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"The Divine Divas of Oriental Bellydance"

Lincoln Center
Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors Series
August 14, 2003
        Part 2: August 26, 2004  go to part 2

Starring Ayshe, Elena, Rayhana, Samara, and Shamira
All accompanied by Shamira's band, The Mogador Band
Show produced and choreographed by Shamira

In the summer of 2003, Shamira was commissioned by Lincoln Center to create and direct a show using New York City's top middle-eastern dancers and musicians. The show was called "The Divine Divas of Oriental Bellydance" (the title was given by Lincoln Center) and was part of Lincoln Center's Summer Out-of-Doors series. Lincoln Center Out of Doors presents over 100 different events: world music, internationally acclaimed dance, cutting-edge performances, special events, cool jazz, with performances representing cultures from all over the world.

Performing on the Josie Robertson stage at Damrosch Park and accompanied by Shamira's band, the "Mogador Band," each dancer presented an aspect of middle-eastern dance. In solo numbers, the dancers depiced various specialties and skills.

The Dancers:
Shamira - Cabaret and Double Veil
Rayhana - Sword
Samara - Saiidi cane dance
Ayshe - Wings of Isis
Elena - Fusion and Floorwork
The Band:
Maurice Chedide - oud, vocals
Michael Hess - kanoun
Amir Naoum - tabla
Aziz Mohammed - riq
Ira Weitz - bass tabla

On August 14, to a sold-out crowd, during the sound check, the great Blackout of 2003 occurred! This meant no electricity, which sound. The troupe decided to "go on with the show" anyway, minus Ayshe who was stuck in an elevator for seven hours. The band played acoustically and the other four dancers performed shortened versions of their numbers. The enthusiastic crowd fully appreciated the non-cancellation with wild applause. Although it was chaos trying to get home after the show, Shamira made the best of it by picking up stranded, walking hitchhikers (one of them a pregnant woman!) and drove them home.

The Dancers
Shamira 2003
Samara 2003
Elena 2003
Rayhana 2003

The Audience


Elena, Rayhana, Samara

Shamira, Samara, Rayhana
Band 2003

The Mogador Band - (l-r) Michael Hess, Maurice Chedide, Amir Naoum,
Aziz Mohammed, Ira Weitz

continue to Divine Divas Part 2

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"A Night in April"   |   "Arabian Nights"
"The Divine Divas of Oriental Bellydance"
"The Divine Divas of Oriental Bellydance - Part II"

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