San Antonio Bellydance Association is proud to host Alexandra King at Our Lady of the Lake Internatonal Folk Culture Center!
Alexandra King Bio
Alexandra King is recognized as one of the foremost Middle Eastern Dance artists in the United States. Since 1981 she has received a number of awards for her work as a performer, choreographer and instructor and is known as the instructor to the stars. She was the instructor to such notable stars as Ansuya and Tamra-henna of Los Angeles and has coached many dancers including Rachel George, Zahira of Salt Lake City and Cris! Basimah of Santa Barbara, Ca.
She began dancing at the age of ten, inspired by three generations of actors and musicians, including her grandmother, the silent screen star, Molly King (Pathe). She was raised in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, where the blending of African, Latin, and East Indian cultures cultivated her love of ethnic dance and music.
Alexandra's dance training began with ballet, jazz and tap dance. Later, in NYC she studied African dance at Little Carnegie Hall. After to moving to Santa Barbara, CA. in 1971, she continued studying ballet with Julie McLeod and Beth Bartlett. 1n 1973 was once again introduced to ethnic dance in a Balinese workshop, which sparked a lifelong passion for ethnic dance. Since then she has studied many styles of world dance including Middle Eastern dance, Central Asian dance, (Uzbek), Persian classical dance, North African dances, Greek and Bulgarian folk dance, flamenco, Polynesian dance as well as Bharata Natyam (classical East Indian dance). Her career, however, was mostly as a Middle Eastern dancer.
Her Middle East and belly dance training began in 1975 with Diana Ferarri, a former member of the San Francisco based company, Kos Kadas. She later studied belly dance and folkloric dances of the Middle East with Jenaeni Rathor, (Ansuya’s mother) and was a member of Rathor’s company, Yaleil, (1980 - 1983).
Her Middle Eastern dance training includes ongoing classes and workshops with a variety of prominent artists including Laurel Victoria Grey (Persian), Carolyn Krueger (Persian/Uzbek), Robin Friend (Persian), Shahrzad Khorsandi (Persian), Hassan Harfouche (Lebanese dabke), Ahmet Luleci (Turkish folk), George Alexiades (Greek line dances), Raqia Hassan (Egyptian), Mahmoud Reda (Egyptian), Sahra Saidi (Egyptian), Tom Bozigian (Armenian) and Hallah Mustafah and Kay Campbell (Harvard), (Saudi/Kuwaiti).
She has traveled extensively throughout North Africa and the Middle East to observe and study the dances of this region. In 2001 she traveled around the world and lived one-month each in Spain, Morocco, Egypt and Turkey studying the dances of these countries.
Throughout her career (1975 - current) she has traveled extensively throughout the United States and abroad teaching and performing, both independently and later as the director of UCSB's Middle Eastern Dance Ensemble. During most of her early career she worked in clubs and restaurants such as The Plaka, MoonAngel, The Casbah, Honolulu’s Hajii Baba’s as well as Adonis in Mexico City, to name a few.
She has worked in theatrical productions as well as private and academic events and, she has produced many shows and festivals of her own.
In 1990 she joined Dr. Scott Marcus in forming the first and largest university-based Middle Eastern Ensemble at UCSB, in which she worked for over twenty years as the Dance Director and choreographer.
In 2001, she was appointed lecturer in the first accredited ethnic dance class at UCSB in the Department of Dramatic Arts and Dance. She currently works independently as an instructor and coach.
In 1984 she founded Santa Barbara’s prestigious Middle Eastern dance company, SEHER, which, since 1995, has been the official dance ensemble of the UCSB Middle East Ensemble, the largest Middle East Ensemble in the US and the only one which includes dance.
In 1985 she produced the popular performance video "A Very Special Evening at the Plaka”, featuring herself and both of her teachers, Diana Ferrari and Jenaeni Rathor, (Ansuya's mother).
In 1989 Alexandra wrote, choreographed and mounted the first full-length Middle Eastern folk ballet, "SERAGLIO”, which she toured in California and Utah.
She also produced the best-selling three-part DVD series, “The Ancient Art of Belly Dance” which is a complete course in the basics of American cabaret belly dance.
Her awards include winning first place in 1988 at the Belly Dancer of the Year pageant in Walnut Creek, the 1995 Nafisa Gem Award for Best Instructor, Best Cabaret Dancer 2003, IAMED, and Best Instructor, 1999, IAMED. In 2009 she was nominated for the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Santa Barbara Dance Alliance.
SATURDAY - EGYPTIAN CABARET (10:00 - 12:00)
Egyptian technique, combinations & stylization including steps and isolations for 4/4 for Openings, Finales, and everything in between. Please bring a veil.
SATURDAY - GAWAZEE "BELLY DANCE PURO" (1:00 - 3:00)
The roots and basic of Egyptian Cabaret. Please bring a cane or stick.
SUNDAY - PERSIAN (10:00 - 12:00)
Persian dance is a foundation system for belly dance – much of what we do today draws on the art of classical Persian dance. Fostered for centuries by the Qajar dynasty of Iran, Persian classical dance and music developed into the quintessential classical (performing) arts of the Middle East and today are revered as sublime. This is a technique workshop including Arms, Poses, Turns and Steps – all excellent for belly dance.
SUNDAY - BALADI (1:00 - 3:00)
The sinewy movements of the taksim combined with the fire and fury of the drum solo. This is a part of the cabaret that blends both sections in a raga-like passionate crescendo, which becomes its own dance, for either tribal or cabaret.
The Gala Show will be held on Saturday February 16 at 8:00 pm. More detail will be added shortly.
Please see the link attached for an interactive map of the event location: