Saturday November 2, 2019 • Raven’s Night Show
Located at The Birchmere • 3701 Mt Vernon Ave, Alexandria, VA 22305
$25 Tickets • General Seating
What is beautiful about dance is that it is “me.” It is “you.” It is “us.” What a beautiful thing to express yourself with yourself. Is there anything more authentic? My life’s work is to share movement and research that highlights frameworks and tools for group improvisation, movement sourcing and choreography techniques.
I have been studying transnational dance for 20 years, as well as hula and straight-up imagination in movement! I have a background in basketball, volleyball, track and motorcycles. Since the beginning of my studies I have enjoyed touring with many varied dance artists, and opened a dance studio in Sacramento to serve the community in movement exploration. I am grateful to have had the opportunities to teach dance in over 20 countries. I am the director of UNMATA, which is an internationally touring dance group, as well as the creator of Improvisational Tribal Style which has over 70 certified teachers in the format around the world.
She is the creative director and producer of the annual Raven’s Night Soiree’, the Vixen Variety Show and DC’s Bohemian Belly Dance Brunch.
Belladonna teaches weekly classes in the DC & NOVA area and travels to other cities and countries for specialty events. Over the last several years she has produced 2 sword instructional DVDs and developed her own belly dance teacher training and sword certification programs.
Belladonna is a modern fusion belly dance instructor, performers and show producer from Washington DC. She is a pioneer of moderns sword dancing and has paved the way for sword dancing around the globe. Belladonna is the founder and director of Bohemian Belly Dance LLC, is a certified yoga instructor, fire dancer, costume maker, interior designer, and the founder and creator of her signature jewelry line, Soul Armor.
Belladonna is continually inspired by art and the power and healing dance can evoke. She believes that self expression is essential for ones well being, and hopes her classes and performances inspire others to find their creative voice and feel empowered.
Her Bohemian Belly Dance style has been a spearhead in group improvisational belly dance on the East Coast, with her Fusion Fragments and Bohemian Tribal vocabularies.
Belladonna aspires to create and share inspirational and often theatrical dance fusing modern technique with movements borrowed from traditional styles of world dance. She also aims to show and share tools that help others better express themselves while maintaining meaning and the rich historical and cultural significance of the movements.
Belladonna has had the honor of being a guest performer with international superstars such as Amanda Palmer, Beats Antique, Corvus Corax, the Bellydance Super Stars and the Indigo. She has also been a featured instructor at national and international festivals such as Tribal Fest, Art of the Belly, Rakkasah Spring Caravan, Rakkasah East, Tribal Alchemy, Elevation, Awakening Persephone, 3rd Coast Tribal, Gothla UK, FesTribal de Quebec as well as many private events, medieval events, cultural events and parties.
(New York City, NY)
She is part of the dance event production team BrennSelle. With Giselle BellydanceNYC, they have produced and curated themed dance shows on the smaller scale with their Baile Noir soirees and on the larger scale with the annual Witching Hour Boo-tique theatrical dance concert. The events have been highly praised and showcase some of the most talented and creative performers mainly in the Tri-State Area.
Brenna draws from American Cabaret Belly dance and Fusion styles as well as movement influences from hip hop, street jazz, house, martial arts, modern dance, and flamenco. She is known for her fun and imaginative choreographies, intensity, commanding stage presence as well emotive performances.
Since 2008, Brenna has been teaching in NYC at Serena Studios and has also taught at Solstice Studio and for Rise Dance Company. She has taught workshops at other dance festivals and events including Art of the Belly, Lumen Obscura and Raven’s Night. As an instructor, she is known for her concise breakdowns and metaphors, which are always paired with a fun atmosphere and a sweaty good time.
She has had the fortune to study under some of the best instructors in the belly dance arena – starting in 2004 at Serena Studios with the legendary Serena Wilson, Kelley McKinnon, Zenaide, Layla Mary, Altagracia, Dorit, Rayhana and Najma. In the Fusion world she has primarily trained under Sera Solstice since 2007 and has taken numerous and extensive workshops and intensives with Mira Betz, Zoe Jakes, Mardi Love, Rachel Brice, Amy Sigil, Kami Liddle, Heather Stants and Sarah Johansson Locke. In addition to her current studies under Sera Solstice and Mira Betz, Brenna continues her movement training with regular classes and workshops in flamenco, aerial circus arts, street jazz and house dance. She is also an amateur SFX makeup artist, mostly self-taught and furthering her knowledge with Continuing Education classes at School of Visual Arts.
