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News Release

Date: November 30, 2005
Media Contact: Elizabeth Homan, 301-251-7970; Steve Simon, 301-251-7952

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Montgomery College to Host “Yalla! A Celebration of Women’s Dance”
Benefit Concert to Feature Middle Eastern Dance, Dec. 10

PHOTO EDITORS: For high-resolution images to accompany this release, click on these links: Yasmin.jpg and Zareen.jpg.

Montgomery College will host a benefit dance concert with performances by acclaimed Middle Eastern dancers on Saturday, Dec. 10, at 7:30 p.m.  The featured dancers from the Washington, D.C. area include Yasmin, Lotus Niraja, Asharah, Miasia, Zareen, and Pop Raqs.  The concert will be held at the Theatre Arts Arena, located in the Theatre Arts Building on the College’s Rockville Campus, 51 Mannakee Street, Rockville, Md.  Tickets for the concert are $14 for adults; $6 for students and seniors.  All proceeds of the concert will benefit the Women’s Studies Scholarship fund, which provides scholarships to worthy Montgomery College students who have taken women’s studies courses. 

Yasmin is known for her Egyptian belly dance.  She grew up in Washington, D.C., but lived and performed in France, England, and Egypt, performing in clubs and cabarets.  Now back in Washington, Yasmin teaches dance and continues to perform. 

Lotus Niraja is a Lebanese and modern Egyptian style dancer. Niraja’s technique of belly dance combines Middle Eastern dance with the new urban dance styles of Lebanon and the West.  She is the artistic director and a principal choreographer for the Baltimore based-Niraja Dance Company (NDC), a modern belly dance company.

Asharah has been performing since the age of six as a dancer, figure skater, and singer. She has extensive experience in Turkish, Egyptian and American belly dance, and she is best known for her dramatic fusion of tribal, Turkish, and cabaret styles.  She currently performs with the avant-garde troupe Martiya Possession and at the Shisha Lounge in Sterling, Virginia. 

Miasia is a formally trained Middle Eastern belly dancer.  Her repertoire includes Turkish, Egyptian, American and Lebanese styles of Oriental belly dance.  Miasia’s signature is to perform traditional Middle Eastern dance to a blend of music from hip hop, soul, and classical Middle Eastern compositions. 

Zareen is the founder and organizer of the Starlight Shimmy shows, which showcase the talents of up-and-coming Middle Eastern dancers.  She has also performed at a variety of events in the DC metro area.  Zareen enjoys exploring the many different styles of Middle Eastern dance and is known for her innovative fusion dance style.

For disability-related accommodations, call Professor Deborah Stearns at 301-738-1781.  For more information and to purchase tickets, call the Women’s Studies office at 301-279-5355. 


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Montgomery College is a public, open admissions community college with campuses in Germantown, Rockville, and Takoma Park/Silver Spring, plus workforce development/continuing education centers and off-site programs throughout Montgomery County, Md.  The College serves more than 55,000 students a year, through both credit and noncredit programs, in more than 100 areas of study

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