There are some traditional performance skills being taught. For example the Saidi Kapow! workshop by well-known Sydney belly dancer Rachel Bond imparts the skill and dance techniques necessary to dance with a cane prop. In the workshop Rachel will explore saidi technique as well as some men's moves that incorporate fighting styles.
However, for the fusion belly dancer or anyone who wishes to branch out into even less traditional expressions of belly dance there are some outstanding options to choose from. Sydney belly dancer Deb Napier is hosting a workshop teaching participants how to fuse poi performance into belly dance - flow skills and belly dance merged!
For something even more alternative check out Industrial Elements Lab with Aradia which is for those interested in industrial belly dance – a form of belly dance that incorporates more machine-like movement and focuses heavily on isolations.
But if you want performances and relaxed fun, on Friday night there will be a dance party to be held at the Newcastle Leagues Club. This is an informal opportunity for all attendees to get up on the dance floor and show off their shimmies with their belly dance sisters. But in addition, there will also be special guest performances and an open bar.
Saturday's concert will be the highlight of the festival as there will be professional performances by world-renowned performers. The Saturday evening dance spectacular – OMGoddess! will feature Daniela of Cairo and Asharah of San Francisco, as well as a host of accomplished Australian belly dancers.
Performers Bazaar (Image Credit: Newcastle Belly Dance Festival Facebook Page)
The culmination of the festival will be the Performers Bazaar which is a full day of belly dance performances. There will also be market stalls with plenty of belly dance costuming and other belly dance goodies for sale.
Online bookings for workshops and event entry will end on the 4th of April but there will be some tickets available at the door for the Performers Bazaar subject to availability. For latest news, information on the festival and the designated venues check out the Newcastle belly dance festival Facebook page. For workshop bookings and event entry, visit the festival bookings page.