Festival Accès Asie proudly presents the fourth edition of its Middle Eastern Dance Competition on Sunday, May 20th at Sala Rossa.
The evening will feature solo performances from candidates selected from the Festival’s call for submissions. Dance performances will be accompanied by the rhythmic sounds of Eastern music. Six Middle Eastern dance styles will be featured: Baladi, Sharqi, Saïdi, Shaabi, Eskandarani Melaya Leff, and Khaliji.
Performances will be judged on a variety of artistic and technical criteria by three internationally renowned professional dancers. Caroline Labrie, our jury member of honour in this competition, will be accompanied by returning jury members, Khadija Jabiry and Pierre Khoury. Bringing her own special touch to the competition, dancer Diane Labelle will host this unique Eastern event in French and English.
The jury will award three prizes to outstanding dancers. In the ever popular Audience Choice Awards, the audience will get to vote for the best solo performances. But before the prizes are awarded, our feature dance performance will take center stage and get everyone moving. Let the dancing begin!
A dance instructor since 1999, Caroline Labrie lives and breathes dance. She is as passionate about dancing as she is about sharing her dance knowledge. For this reason, Labrie established Danse égyptienne des Bois-Francs (2003), a school introducing students to Oriental Sharqui and folkloric dances. An interest in Egypt and Middle Eastern culture grew naturally from an early fascination with history and geography. In 2004, Labrie immersed herself in her art by travelling for the first time to Egypt, the cradle of Eastern dance and land of her ancestral roots.
Of Moroccan origin, Khadija Jabiry comes from a family where dance and singing are an important part of everyday life. Early on, Jabiry’s passion for Egyptian dance took her to Egypt where she studied with prominent artists in Eastern dance such as Mahmoud Reda and Farida Fahmy. In 1999, she established the professional dance troupe Baladi et Danses de l’Orient: Tywalline, well-known for its diverse folkloric repertoire. Currently, Jabiry teaches North African dance in workshops in the United States and Canada, and serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Association québécoise de danse orientale (AQDO).
Pierre Khoury has managed to carve a prominent place in the world of oriental dance in Quebec. Winning the talent competition Cégep en spectacles, this dancer of Syrian origin, made his start in classical dance, and then as a professional in dances of the Orient, especially oriental classical and Dabke (Lebanese folklore). He completed his training with his mentor Khadija Jabiry, and continues to perfect himself with great Egyptian masters. In 2011, he created and managed Belly Dance with a Twist, evening shows for which he became the artistic director. Today Pierre is passionately pursuing his work as a dancer, choreographer and teacher, and regularly performs at La Menara Restaurant in the Old Port of Montreal.
Born in Montreal, Diane began her dance initiation with jazz, classical and modern dance. She undertook her training in oriental dance in 2003. In 2012, she studied with Khadija Jabiry and joined the folkloric troupe Les Tywallines from 2014 to 2015. She participated in many workshops with renowned teachers such as Aziza, Gamila Asfour, Lala Hakim, Amalia Maksoud, Karim Nagi, Ruby Beh, and others. She has danced in several Montreal festivals and Arabian restaurants in the city. Her dance style blends elements of classical and modern dance in fusion with oriental dance. Diane also teaches her passion. (www.labellebaladi.com)
Caroline Labrie – Judge of Honour
Khadija Jabiry – Dance Instructor and Choreographer
Pierre Khoury – Dancer, Choreographer and Instructor
Diane Labelle – Dancer and Instructor