International Oriental Dance Congress 
 
"Oriental  Passion Festival"
A
thens - Greece

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Master Teachers 2017

 
MERCEDES NIETO- Hungary

Mercedes Nieto was born in the heart of Europe, Budapest, to a hungarian-spanish family. She is dancing and deepening her knowledge of the oriental dance for 12 years. At the same time she was studying flamenco, afro dance and jazz ballet. Up to these days she still involves herself in improving and developing her classical ballet and contemporary dance knowledge. Merging these with the traditional and contemporary Egyptian dance forms -learning in Egypt continuosly- Mercedes created her own style, which is dynamic and floating, delicate and sensual, mysterious, still sincere and natural and it has thousands of followers Worldwide.

At the early years of her career she won several prices on different professional belly dance competitions: National Hungarian Raks Sharqi Contest: People’s Choice Award 2003, 1st place in professional solo category 2004, 1st place group category with Art of Orient group 2004, two times 1st place with her troupe: the Nymph Oriental Dance Company, 3 times the best choreographer prize. She won audience prize of the MEDINA competition in USA, 2004; she won prizes as solo dancer and her group gained the 1st place in group dance category in Egypt (Cairo, Nile Group Festivals and previously at Ahlan Wa Sahlan Festival as well). Mercedes is choreographing dance-theatrical performances, is a leading teacher and star guest of several festivals all over in Hungary, Europe and the World. She has her own dance school for the past 13 years.

Already during her fist visit to Cairo she was invited for dance auditions, after she appeared in Semiramis Intercontinental Hotel, on the Nile Pharaoh Cruising Restaurant, and later on the cruising restaurant Nile Maxim, which were all important experiences for her.

Meantime her name was becoming more and more known: she was teaching and dancing in workshops and performances all around the World: Egypt, USA, Japan, Malaysia, China, Argentina, Mexico, Cuba, Morocco, Spain, England, Italy, France, Germany, Greece, Sweden, Austria, Estonia, Lithuania, Czech Republic, Latvia, Slovakia, Serbia, Slovenia, Romania, Poland, Ukraine, etc, more than 40 countries of the World.

She was a guest performer on the Nile Group Festival’s Opening Gala Show in Cairo with a live music show with orchestra in June 2010 and on the festival’s Closing Gala Show in June 2011 as well, and now she is one of the first regular European master teachers of this World famous festival.

Mercedes is the founder and choreographer of the internationally well known oriental dance troupe: The Nymph Oriental Dance Company, having international tours and performing in festivals and dance theater events as well around the world. Mercedes is also the main organizer of the CAIRO! Festival Budapest, a yearly organized growing oriental dance festival in Budapest, Hungary, which is unique in the country and the biggest in Central-Europe, and it’s unforgettable for the international audience as well because of its lovely atmosphere. The festival now welcomes participants from more than 30 countries Worldwide. The choreographies for Mercedes’ students are professionally real challenge, as Mercedes does not keep anything for herself, she loves to give and she is guided by whole transmission independent on whether it is about her own modern ideas or traditional styles. Technically her requirements are quite high, the emphasis are on presenting the variegation of the belly dance through the personal message of the dancer. As she believes there is no dance without real emotions – especially no oriental dance.


(text from Cairo Festival website)

MOHAMED KAZAFY-Egypt

Mohamed Kazafy has been dancing with the
world famous Reda troupe of Egypt for 17 years.
After initially training with the troupe's founder
Mahmoud Reda, & The legendary principle female dancer Farida Fahmy, he went on to perform with the Reda Troupe in dozens of countriesworldwide.
He is available as a teacher and dancer in Egypt and abroad. Kazafy is now travelling all the world teaching and performing.
He is the founder of ''Kazafy Troupe'' in Argentina, Japan, Alicante, Germany, Greece,Czech Republic, Peru, Cyprus, Italy.
ELENA RAMAZANOVA - Russia

Elena Ramazanova, has been dancing and teaching for over 25 years, traveled to many parts of the world teaching an performing, one of the most authoritative voices in Oriental Dance in Russia and Russian speaking countries, during the beginning of her carrier she traveled and danced in Egypt for many, was one of the main teachers at Ahlan Wa Sahlan Raqs Festival in Cairo and currently teaches at Raqs Of Course festival in Egypt.

