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BWW Review: BELLY DANCE EXTRAVAGANZA HOSTED BY HANNAH Shakes Things Up At Don't Tell Mama

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Don't Tell Mama goes out of her comfort zone and welcomes the exotic dance of the belly for a wild night of fun.

BWW Review: BELLY DANCE EXTRAVAGANZA HOSTED BY HANNAH Shakes Things Up At Don't Tell Mama

It was a night like Don't Tell Mama had never seen before.

Burlesque is a big part of the cabaret and concert community. A tried, true, and respected art form, all kinds of burlesque can be found in the clubs of Manhattan, indeed the clubs of the world. Before the pandemic and the lockdown, Midtown Manhattan clubs Birdland and The West Bank/Laurie Beechman Theatre had burlesque residencies that were very popular. Nobody, though, had a Belly Dance Extravaganza.

BWW Review: BELLY DANCE EXTRAVAGANZA HOSTED BY HANNAH Shakes Things Up At Don't Tell Mama Different than Burlesque, Belly Dance has ancient origins from the East that make the art form part of the culture, as well as entertainment. Like Burlesque, Belly Dance is rich with pageantry, glamor, opulence, sparkles, and epidermis. And fun... so, so much fun - perhaps that is why The Original Room at Don't Tell Mama was nearly filled to capacity on Sunday night when the show started. By the time the curtain came down (strictly metaphorically speaking) the room actually was at capacity, due to the late arrival of some fine folks possibly delayed by the MTA. It looks like Belly Dance is a part of the nightclub industry that the people have been missing, but it doesn't have to be.

BWW Review: BELLY DANCE EXTRAVAGANZA HOSTED BY HANNAH Shakes Things Up At Don't Tell Mama

BWW Review: BELLY DANCE EXTRAVAGANZA HOSTED BY HANNAH Shakes Things Up At Don't Tell Mama Hannah Anastasia, a Brazilian dancer who specializes in Samba, discovered Belly Dance a few years back and has made it the focus of her professional work, curating exotic and exciting evenings of music and dance that she books into small venues around Manhattan - restaurants, clubs, hookah bars, even private events. The Belly Dance community being larger and more prominent than one might imagine, Ms. Anastasia has a coterie of artists who populate the rooms that she plays, and a following of fans, many of whom populated the room on Sunday night, ready to go on the wild ride she and her Ladies had brought for their pleasure and amusement.

BWW Review: BELLY DANCE EXTRAVAGANZA HOSTED BY HANNAH Shakes Things Up At Don't Tell Mama

BWW Review: BELLY DANCE EXTRAVAGANZA HOSTED BY HANNAH Shakes Things Up At Don't Tell Mama
Cesar

The Original Room never looked so alluring as it did on Sunday, newly decorated with shimmering wall hangings, colorful table runners, and flowing drapes, not to mention certain members of the Don't Tell Mama staff, decked-out in various costume pieces from the East, rendering them a festive part of the exotic proceedings, all of which were conducted in nothing but great fun and light-hearted levity. Hosted by the charmingly effusive emcee Cesar, the evening of dance showed off the skill and athleticism of each of the four ladies tasked with bringing the fun, and that's precisely what they did, using props like hookahs and swords, costume pieces like scarves, LED wings, and their natural humor and performance personalities, to say nothing of their Belly Dance training. Moving in and out of the audience, around the tables, on and off the stage, the ladies were flirtatious, friendly, sensual, theatrical, personable, and evocative of the different styles of dance being represented... and the different styles of women, too.

BWW Review: BELLY DANCE EXTRAVAGANZA HOSTED BY HANNAH Shakes Things Up At Don't Tell Mama
Neva Insidious, Artemisia LeFay, Amira Raqs, Danielle Centeno

Five beautiful women grace the stage of The Belly Dance Extravaganza, women of varying ethnicities, of varying ages, and of varying body types. There, at Don't Tell Mama, each woman placed in the spotlight shone more than her training, more than her talent, more than her innate beauty - through the style of dance being presented, the performer let the people see her essence, the kind of terpsichorean storyteller she is, and the tales she wishes to tell. This was more than an evening of fun (though fun did lead the way) - it was a display of strong, empowered women not only owning their strength, their sensuality, and their individuality, but celebrating it, and their sisterhood. And that full house of Don't Tell Mama patrons was happy to celebrate them, as well. All women are beautiful and deserve to be celebrated, as do their accomplishments, especially by one another. The sight of these five women celebrating each other in their artistry and individuality was as uplifting as it was entertaining.

BWW Review: BELLY DANCE EXTRAVAGANZA HOSTED BY HANNAH Shakes Things Up At Don't Tell Mama

BWW Review: BELLY DANCE EXTRAVAGANZA HOSTED BY HANNAH Shakes Things Up At Don't Tell Mama
Hannah Anastasia

For her own part, Hannah Anastasia knows how to put together a fun show and a great night out, detailing everything from the decor to the audience members she coaxes onto the stage to dance with her. She and all the dancers and musicians excel at their craft and the not-always-easy task of giving others a bit of fun. And though it may sound like a confection, a bit of nonsense, a silliness (which it was) under the surface and all-around the BELLY DANCE EXTRAVAGANZA HOSTED BY HANNAH was so much more.

The Belly Dance Extravaganza performers were (in order of appearance) Danielle Centeno, Hannah Anastasia, Neva Insidious, Artemisia LeFay, Amira Raqs, Said Fahmy on Percussion, Josue Caceres on Saxophone.

Follow the cast of Belly Dance Extravaganza on Instagram: Danielle Centano HERE Artemisia LeFay HERE Amira Raqs HERE Neva Insidious HERE Hannah Anastasia HERE

Learn more about Hannah Anastasia at her website HERE.

Find other great shows to see at Don't Tell Mama HERE.

