Program: Spring Spectacular 2024

Welcome to the Guild of Middle Eastern Dance
2024 Spring Spectacular at Elision Playhouse Theater,
April 21, 2024

Enjoy a variety of styles. The Guild of Middle Eastern Dance membership represents a broad range of Middle Eastern and related dance styles. In our performance, you’ll see examples that are closely tied to traditional forms and some that are fused with other dance forms.

With much appreciation!! Our dance originated in Middle Eastern culture. There are many different styles and presentations that are inspired by these cultural dance traditions. This dance is a highly personal interpretation of the music and the emotions it evokes. We are grateful for the dance and music that artists of Middle Eastern cultures have given, and continue to give, the world. We hope you fall in love with this art form, too!

Performing for you…

Blue Lotus Dancers: Emalee Morem (Director), Marielle (Mariel Blomstrand), Mercy Chaves, Azalea (Thuy Doan), Cherie Nau, Penelope (Paula Nixa), Karizma (Jenny Meyer), Anjela (Angela Polk). Presentacion, Migninik, by Raffi Avakian. Modern Raqs Sharqi. The Blue Lotus Dancers are from the Twin Cities and Rochester. Choreography: Emalee

Sonja Raqs (Sonja Corcoran). Raqset Sadie, Al-Ahram Orchestra. Modern Egyptian. High energy Raqs Sharqi with modern touches.

Dewfeathers (Alicia Freeman). Bird Song by Juniper Vale. Fusion belly dance. Through dance we can learn how to heal, how to grow, how to transform into our best version. Movement unlocks our hearts, we learn to fly. Combinations: Violet Kind.

Liz (Liz Sorenson). Layali Al Sharq, Al-Ahram Orchestra. Modern Egyptian. This is a mejance, an entrance piece using different rhythms and styles from the Middle East.

Shiver: Aja Weller, Jamie Gulbrandson, Julie Hemen, Kris Deters, Tracy Kurtz. Lonely Star by the Sea by Mosavo, Maksum A by Mario Kirlis. Veil: Egyptian style. Drum: Maksum drum pattern. Enjoy the romantic veil!

Selene (Jean Kerkes). Magaya by Chris Spheeris. Fusion. Combines my love of Spanish inspired music.

Candlelora. Overthought by Feverkin. Fusion Belly Dance with a theatric flare. Never stop believing in fairy tales, magic is all around us.

Emalee. Little Megance by Gaston Chaade. Emalee taught this mejance, or dancer’s entrance, in her February class. She’s thrilled to be back on stage after taking a year off to have another baby.

Sehraya Raqs: Sonja Raqs, Liz Sorenson, Marielle (Mariel), Sitri (Kitty Classen). Heshek Beshek by Abdou Asfour. Modern baladi. This song will have you dancing along! Choreography: Sonja

Renee (Renee Szudy). Hanein by Nourhan Sharif. Raqs Sharqi. A contemporary oriental piece with dynamic contrast between distinct melodic sections.

Bon Joony (Bonnie Berquam). Black Swan compilation, artist unknown. Improvisational fusion. Both life and dance are a process of unfolding and becoming. Find your inspiration and follow it.


Khazanah Middle Eastern Dance Ensemble: Vara (Barb Franklin), Bon Joony, Giselle (Cathy Petersen), Eleni (Helen Courteau), Selene, Astraea (Lori Jorgenson), Maheen (Mary Beth Erstad), Susanne Aspley, Vee Hammond, Aspasia (Wendy Nemitz).
Fi El Awel by Mohamed Mohie, Henkesh by Khamis Henkish. Egyptian pop song, drum solo. Choreography: Kathy McCurdy, Cassandra Shore.

Amina West (Mary West). Sukar, Sukar by Kardes Turkuler. Turkish Romani. A Romani woman tries to sell flowers in the town square and decides to dance instead. Romani dance is improv, the gestures represent a typical day in her life.