Dana Beaufait Stevens
Dana Beaufait Stevens is a second generation Bellydancer & Entertainer from Virginia, USA. Veil Poi, Hula fusion, Theatrical dance, Spiritual Dance, Cosplay Entertainment and Tribal Fusion Belly dance are just a few of her passions. She started dancing at the age of thirteen, with a love for Egyptian cabaret and Fusion Belly dance. Dana began teaching through her mother’s studio, Janna’s International Dance Studio, at the age of seventeen introducing her love of dance to women and men all over the Hampton Roads, Virginia area. Dana enjoys crafting dramatic fantasy, nerdy, gothic, theatrical performances, Exploring as many facets of human and un-human nature as she can through dance. Drawing out character dances with the help of theatrical makeup, costuming and music.
She has taught over a hundred classes including costuming and makeup workshops, Veil Poi workshops, Basic Belly Dance classes, Zil classes, Veil classes, Theatrical movement course, Ritual dance movement, Makeup, and more. Creating over fifty choreographs including classes at the College of William & Mary and Published Voi Choreo ‘Wraith’ in the Choreographer’s Notebook: Undead Edition.
Winner of Jewels of the Orient Professional Tribal 2016. Runner-up winner of East Coast Classic Tribal Professional 2016. Assistant Producer of East Coast Classic 2017. Workshop instructor East Coast Classic 2017. Studio instructor BeFlat Japan 2013-2015. Studio manager of Seven Cities Dance Studio 2016. Artistic Director of East Coast Classic 2017. Hospitality Coordinator Tribal Con 2017. Guest Artist and Instructor at Ravens Night D.C 2016. Lead role in Madame Oncas: Manna Saga theatrical belly dance production 2017.
Dana Beaufait Created Veil Poi, Poi Veil, Voi, Silk Poi, a new Belly Dance prop that has been taking the world by storm. Even though it has many different names it is always fun and Beautiful to dance with. In 2007, Dana released her instructional DVD ‘Voi: Fireless Poi Spinning’ to promote her own Voi technique to an international audience. Since then it has taken off to inspire Dancers from Japan, Russia, Europe, Australia and the united states, just to name a few, to create their own techniques and choreography. Veil Poi has been used to express emotion from Belly Dance to worship dance and continues to grow every year!
(New York City, NY)
Irina Akulenko is a New York City-based performer, teacher and choreographer, with a burning passion for arts of all genres. Although she discovered Middle Eastern dance purely by chance, her interest in expression started at an early age and was channeled into ballet training, in addition to piano and voice lessons as well as drawing. However, belly dance became her main addiction which she sustained by seeking instruction with numerous local teachers as well as visiting master performers. Since 2001, Irina explored both Egyptian Cabaret and American Tribal style belly dance, Odissi and Flamenco and now enjoys fusing these art forms as well as everything in between.
Today, Irina performs on various New York stages and tours nationally and internationally as a soloist and as member of various stellar projects. She completed successful tours around the world, teaching and performing in Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, China, Korea, Taiwan, Colombia, Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, France, Iceland, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. She released three successful instructional DVDs with World Dance New York (“Tribal Fusion Workout”, “Diamond Cut” and “Sculpted Blossom”) and two instructional series of videos with the popular website “Howcast.com”. Additionally, her performances were featured on “Fantasy Bellydance: Cult of Myth” DVD, “Fantasy Bellydance: Tarot” DVD and she could also be seen on Bellyqueen’s “Bellydance NYC: The Ultimate Fusion Experience” DVD. Irina is one of the principal dancers, instructors and choreographers with Bellyqueen Dance Theater, is the main choreographer and performer for Project “Bella Gaia” and an alumni member of Alchemy Dance Theater.
While home, she also directs her student troupe “Kiaroscuro Dance”, focusing mainly on Classical Indian fusion. She loves collaborating with other artists and has completed projects with Jillina (Bellydance Evolution project), Dalia Carella, BALAM Dance Theater, NY Gypsy All-Stars and many others. Irina is dedicated to continuing her dance education, always looking for new ways to be inspired. Furthermore, she holds a Bachelors degree in Political Science, and has a strong interest in women’s issues and visual arts.
Kendra Kuliga is the co- producer of Raven’s Night, a professional graphic designer, and a drag king legend known as Ken Vegas. Ken started drag in December 1996 as a contestant in a Drag King Contest in Washington DC, which was a fundraiser for the DC Dyke March produced by the Lesbian Avengers. In 1999 Lizerace (NY Drag King) told Ken about a new conference called the International Drag King Extravaganza (IDKE) in Columbus, Ohio. The experience was so impactful that Ken wanted to share the message of being respectful and supportive to fellow kings rather than be competitive. Ken formed the troupe the DC Kings in March of 2000 which lasted till 2015, making it one of the longest running regular drag king shows. Ken was able to induct over 400 Drag Kings into the DC Kings. In 2001 Ken created “The Great Big International Drag King Show” and invited performers from all over the World: Australia, Ireland, Sweden, Italy, England, Canada, and the US. This was the largest drag king show in the World for seven years, with its last year attracting 1000 people to come watch.
