Posts from the ‘Performing Arts/Entertainment’ Category

Performing at Arts, Beats & Eats with Enigma Greek Band on Labor Day Weekend

I will be performing a Greek style belly dance set with Enigma Detroit at Arts, Beats & Eats next Saturday, Aug 30th at 5PM on the FirstMerit Bank International Stage.

The list goes on and and on for talent that will be performing at this annual festival including: Third Eye Blind, The Spinners, The Village People, Theory of Deadman and local affiliates and artists: Chris Emmerson, Katie Grace, The Orbitsuns, Robin Horlocke, Chris Polite, Joe Jaber, Jennifer Westwood, The Infatuations, Eliza Neals, and many more!

Visit for a full music line up!


Upcoming Dance Workshops with Kendra Ray

Jan. 25, 2014 – Bay City, MI
Fifty Shades of Fusion
Day of Workshops and Show
Presented by MeZnoTiK Tribal Fire and Fusion  

Bringing you some of the best belly dance, tribal and fusion artists in the Northern states and Canada. Join us as these amazing performers spin a web of wonderment that will surely entangle all of your senses.

Compare and contrast cabaret, tribal and fusion belly dance styles. Learn how each genre evolved from Middle Eastern Dance. Three professional belly dancers have been chosen to present this workshop. Each of them will demonstrate the classic styling of each genre. We end your day with a relaxing and informative discussion designed to better your understanding of all three genres.

Yasmina Amal, Kendra Ray, and Sarah Mayne.
Think you know who is teaching what?
You may be surprised.
Workshop will be held at the
Arbeiteor Hall
1304 S. Wenona Bay City Mi

Workshop time:
From 11:00am to 3:00pm
Cost before 12/15/2013 $55.00
There will be an area at the bottom of the registration form for you to ask any questions regarding the three genres of dance being presented at the workshop. These questions will help the instructors to focus on the needs of the workshop attendees. This all about education, fun and dance, so help us to make it a great experience.

Will take place in Bay City at the Arbeirtoer Hall
1304 S. Wenona Bay City Mi
Show starts at 7:30pm
Doors open at 6:30pm
Cash bar available
Tickets available at the door for $18.00
On Line for $15.00

Feb. 22nd, 2014 – Kalamazoo, MI
Kalamazoo Raks Community Hafla
Day of Workshops and Show
Presented by Boheme Tribal Belly Dance

Workshop Descriptions:

Social Style
All Level 1-hour workshop
You’ve got your own style so why not let it shine through in your dance? Enjoy the moment and let the music move you in this casual, cardio-filled workshop. We’ll review some basic, up-beat movements found in Middle Eastern belly dance with less of a focus on technique and more emphasis on fun All Levels Welcome.

Watch Your Tone
All Level 2-hour workshop
In everyday life, people use body language as means of communicating or delivering a message. As a dancer, your technique and movement vocabulary are tools for “speaking” to your audience. You know what you’d like to say, but do you know how you want to say it? In this workshop, we’ll focus on developing expression, posture, and stage presence as ways to determine the “tonality” and mood of the message you want to convey.

Cost: $55 until February 1st/$65 after
Please send payement through Paypal to

Workshop participants are encouraged to perform in the evening Kalamazoo Raks Community Hafla. Spots are filling up quickly, be sure to get signed up soon.

Hafla Info:

Click here for facebook event page

This event to follow a day of workshops with Kendra Ray, who will be our guest star for the evening. We’ll also be featuring live music by Katara

Cost: $7/person in advance & $10/person at the door
To purchase in advance, please send $10.60 per person through Paypal to

This showcase is open to all belly dancers, regardless of style, budget or skill level. Newb to Pro, all are welcome.  This event is open to dancers that live outside of the Kalamazoo area, but preference will be given to those that live and/or work directly within our Kzoo community.

Amazan ~ Save The Date Nov. 29th ~ Sho Gallery in Windsor

Click this link for more details: Amazan ~ Save The Date.

Save the Date ~ Friday Nov. 29th
Sho Gallery & hawkhaus



Amazan is a multi-arts spectacle of ancient eastern music and electronica with spoken word, dance, design, fashion and digital imaging—expressed through some of the most progressive women in collaborative performance. The music program explores Eastern influenced World music through traditional instrumentation accelerated with industrial electronica and highlighted by live performance, dance and design through projected images.

