• Bellydance Blossom
    Festival
  • Join the Revelation
  • Featuring DINA TALAAT
  • May 4-6, 2018

MAY 5th PERFORMANCE

Testimonials

"Please, please do this again! So many of us are hungry for this type of event that digs so much deeper into the dance and the cultural responsibility that comes along with it."


"A fantastic weekend and so unlike every other belly dance festival!"


"It was above and beyond what I could have imagined. It was so great to connect to so many like-minded people, to be inspired to learn so much. It was the perfect combination of artistic and academic, spiritual and conscientious, fun and meaningful.."


"Wonderful complex event - very fulfilling and well balanced between performance, education and inspiration."

About

The Bellydance Blossom Festival is an all-immersive experience where international dance artists and scholars engage with each other in creative collaborations and meaningful discourse.

Internationally known Master Teachers are invited to teach, perform and participate in discussions where possible. All registrants are highly encouraged to participate as a dance artist, choreographer or speaker in one or more of the various categories; Collaborative Works, Explorative Works, Blossom Talks, and Panel Discussions.

All participants are encouraged to take part in all discussions. Collaborative and Explorative artists will explain their creative process while working across international borders and across genres and styles.

Join the Revelation

Follow on Twitter @BellyBlossFest

See Facebook Page and join Facebook Group

Imagined and created by Yasmina Ramzy, founder of the International Bellydance Conference of Canada.

Blossum group faces

Workshops

MASTER INSTRUCTORS
Attendance at all workshops is included in registration fee & not available separately
Dina Talaat

Dina Talaat

Dina Talaat Sayed Muhammad is an Egyptian belly dancer and actress. She was named as the "Last Egyptian Dancer" by the American magazine Newsweek. She has a master's degree in Philosophy.

She was born in Rome, Italy in 1964. Her father was the news correspondent for the Middle East News Agency in Rome. Her sister Rita is a retired singer. Dina started her career in the early 1970s, dancing with the Reda Dance Troupe. She became a solo dancer in the 1980s and soon became well known. In the 1990s she became known for her dancing at hotels like the Cairo Sheraton where she shocked Egyptian society by eschewing the traditional bellydance costume. In addition to public performances at hotels and resorts, Dina also dances for private functions. In 2005, she travelled to Brazil to teach belly dance workshops and has since tours much of the world.

In 2011, she released an autobiography entitled Huriati Fi Al Raqs (My Freedom in Dancing).

Mohamed Salah standing in traditional dress

Mohamed Salah

Mohamed Saleh has traveled the world with the Reda Troupe since 1995 but started his career in Egypt's Childrens Troupe performing all over Egypt. He has worked in the Opera House in many styles of dance including Modern and Contemporary. Mohamed has worked with Mahmoud Reda, Hassan Affifi, Walid Awni and Dr. Magdi Ezz. As a creative choreographer, his work is presented on national TV and at many festivals. He is now a soloist in the Reda Troupe, a featured teacher in Ahlan Wa Sahlan Festival and sought after in China, Japan, Korea, Ukraine and Italy. He has won many awards and recently is a graduate of the Academy of Arts.

Hany Morgan standing in robe

Hany Morgan

Hany Morgan began playing percussion at age five and performing at age seven. Raised in a musical family in Cairo, Egypt, he was surrounded by musical art and taught to play the derbeki (Arab drum) by his father. The Morgan family performed played ancient religious coral music in the time of King Farouk. Hany has been the lead drummer for Egypt's famous El Tanoura Troupe in the Sufi tradition for 15 years. He has toured many countries with this large ensemble sponsored by the Egyptian government. As well as composing and teaching, he records and tours with many other musical and dance productions world wide.

George Sawa with Qanun from 1880

George Sawa

George Sawa was born in Alexandria, Egypt. He has over 50 years experience in Arabic music performance, history, theory and has performed and lectured extensively worldwide. George has been the musical director for several productions of Arabesque Dance Company, and taught Arabic music for hundreds of dancers worldwide. His CD, The Art of the Early Egyptian Qanun, was nominated for a JUNO Award in World Music in 2009. His, Egyptian Music Appreciation and Practice for Bellydancers, has won international acclaim and is an invaluable companion to bellydancers all over the world. A companion set of two DVDs was produced with Lulu.

Previous Year's Workshops — 2017 Workshops, 2016 Workshops.

Artists / Speakers TBA


Blossom Talk Speakers


DANCING OUR WAY HOME

Tamalyn Dallal headshot

DANCING OUR WAY HOME

What if we approached the dance as if it originated in the home, among friends, dressed for a party, rather than as a performance in night clubs and movies. How would the costumes be different? How would we be perceived by the general public? How would we dance and what would we wear? Can we make art from this?

