It’s sometimes quite difficult to find alternative sources of entertainment in Seoul, but recently more and more different forms of art and recreational activities are surfacing – including this year’s Asia Raqs Bellydance Festival. From the 15th – 17th June you will have two nights in which you can immerse yourself in bellydance celebrations and workshops, to the point where you’ll have convinced yourself you’ll be able to perform in next year’s festival.
Canadian-born Eshe has organised the event and is singlehandedly enlightening Korea about the wonders of belly dancing. She has been living in Korea for almost 5 years and opened her own dance studio last year near Mangwon Station. Eshe has perfected her art in Japan, Egypt, Turkey, South Korea, Indonesia, and Australia. She is renowned in Korea for her talent, having been on the cover of Groove Magazine and having participated in World DJ Fest, Pentaport Rock Festival and the Grand Mint Festival. If anyone has the credentials to create such a large event then it’s Eshe.
Alongside Eshe this weekend will be her student troupe Navah. Renata, a Korean bellydancer, has performed in France, Italy, Argentina, and Japan. Farasha is one of the top bellydancers in Tokyo.
Yildiz also runs her own belly dance school in Tokyo and has performed at large-scale events throughout Japan, including famous music festival Fuji Rock. There will also be many others who are at professional level who promise to deliver a spectacular show. Plus, look how sexy they are!
There will be some of the same dancers on the two nights. However, they will be performing different acts. There will also be live music performances and during the daytimes, and as previously mentioned, Eshe, Farasha, Yildiz, and Ken Matsuo will be giving instructional workshops at Eshe’s dance studio.
This should be a pretty interesting and unusual event. All the dancers and organisers have worked extremely hard to put on this festival in order to showcase their talents to those of us who may have been unaware of the bellydancing scene here in Seoul.
The festival on Friday is at CafeAAA in Hongdae, June 15-17. Tickets are 15,000won including a free drink.
Saturday is at Hodge Podge in Hongdae, cover is still 15,000won with one free beverage.
Here’s a video of Eshe doing some bellydancing in rockers Apollo 18’s Orbis music video to get you in the mood for the festivities this weekend.
Pictures courtesy of Eshe.