The Canberra Casbah is a fundraising festival of bellydance. The first Festival, in what is planned to be an annual event for Canberra, will showcase workshops from admired and acclaimed Canberra teachers, an evening market filled with delights, and a night of stunning performances, all in a friendly and welcoming atmosphere.
Through the Canberra Casbah, and two other fundraising events held this year, the bellydancers of Canberra are lending their support to two organisations, DVCS (Domestic Violence Crisis Service) and B.A.C.A. (Bikers Against Child Abuse).
“The Most Wuthering Heights Day Ever” is a global day in mid-July when people from all walks of life, united by the interpretive dancer inside, come together, dressed in red to perform the famous dance en masse outdoors, and raise money for a local charity focused on women. Last year was the first Most Wuthering Heights Day for Canberra, and 100 Cathys braved the cold to dance in Glebe Park, raising money for the Domestic Violence Crisis Service. They will be dancing again in 2018 on 14 July in Civic Square, partnering with ACT Libraries to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Emily Bronte.
Shimmy Mob celebrates World Bellydance Day and was created to raise awareness and funds for victims of abuse and organisations who support them. United, they dance using the same song and the same choreography, wearing the same t-shirt, sharing the same goals, on the same day all over the world. All dancers at all levels are welcome to participate. Held on the second Saturday in May, Shimmy Mob is a global movement aiming to raise awareness and funds for local organisations who support women and children in crisis. This year, the 17 members of the Canberra Shimmy Mob Team were joined by another 34 dancers from eight different Canberra-based bellydance schools and troupes to celebrate World Bellydance Day, and raise funds for this year's chosen organisation, B.A.C.A Canberra.
The Canberra Casbah is an extension of both of these events, giving back to the Canberra bellydance community with discounted workshops, and providing an opportunity for dancers to extend their skills. There is even an entry level workshop for the novice dancer who has always wanted to give bellydance a try!
The Markets, aimed at the bellydance enthusiast, will feature a pre-loved costuming stall. This, along with the "bring your own mug" for drinks on sale, are signs that the Festival is working hard to minimise it's environmental footprint.
The Performance Hafla, starting at 7pm is a chance for the general public, and dedicated bellydance fans, to lend their support and be thoroughly entertained with a spectacular showcase of performances this dedicated group of dancers and fundraisers. Hafla tickets are at bargain prices at only $10/adult, $5/youth (12-17), and $20/family.
When the organising team of the Canberra Casbah say that this festival is running on volunteer power, they really mean it. Not only are the organisers volunteering their time, the workshop teachers, support staff and all the performers are volunteering their time to these great causes.
Get along to this fantastic event. You can book your tickets here. Just remember to bring a Mug!
First published at casbah.bellydancecanberra.net on 29 May 2018.