Complimentary Middle Eastern Eats
Doors open 8:00pm, Performance 9:00pm
Address: Sho Gallery ~ 628 Monmouth Street, Unit 6

Amazan features the music of ancient-electro music innovators Konqistador, with integrated dance performances from Kendra Ray (USA) and Roxi D’Lite (Windsor). The production spotlights a dynamic creative team including; stylist Jeffery Wood (Windsor), illustrator, Christy Litster (Windsor) lighting designer Adam Marz (Windsor) and introduces World music master, Victor Ghannam (Xena Warrior Princess, Spartacus). Amazan is created and produced by Detroit based Reginald Tiessen and Elizabeth Graham. Through the use of visual projection, Amazan presents long distance performance artists Tiger Mei (Australia) and Mariana Castro (Mexico). Join us for a very special evening of exploratory art through dance, technology visual art and music.

Click here for a complete look at the project:

The Best Gift is The Gift of Music – A Special Music Monday


On May 3rd, 2013 I asked my facebook friends to share with me a song or video they hold dear to them or what they felt was a good gift of music for me rather than the old standard “happy birthday” speech.

What I’ve collected is everything from hip-hop, heavy metal, and industrial electronica to bellydance, opera, and country music. Some of the songs are people’s wedding songs, songs they use for lullabies, for celebration, and even tributes to those that have passed away. It’s a beautiful thing we have here – one of the most diverse playlists you’ll find on the web.

I am honored and thankful they took the time to help me create this. Here are the results. Enjoy!

I’d like to thank the following people for their contribution to this playlist:

Kuba Ingram, Jose Pistoles, Jihad Said, Sarah Rotolo,  Jenn Garavaglia, Dawn Marie Salmon, Mitch Griffin, Alice Brower Cicek, Tony Fahmie, Teresa Sousa, Kristin Flynn, Kerry Lizon, Christine Sanders Beaudry, Allison Paton, Lydie Ometto, Ingo Rautenberg, Sandy Puzon Marcum, Judy Robinson Mille, Juliana Schewe, Josh Bacon, Mary Stachowiak, Richard Harper, Chris Aliapoulios, Richelle D. Hall-Smith, Patsy DeCline, Nicole Heart, Larry Stock, Corinne Shafer, La’Salle Beatriz, Nahid Ayoub, Lana Mini, Evelyn Adkins, Adam Dmitruchina, Sean D McLean, Will Isom, Stacie Smith, Sara Lampert, Don Yenson, Jessica Physician, Kathy Merholz, Melanie Gypsy Star, Beverly Ford, Tina Thaxton , Sarah E Robinson, Megan Crockett Myers, Aida Monteith, Canar Cylon, David Taylor, Ze Poet, Kim Fujiwara, Jeff Ginyard, Sahid Mansour

Mongolian Bling – Discovering the Roots of Hip Hop in the Heart of Asia

Mongolian Bling Logo

I tend to write about specific bands/music acts that I find inspiring or unique, however, today’s Music Monday blog will feature an international music movement. Recently, I found myself on Youtube and thought it would be interesting to pick a random country and type “hip hop” after said country. I thought it would be clever to type in Mongolia – a mysterious land with an interesting history and the last place I figured hip hop would find itself.

Boy was I wrong.

In fact, this country is utilizing the hip-hop culture in more ways than just to acquire chains, strippers, and to “pop bottles”. Many of the young artists use this music as a means to carry a message to the youth in a time of transition and economical and political struggle. On the same token, there are artists that have been accused of “selling out” or being superficial, but here in the States, we’re used to that.

In order to put this movement in perspective, a team of people have put together a documentary on some of the artists front-running this genre, looking at the artists up close and personal – in the studio, in their homes, on their first tours, and even on the street. The film project has spawned interest worldwide and has even evolved into a 2-week Mongolian trip for tourists who want to meet the artists, see Mongolia first-hand, and learn about the culture and the hip-hop movement from the artists and community figures themselves. In a time when hip-hop needs to be used as a positive tool, we find that many popular “hip-hop” artists send negative messages to those who need inspiration most. It was refreshing to discover this film.

