisters were very well known in their area and would put on shows in house and at functions. This performance by Aziza the Great!! 😉 and her team brought me to tears. This family has experienced some great challenges of late and their surviving sister still faces opposition in various ways due to the “times.” It’s nice to see someone celebrate these ladies for the simple fact they are a huge part of Raqs history that gets pushed aside and overshadowed by the commercialism by which our culture has been touched. So, shukran Aziza and team for being so inclusive. The whole presentation, from zills, to their signature formations was just gorgeous.

Culturally accurate Ghawazee - Mazin family salutes

Culturally accurate Ghawazee – Mazin family salutes

Diane Coriani, founder of Zeina Dance Company floored us with a very authentic and passionate Karsilama. I just need a minute, I might start crying again… whew…mercy. It was so good. When I was a little girl, I used to love to watch the men dance and I still do. This is where I learned the art of our cultural entertainment. The men were so spirited and would leap into the air with kicks and spins. They would put their heart and soul into any space that let them and at the Turkish festivals, Greek fest and other programs you’d see those guys shoulder to shoulder, line dancing til nightfall. Drenched in sweat and still looking ultra amazing, they’d pause, clap and one person would go to the center and tear that dance floor up!!! THAT is what Diane did last night. Like a member of a male trio, she got out there with her footwork and fierce energy to bring to life what few get to see outside the international community. She later said that she wished she had been able to really bring it forth or something but I think what she presented was enough to get the point across. Her silk road suit and regional kufi cap was a thing of cultural couture. I was there when she bought it and I was wishing they had one my size because I wanted it too. It really worked well for this set and I do want to see it again. If I was in good health I’d go out and do it with her, I absolutely miss this so much and, much like what Aziza and her team presented, felt like this is a part of our industry’s history that isn’t presented enough to western audiences. As we see more of the cultural dances of the people being put on stage, I’m sure that Karsilama and other regional line dances -plus some- will be embraced. Mabrook Diane!

Samora started off ACT II which pushed us into the most modern eras of our art. Having a raissa at a wedding is now a staple, not a luxury or an option. If you don’t have a dancer, then you might as well have not gotten married in my culture. I did expect Shemadan but going along with the modernity of our time, this was a typical scene that could have played out in a non-hyphenated American home. A couple stood before us, Ryanne was the officiant and the two got married. They threw the bouquet, Leizel caught it, knocking me down in the process (just kidding, it legit landed at her feet, I guess she and her husband can renew their vows for fun. xoxoox Hire Samora for the ceremony!!), and then they sat at the wedding table. The decor, while minimal was so perfect. Orchids in vases, white decor highlighted with cool lights. Samora’s costume matched the setting and she danced to a modern Egyptian song which talked about the singer’s passion and feelings. It was quite lovely. She did an amazing job, you could really feel the emotion and sentiment. Not everyone can master songs like that but Samora did and did it very well. At the very end she placed the veil around the groom and exited the stage just as the lights dimmed. THIS is theatre raqs and was perhaps the most beautiful scene of the night in that it literally looked so real I’d say that couple can just consider it legit and go buy a house. It’s done! Loved this!!!

Kalinka and Tallita presented a Khaleegy and Kawleeya mn al Emirates (Em-ir-ahts vs Emir-aHtees). Tallita appeared first and did a very beautiful and well executed Khaleegi piece that suddenly paused. She slowly turned around to find Kalinka coming out to the dance floor with powerful steps and footwork that eventually led to a grand set of Kawleeya moves. That, too, stopped and suddenly the music changed as the ladies exited…beladi masri music blared and out they reappeared in white thobes with hair ties styled just like Aida Nour and Tito’s duet from the International Bellydance Conference of Canada. How am I supposed to stay seated during presentations like these? It’s not possible!!! I struggled!! omgooooodness, aiewwaaaaa! yani, helowa!!! Merci mamnoonam, it was incredible!!!! Muito Obrigada ladies!! Next time, make it longer!

