Ya Helwa III

Dates and Venue 22 June 2014, 7:30pm | Rickshaw Theatre 254 East Hastings

Reviewer Ed Farolan

Rahel hosted her very own third annual bellydance showcase featuring her students and special guest performers. Half of the evening featured solo and group performances by Rahel’s students with the other half featuring special guest performances. Rahel made an appearance in each set. She is a magnificent dancer and although the show lasted almost three hours, it was very gratifying.

Rahel has loved dance all her life. Since a young age, she has been highly involved in the artistic exploration of various forms of dance, rhythm and music. She found her calling in Raks Sharqi (Oriental/Egyptian Cabaret Style Bellydance) at the age of fifteen and has been passionate about it ever since, wholly immersing herself in it.

The first part of the show had her students dancing all sorts of bellydance from Ache Brasil Beginners to her very own Helwa Dancers, a performance troupe she founded in 2012 composed of students and professionals.

The second part was quite interesting as it comprised professional belly dancers giving different twists to belly dance, from styles like Flamenco and Western dance to modern rock. The guests included in this set were Floreo, Azrakesh, Nicci, Lejla, Habayeb El Raqs, Samar, Aviva, Maki, Ala Nar, Ishtar and Rahel. The last two numbers I found the best. Ishtar is only 10 years old and she was the darling of the crowd as she did her beautiful belly dance. And of course, Rahel was the best, as she closed both the first and second sets with her extremely exotic dances. Her last dance with the swords was awe-inspiring.

Rahel also teaches yoga, and this discipline, I think, is most important for bellydancing. Finally, in my opinion, I could see a future in bellydancing here in Vancouver with Rahel at its helm. For more info, check out her website at www.raheldance.com

© 2014 Ed Farolan