A second Belly Dance Extravaganza is being planned for October 29th, with Don't Tell Mama as the targeted venue.

BWW Review: BELLY DANCE EXTRAVAGANZA HOSTED BY HANNAH Shakes Things Up At Don't Tell Mama BWW Review: BELLY DANCE EXTRAVAGANZA HOSTED BY HANNAH Shakes Things Up At Don't Tell Mama

BWW Review: BELLY DANCE EXTRAVAGANZA HOSTED BY HANNAH Shakes Things Up At Don't Tell Mama BWW Review: BELLY DANCE EXTRAVAGANZA HOSTED BY HANNAH Shakes Things Up At Don't Tell Mama BWW Review: BELLY DANCE EXTRAVAGANZA HOSTED BY HANNAH Shakes Things Up At Don't Tell Mama BWW Review: BELLY DANCE EXTRAVAGANZA HOSTED BY HANNAH Shakes Things Up At Don't Tell Mama BWW Review: BELLY DANCE EXTRAVAGANZA HOSTED BY HANNAH Shakes Things Up At Don't Tell Mama BWW Review: BELLY DANCE EXTRAVAGANZA HOSTED BY HANNAH Shakes Things Up At Don't Tell Mama

BWW Review: BELLY DANCE EXTRAVAGANZA HOSTED BY HANNAH Shakes Things Up At Don't Tell Mama BWW Review: BELLY DANCE EXTRAVAGANZA HOSTED BY HANNAH Shakes Things Up At Don't Tell Mama BWW Review: BELLY DANCE EXTRAVAGANZA HOSTED BY HANNAH Shakes Things Up At Don't Tell Mama BWW Review: BELLY DANCE EXTRAVAGANZA HOSTED BY HANNAH Shakes Things Up At Don't Tell Mama BWW Review: BELLY DANCE EXTRAVAGANZA HOSTED BY HANNAH Shakes Things Up At Don't Tell Mama BWW Review: BELLY DANCE EXTRAVAGANZA HOSTED BY HANNAH Shakes Things Up At Don't Tell Mama BWW Review: BELLY DANCE EXTRAVAGANZA HOSTED BY HANNAH Shakes Things Up At Don't Tell Mama

BWW Review: BELLY DANCE EXTRAVAGANZA HOSTED BY HANNAH Shakes Things Up At Don't Tell Mama BWW Review: BELLY DANCE EXTRAVAGANZA HOSTED BY HANNAH Shakes Things Up At Don't Tell Mama BWW Review: BELLY DANCE EXTRAVAGANZA HOSTED BY HANNAH Shakes Things Up At Don't Tell Mama BWW Review: BELLY DANCE EXTRAVAGANZA HOSTED BY HANNAH Shakes Things Up At Don't Tell Mama

BWW Review: BELLY DANCE EXTRAVAGANZA HOSTED BY HANNAH Shakes Things Up At Don't Tell Mama
Josue Caceres

BWW Review: BELLY DANCE EXTRAVAGANZA HOSTED BY HANNAH Shakes Things Up At Don't Tell Mama BWW Review: BELLY DANCE EXTRAVAGANZA HOSTED BY HANNAH Shakes Things Up At Don't Tell Mama BWW Review: BELLY DANCE EXTRAVAGANZA HOSTED BY HANNAH Shakes Things Up At Don't Tell Mama BWW Review: BELLY DANCE EXTRAVAGANZA HOSTED BY HANNAH Shakes Things Up At Don't Tell Mama BWW Review: BELLY DANCE EXTRAVAGANZA HOSTED BY HANNAH Shakes Things Up At Don't Tell Mama BWW Review: BELLY DANCE EXTRAVAGANZA HOSTED BY HANNAH Shakes Things Up At Don't Tell Mama BWW Review: BELLY DANCE EXTRAVAGANZA HOSTED BY HANNAH Shakes Things Up At Don't Tell Mama BWW Review: BELLY DANCE EXTRAVAGANZA HOSTED BY HANNAH Shakes Things Up At Don't Tell Mama BWW Review: BELLY DANCE EXTRAVAGANZA HOSTED BY HANNAH Shakes Things Up At Don't Tell Mama BWW Review: BELLY DANCE EXTRAVAGANZA HOSTED BY HANNAH Shakes Things Up At Don't Tell Mama

BWW Review: BELLY DANCE EXTRAVAGANZA HOSTED BY HANNAH Shakes Things Up At Don't Tell Mama BWW Review: BELLY DANCE EXTRAVAGANZA HOSTED BY HANNAH Shakes Things Up At Don't Tell Mama BWW Review: BELLY DANCE EXTRAVAGANZA HOSTED BY HANNAH Shakes Things Up At Don't Tell Mama BWW Review: BELLY DANCE EXTRAVAGANZA HOSTED BY HANNAH Shakes Things Up At Don't Tell Mama BWW Review: BELLY DANCE EXTRAVAGANZA HOSTED BY HANNAH Shakes Things Up At Don't Tell Mama

BWW Review: BELLY DANCE EXTRAVAGANZA HOSTED BY HANNAH Shakes Things Up At Don't Tell Mama
Said Fahmy and Hannah Anastasia

BWW Review: BELLY DANCE EXTRAVAGANZA HOSTED BY HANNAH Shakes Things Up At Don't Tell Mama BWW Review: BELLY DANCE EXTRAVAGANZA HOSTED BY HANNAH Shakes Things Up At Don't Tell Mama BWW Review: BELLY DANCE EXTRAVAGANZA HOSTED BY HANNAH Shakes Things Up At Don't Tell Mama BWW Review: BELLY DANCE EXTRAVAGANZA HOSTED BY HANNAH Shakes Things Up At Don't Tell Mama Photos by Stephen Mosher


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