It’s raw, real, and exotic, yet maintains the ancient traditions that have enriched the culture over generations. It’s Mongolian Bling.

Here’s their summary and trailer. Enjoy.

Forget about nomads and monks! It’s hip hop that’s making Mongolia move in the 21st century. Mongolian Bling jumps into the thriving music scene in the capital, Ulaanbaatar, and follows stars as they rap nationwide with their bitches, cars, and jewels. But beyond this bling lies a failed democracy, and a dying ancient culture that the elders mourn the loss of. While many artists still aspire to the West, a handful are using hip hop to try and salvage their country’s flailing democracy, and bringing Mongolia’s rich musical history into their modern beats and rhymes.

Behind the scenes photos:
Crush Boys

Mongolian Bling

Queen Gennie

Gennie Underground – (note the 2pac poster in the background)

Arslan playing in a ger


Altan Urag live (swine flu curfew over)!!

Alt-J : Concocting Folk-Step

On an average search-youtube-for-new-music day, I saw an intriguing thumbnail in the suggested video list on the side of the page. Not knowing the band, I clicked on the link based solely on this cinematic high-quality thumbnail reminiscent of a page out of a fine art magazine.

As the video began, what my ears were hearing and what my eyes were seeing was so far in contrast to one another I had to pause the video to see if I had accidentally opened two videos at once. Nope, this was just a product of the up-and-coming band: Alt-J. Here is the video that said it all:

Creating what has become known as folk-step, this group hailing from the U.K. combines an array of sounds into one modernized mash-up that somehow, surprisingly, works. Even if I’m not entirely sure what the vocalist is saying most of the time.

With folk harmonies similar to that of Simon and Garfunkel, delivered like Devendra Banhart mixed with Mumford and Sons, and backed by a fresh combination of live instruments, electronica samples, and a beat worthy of a hip-hop song – these musicians utilize elements found in musical composition both old and new. To top it off, they create cinema quality videos to showcase their songs which will surely assist in their recognition world-wide.

To further understand the inception of the band, here is an excerpt from their facebook page:

alt-J (∆)’s name takes a little explaining. Pronounced “alt-J”, the delta sign is created when you hold down the alt key on your computer keyboard and punch ‘J’ on a Mac computer. The symbol has a deeper meaning for the band, as guitarist/bassist Gwil Sainsbury notes, “in mathematical equations it’s used to show change,” and the band’s relatively new name came at a turning point in their lives.

Gwil, Joe Newman [guitar/vocals], Gus Unger-Hamilton [keyboards] and Thom Green [drums] met at Leeds University in 2007. Gus studied English Literature; the other three Fine Art. In their second year of studies, Joe played Gwil a handful of his own songs inspired by his guitar-playing dad and hallucinogens, and the pair began recording in their dorm rooms with Gwil acting as producer on Garageband.

Needless to say, the response to Joe’s hushed falsetto yelps and Gwil’s rudimentary sampling skills was good. When Thom was played the tracks he joined the band straight away. “I hadn’t heard anything like it,” he says. “It was music I was looking for, I just didn’t know I was. I just loved it.”
Gus completed the band’s lineup and together – first as Daljit Dhaliwal and then as Films – the four friends spent the next two years playing around town, developing a precise and unique brand of alt. pop that draws on poignant folk verses, crushing synths, smart hip hop syncopations and tight vocal harmonies. They dropped the moniker of Films in 2007, largely to avoid confusing the band with Californian punk troupe The Films. alt-J (∆) gave them a unique name to go with the unique ‘folk-step’ that they now concoct in the basement of a terrace house in Cambridgeshire.

I’ll leave you all with a nice live performance by Alt-J so you can see how their sound is created first hand. Here they are performing in the studio at Los Angeles-based public radio station, KCRW :

Be sure to stick around until at least 0:27 in the video where the bass drops. Then, it will all come together.

Culturally Ambiguous Fantasy Art – New Photos

Models: Kendra Ray and Heather (Leilani) ManascoPhoto: K. Ingram

Models: Heather “Leilani” Manasco and Kendra Ray

Photography by: K. Ingram

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