It's All About the Fusion

Q Theatre Loft, 305 Queen St, Auckland

14/07/2012 - 14/07/2012

Production Details

It’s All About The Fusion supports belly dancers planning to wow Australia

A spectacular theatre dance show at the brand new Q Theatre on Queen Str next Saturday 14 July 2012, It’s All About The Fusion, is one of a series of Phoenix Fundraising Initiatives – to send the dancers to Sydney to fulfill international performancer invitations rsulting from their win earlier this years in the Jambalaya Dance Competiton.

A highly entertaining show with massive public appeal, It’s All About The Fusion is a theatre dance show fusing Belly Dance with Polynesian, Spanish, Hip Hop, Tribal, Bollywood, Tango and more! For a modern take on belly dance, and a good dose of comedy, this interactive show has beauty and fun at every turn: *Brand new performances by award-winning group, Phoenix Belly Dance

*Presenting NZ International Comedy Festival’s Aaron Beard (Joke Of All Trades) as MC

*Fantastic costumes, dynamic interactive choreographies, guest stars in Contemporary, Polynesian, and Tribal Fusion

About Phoenix Belly Dance
Winners of the Jambalaya Festival Multi-Discipline Dance Competition, invited to be guest artists at the Australian Dance Festival and Sydney Latin Festival, SkyCity Breakers Games, and NZ TV shows! These award winning performers made up of women of various backgrounds who aim to promote the rich cultural experience and elegance of Middle Eastern dance through lessons and performances.

About the Phoenix Fundraising Initiatives – “Send Us To Sydney”
The Phoenix Group require the support of the community and businesses to continue to bring belly dance performances to public audiences. We take part in charity work, and have raised funds for The New Zealand Down’s Syndrome Society, Greenvalley Rest Homes, SPCA, and Samaritan’s Purse Charity. We are looking for support and sponsorship to fulfil the International performance requests we have received as part of our prize for winning the Jambalaya Dance Competition, including The Australian Dance Festival, and The Sydney Latin Dance Festival, however we are required to pay our way there. It’s All About The Fusion is one of our fundraising initiatives in collaboration with Medance Ltd.

For more information please contact Candice Frankland with Phoenix Belly Dance at 0211704183 or or


Medance Dancers

Angela Mott. Michaela Hunter, Julie Thomas

  Julie Duffy, Glenys Moy, Carol Hunt, Olga Poletaev

Phoenix Dancers

Candice Frankland, Suei Lin, Astra Burrowes


Sophie Kaulima, Lynette Marchant, Doreen Bestmann, Rosie Cook, Grainne McAnnalley, Lisa Lawford


Guest Artists:


Pip E-Lysaah, Pineapple Productions, Fobbawockyz, Aaron Beard (Comedian), Craig Kilpatrick (Drummer)


Back of house

Sue Chalk - dresser


Carol Arnup - dresser


Anna Love - Runner


Jeena Monk - Stage Manager


Mark Genet - Additional lights

Q Theatre – lighting and sound

Martin Frankland – Marketing and design


Nina Gastreich


Nicolas Plaire


Bertrand Remaut


90 mins

Fusion forms finding their feet

Review by Raewyn Whyte 15th Jul 2012

The Phoenix Bellydancers certainly know how to put on a show, and this weekend they do just that at Q Loft, alternating their own dancing with that of co-producers Medance and guest performers Pip E-Lysaah, Pineapple Productions, and Fobbawockeez. Delightfully interactive MC Aaaron Beard keeps the show moving along, splitting the seventeen different dances into threes and fours, and adding a variety show feel.

This colourful show celebrates the fusion of bellydance with aspects of other styles of dance, and it is a fundraiser to help get the Phoenix company to Australia to take up international performance invitations they received when they won the Jambalaya Dance Competition earlier in the year.

“Fusion” can be many things – a straightforward addition of some kind, a subtle merging and blending, or a more thorough intermixing. Ideally, the result should heighten the impact or intensify some key attributes of the base form. 

Phoenix has been exploring the concept of fusion forms for some time, and their current signature work Union has been widely presented over the past two years. It shows what can be achieved when there is a thorough understanding of the base form and the add-ons. A section from that work provided the finale to this show, with fan veils manipulated to create images of sunrise and sunset, volcanic explosions, and the golden fire which re-creates the phoenix as it rises from the ashes.

Of their other five dances in this programme, the opening dance Bollywood Fusion is highly successful, keeping things simple and enabling an honouring of all sources for the work.  The stage fills with nine dancers in single colour saris, sparkly jewellery framing faces very subtly, and makeup kept modest. In their neon silks, the dancers glow like tropical flowers just after a rainstorm when the sun comes out.  Their dancing is sinuous, flowing, deliberately accented to follow the beat of the recorded track to which the dance is set. This fusion of forms includes hand mudras and isolated head movements, pitter patter sideways stepping and figure 8 hip circles interpolated into bellydance sequences. . As always, the dancers are poised and polished, charming, and exquisitely dressed.

A similar highly successful approach is taken by Phoenix in Polynesian Fusion. This alluring Polynesian dance is also very much a hit with the audience, with the dancers in lavalavas printed with very large flowers, simple black bra tops hidden under leis, and hibiscus flowers in their hair. Perhaps because Pacific dance forms are so familiar to dancers and audience alike, the selected patterns and rhythms, gestures and social interactions of Pacific dances are sympathetically intermixed with bellydance forms here.

Late in the programme, Phoenix tackle a much more purely theatrical kind of fusion in Tribal Fusion, dressed in black but with white latex gloves and silvery jewellery, working under UV light and laser lights in an almost dark theatre, and invading the audience to get very close with wreathing arms and ghoulish grimaces. As the light slowly rises, the ghosts move away and a sparking superfast bellydance trio takes central focus.

Medance has a different approach to fusion. In Spanish Skirt Fusion their seven dancers flourish Spanish flamenco skirts while dancing bellydance patterns, later in Tango Fusion  they pair up tango style and dance their patterns to atmospheric tango music. In Irish Fusion, Medance leader Angela Mott bellydances a meditative solo with a large silk scarf,  to Gaelic music. Theatricality rules in the second half of the show and in Charleston they become Charleston dress claad guests at a cocktail party, and the bellydancing is kept to small glimmers, very enticing; finally they present their signature Sword dance in contemporary clothing, with the bare blades perching on a jutting bare hip or stomach, the back of a hand, shoulder or head.

Guest belly dancer Pip E-Lysaah is an intense and charismatic performer who absolutely rivets your attention on her actions. Her two dances are very different fromn each other and provide a contrat to the many groups dances.  In the first half of the show, she is a woman being sung to in the Freddie Mercury anthem “I was born to love you,” and passes through an extraordinary array of emotions towards ecstasy.  Her second dance is a more abstract but equally entrancing work focussing on the play of light against an enormous cloak of mauve pleated silk. She certainly is a hard act to follow.

Two sets of guest performers complete the roster towards the end of the second half, adding to the variety. Five cancan dancers from Pineapple Productions present the genuine historic dance form, dancing in floor-length cotton skirts with multiple under frill layers worn over black stockings over tights and with circumspect knickers over their garter belts. A very demure sense of display and a very strong contrast to belly dance!  And finally, the hit of the evening for many,  the all-male quartet  Fobbawockeez present a teasingly, ever so slightly suggestive pan-Pacific- dance set interlaced with wit and allusion, and pretty much bring down the house.

As part of the fundraising, MC Aaron Beard also got into the spirit of the event by responding to a challenge from the audience and he donned a sequinned dress to dance to his favourite Taylor Swift song in return for a large donation to the cause. 


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