Gilded Serpent presents...

Photos from
Cifuentes’ Sommer Festival in Berlin

Report and photos by
Ma*Shuqa Mira Murjanand Carl Sermon
posted December 14, 2011

This year, Carl Sermon and I were fortunate to be invited to participate in the 8th Annual Sommer-Festival in Berlin, Germany. Horacio Cifuentes recalled my early performances with Isis Wings in the ‘80s with a pair of wings that I designed and first used at the Rosicrucian Museum in San Jose, CA, USA. Therefore, he invited me to teach a workshop utilizing Isis Wings (which, interestingly enough, are pronounced as “Ee-sis Wings” by Europeans). Carl and I were the photographers of the Oriental Dance and Tribal Dance (wettbewerb) competitions, as well as the Matinee Show and Gala Show held at the historic Russisches Haus Theatre in the former East Berlin.

The Sommer Festival in Berlin is presented by Beata and Horacio Cifuentes as an intensive offering of Oriental dance encouraging professional development for dancers through the opportunity to participate in the finest quality of instruction, competition, and performance. It is a well-organized long weekend in Berlin filled with workshops in Oriental dance and tribal dance held in four dance studios and two show venues.

The idea of presenting a dance festival together with a contest is to promote talent, encourage excellence, and motivate dance artists from all over the world to come to Berlin and participate and results in this special and amazing event of learning and performance.

This year, the Gala show was graced by international stars such as: Yasmina of Cairo, Mohammed El Hosseny of Finland/Egypt, Rachel Brice, Elisabeth Strong, and (myself) Ma*Shuqa Mira Murjan, Patricia of Hannover, Germany, Guzel of Korea, Jamilah and Anna Redlin of Poland, Maki of Japan, and Illan of France.

The contests provide the opportunity to display talent and skills, attracting talented professional dancers from around the world. The winners of the raks sharqi contest and the tribal competition experience great benefits gaining international recognition to support professional dance careers. Former competition winners have been featured on the cover of dance publications such as, Tanzoriental magazine of Nurnberg, Germany; and receive invitations to return to this annual Berlin dance festival the following year as workshop teachers, performers, and judges.

Carl and I enjoyed the event, sampling Turkish and German food and touring museums. We enthusiastically recommend the event as a chance for intensive professional development and opportunity to see high quality accomplished performances by European dancers who commit to serious study of Oriental dance as participants in the CATT training program.

If you attend this festival, plan to bring walking shoes to get to the dance studio venues and prepare yourself for an all-inclusive weekend!

This weekend is a uniquely challenging intensive study that includes a fascinating cross-section of both Oriental and Tribal dance workshops, competition, and two performances. We hope to see more American dancers participate in this event, sharing top-quality performances with Europeans in the future. We invite you to enjoy these images of beautiful performances from the Sommer-Festival 2011 shows.

 

[12-27-11 ed note: Photos have been juggled since original posting to refect the winners by category]

2011 Contest Winners the Berlin Sommer Festival by Category

Preliminnaries in all categories were held on Thursday evening , September 1, 2011.
Finals for all categories then competed on Saturday, September 3.
Oriental Solo Pros in the Gala show in the evening and all other categories were settles in Saturday afternoon in the Matinee show.

 

Raks Sharqi Solo Professional

1st prize – Valeria – Russia

1st place

Valerie wins!

Valerie of Russia wins!
Valerie of Russia
Valerie of Russia

2nd prize – Agata of Poland

2nd Place

Agata Zakrezewska of Poland
Agata Zakrezewska of Poland

3rd prize- Ranya of Slovakia

3rd place

Ranya of Slovakia
Ranya of Slovakia

 

Other contestants:

Alexandra of Switzerland

Alexandra of Switzerland

 

Carol of Venezuela

Carol of Venezuela

Chucha Cukrowska of Poland

Anna Chucha Cukrowska of Poland

 

Yoon Ha Kim of Korea

Yoon Ha Kim of Korea

 

Raks Sharqi Semi Professional

1st prize – Varda of Poland

1st place

Varda of Poland
Varda of Poland

2nd prize- Agata Zakrezewska – Poland (pictured above)
2nd Place

 

3rd prize- Alexandra – Switzerland (pictured above)

3rd place

 


Other contestants:

Celine of Germany

Celine of Germany

Inara of Germany

Inara of Germany

Lea Elcagu of Switzerland

Lea Elcagu of Switzerland

Nashita of Czech Republic

Nashita of Czech Republic

Nichole McLaren of Switzerland

Nichole McLaren of Switzerland

Selena of Poland

Selena of Poland


Oriental Dance Duo and Oriental Dance Trio

1st prize – Bellyious Duo of Poland

1st place

Bellyious Duo Poland

Bellyious Duo of Poland

 

2nd prize – Inspirit The Newage Bellydancers of Germany
2nd Place

Inspirit The Newage Bellydancers of Germany

Inspirit The Newage Bellydancers of Germany

 

3rd prize- Shareefa & Nashita – Czech Republic

3rd place

Shareefa and Nashita of Czech Republic

Shareefa and Nashita of Czech Republic

Other contestants:
none

 