Jahara Phoenix appeared next with American Tribal Style pieces that would have made Carolena Nericcio quite proud. (Out of respect for this lady, I hope everyone learns to say her name correctly. She has influenced us greatly in one way or another…so…yeah, I’ll get a recording of her saying her name so we can publish our salutes and have precise pronunciations) Basket, swordwork, zills and floorwork were first presented and followed by iconic ATS raqs transitions. It was amazing as expected. JP really know how to become favourites and household names. I was completely swept away, so much so that when it was over I sort of “realised” ohh, I’m in a theatre…this was not a dream. Yeah, it was THAT good.

imageThe Golden Era was first presented by Lady Morrigan who presented a flawless set representing the great dancers of film (both Hollywood and Egypt, but more Egypt). There is an old recording of shows featuring Nadia Gamal and several others…Naima Akef? I can’t remember but it’s out there and the cover features one of them with a simple bedluh – in this case a bi-quarter skirt and bra top, matching shoes and an expression to die for. Lady Morrigan nailed that entire image. Not only did she master it with physical features, she matched the moves as well including the fleeting vanish at the end so known to many films when the dancer leaves the stage or exits the scene. I was mesmerized, I was taken away…we were immediately transformed back in time and it was spectacular, I felt like I was in my uncle’s old shoppe near the university, drinking strong coffee with a stack of old VHS tapes of movies. It was perfect! If you love historical representations of the Egyptian film era, you would have loved this…awesome, awesome, awesome!

imageBeth Mendez’ piece was another impressive one. Her opening was the strongest of the routine and her costume realllllly took us to a new place in raqs couture. She made it herself! Find the photos, it’s to die for…that thing was some intricate piece of work. I loved it!!!!! And that ruffled veil…oohhh honey! I’d wear that out on the town! This set was a fusion of Flamenco and Raqs Sharqi. It was not the fusion we’ve seen with big huge commercial steps and kitschy choreography. This was a truly hardcore solid set that featured music from the region…the classic material. The music won me over in this case and the next time I see it, I hope it includes a troupe or maybe two others to give it a really strong feel. It was a lovely piece that should be celebrated by more than one. Very nice material, really impressive.

Northside Tribe presented Gothic Bellydance – that Lacy…man she sprinkled some seasoning on that troupe, they were hot! They looked gorgeous, sexy even. I think I said that Lacy’s recent performance at EOB14 was one of my favourites since I first saw her perform but this was even better than that one. Their whole troupe was insync and you could feel their fondness or maybe even attachment to this genre. Very nice presentation!! That could easily be placed in a film project or some sort of scene in a modern movie. A-grade material right there! Congrats!!

Awalim in Time Capsule show

Awalim in Time Capsule show

Awalim performed one of my favourite pieces in their repertoire. It’s rare that I don’t see Ziah with this team but they held their own out there and did a fine job with it. Every single second of that routine looked flawless as if they just break this out at random any time and any place. I also enjoyed hearing the history of East Coast Tribal/ECATS. That was a great compliment to Awalim’s contributions to this region. I do feel they are quite a powerhouse in that genre and remain a staple on the scene. What a great achievement!

imageShahrzad was the final performer of the night…and when she entered the stage in that gorgeous solid gold pailates costume I knew I wouldn’t be able to handle it. Sure enough, she again, jussssst blew us away. I couldn’t even write anything about it. I just put my pen down, put my phone for taking pictures away and just sat there bracing myself. I can’t even speak on this…I just cant. You had to be there to see this. From deluxe, supreme tummy flutters to flawless travelling steps and regional moves that can only translate well on someone who bathes themselves in the Arab world to the audience interaction, it was allllllllllllllllllllllllllll flawless. ALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL OF IT!!! CADA MOMENTO!!! TUDO, TUDO, TUDO!!!! I. CAN. NOT. STRESS. ENOUGH. HOW. INSANELY. AMAZING. THIS. SET. WAS.

The show…was great!!! There weren’t any bad, boring sets. Everyone brought their A+ game…they were on it! I was so glad that I had been able to make it. I was so happy to support the project and huge thanks to Faaridah for wrangling this together alongside all of the others. It was an enormous task that came together beautifully and I’m so happy that we can do things like this here in Atlanta…the southern gateway to the world!

Enjoy this great video of Shahrzad

*Full review on Raqs Atlanta – Yahoo!