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Program: JOURNEY FROM THE NILE TO THE TIGRIS


Disco Iskandar's JOURNEY FROM THE NILE TO THE TIGRIS at Orlando Fringe Festival 2024

May 18th at 5pm, May 19th at 10:45pm, May 24th at 8:50pm, May 26th at 1:50pm

Blue Venue

Directed by Veronica Lynn


Cast




Liz Azi is a Denver based dance artist. Hailing from Tennessee, she also performs under the name Memphis Moonshine. A multi-talented and award-winning artist, Liz studies and performs multiple styles of belly dance, burlesque, and contortion. She has traveled to Egypt to study dance, and is a passionate researcher. Liz is an original cast member of Disco Iskandar and has toured with the company three times.




Gia Bee is a dance artist hailing from Houston, specializing in belly dance and Polynesian dance. She studies and performs folkloric Arab dance with Al Awtar Zaffa Group, as well as performing with two Texas-based Polynesian dance companies. She is an artist accomplished in costume design as well as dance, and has traveled to Egypt & Lebanon to deepen her studies of Arab & Egyptian art and music. She is an original cast member of Disco Iskandar and has toured with the company three times.



Veronica Lynn is the director of Disco Iskandar. She has organized all of Disco Iskandar's tours to date, and is the creator of JOURNEY FROM THE NILE TO THE TIGRIS. She is a belly dancer with a focus on fusion style belly dance, with additional training in Egyptian raqs sharqi, American Cabaret, and an array of folkloric Middle Eastern dances. In addition to dance, she is an accomplished costumer. She has traveled to Egypt where she studied raqs sharqi and Saidi dance.




Vania Ojeda is a Tampa-based belly dancer originally hailing from Argentina. A multi-faceted artist, she specializes in fusion belly dance as well as flow arts and fire dance. She is a professional makeup artist. Vania has performed around the globe with touring productions in India and the Caribbean, and plays multiple Middle Eastern instruments. Vania holds numerous residencies around the Bay area.




Gabi Corazon is an Orlando-based belly dance artist and teacher. In addition to being a thriving solo artist in Central Florida, Gabi also performs with the accomplished Latin-fusion troupe Roman Soul. She is known for her high-energy performances and electric stage presence. Gabi holds multiple residencies around Central Florida and teaches workshops all over the Southeast.





Olya Clark is a fusion belly dance artist newly based in Orlando. Originally hailing from Saint Petersburg, Russia, Olya is an accomplished dancer, having trained with industry best such as Rachel Brice, Zoe Jakes, and more. In addition to being a performing artist, Olya also teaches fusion style belly dance. She attended the 8 Elements of Dance program at Studio Datura in Portland, Oregon, where she received the highest level of training available in the field.



Dances


Entrance (Isis Wings)

Dancers: Gia, Veronica, Olya

Song: "Etek Sari" by Ibrahim Tatlises Choreography: Veronica Lynn Costumes: Veronica Lynn


Saidi (Egyptian cane dance)

Dancers: Liz, Veronica

Song: "Epic Saidi" by Gaston Chaade Choreography: Karina Fonseca Costumes: Luxor Bazaar


Hookah Shamadans

Dancers: Vania, Olya

Song: "The Sword" by Gaston Chaade Choreography: Veronica Lynn Costumes: Veronica Lynn


Egyptian Belly Dance Solo

Dancer: Gabi

Song: "Melody of a Heartbeat" by Artem Uzunov Choreography: Gabi Corazon


Melaya Leff (Alexandrian dance)

Dancers: Vania, Veronica, Liz

Song: "Melaya Laff" by Bassam Ayoub Choreography: Olga Kramarova Costumes: Mahmoud's of Cairo


Baladi Solo

Dancer: Gia

Song: "Afrah Baladi" by Hossam Ramzy Choreography: Gia Bee Costume: Vintage from Egypt


