Meet the organizers

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Badriyah


Badriyah

Badriyah is devoted mainly to Egyptian classical and folklore styles, fusion dance and the Golden Age of Raqs Sharqi. She is mentored for more than 10 years by Jillina, as she performed more than 60 shows with Bellydance Evolution worldwide, both as a troupe and a lead dancer. She traveled many times to Cairo and took private classes. Badriyah collects vintage bellydance items; such as newspapers, magazines, postcards, lobby cards, vinyl records and press photos depicting bellydancers from 1700' to 1970'. Her collection has more than 400 items to this date. As a result, she found an Online Bellydance Museum and intent to have a stone museum as well. She studies Golden Era movie bellydance for more than 8 years, focused on dance analysis and recreation of famous dances.

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Jrisi


Jrisi

Jrisi is a Chilean born multi disciplinary dance artist. One of the few bellydance artists in Australia who has devoted her life to dance. With 25years of extensive training, a Bachelor of Arts degree in Dance majoring in choreography, international travel and research, Jrisi has carved out a unique style that is both captivating and recognisable. A diverse and interesting dance career, Jrisi has enjoyed working as company member in dance companies from Flamenco, Jazz, Contemporary and of course bellydance with the focus on theatre show production. Recently producing Jillina’s Bellydance Evolution 2014 and 2019 Sydney tours. Jrisi’s love, respect and admiration for dance movement has expanded through various genres, keeping her choreographic ideas and class content fresh and exciting.

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Sheyla


Sheyla

Sheyla is one of the pioneers in bringing Egyptian folklore to her homeland, the Czech Republic. Her passion took her to Egypt many times, travelling around the country, learning about traditions by talking to locals, watching their celebrations and taking interviews with cultural ambassadors. Her teachers were also legends such as Kharia Mazin, Mahmoud Reda, Nesma, Mohamed Shellaby, Fifi el Saed, Kamal Naim, Sahra Saeeda and many more. Thanks to her work she was part of cultural projects organized by EU, Ministry of Interior and Center for foreigners. Sheyla directed an international festival Tales of Sahara for 8 years, founded an online oriental magazine that transformed to podcast Orient Express Live! and found an annual conference for Czech and Slovak dancers.

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Invited artists

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Shahrzad

Shahrzad


Shahrzad is a professional dance instructor and performer specializing in Raqs Sharqi as well as traditional and social dance styles from around North Africa and the Middle East. Shahrzad has been mentored by some of the top Egyptian dance instructors in the world including Madame Raqia Hassan, Nourhan Sharif, Faten Salama, Habiba, and many more. In 2015 Shahrzad moved to Egypt to live and work full time and has since made a career as a performer appearing in top night clubs as well as film and media. To supplement her 20+ years of dance training Shahrzad also holds several fitness certifications including becoming a PMA certified Pilates instructor in 2013. Shahrzad works with prominent Egyptian musicians and produces her own music cds.

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Julia

Julia Farid


Professional oriental dance artist, instructor and choreographer from Ukraine. Organizer of Isadora Cup Festival, "Dream & Dance" Intensive Course, founder of Tips4hips online platform, Isadora Dance Academy based in Ukraine and Isadora design studio that creates unique costumes for dancers all over the world. By virtue of her excellent teachings skills, deep knowledge of oriental dance and bright performances Julia Farid has become an internationally renowned artist and has been invited to teach to more than 30 countries. Annually she gives workshops and performs at 20−30 bellydance events worldwide. Julia Farid is known for her elegant and feminine way of dancing as well as for introducing Golden Era style on stage mixed with modern oriental dance.

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Nisaa

Nisaa


Nisaa (Heather D. Ward) is a Middle Eastern dance instructor, performer, and researcher based in St. Louis, Missouri. Nisaa learned with internationally-renowned dancers such as Aisha Ali, Farida Fahmy, Mahmoud Reda, Sahra Saeeda, and Yousry Sharif, among others, and has completed Sahra Saeeda’s Journey through Egypt series. She holds a master’s degree in anthropology from the University of Illinois. As a researcher, she focuses on the transition from awalim and ghawazi dance styles to classical raqs sharqi at the turn of the 19th/20th centuries in Egypt. Since 2009, she has conducted in-depth research of primary textual, photographic, and pictorial evidence as well as on-site investigations in Egypt. She is the author of the book Belly dance in Transition.

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Shining

Shining


Shining is an award-winning performer and instructor, internationally recognized for her exploration and creative reconstruction of early Raqs Sharqi and the candelabra-balancing dance named “Raqs al-Shamadan”. With over 15 years of training in a diverse cross section of traditional and modern dances of the MENAT and it’s diaspora communities, she is committed to providing interesting and educational seminars about Oriental Dances with an emphasis on the historical and cultural aspects as elements that create a well-rounded and impactful performer.