Elena, is the Founder and President of The League of Bellydance Masters of Russia. Master Instructor who taught generations of most well known Russian dancers today, Well-known Instructor, choreographer and producer, specializes in folk and classic Oriental Dance.

One of the main purposes of the League is to establish high quality standards of aesthetic execution and teaching of Oriental Dance in Russia, keeping cultural and traditions.

Elena, is an authority on all styles of dance, especially from the gulf.

Official website:
http://www.bellydanceliga.ru/
(text from Cairo Festival website)

ALEKSEI RIABOSHAPKA - Ukraine


Aleksei is well-known perfomer and a recognized choreographer of belly dance and oriental folkloric styles. He's a superstar in Ukraine and one of the best male bellydancers in the world. He was invited in festivals of almost thirty countries to his art and passion for oriental dance.

He is also teacher and judge of the League of belly dance masters (Russia) created by Elena Ramazanova.

In home country, Alekesi created his own unique dance company RA-Studio whose students are taught by high-class professionals to become professionals. Many of them are winners of prestigious contests world-wide.

Aleksei workshops are known to be interesting, creative and fun. His talent, choreographic originality and bright personality have touched a lot hearts of dancers

(text from Oriental Marathon website)

DARIYA MITSKEVICH - Ukraine

Dariya a rocket flying to the top dancing sky. She has been dancing since she was 14 years old.

In 2009, only 17, she won the competition of the egyptian festival Ahlan Wa Sahlan. Dariya is distinguished by a unique and modern style, interpretation and technical impressive.

 Now she is one of the best teachers in Russia and in the world.

LEILA - Serbia


Leila is oriental dancer, teacher and choreographer, based in Belgrade, Serbia.Founder of the studio "Leila" where she teaches and transmits her great love for this art form and founder of the troupe "Alf leyla wa leyla", that performs regularly in the country and abroad.
If you want to book Leila to teach/perform in your event/festival/studio, please contact via email: [email protected]
Leila travels constantly around the globe for oriental dance events and festivals to learn and to teach.She is very well known for her elegant and fluid style, very emotionally strong interpretation and great energy that she transmits both in the class and the stage.
She had the chance to work with most of the famous teachers, such as:
-Khaled Mahmoud and Mayodi (her favorite teachers, that made the biggest influence on her)
-Orit Maftsir, Nour, Osama Emam, Lubna Emam, Raqia Hassan, Zeina, Liza Laziza, Leyla of Cairo, Randa Kamel, Jillina, Karolina Idrisova, Maria Aya, Nour, Mahomoud Reda, Hassan Halil, Aida Nour, Mohamed Kazafy and many others.

PRINCE KAYAMMER - Greece


Prince Kayammer was born and raised in Thessaloniki. His love for the Egyptian dance led him to Cairo, where he studied Oriental Dance & Egyptian Folklore alongside the big Masters of Egyptian dance completing more than 400 hours of training.
Prince Kayammer started dancing professionally in 2003.Since 2004 he worked as a teacher and choreographer in many dance schools in Greece and from 2004 to 2010 he was performing nightly in the most prestigious arabic restaurants,weddings,hotels and cazinos all over Greece.Prince Kayammer was a member of the male dance troupe Sultans of Raqs, which toured for performances and workshops in Europe from 2007 to 2009. In 2007 he also started his International career as he recieved invitations to teach,judje and perform in Dance & Culture festivals in Belgium,Czech Republic, Netherlands, UK, Cyprus, Switzerland, France, Portugal,Bulgaria,Germany,Finland,UK,Estonia,Serbia,Sweden,Russia and Ukraine.

Prince Kayammer trained a lot of professional dancers in Greece and abroad and his choreographies has won more than 20 Golden medals in National & International Dance competions.
Prince Kayammer formed the first Oriental Dance Festival in Greece (Thessaloniki) in October 2008 including workshops from 5 International teachers,Gala show and hafla. He was also the first instructor to create a professional dance training course including theoretical issues & practical application of the Egyptian dance in Athens & Thessaloniki 2011and in Crete & Cyprus 2012.