Tamalyn Dallal

Dancing since 1976, Tamalyn Dallal has danced and taught in 43 countries. She authored 3 books and has made three dance and culture documentaries. Tamalyn teaches several months a year in Asia.



RAQS SHARQI AFTER THE REVOLUTION

Shira headshot

RAQS SHARQI AFTER THE REVOLUTION

This Talk explores how Cairo’s professional raqs sharqi scene has been engaged with he tumultuous gender, economic, and political transformations Egypt has been experiencing since the January 25th 2011 revolution up until today. It also discusses the unique insights raqs sharqi has to offer to such complex politics.

Shiraz Christine Şahin

Christine Shiraz Sahin is a Ph.D. Candidate in Critical Dance Studies at the University of California, Riverside. Her dissertation, Core Connections: A Contemporary Cairo Dance Ethnography, explores the myriad ways raqs sharqi is engaged with the gender, political, and economic dynamics Egypt has been experiencing since the January 25th, 2011 Revolution. She is also a professional performer and teacher of raqs sharqi based in Delaware, USA.



RHYHTM, RITUAL & TRANSCENDANCE — Healing Aspects of Bellydance

Amara Dance of NYC full body pose

RHYHTM, RITUAL & TRANSCENDANCE — Healing Aspects of BellydanceN

This talk is presentation of cumulative research and exploration into the healing aspects of Bellydance and the idea of Bellydance being used as a therapeutic tool in Dance movement therapy for certain populations. This presentation is a completed and published Masters of Science thesis from the speaker who is a registered Dance Movement Therapist in the the USA.

Amara Dance of NYC

Amara has her credentialing as a R-DMT and Masters of Science in Creative Arts Therapy / Dance Movement Therapy.


Choreographer Visions

CHOREOGRAPHER VISIONS FOR SOLOISTS:

If interested in being the soloist for one of these proposals, please email bellydanceblossom@gmail.com. Please put "CWS - Artist" in the subject line and then include in the email which choreographer you want to work with, your CV and a link to a video in the email. This will be forwarded to the choreographer who will choose the dance artist best suited for the choreography vision. (in order of received)

Choreographers

  • Name of Choreographer: Azura
  • Title of Work: Nebtidi Meneen el Hikaya: Honouring Soheir Zaki
  • Description: This collaboration will pay homage to Soheir Zaki’s joyous, elegant style with an original routine inspired by her performance to Abdel Halim Hafez’s "Nebtiti Meneen el Hikaya". The ideal performer has a beautiful smile, yearns to explore Golden Age dance, and knows or will learn the Soheir Zaki step with layered shimmies.
  • Name of choreographer: Ioana Timariu
  • Title of Work: Vessel
  • Description: I have been exploring psychology and spirituality for the past 6 years. I am fascinated by self-representation, self, identity, entity. I would like to choreograph a piece on the subject of not being. I would like to incorporate spoken word, and the little work that I have done over the past 8 years on Butoh with teacher Denise Fujiwara.
  • Name of choreographer: Saqqara Madden
  • Title of Work: BalleMena
  • Description: This piece is a fusion of ballet and MENA. Along with choreography, I want to teach ballet technique, which can be extremely beneficial to oriental and ethnic dancers. Ballet teaches posture, lines, extensions and more, which can bring a softness and elegance to your dance. You don’t need to have ballet experience, just to be open to a new style and try your best.

CHOREOGRAPHER VISIONS FOR ENSEMBLES:

If interested in being the ensemble for one of these proposals, please email bellydanceblossom@gmail.com. Please put "CWE - Artist" in the subject line and then include in the email which choreographer you want to work with, the ensemble's CV and a link to a video in the email. This will be forwarded to the choreographer who will choose the ensemble best suited for the choreography vision. (in order of received)

Choreographers

  • Name of the choreographer: Florence Leclerc
  • Title of work: TBD
  • Description: This choreography will be an experimentation between the music and it's suggestions of movements qualities. It will be an oriental choreography with a modern approach, therefore dancers with a strong oriental technique and, if possible, experience in contemporary will be much appreciated.
  • Name of the choreographer: Karen Staples
  • Title of Work: WIP
  • Description: The skirt as an allegory for womanhood. As women, discovering our true essence is not a simple as following a timeline from child to adult. What are the defining moments that lead to self-acceptance?
    Concept: Using a skirt with an extended train to represent the internal and external affirmation of femininity.
    Dancers: Ensemble would be best to represent this concept, ideally with three to six dancers who have a diverse dance background. Previous experience dancing with a skirt with a long train an asset but not required.
  • Name of Choreographer: Elisabeth Wilhelm
  • Title of Work: The Song of The Flower
  • Description: Inspired by Khalil Gibran’s poem of the same name, set to classical Arabian music, danced in classical raqs sharqi style with theatrical flourish. Choreographic feel is luxuriant growth and constant motion, as time and nature is always in motion. I would imagine this would work best with at least 5 dancers.
  • Name of choreographer: Ioana Timariu
  • Title of Work: Here
  • Description: Randa Gamal taught a very powerful choreography called "Ana Hena" (I am here). She is revolutionary, powerful, hard to ignore. I want to explore what does being present mean to me.
  • Name of choreographer: Sarah Mayne
  • Title of Work: Untitled (WIP)
  • Description: We will be exploring the deep emotional connection and dynamics between women. I'm seeking dancers trained in Egyptian/Arab dance who are comfortable with floorwork and more physically challenging movements as well as possibly physically engaging directly with ensemble members.

