Long before Shakira brought the ancient Arab art of Belly Dancing into the pop music scene, Seoulite Belynda Azhaar has been shaking her hips and raising awareness in Asia about the culture of Middle Eastern dance. What many do not know, is that the global community of Belly Dancers has a strong charitable particularity, and officially celebrates its community consciousness on the second Saturday of May: ‘World Belly Dance Day’. This year in Seoul, the event, dubbed ‘RAK 2010’, will focus on themes of ‘Rescue, Renew, Recover and Rejoice’ in keeping with the goals of the local charities the event will support. 100% of proceeds will go to charities Dashi Hamkke http://www.dasi.or.kr, a human trafficking support GO, and Bear Necessity Korea www.bearnecessitykorea.com, an animal welfare NGO. Both charities will have information tables at the event and representatives will speak regarding their respective missions in Korea.
“As well as raising awareness (and funds) for our selected charities, the night will be a celebration of World Bellydance Day (http://www.worldbellydanceday.com). We will promote Oriental dance (a.k.a. belly dance) within the Performing Arts by showcasing performances amongst live music, comedy, spoken word, theatrical, and other dance acts. There will be an open dance floor at the end of the performances, and a chance for the audience to get up and try out some dance moves. It’s going to be a fun night with something for everyone! And it’s all for a good cause.” said Azhaar.
Lead by Comedic host Albert Escabedo, the diverse line-up includes a plethora of performers from various dance genres as well as comedians, musicians, theater, and spoken word artists. Featured well-known expat artists include guitar virtuoso Greg James Hanford, dancer Paula Wilson, Space Rhyme Continuum hip-hop group, vocalist Ryan Goessl, spoken word artists Lauren Bedard and Carys Jones, and comedian Brian Aylward. The Seoul Players will also make an appearance, performing a scene from their upcoming musical production.
This unique extravaganza at Hongdae’s Club Ta is expected to kick off the annual DJ festival weekend with a bang (and a swivel). Doors open 10pm Friday May 7 at Club Ta, Hongdae. Performances will commence about 11pm and continue into the early hours of Saturday morning. 15,000 won cover charge includes one free drink. Sponsored by Groove Magazine and Seoulstyle.com