Ken also co-created “Kingdom Magazine” with Canada’s own ‘Carlos Las Vegas’ documenting drag king history, drag shows, our arts and photographs, from performers from again, all over the World.
And Ken is still going! Currently working with fellow king legend Mo B. Dick on the website dragkinghistory.com which documents the history of performance starting with the Tang Dynasty (618 AD) to today. The importance of recording history and honoring those who came before us is paramount to Ken’s heart. As we can not appreciate where we are if we are disconnected from our roots. History gives our art depth. Ken’s love of Drag Kinging has spanned over 23 years and he is excited about performing at this year’s Raven’s Night.
The Luna Chix
The Lunachix were born in 2013, when Jo’s belly dance class was touched by the light of a full moon. Life has since scattered them across upstate NY, but love and lunacy keep them coming together each week. The Lunachix enjoy both the serious and the playful side of dance, and expressing themselves creatively. But perhaps most of all, they love how dance brings people together.
The Lunachix are especially inspired by the dance, teaching philosophies, and inclusive spirits of both Jill Parker and Amy Sigil.
Maia Alexandra is a Bellydance and Fire Entertainer based in Buffalo, New York. Her movement training spans over three decades and is extremely diverse, including Ballet, Jazz, Modern, Hula Hoop, and Modern Pinup Modeling as well as her love for Oriental Dance in all its myriad forms.
With highlights including teaching for Rakkasah West, Spring Caravan, the Las Vegas Belly Dance Intensive, the Art of the Belly Festival, and Waking Persephone, Maia has also been selected as featured performer for Raven’s Night, Unmata’s Blood Moon Regale, and she holds the 2010 “Ms International Ambassador of Bellydance” title.
Maia believes in mutual respect, chocolate chip cookies, breath, love, darkwave, and the Muppets.
She is honored and thrilled to return to the cast of Raven’s Night for 2019.
(Washington, DC area)
Malijra (Mah-LEEzh-rah) is a fusion belly dance troupe in the Washington DC area.
We perform a blend of dynamic choreography and unique improv, specializing in sword.
Malijra is a collaborative belly dance quartet, consisting of members Matan, Lily, Jesse, and Sarah.
Rooted in Tribal Fusion and ATS dancing, Malijra members focus on blending dance styles and creating our own innovative sword improvisation. The collective has a passion for bringing in diverse music and dance influences, and exploring the dark theatrical side of belly dance.
Malijra members are alumni of the Bohemian Bellydance troupes DashKhaleen (Lily, Jesse, Matan), Bella’Trix (Sarah, Jesse, Matan), and Kivahalla (Lily). They are honored to still study and perform as part of Belladonna’s Bohemian Bellydance Studio, which informs their style and vocabulary. All Malijra members are certified level 3 or higher in the Bohemian Sword Intensive system.
Queens of D’Nile
(Hamilton, NJ • Sterling, VA • Washington, DC)
Queens of D’Nile
Queens of D’Nile is a collaborative belly dance fusion project committed to developing unique choreographies that balance a healthy respect for the roots of American belly dance with the joyful freedom of dancing without boundaries. Combining their creative stylings, diverse training, and a wide range of performance experience, these Queens reign with a golden shine and a magic that you can’t deny.
Award winning dance artist Berna (Washington, DC) weaves a spellbinding tale of elegance, grace, and beauty. Trained in Near and Middle Eastern styles of Belly Dance as well as Central Asian and Turkish Romani, she is a sought-after top professional who enjoys bringing joy and character to all of her performances.
Known for her fiery stage presence and sophisticated cymbal work, dynamic performer Donna Eileen (Sterling, VA) strives to create innovative expressions of music through blissful, passionate, and empowered movement. Drawing from both Western and Eastern dance forms, she experiments with new ways to voice her musicality with both honesty and respect.
Jo Wall (Hamilton, NJ) turns up the heat with her intense, high energy performances. Her powerful work showcases a kind of strength and prowess that can only be built through decades of dance training and power lifting.
Raven Ebner is a visual artist with a dancing problem.
She is the choreographer and director of Ego Umbra a fusion dance troupe known for using metal music.
Having danced for 12 years, she took her tribal bellydance roots and folded in influences from hip-hop, contemporary, modern, ballet, and a smattering of other dance forms in order to round out her dance vocabulary for a full range of expression. She specializes in dark, theatrical pieces that explore the abstract and create beauty in the unexpected, and rely on the ability to create a strong narrative and powerful characters through the use of symbols, sigils, ritual, ambiance, and aesthetics.
Because of her background in the visual arts, she is able to create memorable characters and make them come to life, using painting, textiles, and sculpture to create visually striking costuming and makeup.