Schedule (Subject to Change)

Friday, May 4, 2018

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Venue

235 Queens Quay West

Studio Theatre & Lakeside Terrace, York Quay, Harbourfront Centre,

Downtown Toronto, Canada

Harbourfront Centre

Hotel Accommodations

Radisson Admiral Hotel

Radisson Admiral Hotel is next door to the venue

$229 / night for 2 ppl & $25 for each extra person

Reservations will be made by individual attendees directly with the hotel by alling 416-203-3333 or 1-800-333- 3333, by April 3, 2018. Please have delegates identify themselves as part of the Bellydance Blossom Festival group. All reservations must be accompanied and guaranteed by a credit card.

Special rate available until April 3, 2018.

Collaborative Works

Collaborative Works are creative partnerships that are rich in learning opportunities, opening infinite new possibilities for the participants to work with artists of different genres and from different cities and countries. This is the most exciting performance contribution to the festival and expresses what the festival is all about. Choreographers present their artistic vision for a project and then dance artists may apply to collaborate with the choreographer of their choice. The work created must be original and tailored for the performing artist(s)'s talents. Before or after the presentation both choreographer and performing artist(s) are encouraged to talk about the creative process and what they learned from the experience.

Please note that due to the festival nature of the event and a large number of artists performing, start and end lighting cues are allowed and only one lighting look for the entire presentation. No live music unless it only needs one microphone and less than 2 minutes of tech time.

Maximum 9 minutes in length includes talk and presentation of work.

Collaborative Works - Soloist = CWS

Collaborative Works - Ensemble = CWE

Choreographer Submission

Performing Artist(s) Application (may apply to a maximum of 2 choreographers)

Roles of both collaborating Artists

Members can ask questions or offer helpful collaborative solutions and ideas on the Facebook group page. Be sure to join the Facebook Group page at Facebook Group.

If a collaborative partnership is found to be problematic, all effort will be made to make new partnerships before March 1, 2018.

Must be reguistered by March 1, 2018 in order to participate as an artist or a speaker

2017 Collaborative Works — Pre-Arranged Partnerships, and Random Partnerships.

2016 Collaborative Works — Ensembles, Pre-Arranged Partnerships, and Solos.

Explorative Works

Explorative Works are for soloists and/or ensembles who wish to create a new piece that allows the artist(s) involved to step into new territory or present their current style in a new way or with a new emphasis. In other words, creating new work that allows audiences to see the artist(s) in a different light. Before or after the presentation the artist(s) are encouraged to talk about the creative process and what they learned from the experience.

Please note that due to the festival nature of the event and a large number of artists performing, start and end lighting cues are allowed and only one lighting look for the entire presentation. No live music unless it only needs one microphone and less than 2 minutes of tech time.

Maximum 7 minutes in length includes talk and presentation of work.

Explorative Works - Soloist = EWS

Exporative Works - Ensemble = EWE

Explorative Work Submission

Lottery to choose who will perform is Jan 10, 2018.

Must be reguistered by March 1, 2018 in order to participate as an artist or a speaker

2017 Explorative Works — Ensembles, and Solos.

2016 Explorative Works — Ensembles, and Solos.

Panel Discussions TBA

Please submit ideas of panel topics you would like to see or participate in.

Panel Discussion Submissions (curated)

Confirmed Speakers announced by Jan 10, 2018

Must be reguistered by March 1, 2018 in order to participate as an artist or a speaker

2017 Panel Discussions.

2016 Panel Discussions.

Registration

Be a part of 32+ hours of ground breaking creative adventures over 3 days

REGISTER (Non-refundable but transfers are allowed)

MAY 5th Performance tickets with DINA

  • May 5th Performance included in full registration
  • No registration for individual workshops, regular performances, talks, or discussions. However, day passes may be available end of March.
  • 15% off for group members living in Toronto area who are able to sleep in their own bed for the festival - use code HOMEGROUP when checking out online. Note with registration which group you are with and from what city.

    30% off for group traveling from far and needing to stay in a hotel, B and B, or billetting for the duration of the festival - use code TRAVELGROUP when checking out online. When registering online, please note with registration which group you are with and from what city.

    Blossum ad group from behind