The Gilded Serpent presents...
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.
Web site: www.daughtersofrhea.com
Articles on Gilded Serpent by or about Rhea of Athens
- 8-29-08 The Hippie Connection: Robert Altman’s 1969 In Utero Belly Dance Portrait of ME
There it was, the second of a series of black and white hippy portraits --people raving, a woman blissfully breastfeeding, couples hugging, dogs leaping – THE SEMINAL PHOTO OF MY LIFE – only, I was cut out!
- 8-25-04 Rhea's Travels to Syria, Part 1, The Delusion is Shattered
It looked like a Middle Eastern attempt at Las Vegas and Disneyland, upscale discotheques where attractive Moldavian that aforementioned familiar tributary, than go on to another one.
- 10-1-04 Rhea’s Travel to Syria … Part 2 – The Airport Nightmare
Too bad they didn’t have any friends in America.
- 12-4-04 Rhea’s Travel to Syria … Part 3– Surrounded by Men in the Airport
Clever girl, eh? You think it’s the first time I’ve traveled alone in the Middle East?
- 5-10-06 Rhea’s Travel to Syria …PART 4 – Damascus
If you try to show what basically decent people Americans are, you will be run over like a wild coyote. Leave your manners at home and take on theirs.
- 5-13-03 A Search for the Soul in All Things. Or On Turning 61 and ¼
By continuing to dynamically entertain and stay ahead of the pack, they embolden all women, even of a lesser dynamism, to remain in the fray as long as they desire, instead of being cast to the sidelines as the official baby sitter for grandchildren
- 11-12-02 Flying Saucers
They tended to talk more than to act and, by this time, I was hooked on the street theater of it all.
- 9-18-02 My Belly Dance Baptism, or A Tale of Armpit Hairs
There was a rumor (that was the truth) that I didn’t shave under my arms.
- 11-03-01 Adventures by the Nile, Part 2
Return to a Changed Sudan
- 10-15-01 Rhea's Adventures by the Nile, part 1
I guess every belly dancer's dream is to dance in a five star hotel in the Middle East.
- 5-11-01 Rhea Recounts, Part II, Of Belly Dancers, Bullets & The Men in Blue, or A Change of Scene: Rhea moves to Greece
Where the bullet went, or how close it came to hitting us, I'll never know...
- 5-19-00 An Interview of Rhea of Athens, Greece,
(This interview has been edited and reprinted with permission.)
- 1-4-00 Rhea reminisces
We weren't the Beat Generation, we were the Belly Generation
- 12-30-99 Rhea's Adventures -continues "Egyptian Dance Festival--Intrigue & Chaos" Part 2
"Strike!" I cried, and we all stood up and marched to the bus!
- 10-6-99 Rhea's Adventures-Egyptian Dance Festival--Intrigue & Chaos
I was intrigued when an envelope from Cairo, Egypt, arrived at my studio in Athens, Greece
- 8-20-99 Rhea's Adventures!- Mt. Sinai
...we donned tablecloths after dinner to dance to whatever they had on hand that could be blown into or beat upon...