Prince Kayammer along with Elena Eleftheriou are the Organizers of Oriental Passion Festival,first and biggest annual Oriental Dance Festival in Greece with hundreds of participants from all over the world.
Well known for his great technique and strong,full of emotions dance character Prince Kayammer is one of the most sought-after performers and instructors nowadays

MARGARITA DARINA - Russia


Margarita Darina has been dancing from the age of 7. She completed nine years of fundamental education at a dance school in Russia. She performed Russian folk, jazz and contemporary dances. While studying Business at a university she became fascinated by bellydance and pursued her education with leading teachers of Cairo and Russia, including Lubna Emam, Khaleed Mahmoud, Aida Nour.In 2008, Margarita held a contract for performing in 5-star hotel in Aleppo, Syria.She is the winner of multiple international bellydance competitions with live band in Moscow in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011.She also won first place in the Professional category of the “Oriental Passion”-2010 festival’s competition held in Athens. Margarita won the competition of the Nile Group festival held in Cairo, Egypt in June 2010 and is one of the first Russian dancers invited to perform with a live band at in the Opening Gala show. Since 2011, she performs regularly at the 'Opening Gala' of this prestigious festival held in Cairo by Mohamed Abou Shebika.Today Margarita Darina is one of the most sought-after performers of Egyptian dance all over the world. She teaches, judges international and national competitions, performs in high-profile cultural and dance events in Russia and abroad. She has collaborated with many different festivals in China, Egypt, France Greece, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Poland, Sweden, Ukraine, and USA.One of most beautiful and talented bellydancers of the world, Margarita is not only a brilliant performer and a choreographer, but also a talanted and dedicated teacher. Her students are also winning in many national and international competitions. The winner show-group "Mar-Mar" of Margarita Darina performed at competitions and festivals in Russia, Sweden, Greece and other countries.

EFFENDI COMPANY - Hungary

Dapkeh – beat! But not just by the feet! It consits of the beat of the heart while the music fills the dancers body and soul! The Effendi Dapkeh Company started to perform and teach this energetic, folcloric dance, in 2004. One of the members is Mohamed Dahhan (Moha), a Syrian businessman, well known as the owner of Sultancenter, and a passionated musician and dancer since his childhood. Second member is Henrik Haddad (Ricky) who became famous as a singer in the 90s of the Picasso Branch (Hungarian music group). Good mood is guaranteed as well as lots of fun, and dance and dance and dance! Load you batteries, you will need your power, but you will have a great time guaranteed by this two guys and the captivating music!
(text from Cairo Festival website)
ELENA DAHABEYA - Greece

Elena Dahabeya (Elena Eleftheriou) is a performer, choreographer and teacher based in Athens Greece. She started her studies with contemporary, ballet, jazz and tap dance and she got her Diploma in performing arts from The American College of Greece (Deree College). After she went to UK where she got her MSc in Management, and while being there, she was taking classes in modern and contemporary dance in one of the best universities in UK (SEMS Surrey University). When she came back to Greece, Dahabeya started studying latin & ballroom dances and in 1998 she got her teaching diploma in Latin & Ballroom American style. After that she started teaching in some of the biggest dance schools in Athens. Elena started with American style bellydance with Marina of Athens and then she got into tribal style and fusion. She started travelling, and studied with many teachers like Kami Liddle, Samantha Hasthorpe, Morgana, Jill Parker, Shehrazade, Bozenka, Melina of daughters of Rhea and in Greece with Eva Chantzichristou. The turning point in her career came when, she participated in Nile Group Festival in Cairo where she discovered the Reda Style and the authentic Egyptian style. In order to specialize in Egyptian-Arabic style for oriental and folklore, she was trained by some of the best teachers in Egypt and in Europe (Mahmoud Reda, Farida Fahmi, Mohamed Kazafy, Khaled Mahmoud, Dina, Aida Nour, Lubna Emam, Zeina, Randa Kamel, Mercedes Nieto). Until today she continues her training with master teachers, as she believes that dance is continuously evolving and learning never stops.
Dahabeya participated and danced in many television programs and shows for many years, performs in restaurants, hotels and events organized in Greece or abroad and from 2012 she gives workshops and performs in various festivals in Europe.
n 2011 Elena, officially formed the “Kazafy Troupe” Greece and with Mohamed Kazafy they are the directors and trainers of the troupe. This is the 1st professional Egyptian folklore troupe in Greece (with Egyptian Master Teacher as founder) and every year they produce the “Kazafy Troupe – Greece Show”. From 2013 Elena is Kazafy’s official assistant and trainer in the formation of some of the new troupes around Europe (Czech Republic, Cyprus, Italy).
Finally, Elena with Prince Kayammer are the organizers of ''Oriental Passion'' Festival in Athens which is the biggest multi-ethnic festival in Greece and one of the biggest in Europe. The festival hosts every year some of the most famous teachers/dancers in the world.
DIAB NASSER & MAZZIKATEA EUROPE - Germany

