Belly dancing fans can once again look forward to the annual International Oriental Dance Festival. This unique charity event in aid of the Saartjie Baartman Centre in Athlone will celebrate its seventh installment at the V&A Waterfront from October 25 to 28. The Saartjie Baartman Centre is currently facing serious financial problems that could result in the centre having to close their doors.
The festival will showcase performances by hundreds of South African and International Belly Dancers during the four days and will feature various dance styles like Oriental, Belly, Tribal fusion, Gypsy, Flamenco and fantasy.
The Opening Gala Event will take place on Thursday October 25 at the Nedbank BOE Auditorium at the Waterfront from 8pm.
Tickets are available at Computicket for R150. The performers will be local and international professional and semi-professional dancers.
The Friday of October 26 is reserved for Workshops, which will give South African oriental dancers the opportunity to develop themselves by taking lessons from international Master teachers. For bookings, visit www.iodfcapetown.com.
The Fringe Program will take place on October 27 and 28 at the Amphitheatre under a Moroccan Tent, next to the Blue Shed Craft Market from 10am to 6pm. The performances are open to the public and are free of charge.
The Festival is organised by Marina Rehbein and the Oriental Dance Theatre, Palace of The Winds. It is the largest and most popular event of its kind in Southern Africa.
This year over 60 Oriental, Belly and Fusion Dancing schools will be performing at the Festival, both local (from all over SA) and International (from Belgium, Germany, Argentina, Israel, Spain, Malaysia and Iraq). There will be approx. 600 dancers in total coming together to exchange knowledge, make new friends, to have fun and to support the Saartjie Baartman Centre.
Belly/Oriental Dancing is mostly considered to be a dance form for women, but this isn’t necessarily the case. Men now also enjoy a significant presence in the Oriental Dance world. This year, the Festival will host Oriental Fusion dancer Eliran Edri Amar from France. He is the founder and choreographer of the first Israeli tribal fusion troupe Monera, and the producer and artistic director of The Belly Dance Spring Festival in Jerusalem.
Locally, Warren Duffield from Durban carries the torch for men in South Africa. Being a belly dancer’s husband and a professional Latin and Ballroom dancer, Duffield has been dragged into many performances over the years.
This year he has decided that the time has come to make his own stand in Egyptian dance, and is proud to be the first South African Tahtib dancer. He will dance Tahtib (or male Saeedi) – the traditional Egyptian male martial arts dance.
* Visit www.iodfcapetown.com for more information.