Swords & Silks Mankato: Sherazade, Jennifer Meyer, Bessie Peterson. Baladeyat by Nancy Ajram. Saidi Cane with Coalescent styling. Choreography advice: Aziza, Canada.

Salome Alexandra (Louise Indritz). Cham al-Nassim. Oriental. Choreography and music from one of Cassandra's Weeklong Workshops still move me.

Solana Sultana (Halle Sparks). Samara's Dance by Arabian Tabla Dances. My first drum solo. Note the dynamic variety of rhythms. I’m a long-time lover of bellydance, but new to the Twin Cities.

Adara Din (LaDonna von Stoetzel). Ergaie Ya Hanady by Yousry Sharif. Saidi Dance, folkloric dance from Upper Egypt, combines martial arts movements (tahteeb) with a staff or cane (assaya). It’s a sassy Saidi tale of a "bad girl" who runs off to play at the sports club! Choreography: Sahira.

Jana Bint al Waha. Alf Leyla Wa Leyla,   Composer: Baligh Hamdi, 1969. Cabaret. Improv. One of the most famous Egyptian songs. Originally sung by Egypt’s Um Kulthum.

Sherazade. Faun by Lupercalia. Coalescent style – Integrates Bellydance, Martial Arts, Fusion, Ballroom Dance. We celebrate Lupercalia: protection, health, and fertility. Honoring the essence of femininity that transcends eras.

Thea (Thea Komen). Tales of the Sahara by Ihsan Mounzer, Tab Tabla by Khader Ahmad. Amcab meets Raqs Sharqi with hints of Brazilian samba in Thea's unique style of dance. Thea is celebrating 22 years of bellydance!

Jawaahir Dance Company: Theresa Kane, Erin Garayt, Salome Alexandra, Miriam Samuels-Schwartz, Meghan Porter, Tanya Finley. Es Samra by Omar Souleyman. Dabke is a celebratory dance tradition from the Arab world, particularly in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Palestine. Dabke is derived from the Levantine Arabic word dabaka, meaning “stamping of the feet” or “make a noise.” Based on an original choreography by Ramzi El-Edlibi for Jawaahir, with additions by Jawaahir Artistic Director, Vanessa of Cairo.

Thanks to…

Our performers. Our volunteers. Our vendors. Our audience. Our members. Our instructors and workshop participants. We are delighted to celebrate the joy of dance!

Our awesome stage crew: Melanie Meyer, Kathy McCurdy, John Allen, Laina Grendle, Jared Ringold, LordHamlet73 (photographer). Elision Playhouse Theater for this amazing theater space.

Upcoming Guild Events – Save these dates!

  • June 23, 5 pm – Social Hafla & Potluck, Tapestry Folkdance Center, free & open to all
  • July 14, Guild & Friends Open Stage Performance at Ansari’s Mediterranean Café
  • Sept 22, Guild Outing, MN Renaissance Festival, Shakopee, MN
  • Nov 3, Guild Fall Fundraiser, Elision Playhouse, Crystal MN

Watch for more Guild Member events:

  • Sign up to receive our monthly newsletter
  • Check the calendar for posted events
  • Follow us on Facebook: Guild of Middle Eastern Dance

Are you a Guild member?

If you haven’t joined, please consider becoming a member. Membership dues ($28 a year) are our primary source of funding. In addition to our many Guild member benefits, your membership will support the vibrance of our dance community and our ability to put on events like these. Review benefits and join here.

We are a 501c7 social organization

We are a community supported and volunteer-run organization.

The current Guild Board: 2024-25

  • First chair: Dani Haller
  • Secretary: Mary West
  • Treasurer: Renee Szudy
  • Communications: Maerin Renee
  • Events: Bonnie Berquam
  • Social Media: LaDonna von Stoetzel
  • Website: Paula Nixa

Thank you for attending...from the Guild members.

Printable version of the program