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Interview with Aisa Lafour

by Marcel Bieger

Orientalicous is a 3 day long festival with international artists. It's 3 days of parties, Gala show, workshops, bellydance movies, bazaar, debate and open stage. It's a rich program all related to bellydance. The Idea behind Orientalicious (Oriental + Delicious) is to create a high level event that will let people experience the beauty of Middle Eastern dance, music and culture. For a long time it was quite underestimated, I felt that and I wanted to change it and share my passion with everyone. At Orientalicious people will learn more about this beautiful art form in a fresh and modern way.
Orientalicious 1 became a tremendous success immediately, how did that happen?

Yes it was, and I am very thankful for that! I think it had to do with the choices I made of the performers, and the artistic image and organisation of the festival.
I travelled a lot to festivals to teach and perform in the last years, also with BDE, so I met a lot of very talented and inspiring dancers. I wanted to bring them to Holland to show what kind of interesting developments in bellydance are going on in the world.

Meanwhile we have several festivals and shows in the Netherlands, it's like in the fairy tale of Sleeping beauty - the Dutch belly dance community has been kissed awake. How come, Holland took so long, and how come that it's blossoming now at several places? 

That is true, we took a long time. That was one of the other reasons that I took the risk of organizing such a big event. I think the Dutch bellydance scene was quite closed. All the dance schools just were like little islands. There were people who were organizing but it was always small. Nobody dared to organize something big and international. In Holland we have a saying: Act normal, that's already strange enough. I think this was what was going on.
Funny was that I had the idea of doing a very “undutch” festival,  already for a while, and one of my colleagues also. We found out that we had the same ideas. So we met and talked about it. Now she has her festival and I have mine. We are both supporting each other. I think there was just a cloud of inspiration above Holland and it became about time!
Looking back at the first Orientalicious, what would you never do again, and what were the most wonderful moments?

Wow that's a hard question because I loved Orientalicious 1. It was such a success. About the content I would not think of not doing something again. But organizing a festival without any sponsor or aid from the government, being just depending on the income from the visitors, that is what I would not do again. Such an event is very expensive and it's almost not reachable. But I see the first year as a good investment. Now sponsors see what I am capable of, so it's easier to have financial help. They trust me now. That is a big relief and makes me much more relaxed towards the date of the event.

Well this year I am working together with Liteside who are organizing the Shimmy Shake Crossover Bellydance Contest. That's why we have also quite some tribal and fusion/crossover styles next to the Oriental styles. I like to show the wide range of colours that bellydance has nowadays.

I hope to be able to organize this festival every year, and always come with the best artists of the moment. My dream is to have BDE one day in Holland. I first need to find a way to do that.
bellydance festival 2011

June 10th - June 12th
in Amsterdam/NL
Festival Artists:

Orit Maftsir (ISR) Site

Leyla Jouvana & Roland (GER) Site

Samantha Emmanuel (UK) Site

Ahmed Fekry (EG/ DE) Site

Suraiya & Mansour (PL & EG) Site

Nadia Nikischenko (RU) Site

Aisa Lafour (NL) Site

Abo el 3Azm (EG)

Farahnaz (GER/IRAN) Site

Shalymar el Amar (GER) Site

Anusch Alawerdian (ARM/NL) Site

Tjarda van Straten Site 

Amano Project (By Tjarda NL)

 Miro Nayel (EG/NL)

"Dayy el Amar Ensemble"  
(by Aisa Lafour NL)

Barbara Renfurm
(Winner Shimmy Shake contest NL)

Holy Pie
(Winner Shimmy Shake contest NL)


Ensemble Arabesque (MOR/NL)


Bellydance Saray Site

Le monde Oriental de Fatima Site

De Danspaskamer Site

Mata Hari

Lush Site

More workshops and further informations about the Orientalicious Shimmy Shake Festival here
You are one of the most famous belly dancers of Holland and Europe, and since last year you have your own show (together with friends). What is the idea behind "Orientalicious"?
You have some big stars in your line up, and a broad mixture of styles. Where do you want to go to with this series, what are your next plans and what are your long term aims?

Charming promoter Aisa Lafour seems to count on German instructors this year. And indeed they have something to offer for everybody from beginners to advanced level. We would like to introduce this happy crowd  to you:

Leyla Jouvana and Roland

Multiple Layers and new shimmies with Leyla & Roland   (For Tribal and Bellydance !) 

Open Level

Thrilling moredimensional  Layers a la Leyla Jouvana with geometrical forms (circles, eights, waves, camels) with Arms, Hands, Head, Upper and Lower body and with

the special shimmies of the Shimmy Queen herself. You will wonder how many layers are possible (up to 8 layers in the same time) with isolation and body control.  For all levels, you can choose how many layers you want or need depending to your personal level.
Ahmed Fekry

Oriental Baladi (techniques and choreography)


Oriental Baladi is mostly a female solo dance , but this time it’s a bit different you will learn the Oriental Baladi from a man called Ahmed Fekry! He is a real master in this dance form. He will let you dive into the feeling of Oriental soul

and music and the culture that belongs to this dance. He will teach you technique and a choreography of the Baladi style with Oriental feeling and expression. This workshop will be the real Egyptian experience!

Veil Dance


In this class you will learn the basics of Veil dance with lots of easy-to-learn moves and turns, plus a few professional tricks that will help you to move with the veil like you were born to do it. Veil dancing gives you a feeling mysticy and


Bollywood Workshop

Open Level

In this workshop you will learn some of the principles of bollywood dancing in a easy to follow combinations. Bollywood is known for it's feeling of happiness and joy and it's colorfull style as seen in the Indian Bollywood movies.

femininity, you will feel like a goddess.

 * Please bring a veil to class or buy one at the Bazar if you don 't have one.
Beginner Bellydance workshop

If you have never had bellydance classes before or just started a course this is the workshop for you. You will learn some tipical moves of bellydance. Experience by yourselve the joy it brings and discover the bellydancer in you!