Anatolian Rock Solo

Dancer: Liz

Song: "Esmerim" by Beyaz Kelebekler Choreography: Liz Azi Costume: Madela Design


Turkish Zills

Dancers: Gia, Veronica

Song: "Kol Basti" by Zafer Dilek Choreography: Zoe DeRose Costumes: Wafaa, provided by Turquoise International


Fusion Belly Dance Solo

Dancer: Olya

Song: "Sailing The Solar Flairs" by Dirtwire Choreography: Olya Clark Costume: Veronica Lynn


Sword

Dancers: Gabi, Olya, Veronica

Song: "Enigma of the Snake" by Nesma Choreography: Veronica Lynn Costumes: Veronica Lynn


Fusion Belly Dance Solo

Dancer: Vania

Song: "Fantasy Dance" by Dr. Samy Farag Choreography: Vania Ojeda Costume: Veronica Lynn


Drum Solo

Dancers: Liz, Gabi, Veronica

Song: "Davai" by Artem Uzunov Choreography: Veronica Lynn Costumes: Veronica Lynn


70's West Coast Solo

Dancer: Veronica

Song: "Sheik of Drazah" by The Demzarah Gypsies Choreography: Improvisation Costume: Veronica Lynn


Kawleeya (Iraqi dance)

Dancers: Gabi, Liz, Gia

Song: "Radh Ns Saah" by Sajda Obaid Choreography: Ella Zhang Costumes: Mayfasey


Finale (Dabka)

Dancers: Gabi, Liz, Veronica, Vania, Olya, Gia

Song: "Ya Ghzayel" by Ashraf Abu Lel Choreography: Veronica Lynn



Films Featured

El Raqesh Wa El Tabaal (1984), Wa Islamah (1961), Saheb El Edara Bawab El Omara (1985), Waded El Ghazia (1983), Cairo At Night (1963), Amir El Dahaa (1964), Alo Ana Al Qitta (1975), Life's Cabaret (1977), Ana Mesh Haramia (1983), Honor For Sale (1969), Uc Dev Adam (1973), Iki Esir (1971), Ask Mabudesi (1969), Kader (1984), Kaynanalar (1975), Toto Krali (1970), The Countess Dracula (1981), The Return Of Mr. Moto (1965), Son Of Sinbad (1955), Head (1968), The Last Of The Secret Agents (1966), Curse Of The Mummy's Tomb (1964), Goliath And The Barbarians (1959), Son Of Samson (1960), From Russia With Love (1969), The Blue Hour (1971), Laila (1949)



Director's Note

JOURNEY FROM THE NILE TO THE TIGRIS is the culmination of many journeys: travels to the Middle East, two American tours, and the long development of a show that has become near and dear to our hearts, not to mention the rabbit holes traveled down in the search for dance scenes in old movies. We have many people to thank for this project: all of the choreographers who contributed over the last year and a half, friends and family who have hosted us, our parents who fed us, Alamo Drafthouse for allowing us to hone this show in their venue, and most of all the dancers who dedicate themselves to this art and have been willing to sleep on floors, in RVs, and stay on goat farms in order to make our dreams possible: bringing our groovy brand of Middle Eastern dance to as many people as possible. We also have Sahlala Dancers to thank for teaching me what I needed to know about putting together a polished & dynamic show.


To perform at Fringe and spread the gospel of these incredible dances is a fantasy come to life. We hope that you will fall in love with this art as we have. Disco Iskandar's core value, and the glue that has held it together, is the immense importance of friendship. Love, community, and laughs are the best parts of being in this company, and if we're not having fun, what's the point?


On the topic of community, Disco Iskandar believes that we owe the cultures we borrow from: they contribute to the world the most beautiful dances, art, and cuisines that have enhanced our lives in a profoundly meaningful way. We believe in justice and liberation for all people. Please consider donating to Palestine Children's Relief Fund or donating an e-Sim to help the people of Gaza stay connected.




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