Tribal Dance Solo

1st prize – Michaela Sladeckova of Czech Republic

1st place

Michaela Sladeckova of Czech Republic

Michaela Sladeckova of Czech Republic
Michaela Sladeckova Czech Repubic
Michaela Sladeckova Czech Repubic

 

 

2nd prize –Jeka Tribellydancer of Venezula
2nd Place

Jeka Tribellydancer of Venezula

Jeka Tribellydancer of Venezula

 

3rd prize – Alhazar of Spain

3rd place

Alhazar of Spain

 

Other contestants:

Izabella Logonowicz of Poland

Izabella Logonowicz of Poland

 

Tribal Dance Duo and Tribal Dance Trio

1st prize – Bellycious Tribal Duo

1st place

Bellycious Tribal Duo

Bellycious Tribal Duo

 

Other contestants:
none

 

Oriental Dance Group/Formation and Tribal Dance Group/Formation

1st prize – Garam Masala of Czech Republic

1st place

Garam Masala of Czech Republic

Garam Masala of Czech Republic

2nd prize – InFusion – Germany
2nd Place

InFusion of Germany

 

 

3rd prize – Shirazia of Switzerland

3rd place

Shiarzia of Switzerland

Shirazia of Switzerland

 

Other contestants:

Caravan Dancers of Czech Repubic

Caravana Dancers of Czech Repubic

El Sahara of Switzerland

El Sahara of Switzerland

Nour Al Ainy of Switzerland
Nour Al Ainy of Switzerland

Shareefa Group of Switzerland
Shareefa Group
– Switzerland

Sintis of France

Sintis of France

 

 

 

Groups pose together with Beata on mic
Groups pose together on stage with Beata, center stage, talking on a microphone
click photo for enlargement

 

 

Saturday Matinee

Theater Russishes Haus

  • Overture Beata and Horacio
    Beata

Overture Horacio

Horacio

Overture with Beata and horse

Beata and horse
Mohamed El Hosseny of Finaland and Egypt
Mohamed El Hosseny of Finland and Egypt

Liz Strong

Elizabeth Strong of USA
Ma Shuqa
MaShuqa of USA
Illan of France
Illan of France
(A high school student, self taught with Rachel Brice videos!)

Anna Redlin of Poland

Anna Redlin of Poland (winner in 2010)

Maki  of Japan

Maki of Japan

 

 

Saturday Evening Gala Show

Theater Russishes Haus

  • teachers again
  • CATT group
  • 8 finalists of mixed tribal and oriental
To get the audience into the proper frame of reference for this section of the show, Rosa, the emcee, announced this showpiece with a “singing operatic announcement of this part of the show – in the style of the emcee Joel Gray in the movie “Cabaret”. Fourteen of the most capable dancers were invited to join the CATT company and debuted at the festival with an extremely challenging twenty-minute tableaux entitled “Burlesque Dance Theatre”, a suite of ten dances, lead by Beata and Horacio with story line and high energy dancing in Broadway’s exciting “Bob Fosse” style. Although, one may say, “What does Burlesque have to do with Oriental Dance?” This rendition of Burlesque was a tribute to the finest showmanship of the 1920s-era Burlesque shows in the USA.
CATT Company deos burlesque
Cifuentes’ CATT Company does burlesque.

Horacio takes part

Beata and Horacio do burlesque
Beata and Horacio

This year, the Gala show was graced by international stars such as: Yasmina of Cairo, Mohammed El Hosseny of Finland/Egypt, Rachel Brice, Elisabeth Strong, and (myself) Ma*Shuqa Mira Murjan, Patricia of Hannover, Germany, Guzel of Korea, Jamilah and Anna Redlin of Poland, Maki of Japan, and Illan of France.

Beata
Beata Cifuentes
Horacio Cifuentes
Horacio
Rachel Brice of USA
Rachel Brice of USA
Yasmina of Cairo
Yasmina of Cairo
Liz Strong
Liz Strong
Jamileh of Poland
Jamileh of Poland ( a winner in 2010)

Patricia of Germany

Patricia of Germany (her tribal troupe toured in US with Beata and Horacio last year)

Guzel of South Korea

Guzel of South Korea (won contest in 2009)

 

 

Valeria of Russia

Valeria of Russia- 1st place Solo Pro

 

 

Next year’s event will be held August 30th to September 2, 2012

 

use the comment box

Have a comment? Use or comment section at the bottom of this page or Send us a letter!
Check the "Letters to the Editor" for other possible viewpoints!

Ready for more?

