1st International Festival of Oriental, Folkloric and Fusion Dance from the Middle East – 8th & 9th June 2013


9 May 2013: Featuring dance stars from Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and the UK, Kaleidoscope of Stars festival is set to debut in London this June. The two-day festival aims to expose the public and dancers to eclectic Middle Eastern dance styles through live dance competitions, a dynamic gala theatre show, a colourful bazaar shopping experience, photography studio and educational dance workshops. Co-produced by Desert Jasmin and Dunya Belly Dance, the festival features dance stars Russian Elena Ramazanova and Ukrainian Aleksey Ryaboshapka of the League of Bellydance Masters for the first time in London and welcomes back Master Turkish dancer Ozgen of Northern Cyprus and Turkey.


The festival in its first year addresses misconceptions about Middle Eastern culture by celebrating diverse dance styles with the general public and empowering dancers take to the stage. Dancers and the public are invited to take part in a supportive competition with prizes, a gala theatre show featuring international and local dance stars, as well as learn from master instructors in educational dance workshops. Bellydancing is growing in popularity in the West, with women and men of all body shapes drawn to its glamour and the ability to have fun while keeping fit. Bellydancing has evolved from ancient influences and become an accessible art that transcends culture, ethnicity, gender and religion.


The Kaleidoscope of Stars Festival producers Desert Jasmin and Dunya Belly Dance explained why they developed the festival:

“We wanted to offer a diverse and new experience not only for our engaged bellydance community in London, but for the broader international public who may never have seen or heard dances and music from the Middle East. The festival is a great way for everyone to have a taste of Middle Eastern cultures and see how enlightening and diverse music and dance styles are inspired from this region.”


During the first day of the festival on 8th June, the dance competition begins at 11.00am and ends at 5.00pm. Doors to the theatre for the gala show open at 7.00pm and the performance starts at 7.30pm. Dance competition entries are priced £20-25 and are available at (www.desertjasmin.com) and entry to watch the competition and shop in the bazaar is free. Gala theatre show tickets are priced £20 in advance or on the door and are available from the Watermans Theatre website (www.watermans.org.uk) or their box office (tel 020 8232 1010). The theatre is located on 40 High Street, Brentford, Greater London, TW8 0DS.


During the second day of the festival on 9th June, the dance workshops offering styles such as Oriental Fusion, Iraqi, Turkish Semai, Oriental Presentation, and Egyptian Shaabi begin at 10.30am and end at 4.30pm. Dance workshops are priced £25-30 per session with discount combination packages available at (www.desertjasmin.com). The workshops are located at The Place, 17 Duke’s Road, London, WC1H 9PY.


The producers plan to present this colourful festival annually and are engaging with and seeking a variety of community-based sponsors to ensure its success.



Notes to editors


1)     About Dunya Bellydance – www.dunyabellydance.com

The award-winning pair behind Dunya Bellydance aim to entertain, educate and empower communities, especially women and children of all ages, to improve their self-esteem, wellbeing, and fitness through an appreciation and understanding of Middle Eastern dance and music. They run Hafla on the Hill, a popular bi-monthly Oriental music and dance showcase in North London, as well as regular classes and workshops for women of all abilities to develop their skills. They produce theatre shows and festivals, including the sell-out theatre show Ozgen’s One Day in Istanbul in London/Leeds and the Kaleidoscope of Stars Festival in London.

2)     About Desert Jasmin – www.desertjasmin.com

The Russian-born Oriental dance enthusiast behind Desert Jasmin enjoys engaging in a variety of courses, groups and shows where she pursues her lifelong passion for Middle Eastern dance. She is involved in a variety of Middle Eastern dance troupes including Egyptianize, One Day in Istanbul and the London Algerian Ballet. Her close connection with The League of Bellydance Masters based on Russia inspired her to invite international dance stars from Russia and Ukraine for the first time in London and create an exciting festival open to all.

3)     About The League of Bellydance Masters – www.facebook.com/pages/The-League-of-Bellydance-Masters/456433714396429

The League of Bellydance Masters is a community of bellydance masters in Russia. Its members are famous Russian bellydancers, choreographers, producers and dance instructors including President Elena Ramazanova and her mentee Aleksey Ryaboshapka of the Ukraine. One of the main purposes of the League is to establish high quality standards of aesthetic execution and teaching of bellydance in Russia in keeping with cultural traditions and considering national features of the Middle East.

4)     About Ozgen – www.ozgen.co.uk

Ozgen is an internationally acclaimed master Turkish dancer, teacher, choreographer and director. Specialising in Turkish Folk, Oriental and Romany (Gypsy) dance, he has performed in Turkey’s major dance productions such as Night of the Sultans (Turkey’s Riverdance), and has choreographed and performed in music videos for Turkish pop stars and on popular Turkish TV programmes. Now based in London, Ozgen travels the world to give workshops and perform in international dance events and major belly dance festivals.

Press Enquiries:   

Mrs. Michelle Deniz Woodhouse            

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E: deniz@dunyabellydance.com