THE SHOW
RAVEN’S NIGHT 2021 PERFORMERS

@ THE BIRCHMERE • SATURDAY, OCT. 16, 2021

3701 Mt Vernon Ave, Alexandria, VA 22305

Artemis Mourat

Washington, DC

Artemis Mourat

Artemis Mourat has almost 50 years of experience performing, teaching and researching dance throughout the world. She is of Greek and Turkish descent and her love for both cultures shines through in all that she does. She has received numerous awards, is widely published and is a highly sought after master instructor. All of her classes include references to the history and cultures that have gifted these dances to us. Artemis is a loving and articulate teacher. And she believes that we can use music and dance to build bridges across cultures.

artemismourat.com

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Belladonna

Washington, DC

Belladonna

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.

Bohemianbellydance.com

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Brenna Crowley

New York City, NY

Brenna Crowley

Brenna Crowley is a dance artist, choreographer, instructor and producer based in NYC, performing and teaching locally and across the country.

Starting in 2004, her movement and choreographies are based in various MENAHT influenced dance forms and blended with continued studies in old way vogue, hip hop, street jazz, contemporary and flamenco. She has performed as a featured soloist, as a member of Sera Solstice’s Solstice Ensemble, as part of many collaborations including Mirapiece Theater, The Pop-Up Project, and companies directed by Dalia Carella, Danielle Hutton, Altagracia, and Ayshe as well as her own collective, Zilla Dance Ensemble.

Currently teaching at Bellyqueen, she has also taught for Serena Studios, Solstice Studio and Ailey Extension, and at large scale dance events such as Art of the Belly, Raven’s Night, Lumen Obscura and Roxy and Dukes. Partnering with founder Giselle BellydanceNYC, they co-produce the theatrical dance events, the Witching Hour Boo-tique and Baile Noir. She also partnered with founder Danielle Hutton to co-produce A Choreographers Vision: Love Letters 2.

She is also an ambassador for the dance clothing company D. Webb Designs.

IG: @brennzilla 

www.brennadance.com

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Boho Coast to Coast

USA

Boho Coast to Coast

Kalistra (MD), Shannon Burla (CA) & Melissa Emmel (AZ) will be channeling 3 of your favorite Witches. These ladies met through Belladonna’s sword certifications and are working toward completing their Boho Teacher certifications. Virtually, they brewed up a performance that will make you scream with
joy, in-person!

Together they are Boho Coast to Coast.

Separately: Kalistra is an award winning fusion artist who finds expressive movement to be a cathartic way to tell
stories. Strong, vulnerable, silly, scary, or beautiful – whatever Kalistra brings to the stage, it is authentic. She can be found on Facebook, Instagram @pamelahkalistra, and soon at Kalistrafusion.com.

Shannon Burla is inspired by the seasons, change, and by the twist at the end of the story. She can usually be found communing with nature and whispering to spirits in the forest, but you can also find her on Instagram at shannon.burla and on patreon at patreon.com/swordmagic.

Melissa is a fusion dancer who has performed on both local and international stages. As a soloist and collaborator, she thrives in the freedom of creation and expression through dance, conveying story and emotion through movement, often with her two favorite props – swords and skirts.

Danielle Hutton

New York City, NY

Danielle Hutton

Danielle Hutton is a New York-based contemporary fusion dancer from Brooklyn, New York.  She has been dancing for 20 years as both a soloist and as a troupe member with Solstice Dance Ensemble and Solstice Tribe, as well as a guest dancer with Bellyqueen and Zilla Dance Ensemble.

Danielle began her bellydance studies with Reyna Alcala, and went on to train with Sera Solstice, who has been one of her biggest influences. Her teachers also include Zoe Jakes, Kami Liddle, April Rose and, most notably, Mira Betz, whom she considers her mentor. Danielle complements her bellydance fusion training with Argentine tango, ballet, contemporary dance and burlesque.

Danielle is an entrancing performer who is incredibly grounded yet exhilarating. Through her choreographies, she tells deep stories full of vibrant rawness that pull at the audience’s heartstrings. Her storytelling power lies in her ability to be fully present with her audience, tempering her passionate performances with precise and measured technique.

Danielle has also been producing her own shows focused on vulnerability and deep human connection. For the past three years, she has been hosting an intensive workshop in New York called Choreographer’s Vision. She is currently teaching online as The Dancer Witch.

TheDancerWitch.com

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Irina Akulenko

New York City, NY

Irina Akulenko

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.

www.DanceIrina.com

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Ken Vegas

Washington, DC

Ken Vegas

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.

FACEBOOK PAGE

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Naimah

Baltimore, MD

Naimah

Naimah is an award-winning belly dancer from Baltimore, MD and director of award-winning troupe, Amandari.