  • SFBA MECDA Gala Show & Festival 2010
    Produced by the San Francisco Bay Area chapter of the Middle Eastern Culture and Dance Association, held on November 15, 2010, in the Hillview Community Center in Los Altos, CA
  • Sunday Photos from Rakkasah East- October 2010
    Barakat, Basema, Dena Shazadi, Fatima, Fire Blossoms, Ghada Girls, Habiba, Laura, Leila, Rega, Saiedah, Shadia, Tempest, Willow, Yuliya, Zenaiede

  • Amity, Anka Kusu, Belly Mystic, Bliss, Calixta, Desert Moon, Dorothea, Eddie Kochak, Scott Wilson, Serpent Secrets, Fantasha Dancers, Isis, Jamileh, Kelebek, Latifa, Lily…
  • Friday Night Photos from Rakkasah East- October 2010
    Desert Embers, Dharma, Fahtiem, Leila Haddad, Mystic Wiles, Nadia Layla, Najma, NightShade, Phoenis, Raks Shiva, Troupe Shahibat
  • Your Stage Name, Choosing the Right One
    Beware of letting others name you! Years ago, dancers were often surprised before going on stage to dance as they were announced by musicians or club owners by a name unknown to them that they hadn’t selected.
  • Carnival of Stars, Page 4: O-Z Photos
    The Carnival of Stars Festival is produced by Pepper Alexandria and Latifa at the Richmond Auditorium each year at the beginning of August. The stage at this facility is hard to beat. The wonderful lighting and the large stage make every dancer feel like a diva! Once again, Carl has done an amazing job catching the character of each dancer.
  • Carnival of Stars, Page 3: I-O Photos
    The Carnival of Stars Festival is produced by Pepper Alexandria and Latifa at the Richmond Auditorium each year at the beginning of August. The stage at this facility is hard to beat. The wonderful lighting and the large stage make every dancer feel like a diva! Once again, Carl has done an amazing job catching the character of each dancer.
  • Carnival of Stars, Page 2: D-H Photos
    The Carnival of Stars Festival is produced by Pepper Alexandria and Latifa at the Richmond Auditorium each year at the beginning of August. The stage at this facility is hard to beat. The wonderful lighting and the large stage make every dancer feel like a diva! Once again, Carl has done an amazing job catching the character of each dancer.
  • Carnival of Stars, Page 1: A-C Photos
    The Carnival of Stars Festival is produced by Pepper Alexandria and Latifa at the Richmond Auditorium each year at the beginning of August. The stage at this facility is hard to beat. The wonderful lighting and the large stage make every dancer feel like a diva! Once again, Carl has done an amazing job catching the character of each dancer.
  • Loyalty, A Virtue Out of Fashion?
    Some do not stop to think that it is a matter of basic manners to express your gratitude to an individual who has made an effort to provide well-being and knowledge. They just go and move on to their aerobics classes, horseback riding sessions, judo drills, or other, while the teacher is left behind wondering if any aspect of their lesson caused the pupil to go.
  • Give Credit where Credit is Due!
    However, some dancers are using the same music, costumes and choreography in their performances that they first see elsewhere. This begs the question: at what point does copying someone’s original concept or choreography cross over from homage to stealing?
  • A Weekend with Horacio & Beata Cifuentes, Part 2
    For me, if I am still thinking about it and what I gained from it as a dancer, months or years after I took it, then that is a “golden” workshop. Making it “golden” takes the effort of a lot of people involved.
  • A Weekend with Horacio & Beata Cifuentes, Part 1
    What is it about certain workshops in which the profundity and joy of the workshop stays with you long after it is over?
  • "But others do it too!" Pirating Recorded Music
    I figured we were investing in our future. "One day", I thought, "we can retire from dance and collect the fruits of our efforts as music producers." For a while we were able to retrieve our investment and go into profit. Unfortunately, this has changed now.
  • About my teacher Magana Baptiste
    At the time when her husband placed second in the Mr. America body building contest, and mind you, these were the days when body builders took no steroids and were true examples of healthy humans, Magana placed first runner up in the Miss USA beauty competition held in Los Angeles in 1951.
  • At Home with Fifi Abdou
    In America, one of the things that especially pleased me was the inclusiveness of the dance scene there – in my classes I saw women of many different ages – and body types – enjoying dancing, and that made me happy
  • Journey of Desire: A Foreign Dancer in Cairo, 2006, Video Review
    I believe that any dancer who has the desire to go to Cairo to work will benefit from the experiences of Yasmina and the other working dancers whom she asked to contribute. One will come away having a better understanding of the Arabic culture and how the dance is viewed within that culture.
  • Rachel Brice Goes Balkan: Pogonometric Revue
    Sunday, March 12, 2006, CELLspace, 2050 Bryant St., San Francisco, Cost: $15 and worth every penny
  • Belly Dance, Burlesque and Beyond: Confessions of a Post Modern Showgirl
    “BUT WAIT!!!” I can hear you screaming, “ BURLESQUE IS STRIPPING”
  • Divorcing Belly Dance From Burlesque
    As it is traditionally understood, I do not find Burlesque, (meaning nudity-no matter how hard one pretends it does not) amusing or creative in the slightest when it comes to including Belly dance, an art that has suffered too long with such unfortunate associations. I find it completely irresponsible and detrimental.

   |       |    No Comments

Click and type in the comment box to add to this discussion. If you want to see an avatar for yourself, set up an avatar at http://www.Gravatar.com

 

Gilded Serpent

MaryEllen Donald