Montreal Trip!

The Invoketress ladies love a good road trip, having traveled multiple times to Michigan, Windsor, Sarnia, and all over Ontario to perform.  At the end of August, Ishra and some of the ladies traveled to Montreal to perform in the Spectacle Des Élèves Nocta Bellydance, thanks to an invitation from innovative and creative dance artist and choreographer Andrea Fryett, (an Elora native who now lives, performs, and teaches in Montreal) founder of Nocta Bellydance.  The ladies jumped at the chance!

The weekend started off with Ishra teaching the Montreal ladies a workshop based on her challenging, award-winning “Enemy Guns” choreography on Saturday.  That evening, Andrea invited the girls to dine at Menthe & Couscous, a Tunisian restaurant where she regularly performs.  It was an amazing evening filled with delicious food, lots of dancing by Andrea, the Invoketress girls, the restaurant owners, and the patrons.

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Natalie, Mary, Ishra, Audrea, Eleanor, and our lovely hostess Andrea at Menthe & Couscous restaurant.

Sunday was the day of the show.  It was held at Cabaret Lion d’Or, a charming theatre that evoked history and conjured stories of classic cabaret shows stemming from the 1930s.

Natalie with some classic cabaret performers of days gone by.
Natalie with some classic cabaret performers of days gone by.

It was Andrea’s student gala and the show was filled with a wide range of styles from traditional to fusion.  Invoketress performed their mystical mermaid number and Ishra performed her iconic “Enemy Guns” piece.

Photo by Jocelyn Lecours.
Photo by Jocelyn Lecours.
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Our lovely dance apprentice Eleanor. Photo by Jocelyn Lecours.
Photo by Jocelyn Lecours.
Photo by Jocelyn Lecours.
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Invoketress on stage at the end of the show.
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Audrea, Natalie, Eleanor, and Mary outside the theatre.
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Ishra outside of the theatre.

Outside of dance, the girls enjoyed the city with shopping, dining, walking, croissants, and enjoying the nightlife.  Thank you, Andrea, for your invitation to perform…it was a great reason to road-trip to Montreal, network with the Nocta ladies, and enjoy this fabulous city!

~ M.W.

Recital Season!

Spring is always an exciting time for many bellydance studios as it’s often when students and teachers get to showcase their skills to their friends and families at student recitals! For many students, it’s the only time they perform on stage.

Invoketress’ annual Belly Blush Student Recital in June is always a special event, one near and dear to Ishra’s heart. The venue is transformed into a lush Middle Eastern garden and it’s a casual hafla-type setting with the audience sitting around the dance floor as opposed to an on-stage performance. Dancers and audience members alike always comment on how intimate and cozy this show’s atmosphere is as a result. Proud teacher Ishra beamed as all 5 of her classes performed to a packed house. Invoketress performed with this year’s troupe apprentices including a unique, Polynesian-inspired drum solo and a very special structured improvisation focusing on supporting one another in our sisterhood which even generated a few tears on and off stage. Special guests within the dance community are always invited to perform and this year, there were a number of new guests such as BellyFlow, Nuwayrah, and Andrea Fryett, and old friends such as Rhaehana and Wild Orchid.  The Belly Blush also has an annual silent auction where proceeds go towards funding our MOSAIC Bellydance Fusion show at the River Run Centre in November. A huge thank you goes out to all of our donors and bidders! It was truly a magical evening.

~ M.W.

Ishra addresses a packed house!
Ishra addresses a packed house!
Invoketress and apprentices performed a moving structured improvisation.
Invoketress and apprentices performed a moving structured improvisation.
Guest performers Nuwayrah.  Photo by Shannon Dore.
Guest performer Nuwayrah. Photo by Shannon Dore.
Guest performer Andrea Fryett from Montreal.  Photo by Shannon Dore.
Guest performer Andrea Fryett from Montreal. Photo by Shannon Dore.

Ishra & Invoketress were also honoured to be invited guests to perform at other studio’s student recitals.  This year, the ladies performed at BellyUp Kitchener’s Student Gala as well as Wild Orchid in Hamilton.  It’s always great to see what the other studios have been working on as well as meeting new dancers and catching up with old friends!

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Minerva, Ishra, Natalie, and Mary at BellyUp Kitchener’s Student Gala.
Ishra, Mary, and Audrea pose with BellyUp's Joharah at Wild Orchid's Student Reictal, who also performed at the show!
Ishra, Mary, and Audrea pose with BellyUp’s Joharah at Wild Orchid’s Student Reictal, who also performed at the show!