Press Release for “Mosaic” Bellydance Fusion Show – “Evoking Otherworldly Beings”

October 24, 2016Purple Mosaic Poster-01

“Mosaic” Bellydance Fusion Show: “Evoking Otherworldly Beings”

On November 12th, 2016 at 8 p.m., Ishra and Invoketress Dance will be presenting their 11th “Mosaic” Bellydance Fusion Show at the River Run Centre’s Co-operators Hall. This unique production, performed biennially, is a tribute to the ancient Middle Eastern art form – Bellydance – as well as an exploration of the artistry created when Bellydance is combined with other dance traditions.

Bellydance takes many different forms depending on the country and region of origin, and is often performed at celebrations and social gatherings. Ishra & Invoketress Dance strive to respect, learn, and perform traditional styles of Bellydance as well as pushing the envelope by innovating choreographies that fuse Bellydance with other dance genres.

This show, with the theme of “Evoking Otherworldly Beings”, will present pieces that merge Middle Eastern movement with tribal fusion, American Tribal Style, Kandyan, Irish, Dancehall, urban, folkloric, and contemporary dance styles while exploring the theme of transcending our worldly existence. The line-up of special guests performers include some of the best innovators in the Bellydance fusion community including internationally-acclaimed Shades of Araby, award-winning Raqs Mahasti, Irish dance innovators Rinceoiri Celtica, Royal Academy of Dance TCP and Canadian Dance Teachers Associate Crystal Reia, celebrated Middle-Eastern dance artist and musician Roula Said, modern dancer Georgia Simms from Dancetheatre David Earle, and live music from some of the best of Guelph’s local scene including Andrew McPherson and Brent Rowan from twice Juno-nominated Eccodek collaborating with expressive arts therapist and instructor Gary Diggins. Of course, the show will also feature new and innovative performances by Ishra and the Invoketress Dance Troupe.

Come see for yourself on November 12th and enjoy a feast for your eyes and ears. Prepare to be mesmerized. Tickets are available through the River Run box office or through Ishra or any Invoketress Dance troupe member. Limited complimentary tickets available for media. Please contact Ishra by November 4th to have tickets reserved: ishrablanco@yahoo.ca | 519-362-2036.

View the trailer:

 

 

InvokeTribe Announcement!

InvokeTribe promo V.2

InvokeTribe is an exciting new project under the Invoketress umbrella. This is a group of dancers who will come together through a shared love of Improvisational Tribal Style (ITS)* bellydance. This group will be led by Invoketress senior troupe dancer and choreographer Mary Wyga who has had years studying American Tribal Style (ATS) as well as being a member of the ITS/Tribal Fusion troupe Tribe Aurealis. InvokeTribe will combine existing ATS and ITS vocabulary and formations while developing their own unique versions, creating a fresh new style in the genre of group improvisational tribal style dance. Over time, InvokeTribe dancers will embody a shared vocabulary which will enable them to create spontaneous dance creations – art on the spot.

InvokeTribe will be unveiled with a performance at the Belly Blush Student Recital on June 20, 2015. Classes are intended to commence in September, 2015.

For Mary’s dance biography, please visit the Biographies section.

For more information, please contact Mary: mary.wyga@gmail.com.

*Improvisational Tribal Style (ITS) belly dance, or ITS, is a combination-based form of Improvisational Tribal Fusion dance. It relies on a shared vocabulary of movements, each initiated by a distinct cue movement. The leader initiates the cue movement, then a short, choreographed combination, or Combo, is performed. These Combos can be done in any order, and none of the dancers know ahead of time what moves the leader will cue next. Improvisational Tribal Style is a specific style or school of Tribal bellydance. The term was first coined in 2006 by Amy Sigil of UNMATA to describe her Improv vocabulary, as it evolved away from ATS American Tribal Style. (Similar styles include American Tribal Style, Synchronized Group Improv, Tribal Group Improv, American Improv Tribal, Group Improv Tribal.) – Wikipedia

Invoketress Logo & Title Tribe copy

Bellydance and Developing Personal Style

One of the things I love most about the Invoketress troupe is our diversity.

Somehow, through all our different dance and life backgrounds, we can come together and cohesively dance as a single, powerful energy.

But that’s not to say we don’t have our individual styles, quirks, weaknesses and strengths.

Before entering university, I was taught to believe that with all forms of art, your technical skill must be mastered before you can express and develop a personal style. But now, in dance and other artistic endeavours such as painting, I’ve been appreciating the well of possibilities that comes from exploring your own personality and uniqueness while learning your art.

Recently, for example, I’ve been trying to pay more attention to facial expression in Bellydance, as it’s an aspect that can complete a performance and elevate it to another level of sophistication. Of course, there are times when concentration is key (especially for beginners like myself) and finding a “look” can be difficult and just isn’t on your mind.

