Rhea of Athens

The Gilded Serpent presents...


of Athens

Rhea: Instigator of revolutions, innovator of style and form, Belly Dance Pioneer, a legend in her own time, master of the exciting Greco-Turkish style! Rhea's dynamic dancing blends principles of ancient Greek dance with modern Turkish Cabaret. Her current theories of dance emphasize Reconciliation of the Opposites - the union of right and left brain, yin and yang, male and female principles, sky and earth. Why did matriarchy change to patriarchy and what does the snake have to do with it? Rhea's instinctive conjectures illuminate in ways that will delight the mind and improve your dance! Everyone who crosses her path will attest: Never a dull moment with Rhea!

Rhea first became interested in belly dancing after seeing JamilaSalimpour's troupe Bal Anat perform at the Renaissance Pleasure Fair in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1968. She became one of the first sword dancers in Jamila's troupe and went on to become the first dancer in America to take the balancing of a sword into the context of a cabaret performance. In the early 70s, Rhea taught and performed in a multitude of Bay Area venues when interest in belly dance had reached its zenith, bringing up her two young daughters, Piper and Melinda, in the heart of the art. In 1977, Rhea left the U.S. to explore the various sources of belly dancing in the Middle East. After seeing the then reigning stars of the day, Zohair Zaki & Nagwa Fouad, and dancing in Egypt herself, Rhea settled in Athens. She set up a small dance studio à la Isadora Duncan at the base of the Acropolis where inspiration about new ways to impart the art of belly dance to her students daily springs unbidden to her mind. Rhea is currently brought in to speak, perform and conduct seminars throughout Europe and the U.S. Her classes are often augmented by the percussive and vocal abilities of her husband Ali Arsoy, an Iraqi musician with Kurdish, Armenian and Turkmanistan roots. Rhea and her students perform both folkloric and modern cabaret shows around Greece according to the venue. Rhea welcomes guest dancers and students from around the world to perform with her troupe.

Rhea in red

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