Our Salon Luniare Band
Jennifer Anya Castelli
Rodyna, or “Family,” is a gathering of talented artists and musicians who play eclectic folk music from regions in and around Eastern Europe. Its members Jennifer Anya Castelli, Marta Jaremko, Caty Bentler, Kazuki Kozuru-Salifoska, and Joseph Castelli bring together the love for the music and each other onto their performance. They love the nuanced musical complexity and diversity of the music borne of Eastern Europe – tapestry of the sounds from the East and the West – and hope to emulate its beauty well.
Jennifer Anya Castelli
Jennifer Anya Castelli was born into an Eastern European family in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Growing up, she was inspired by her mother’s highly tuned artistic nature, her love of sustainable living, and her spirituality.
Tapping into her heritage when she was 5, Jennifer joined the Eastern European folk dancing/ music group (JR.Tamburitzans of Pittsburgh), at which time she also took up the violin.
Jennifer has spent her entire life performing and studying the folk arts, she feels it’s a vital part of her identity and an expression of her true self. She has studied and performed west African drumming and is a professional belly dancer who also plays the Zills and Turkish spoons. She currently enjoys playing the Balalaika, Kobza, and singing with Rodnya.
Marta has a passion for her Ukrainian heritage and all it encompasses, especially Ukrainian music and its beautiful harmonics. She has been singing most of her life, and no wonder, as she comes from an inspiring musical family where practically everyone sang (opera singer aunt, both parents, brothers, aunts, uncles, and cousins all sang).
In her twenties, she joined the Ukrainian chorus Dumka where she sang for many years (along with many of her family members). With Dumka, she embarked on musical tours of Europe and Ukraine. She then was invited to sing with the women’s vocal ensemble Lastivky, which also toured Ukraine extensively
Marta is also the director of the belly dance troupe Zoryanna which celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2019. Additionally, she is a massage therapist, dance teacher, swimming instructor, and production editor at a publishing company.
Marta is extremely proud and excited to be part of the folk band Rodyna! She dedicates her performances to her wonderful parents, Halyna and Myroslaw, and all the singing ancestors who came before them.
When asked why she dances, her answer has always been because it keeps her alive.
Caty has been active in the arts since at a young age. Music, dance, theater and art have always been a way for her to connect with the world around her.
Not having been in a band before, Caty is excited for a chance to connect to her family both related and chosen, and share her passion for the arts with others.
Kazuki has been a student of doumbek/darbuka for over 20 years under several notable teachers – Souhail Kaspar, Susu Pampanin, and Seido Salifoski among them. She loves the nuanced balance between control and primal energy near-eastern percussion brings out in her.
On top of middle eastern and Balkan percussion, Kazuki also studied Latin conga at Drummers Collective in New York City, in order to deepen her sense of rhythms and to understand their complexity. She has been performing in New York City area and beyond in various styles, from Rebetiko, Balkan folkloric, American Tribal bellydance, off-Broadway show, Shakespeare theater company, to Renaissance Faires in New York and Connecticut.
A nerd who is also a fashion designer by trade, Kazuki enjoys the imagery drumming and music creates in her mind. More music she plays, kinder and gentler she finds herself becoming.
Joseph was born in the Bronx, NYC. Growing up in New Jersey, he was exposed to art and music at an early age; first with his Cuban mother’s love of painting and original art, then later on with his father’s passion for music and photography. Joseph started playing the guitar when he was 16 and joined his first band at age 18. Since then, he has been a sought-after artist and performer, recording and writing original music.
His first exposure to the sitar came as he was introduced to the belly dance scene; the beating drums and melodic dancing inspired him to learn, and then to perform the instrument. To Joseph, his music is about bringing people together, and what he loves most is to sculpt a mood for his audience.
Joseph has had the pleasure of performing the sitar on Broadway as well as with a multitude of artists and musicians. He has been trained in and has studied; Electric Guitar, Classical Guitar, Sitar, Violin, drum kit, Voice, Flamenco Guitar, Saz, Jazz (Guitar), Bouzouki, and the Banjo.
Joseph has informal experience with 20 different kinds of instruments and has formally been a member of 14 different musical bands.
Spirit of Ma’at
Spirit of Ma’at
Spirit of Ma’at is an urban fusion troupe based in Pikesville, MD that was founded by Rashelle Celestin in 2010.
The troupe is known for its fun and funky choreography that fuses a variety of genres including hip hop, African, dancehall and modern dance with belly dance to create eclectic pieces that are just as much fun to learn as they are to perform. Rashelle, Tati, Tisha, Sherlean and Jessica, aka Spirit of Ma’at, are excited to introduce you to Jengu, the water spirit of the Sawa people, who serves as their healer and intermediary between people and the spirits.