Deep in the heart of winter, when most of us wisely opt to hide our pasty-white bellies under multiple layers of micro fleece, Boise's elite belly dancers will bare their talented midriffs in the 4th Annual Big Bad-Ass Belly Dance Show Saturday, Feb. 8, at the Visual Arts Collective.
Considered by many experts to be the oldest form of dance, traditional belly dance was--contrary to popular conception--typically performed by women, for women. Today, belly dance is often seen as a form of creative expression, a vehicle for cultural celebration or even a uniquely challenging workout.
With roots in the Middle East, Mediterranean and northeastern Africa, it wasn't until the 20th century that belly dancing became widespread, appearing in carnivals and fairs around the world.
Luckily, Boise can claim more than a few skilled practitioners as its own, and the event promises performances from the traditional to the extreme--with everything in between. Featured artists will include Cairo Fusion, Samira Il Naia, Tracy Lay, Cecilia and Chad Rinn, and the Starbelly Dancers.
In addition to finger cymbals and flying skirts, there will also be a silent auction with proceeds benefiting the Starbelly SEEDs--Self-Esteem, Empowerment, and Education through Dance--a program that aims to help at-risk, teenage girls.
Starbelly School of Dance brought the SEED program to Idaho in order to give young girls both the courage and the tools to grow into strong women by fostering respect and appreciation for diversity and culture.
Various workshops will also be offered throughout the weekend. Registration required.