Her style is an experimental blend of belly dance and other forms of dance with a background in ballet, modern, hip hop and African dance. She has studied with many world-renowned instructors and has been certified in the Suhaila Salimpour format of dance.

She has also studied fine arts, cosmetics, and apparel and costume design. She has appeared in the music videos for goth electronic bands.

She is a proud brand ambassador for D. Webb Designs.

She teaches classes on a multitude of topics pertaining to dance. Naimah is also the co-producer of Maryland’s largest belly dance festival, “Art of the Belly” in Ocean City, MD.

www.artofthebelly.com

www.naimahdances.com

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Paristani

DMV

Paristani

Paristan – in Farsi (Persian) “pari” – means fairy + the suffix – “stan”, means “land of” or “place of” – it is the name of a fairyland in the mythology of the Middle East, featured in many children’s stories. It has since entered the folklore of South Asia and Central Asia as well. We dance as if of this Fairyland. We strive in creating dances that are worthy of being performed in a palace or temple.

Led by Billie LeTourneau or otherwise known as Ya Meena, is a dance artist in the Washington DC area that concentrates her dance study and performance in Middle Eastern Dance, Persian Dance, Turkish Dance, Pakistani, Afghan, Tajik, Uzbek and Bollywood Dance – and she has been extensively studying, rehearsing and performing professionally for sixteen years. She currently performs with Nomad Dancers – an internationally known Persian and Central Asian dance company in the Washington DC area. Billie also performs with Raqs El Hob Belly Dance Troupe in Washington DC. Billie has performed professionally at numerous events and venues including; The Kennedy Center, The Smithsonian. The DC Turkish Festival, Pakistan Embassy, University of Maryland, Pennsylvania State University, North Carolina Persian Festival and at Wolf Trap. She performed with Nomad Dancers at an International Dance Festival in Athens Greece in 2019. She has choreographed dances for Nomad Dancers, that have been featured at The Kennedy Center and The Embassy of Pakistan.

Morana Gin – Billie’s talented dance partner has performed with Billie now for the past fifteen years in various troupes including Mortifera, Dalgali, DDP Drill Team and she is now also a member of Nomad Dancers in Washington DC.

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RODYNA

New York Area

RODYNA

Performers:
Jennifer Anya Castelli
Marta Jemko
Caty Bentler
Kazuki Kozuru-Salifoska
Joseph 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 Jaremko

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.


Caty Bentler

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 Kozuru-Salifoska

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 Castelli

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.

Shannon Burla

San Francisco, CA

Shannon Burla

Bio: Shannon Burla is from the San Francisco Bay Area and has been dancing for 6 years. Inspired by the twist at the end of the story, shifting seasons and change, her work often plays with the opposition of dark and light that resides within all of us.

https://www.facebook.com/sburla

Photo Credit:
FB: Briana Di Mara of Redwood Rose Photography
IG: Briana De Mara of @redwood_rose_photos

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Spirit of Ma’at

Pikeville, MD

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.

Inspired by Rashelle’s Haitian roots and incorporating movements from traditional Haitian voodoo dances, Rashelle, Tati, Tisha, Sherlean aka Spirit of Ma’at, are excited to give you a glimpse into their coven and the magic within.

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Starry Moon Dance Co.

Pittsburgh, PA

Starry Moon Dance Company
with Jen Imashev

Otherworldly glamour meets old school belly dance. Starry Moon Dance Company is delighted to bring their whimsical magic to audiences near and far!

Featuring Christine Andrews, Joanna Abel & Maria Hamer out of Pittsburgh, PA.

Photo by Douglas Duerring

https://joannaabel.com/ 
http://www.mariahamer.com/ 
https://jenniferimashev.tripod.com/

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Stevie Kamai

Munich, Germany

Stevie Kamai

Stevie Kamai is an accomplished Tribal and Fusion belly dancer living in Munich, Germany. She has danced since the age of 7, growing up with Hula and various Polynesian dances. In 2010, she discovered the Bohemian Bellydance family in Washington, DC.

After several years of study, she joined the dance troupes Dashkhaleen, then Kihavalla under the direction of Belladonna of Bohemian Bellydance, and is a level 4 certified Bohemian sword dancer.

She has performed in several festivals such as Art of the Belly, East Coast Classic, and Spring Caravan. Among local bellydance and variety shows, Stevie has performed at Raven’s Night with Belladonna, opened for Bellydance Superstars with Dashkhaleen, and danced in student shows by Belladonna, and Born 2 Dance Studio.

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Troupe ‘Hip’Notic

Maryland

Troupe ‘Hip’Notic

Known for their charismatic, creative, and emotive performances, Troupe ‘Hip’notic has been performing their brand of eclectic belly dance fusion throughout the US since 2004. They love to tell a story through characters, emotivity, and movement, and especially, to evoke specific, strong emotions from their audiences. They aim to envelop you in the world of their piece and to lead you on a journey through their stories.

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