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Melissa Gamal

Melissa Gamal


Melissa Gamal is an award-winning dancer based in Toronto. Her authentic movement style and elegant musical interpretation have made her one of the most beloved Middle Eastern dance artists in Canada. As an experienced instructor, her classes and workshops are sought after for her attention to technique as well as her knowledge of historical and cultural contexts. She has been invited to teach and perform across Canada, the USA, and in Egypt. In 2015 Melissa co-founded Ya Amar, an entertainment company focused on offering exquisite performances of Middle Eastern dance and live music. In 2019 the Ya Amar School of Dance was born, with the goal of providing comprehensive training in various Middle Eastern dance styles.

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Eman Zaki

Eman Zaki


Eman started making costumes for friends in 1989. She opened an accessory shop where everything was hand made by her. She then travelled to Lebanon to learn tailoring and embroidery and began by making evening wear as well as the occasional costume. With the growing need for well crafted dance costumes she founded Golden Lotus in 1999 and began to ship her costumes worldwide. For over twenty years on her business is truly international and continues to go from strength to strength. Her French clients call her the Coco Channel of Bellydance.

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Roshana Nofret

Roshana Nofret


Roshana Nofret is a world-renowned performer, instructor, and choreographer of MENAHT dances – especially classical Raqs Sharqi and Persian Dance as well as their contemporary forms. She has received training from some of the most prestigious Master Instructors, with the legendary Tamalyn Dallal and Bozenka as two of her greatest mentors. Roshana has participated in prestigious dance productions as a performer, workshop instructor, and competition judge. She won the Professional Raks Sharqi Competition of the 2008 Miami Bellydance Convention. Roshana researches and collects vintage clothing, makeup, jewelry, dress patterns, and other beauty artifacts. It has become a signature staple of Roshana’s aesthetic image.

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Shruti Narayanan

Shruti Narayanan


Shruti Narayanan is a Bellydance artist and Instructor from Bengaluru, India and has been performing and teaching Oriental dance for a period of 10 years. She has been trained by a number of prominent artists namely Hossam and Serena Ramzy, Bea Amaraya Toth, Ranya Renee, Sahra Saeeda, Nesma, and more. She holds JTE 1,2,3 and Foundation 1 and 2 Drumzy School of Dance certifications. She is also a trained Bharatnatyam artist. Today, Shruti is credited as the first artist to introduced the Golden Era to India through lectures, special dance intensives, as well as a permanent module for the Golden Era legends and their work at her academy, Samai Oriental Dance Company. She is also currently the only certified practitioner for Muwashahat in India.

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Basinah

Basinah


Basinah is a multi award-winning performer from San Francisco, California, USA. A lifetime dancer, her introduction to Belly Dance began as a birthday present and blossomed into a love affair. Her journey and performances have taken her all over the world to study and share in this beloved art form. In 2014, she was first runner up in the Carnival of Stars Golden Era Competition, an experience that cemented her love of the subtle and femmine mystique of the Golden Era.

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George Sawa

George Sawa


George Sawa has over 50 years experience in Arabic music performance, history and theory. He studied piano with Mme Irene Drakides, and qanun, theory and voice at the Higher Institute of Arabic Music. After immigrating to Canada, he studied ethnomusicology at the University of Toronto, and obtained his doctorate in historical Arabic musicology. He has taught graduate and undergraduate courses on medieval, modern, and religious music of the Middle East at the University of Toronto and at York University. He has published 60 articles and 7 books on Arabic music in refereed journals and encyclopedias. In 2005, he received the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award from the Egyptian Ministry of Culture for his research in Arabic music history.

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George Sawa

Dr Mo Geddawi


Dr Mo Geddawi is revered as a performer, choreographer and teacher of Egyptian folkloric and Oriental dance. He loved to dance from his childhood and studied ballet from the age of eight. He grew up in Cairo during the Golden Age of Egyptian Oriental dance and cinema and has a background in ballet, ballroom dance, European and Latin American dance. He was one of the original twelve members of the Reda Troupe until 1964, when he moved to Beirut to work in his professional field of pharmacology and tropical medicine. During that period, he taught, performed and choreographed shows at the American University of Beirut, Beirut College for Women and for Lebanese TV. He then settled in Berlin, where he founded the Hathor Dance Troupe in 1986. He has performed and choreographed for Egyptian, German and Lebanese television, produced Oriental and folkloric shows around Europe and has taught Egyptian folkloric and Oriental dance all over the world.

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