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Theatrical Bellydance conference to happen in NYC from July 8 to 11, 2010

by Sarah Hart
July 6, 2010
Dance New Amsterdam
280 Broadway, 2nd floor
(Entrance on Chambers Street)
New York, NY 10007
(212) 625-8369
Dancers from Chicago to Seoul to Mumbai are packing their bags this summer for the New York Theatrical Bellydance Conference, an event that will combine three days of intensive instruction with three curated stage productions at the Dance New Amsterdam theater, all happening in downtown Manhattan July 8-11. Stage performances will feature a diverse away of professional bellydance artists and participants of all experience levels will have the opportunity to perform in open-stage nights at local bellydance hotspots, along with live bands from New York's vibrant local Middle Eastern music scene. The conference is co-directed by Ranya Renee and Anasma Vuong, both professional bellydance teachers and performers.

Over the course of three days of intensive instruction, students will participate in workshops with fifteen teachers whose styles run the gamut of the bellydance genre, from modern Egyptian to hip-hip fusion and Gothic. Participants may perform in one of three open stage nights at Je'bon Noodle House or the Lafayette Grill. Each night will showcase a different live musical group: the Turkish-inspired Scott Wilson and Efendi, the funky Beatbox Guitar and the Armenian and Arabic jazz sounds of Souren Baronian. A description of all workshops and full conference schedule is available here.

"A growing number of shows in the bellydance community present the dance as a theater art, and our conference seeks to highlight this movement," notes
Ranya. Adds Anasma, "Ranya and I share the belief that theater techniques facilitate dancers' capacity to be connected to themselves and to their audience."

In addition to the co-directors, the conference's dance instructor lineup also includes Aszmara, Lotus Niraja, Hanan, Fahtiem, Angelika Nemeth, Sarah Johansson Locke, Kaeshi Chai, Samara, Roula Said, Jeniviva, Aepril Shaile, Blanca, and Elisheva. For more information on instructors and featured performers, please visit the conference's bios page.

Ranya has been a fixture on the New York bellydance scene for seventeen years. Her style is characterized by musicality, cultural integrity and humor in interpreting traditional and modern Egyptian music. Anasma, based in New York and Paris, is known for her innovative fusion of bellydance with theater, mime, hip hop, salsa, martial arts and other dance arts. Whether channeling emotion through movement to honor a lost loved one in Anasma's "Tribute to My Father," or playfully fantasizing about reading the 1,001 Nights in a library in Ranya's "Alf Layla Wa Layla Library," the two artists have demonstrated their skills in bringing this folk art to the modern stage throughout their careers. Anasma and Ranya have both taught and performed extensively in North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

Conference registration is available for single day ($160) and three-day packages ($499);and some individual workshops are available ala carte ($45) Tickets may also be purchased separately for the evening theatrical performances. For more information, to register or to purchase show tickets, please visit http://theatricalbellydance.com/register/
The dance workshops will be held at 440 Studios, 440 Lafayette St. NY, NY on July 9, 10, 11, and 12.
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