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Suzy Evans, Mher Pannossian, Hadia,
Hayat El Helwa, Hallah Moustafa

Mary Ann Cappa receiving
the "Little Egypt" Award

Atea presenting award to Hayat

Marta Schill

The Gilded Serpent reports on...
IAMED's Fourth Annual Awards of Bellydance

by Marula

with contributing comments from Alia and Aleia

Seldom does one see a bellydance production as professionally staged and presented as the International Academy of Middle Eastern
Dance's annual Awards of Bellydance. For one magical, talent-filled evening, Suzy Evans and the IAMED promote the art of bellydance by recognizing outstanding artists and by producing a spectacular show that keeps the audience riveted to the theater's seats. This year's show was a tribute to Suzy's energy, time, and vision. From the very beginning of the show, the audience was mesmerized by a vibrant display of colorful costumes, talented dancers and musicians, fantasy, and professionalism.

The 150-mile drive from San Diego to Northridge is a respectable distance to travel for a 2-hour show; however, by carpooling with two other dancers, I was not only able to enjoy the drive, but was also able to immediately share my post-show enthusiasm. What struck me the most during our discussion was that although we were unanimous in our appreciation of the show, we were each individually touched by different performances. This article is a combination of the impressions shared by three inspired dancers driving home to San Diego.

Sequined in gorgeous red, Alexandra King began the evening's performances. She projects her art as a woman's dance, filled with strength, joy, and vulnerability. Soon after, "Beyond Egypt," a piece performed by Jillina & The Sahala Dancers, captivated us from the start with music from Carmina Burana that spoke of the ancient people of Europe and reminded us that life is subject to the whims of fortune.

Laurel Gray, draped sweetly in bright pastels, favored the audience with two performances. Alia was especially drawn to the second number, a Persian-style of dance that dance ethnographers had reconstructed from paintings. Saucy, bubbly, and modern, Zahra Zuhair performed a delightful Egyptian routine, while "Dance of the Seven Veils," performed by Tamalyn Dallal, was an elegant adventure into layers of moods and emotions. As each veil was removed and delicately treasured, she projected the depth of her art.

Jindra perfectly fused ballet and the elegant seductiveness of bellydance. Full of fun and grace, she covered the stage with a presence and creativity that left the audience wishing for much, much more. Responding to that wish, the next performer, Shoshanna, interpreted the violin solo "Ahiam." Communicating tremendous emotion, she generously shared her passion for this music with the audience.

FatChanceBellyDance delighted us with their dramatic, silhouetted entrance, large cymbals, and stylish posturing. Their music and tribal style offered a change of pace that the audience enjoyed. Then, touching a nostalgic nerve, Hayat El Helwa, a guest artist from Sao Paulo, Brazil gave a performance reminiscent of an older style that introduced many a longtime dancer to bellydance, including myself.
SeSe & the Cairoettes displayed beautifully designed floor patterns that were full of energy, and Fahtiem, emoting the presence of a master-diva, combined fluid motion with an exceptional audience rapport that carried into the farthest seats of the theater.

Hadia, presenting a strong classical Egyptian style filled with personality and fun, provided a perfect finale to a perfect show.

As with all awards shows, honors were presented and received with joy, tears, and trembling hands.

Below are the esteemed winners of
the IAMED's Awards of Bellydance 2000:

  • Instructor: Z-Helene
  • Dance Company: Suhaila Dance Company
  • Modern Egyptian Dancer: Jillina
  • Music: Cairo Caravan by Movses Panossian
  • Choreography: Hadia
  • Ethnic Dancer: Alexandria
  • Instructional Video: Oriental Arms by Katia
  • Promoter: MECDA
  • New category in 2000- "Little Egypt" Award: Mary Ann Capa
  • a special award for promoting dance in Brazil: Hayat
  • Cabaret Dancer: Judeen
  • Dancer of the Year: Dalia Carella
Performance Photos


Tamalyn Dallal

Laurel Gray

Zahra Zuhair

"Oriental Ballet"


Hayat El Helwa



Sese & the Cairoettes

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