GAU hosted a fabulous Bellydance gala show on Sunday in their Spectrum Theatre. The show was the culmination of a two-day event, the 2013 Kyrenia Bellydance Fusion Festival. This was the first festival of its kind in North Cyprus, with a variety of dance workshops for adults and children.
Festival participants took to the stage to compete for the title of Oriental Star 2013, with an audience of around 300. They put on extremely professional performances, without exception. One participant even came up with some swiftly improvised steps when her music changed unexpectedly. She recovered the situation without hesitation and the audience would never have guessed. The dance teachers then followed with more stunning performances.
The whole show was very well organised and executed. The organisers, Shifan Ozseza and Nidal Hamidan worked extremely hard to make the event a success, liaising with numerous bellydancing groups in South Cyprus and the UK and helping with travel arrangements, not to mention bringing together a fantastic team of professional dancers/teachers from around the world to run the workshops.
Congratulations to Sofia Anargali Lamprianidi from South Cyprus/Greece who was awarded first prize and the title of Oriental Star for her brilliant performance. Sofia’s prize includes flights to London for a bellydance event at the end of the year. Second place went to Lisa Pieri of South Cyprus and third place to Darya Pozhenevskaya Duet of Russia/Ukraine/South Cyprus. The judges were Galit Mersand from UK/Israel, professional dancer and star of “Bellylicious the Sequel” and Behiye Binnaz, a Roman Gypsy dance teacher from UK/North Cyprus.
Bellydancing originated in the Middle East as a social folk dance. It was typically performed by locals – adults and children – at social gatherings and celebrations. In places this evolved into the art form we recognise today, with the addition of glittering costumes to emphasis the movements. Turkish bellydancing is a more playful and energetic form of the dance. Shifan is known for her oriental fusion style, with a blend of oriental, Arabic and Flamenco moves. She runs regular classes at The Little Eastern Dance Studios in Kyrenia and across North Cyprus.