Founder and Bandleader of Mazzikatea Europe is Diab Nasser. A musician with heart and soul. Because even at an early age , he was trained in violin. Taking classes by the famous Magdy Manga, the great accordionist, Diab changed the black and white keys of the accordeon to the black and white keys of the keyboard. With a mix of talent, passion and discipline he was able to produce a distinctive sound. Diab is also the founder and leader of the Eastern Party Band " Shabab " (was Supportact of Tamer Hosny Concert in 2015 in Berlin) and "Very important Players" ( support band for kool & the gang, r.kelly and much more. ) and Mazzikatea Recording Studios
Professional musicians from the german music scene have come together to support the international bellydance scene with high quality live music (at shows and festivals). Mazzikatea Europe is not only a band. Mazzikatea Europe is a musician network consisting of the best oriental musicians available in europe. All of them well educated and experienced especially in playing and producing music (studio recording) for oriental dancers. These veteran musicians have been performing with superstars the likes of: Tamer Hossny, Hisham Abbas, Medhat Saleh, Ahmad Adaweya, Tito Seif, Alla Kushnir, Aida Bogomolova, Nour, Dandash, Randa Kamel, Mohamad Shahin, the great Mohamed Kazafy and many more..... We can provide just about any music style or direction you desire for example Megance, Tarab, Balady, Saidi, Khaliji, Shabi and all other oriental styles.
JASMIN KALATHAKI - Greece

Jasmin Κalathaki is an ATS® & Fusion Bellydance artist, instructor, choreographer, performer, director of Merkabah Troupe, producer of TRIBALNATYAM Gr Festival & Persephone Unveiled Show in Athens.
At the moment Jasmin is the only Teacher Training Certified in Αmerican Tribal Style®, FCBD® in Greece & the first Sister Studio A.T.S.® FCBD® !
  Her love affair with dancing started when she was very young with Classical dance and Greek traditional dances. Growing up, her interest for dancing evolved , becoming a certified professional Ballroom and Latin teacher, while at the same time she fell in love with Bellydance which she favored above all having a true passion for it! She has studied for countless hours with some of the biggest and best teachers in the world!! In 2011, she became certified by Suhaila Salimpour’s School of Bellydance Level1,in San Francisco, CA, where she also she took part as a performer in TribalFest 11. She has been teaching the art of bellydance for the last 15 years in recognized dance schools in Greece and abroad. She has also been a founding member in many Bellydance troupes and has given countless performances. Her latest studies took place in Barcelona in 2016 where she got certified in the FCBD® General Skills, Teacher Training & the Business of A.T.S.® by Carolena Nericcio and Megha Gavin!
  Jasmin is a successful Bellydance workshop and show organizer in Greece right now! Her love, commitment and true passion for this unique art form is what drives her need to promote , support, help and basically do anything it takes to give bellydance the value it deserves as one of the most beautiful and unique dances in the world!

LUCRECIA FOURNARAKOU - Greece


Dynamic perfomer, a high class artist, leader of Ganesha dance troupe and first Bollywood dance teacher of Greece!

SORAYA - Egypt/Lebanon/Greece


Actress-Bellydance Performer and International instructor. 

2nd winner of the famous 'Rakasah' TV Show in Egypt with Dina

ALEXANDRA ZERVOU - Greece


Alexandra is half German half Greek and she is one of the best Bollywood performers in Greece. She is known for her impressive choreographies, her perfection in dance, her natural talent and expression on stage. Her love for Bollywood began 2006. Her first experience in dance was at 2011 with her teacher in Oriental Kayameiya Ismini, she is an excellent Oriental dance performer and a basic member of the professional oriental & belly-dance group Raqsa. Along side she practice by herself on Bollywood and Kathak, since there were no teacher in Greece for Bollywood or Kathak. Her debut as an artist was in 2012 at the biggest oriental dance festival in Greece the ORIENTAL PASSION FESTIVAL where she captured all audiences' hearts with her performance! Since then she has been attending workshops by great teachers (Karan Pangali, Swati Wangnoo Tiwari, Sunny Sing and private Kathak lessons with Christina Zanni) as they distinguished in her a dancer with great potential! In addition she is a multiple 1st place, award winner in national and international competitions. Since 2012 she is the guest performer in big Oriental festivals in Greece, every year..

