Destination: RAK (Raising Awareness in Korea) / World Bellydancing Day 2010


One of the first acts we saw – Raks Azhaar, an amateur belly-dancing performing team.

One of the first acts we saw – Raks Azhaar, an amateur belly-dancing performing team.

It's not too many events that can pull together dozens of performers, yet Raising Awareness in Korea / World Bellydancing Day 2010 did just that. Raising money – and awareness – for the Dasi Hamkke Center (dedicated to helping women out of sexual exploitation) and Bear Necessity Korea (dedicated to helping Asian moonbears) were the reason for the 15,000 won cover, but the entertainment was well worth it. An all-star team of foreigners came out to perform for a packed house – from Brian Aylward with his stand-up comedy to Ryan Goessl with his baritone voice, the event covered the spectrum from well-known stand-out acts to emerging artists still finding their direction.

Ashley did a great job belly-dancing – are you noticing a theme yet?

One highlight – Josh Roy performing some fusion reggae. One of his songs apparently is ranked #3 on the Ugandan reggae charts – raise your hand if you knew Uganda had a reggae chart.

It's a good sign when people spontaneously come out to dance to your music.

Kaitlin Branch – another belly dancer showing off a different style.

It wasn't all about belly dancing, though – Paula Wilson & Giovanni Garcia put on an impressive display of leg sweeps and tango moves.

Presenting Team J – the name may change, but hopefully the attitudes won't. An offshoot of a recent Seoul Players 24-hour project, the name has stuck for now.

Zahira Sujong continuing the wonderful belly dancing.

Aly Mewse – some very nice tattoos, and won the award for most adornments of the evening.

The star and organizer of the event, Belynda Azhaar. Not pictured after her solo performance was a Serbian Line Dance – I got invited to join with a number of other belly dancers. What straight guy is going to say no?

Moniqa Paullet showing off her double threat as dancer and spoken word artist.

The Willman Band, featuring Willman Morcillo (Vocal/Guitar), Frederik Bourdon (Bass), Jenny Jang (Keyboard), and Chang Soo Kim (Drums).

With cheap drinks, a good cause, and hours of entertainment, it's hard to find a flaw. My only complaint was the lack of consideration by other guests – spoken word is the sort of thing that really has to be heard, not spoken over.

I mentioned this event on this month's event schedule – while I don't usually attend or mention fundraisers (they're not usually my thing), the excellent performances makes the fact that money goes to a good cause is a nice benefit.

Creative Commons License © Chris Backe – 2010

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