Sunday, August 12, 5-8pm: The Shimmy Shack in East Berkeley, MA, with the music of the Mitchell Kaltsunas Ensemble (Arabic style) and featured dancer Chantal, a fabulous professional dancer and entertainer. Several other performers from student to pro will be featured (including me :), there will be open floor dancing and excellent shopping opportunities at Alimah's Closet, importers of belly dance goods from around the world. Refreshments will be available. For more info, see the Ancient Arts Studio website.
Sunday, August 19, 6-9pm: Live@ the Red Fez featuring Jemileh Nour, 1222 Washington Street, Boston MA, with the music of Hagop Garabedian, Dwayne Green, Costas Maniatakos, Ron Sahatjian and Bill Ferguson (music styles from around the Middle East). Jemileh Nour is an exquisite and dynamic performer, and several of her students and colleagues will be performing along with her (including me :). There will be open floor dancing, and other musicians are invited to sit in with the band after the performances. The Red Fez is a full service restaurant featuring Middle Eastern delicacies and a full bar. For more information, see the Facebook Live@ the Red Fez event page.
Both of these events are run by dancers who do this for the love of music and dance, and the desire to share that love with others and build community among dancers, as well as provide opportunities to hear and perform to live music for dancers who might not otherwise be able to do so. Both events are worth supporting for those reasons alone--but the biggest reason, of course, is the wonderful quality of the shows you will see at both events, highlighting the skill and diversity of styles that can be seen within Middle Eastern dance. These are great learning opportunities for students just learning about different styles of traditional music, or for dancers who have come to belly dance from a less traditional route who would like to know more about their dance's roots. Good times are guaranteed!