Then again, there are also times when raw emotion can’t help but make its way into your expression. I’m learning that it’s okay to let this happen and show the audience glimpses of your pure joy, sorrow, excitement, solemnness, etc.

I think it’s important to let these moments happen, because they are unique to your own experience while dancing. Different moments in the music and choreography (and of course, improvisation) will stand out to different dancers. This is the beauty of Bellydance as well as one of the keys to developing personal style.

To be clear, I don’t believe personal style is about pre-planning exactly every expression or feeling during a dance – that’s an impossible feat. However, I think that (especially while still learning the basics) personal style should be at the forefront of your mind as you learn, not an end goal.

Take the time to pay attention to what your face and body does naturally during a dance. How can you showcase this to an audience, or pull it back when needed? What kind of feeling or expression are you presenting to an audience who hasn’t seen you dance before? How can your personal tendencies help or hinder a performance? What ARE your personal tendencies? Is there something you see in others that you would like to explore in your own style?

These are just some of the questions I have asked myself about Bellydance.

Simply paying attention to and recognizing the natural development of your personal style as you continue to learn and discover dance, I believe, is an important feature that allows for improvement and a deeper connection to this beautiful art form.

~ Alaina, Invoketress dancer

Some great examples of expression in our troupe:

Ishra, our inspirational leader. Photo by Shannon Dore.
Ishra, our inspirational leader. Photo by Shannon Dore.
Ishra's Sapphire class at Belly Blush 2014. Photo by Shannon Dore.
Invoketress at Belly Blush 2014. Photo by Shannon Dore.
Invoketress Bollywood at MOSAIC - "Time in Motion" 2014. Photo by Dennis Novosad.
Invoketress Bollywood at MOSAIC – “Time in Motion” 2014. Photo by Dennis Novosad.

 

Happy New Year!

As we wind down 2014, we want to take a moment and mention some highlights for us as we reflect on the past year:

  • inducting 5 amazing apprentice dancers as full-fledged members of the Invoketress Dance troupe;
  • Ishra placing 2nd runner-up in the Fusion category in the Star Bellydancer Canada Competition;
  • Invoketress road trip to Montreal as special guest performers at the Nocta Bellydance Student Spectacle;
  • our 10th Anniversary MOSAIC Bellydance Fusion show which was a huge success and received rave reviews;
  • some amazing gigs, such as at Hope and the City – Wellington County, Guelph & District Multicultural Festival, Relay For Life Cambridge, Grand Valley Construction Association Awards Gala, Brantford International Villages, TD Sunfest Canada, Chris Lane Memorial Fundraiser, Autumn Spice, Take Back the Night rally, and at one of our own troupe dancer’s weddings;
  • having the pleasure of collaborating with other great performers in our dance and music community such as Ancient Moves Dance Company, Shades of Araby, Rinceoirí Celtica, BellyFlow Fitness, Nuwayrah, Rhaehana, Andrea Fryett, The Light of East Ensemble, Cuneyt Yetkiner, BellyUp BellyDance Studio, Tribe MayaFire, Wild Orchid Bellydance Studio, Nico, and Andrew MacPherson.

We are so fortunate to dance in such a vibrant and artistic community with so many talented and supportive colleagues. Excited for what 2015 will bring.

Happy New Year!

~ M.W.

Ishra and Mary heading out to perform at two different New Year's Eve parties!
Ishra and Mary heading out to perform at two different New Year’s Eve parties!

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!

Busy Little Dancing (Queen!) Bees!

Springtime is always a busy time for bellydance. Not only are the girls being hired for more and more gigs, we’re also gearing up for our annual Belly Blush Student Recital! This year, Invoketress is working on a brand spanking new fun and cheeky tambourine piece as well as pulling out our exciting Tunisian piece that was unveiled at November’s MOSAIC show. There will also be new duets and smaller Invoketress group pieces choreographed by the ladies themselves. Such a talented bunch!

Despite being busy, the girls aren’t resting on their laurels. Always eager to learn more from the wealth of talent in the bellydance community and to broaden our horizons, we recently had Valizan come to teach the troupe some ATS basics. It was an awesome time – if you’ve never taken a class with Valizan, it is a must. Natalie took a workshop with Yasmina Ramzy, Mary took a workshop with Audra from The Dark Side Studio and Ishra took one with Cassandra Shore.

ATS workshop with Valizan!
ATS workshop with Valizan!

This Saturday, May 11, you can catch Invoketress at a Bracelets of Hope fundraiser in St. George’s Square, downtown Guelph.  That same day, Ishra is also one of the guest instructors at Flying Dance’s Company’s Women’s Dance Retreat.

As always, please check out our Performances section for all of our upcoming events!