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Raqs Layali 2013, Asheville, North Carolina

Text by Event Producer Mahsati Janan,
photos by Bill Frazer, Sharon Taylor and Ra’eesa
posted April 17, 2013

A few pics from the Raqs Layali show held March 22-24, 2013 in Asheville, North Carolina. The show was a joint effort between artistic director and principal dancer Mahsati Janan, principal dancers Lisa Zahiya and Teejei Brigham, and the BeBe Theater. We sold out every night! The goal of the show was to introduce people to many of the different styles that are a part of belly dance, from the folkloric roots to modern fusions.

The Southeast is home to some absolutely amazing dancers. In Asheville, Mahsati Janan wanted to share the huge diversity of dance styles with the local arts audience, so she partnered with local dancers Lisa Zahiya and Teejei Brigham to develop a show displaying a spectrum of fabulous dances. With the assistance and support of the BeBe Theater, this show was a huge hit. A call for dancers went out in late 2012 and then rehearsals began in earnest in early 2013. Due to the incredible reception by the audience and arts community, Mahsati plans to make this a recurring event to shine a spotlight on the amazing variety of styles.


Zeffa – Photo by Bill Frazer,
Dancer with Shamadan – Mahsati Janan
Other Performers L to R – Najida, Teejei, Johanna, Tsura, Kelly, Kartane

Turkish by Joy

Turkish – Photo by Bill Frazer,
Dancer – Joy


Saiidi – Photo by Bill Frazer
            Dancers L to R – Meaghann Lynne, Kartane, Nicole, Joy



Khaleegy Final Bow – Photo by Bill Frazer
Dancers L to R – Kelly, Nicole, Phaedra Abdou, Mahsati, Meaghann Lynne, Ra’eesah, Sameerah, Annie, Johanna, Teejei, Najida, Kartane


Khaleegy – Photo by Bill Frazer
            Dancers Front Row L to R – Nicole, Meaghann Lynne, Johanna
Dancers Back Row L to R – Kelly, Sameerah, Annie


Ghawazee – Photo by Bill Frazer
            Dancers L to R – Najida, Nicole, Annie, Meaghann Lynne

Mahsati raqs!

Egyptian Raqs Sharqi – Photo by Bill Frazer
            Dancer – Mahsati Janan


ATS – Photo by Bill Frazer
            Dancers L to R – Tsura, Ani, Teejei, Annie


American Orientale – Photo by Bill Frazer
            Dancers L to R – Najida, Ra’eesah, Phaedra Abdou, Sameerah

Hip hop

Hip Hop Fusion – Photo by Sharon Taylor
            Dancer – Lisa Zahiya





Khaleegy Group Pose – Photo by Bill Frazer
            Dancer Front – Teejei
            Dancers Middle Line Seated L to R – Kelly, Annie, Najida, Kartane, Mahsati
Dancers Back Line Standing L to R – Nicole, Johanna, Joy, Phaedra Abdou, Najida, Tsura, Ra’eesah, Sameerah, Meaghann Lynne


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  1. Michele DohseNo Gravatar

    Apr 21, 2013 - 09:04:35

    I attended with a friend who had never been exposed to bellydance, although she had been a dancer and was also involved for many years with Folkmoot. She was mesmerized! If this becomes an annual event she and I will probably attend together again because we had such a great time. (Full disclosure: I am a student of both Lisa & Mahsati).

  2. ConcepcionNo Gravatar

    Jul 7, 2013 - 06:07:41

    Greetings! Very helpful advice in this particular
    post! It is the little changes that produce the most important changes.
    Many thanks for sharing!


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