After its success in its 2014 edition, Festival Accès Asie is once again pleased to present the Middle‐Eastern Dance Competition.
After a pre‐selection of candidates who responded to the Festival’s call for submissions, sixteen amateur and semi‐professional dancers were chosen to perform a solo oriental dance at La Sala Rossa. Six dance styles will be presented: Saidi, Baladi, Raqs sharqi, Shaabi, Eskandarani and Khaleeji.
Performances will be judged according to specific artistic and technical criteria by three renowned professional dancers Khadija Jabiry, Pierre Khoury and Florence Leclerc. The jury will award three prizes to outstanding dancers. The audience will also have a say as they vote for the best solo performance for the Audience Choice Award. Last year’s winner, Jacynthe Longpré, will perform during the jury’s deliberation. The competition will be presented in French and English by dancer and spokesperson of this second edition of the competition, Diane Labelle.
In what is sure to be one of the highlights of the Festival, you are invited to join this celebration of dance, let your body move to the music and dance the night away!
Khadija Jabiry comes from a Moroccan home where dance and singing was part of her family day-to-day life. Passionate about Egyptian dance, she continued her training in Egypt, close to prominent master Eastern dancers such as Mahmoud Reda and Farida Fahmy. In 1999, she established the professional dance troupe Baladi et Danses de l’Orient : Tywalline, distinguished by its diverse folkloric repertoire. Khadija currently conducts workshops on North African dances both in Canada and the United States, and also serves as a board member of the Association québécoise de danse orientale (AQDO).
A Montrealer of Syrian origin, Pierre Khoury has attained a strong reputation in Eastern dance circles of Quebec and North America. After completing his training under the guidance of Khadija Jabiry, he put all his passion into professional dancing and choreography. Among other performances, he has danced for the International Bellydance Conference of Canada in Toronto and the Theatrical Bellydance Conference of New York in 2010. He has also acted as artistic director at Bellydance with a Twist events in Montreal, and on juries for many Cégeps en spectacles editions. He has worked along with many local artists as a choreographer, including as an awarded soloist of the AQDO in 2013.
Born in Montreal, Diane Labelle began dancing at the age of twelve, engaging in classical ballet, jazz and contemporary dance. Passionate about all sorts of dance styles, she began practising baladi dance in 2003, perfecting her skills under the guidance of dance masters from Egypt, Morocco and Montreal. She has developed a distinctive style that fuses classical and contemporary dance with baladi and raqs sharqi.
Florence Leclerc holds a DCS in dance and has quickly gained a reputation in the world of Eastern dance. A talented ballroom dancer, she has been a member of the Denise and Ahmed Enan’s folkloric troupe, as well as the professional company, Oriental Ballet of Canada, which has been awarded gold medals from the AQDO and the Bellydancer of the World Competition. She has won several national and international Eastern dance competitions such as Rakstar (2014). Besides her participation in a number of productions, she runs the amateur troupe Mesk El Leil, and also works as a choreographer and instructor at the Louise Lapierre Dance School.
Khadija Jabiry – Judge
Pierre Khoury – Judge
Florence Leclerc – Judge
Diane Labelle – Spokeswoman