CHRISTINA ZANNI - Greece

Christina Zanni, is a multidimentional artist with an holistic viewpoint. She studied acting and stage design at the National School of Fine Arts in Greece and at the same time, she started her training as an acrobat. On 2003, she begun the practice of Ashtanga Yoga, under the guidance of her teacher Cliff Barber and since then she considers it an essential part of her daily routine. After her graduation she longed to travel, and deepen herself into yoga and performing arts. She realized her first six month trip to India, where she practiced Ashtanga yoga and the south indian dance, Bharatanatyam .
Returning to Greece she got her first jobs as an acrobat and decided to move to Argentina and focus on her acrobatic training. She attended various circus schools where she practiced aerial acrobacy( rope, silks, aerial hoop, trapeze, flying rope) and contortionism. Eventually, she ended up travelling everyday to the villas ( slums, favelas), outside Buenos Aires to practice and learn with the local artists. Returning to Greece, she collaborated with the Municipal Theater of Creta and the State Theater of Greece and with Magic Happens Productions , as an acrobat, actress, acrobatic choreographer and stage design assistant. She founded the contemporary circus group Libeloulas( with Chryssa Traikopoulou) with whom she taught and performed all over Greece .
After some years of work as an acrobat, she felt a deep need of finding a tradition which will transfuse a meaningful foundation to the performing arts. The stimulus was a performance of an Indian Kathak dancer in Athens. The intense emotion that emerged while watching, led her to travel to India and start her apprentice in Kathak. She arrives in India in 2010 and since then, she studies with the eminent Kathak dancer and musician, Pandit Ravi Shankar Mishra in Varanasi. She studied expression and narrative techniques ( abhinaya) with the Bharatanatyam maestro C.K.Balagopal in Chennai and rhythm for dancers( bols and talas) with the Argentinian tabla player Leo Fernandez. At the end of the 4th year , she took her Kathak diploma, from the university of Alahabad. She collaborated with various artists from many countries,with the classical indian music and dance group, Shri Saraswati and she performed in Greece and Argentina.
Motivated by the necessity to nurture and heal the physical and emotional body, she studied various forms of Ayurvedic massage and basic principles of Ayurveda in India, as well as traditional Thai Yoga Massage in Thailand .
Christina, recently moved back to Greece. She resides in Athens where she is teaching and performing. She travels every year to India to learn and practice with her teacher.
MARIA LIONAKI - Greece

Maria Lionaki is a Dance teacher, choreographer, costume designer, yoga instructor (RYT 200), leader of Nawar raqs Troupe, Leader of the first Kazafy’s Youth team, and owner of the biggest dance school of Crete. She started her studies with gymnastics and continued in athletic championship. Although she has a master in economics and speaks 3 foreign languages, dance and especially oriental, gain her heart. She attended more than 700 hours workshops with teachers of all over the world by travelling in Greece, Egypt, France, India, in oriental, tribal fusion, bollywood dances. Prince Kayammer, Maria Aya, Aisa Lafour, Mohamed Shahin, Isis of Mexico, Dina, Raqia Hassan, Randa Camel, Tito Seif, Mercedes Nieto, Rachel Brice, Samantha Emmanuel, Kami Little, Mardi Love, Eva Chatzichristou, Carolina Idrisova, Khaled Mahmoud, Margarita Darina, Illan Riviere, Saida helou και Yamil Anoum, Leila, Elena Dahabeya, Mohamed Hawaz, Faren B. Azira, Jasirah, Nelly bellydance, Marta Corzun, Valeria Grm, Danaya Bellydance, Mohamed Kazafy, Coleena Shakti, Jasirah, Bozenka, Pablo Acosta, Dariya Mitskevitch, Anna Borisova are some of the great teachers she had seen. She also attended theater workshops and organized a mini musical in which she made some of the choreographies. Until today she continues her training with master teachers in different styles, as she believes that you have to be always a student if you want to succeed. Her team has gain lot of medals in international competitions, and participate in shows in great festivals. Also every year, she organize performances and shows with more than 130 dancers of her dance school.