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Jawaahir & Cassandra Past Events 2017

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Anda Aleik

Andalousi group



Cassandra's Mezza!
A Delectable Sampling of Jawaahir Dances

Thursday–Sunday, November 9–12, 2017
Thursday, Friday, Saturday at 8:00pm.

Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2:00pm.
Post-show discussion with our wonderful artists on Friday evening!
Jawaahir Studio Theater Accessibility symbol.
3010 Minnehaha Avenue
Minneapolis, MN

$35 tickets available at the door. All shows are general seating.
$5 discounts for Guild of Oriental Dance members.
Pay-as-able ($5 minimum) on Saturday's matinee at the door for all available seats on a first-come-first-served basis.

Cassandra and Jawaahir Dance Company are proud to present Cassandra’s Mezza, performing in a most comfortable and intimate setting – our very own Jawaahir Studio Theater! A mezza is the large sampling of delicious Near Eastern appetizers, which this show delivers in dance and music! Featuring live music with our local virtuosic Arabic band, Amwaaj, led by drummer Tim O’Keefe, and his wife, violinist Laura Harada. Mr. O’Keefe has earned renown as the finest ethnic percussionist in the Upper Midwest. Our unique concert of dance and music celebrates traditional and contemporary choreographies by Artistic Director, Cassandra Shore, and includes two dances from the world-class guest artist, Samantha Burnstein. This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

Photos by Jan Geisen. Poster and postcard designed by Genevieve Johnsen.

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED for Cassadandra's Mezza! Interested in donating an evening of your time to our show and earning up to two comp tickets to then relax and view our show? Click here and sign yourself up! Thank you!

Check out our print ad in this week's City Pages or our calendar listing online at citypages.com.

Andalousi Zay al Hawa Longa


Cassandra by Jan Geisen


Cassandra's Cabaret: Fall Fantasy!
Starring Cassandra,
Monique, Theresa, Zuhra Kiya
with special guests: Performance Adventure class choreographies

Saturday, September 23

Cabaret seating at 7:45 PM. Please arrive promptly as doors will lock at 8:10 PM. 

Jawaahir Studio Theater Accessibility symbol.
3010 Minnehaha Avenue
Minneapolis, MN

Pay at the door please. Your seat is not reserved until we receive payment.

Fancy a fine performance this fall? Fall Fantasy not only features Cassandra, Monique, Theresa, and Zuhra Kiya, but is also the culmination event that concludes all of the Performance Adventure classes. Our studio is transformed into an intimate cabaret setting with sumptuous hors d'oeuvres and an evening of fabulous dance and music. Come and see your friend, family member, coworker, or fellow dancer perform.

Monique by Jan Geisen


Zuhra Kiya

smoke signals  

Smoke Signals Charity Benefit Auto Show
Featuring Jawaahir from 12-1pm!

Saturday, September 16

Mystic Lake Casino
2400 Mystic Lake Blvd
Prior Lake, MN 55372

This is a FREE charity event! "In addition to over 200 showcase vehicles, more than 40 valued vendors, event guests will be impressed by our line-up of a full day of entertainment, special activities, food and drink, and more." For more information check out their website: Smoke Signals Charity Auto Show


class photo by Jan
photo by Jan GeisenCSBD logo


Performance Adventure Classes: You're the Star!

August 28–September 23, 2017

Jawaahir Studios in Minneapolis and Bloomington

Level 1 = $100.00
Level 4 = $150.00
Level 4-5 = $150.00

Excited to learn and publicly perform some new group choreography for your friends and family? These special classes run August 28th through September 23rd at both the Minneapolis and Bloomington studios. All levels of belly dance are welcome; from the complete beginner, to the more advanced professional. After four weeks of coaching and rehearsal, you’ll have the opportunity to perform, in costume, in a professional setting, on Saturday, September 23rd. Check our online calendar for dates, times, your class level, and class location.

Level 1: Mondays Minneapolis 6:00—8:00pm, begins 8/28, Original choreography taught by Renee
PREREGISTER please! (Class minimum 5 students)

Level 4: FULL! Wednesdays Minneapolis, 6:00—9:00pm, begins 8/30, Original choreography taught by Aliyah Sahar
Mixed Level 4/5: FULL! Thursdays Minneapolis,  6:00–9:00pm, begins 8/31, Original choreography taught by Cassandra



Ouled Nayl Main Image
Ouled-Nayl performed by Jawaahir


A Pocketful of Jewels: Dance Gems from North Africa & the Near East
Jawaahir in Minnesota Fringe Festival

Friday, August 4 at 8:30pm, $16
Sunday, August 6 at 4:00pm, $22
Monday, August 7 at 7:00pm, $16
Wednesday, August 9 at 10:00pm, $16
Saturday, August 12 at 5:30pm
, $22

Ritz Theater
345 13th Ave NE
Minneapolis, MN 55413

Purchase reservations through the Fringe website.

A Pocketful of Jewels reveals a world of hidden dance in North Africa & the Near East.  Engaging entertainment wraps earthy dances in gloriously colorful costumes. Artistic Director Cassandra Shore is your tour guide, delivering informative cultural contexts to the dances and fascinating info about the costumes, dance, and music! Learn about when, where, why, and how you would be able to see these dances (or not!) when visiting the region. A family friendly and most enjoyable hour!

Here's what some of our audience has to say about A Pocketful of Jewels...

P. Cavanaugh review: "This performance was a delight. Learning from Cassandra Shore's depth of knowledge and lovely presence made it really special. The variety of dance was a rare treat from parts of the world we Westerners know much too little about. Beautiful, joyous dancing all around. A worthwhile and wonderful way to spend your time."

L. Baugh review: "Loved the colorful/sparkly costumes, upbeat dances, and most of all, the music! So many different styles, moods, and rhythms! The background information on each dance was helpful in setting the scene. Definitely a show for all ages - safe to bring the kids and grandparents. :-)"

The Minnesota Fringe is a world-famous annual performing arts festival in Minneapolis. For eleven days, over a thousand artists present works in every discipline and genre for one hour or less.

ALL patrons must have a Day Pass to see a show. Your Day Pass serves as your pass to any show in the festival on a given day. They are $16 on weekdays and $22 on weekends. Passes for kids 12 and under will be available in the venues during the festival for $5 every day.

Open Streets logo  

Jawaahir Members Perform at Open Streets

Sunday, July 23, 2017. 11:00am–5:00pm.

Lake & Minnehaha

Come on out to Open Streets this Sunday and enjoy performances by Jawaahir Company members! Check out their website and plan a whole day of fun!


Cassandra at Shimmy Con in Indiana

Friday-Sunday, July 7–9, 2017

Cassandra joins Ava Fleming, Ruby Jazayre, and Deb Rubin as guest instructors at this year's Shimmy Con!

"Shimmy Con will be the first belly dance event of its kind in Indiana. Consisting of workshops, lectures, panel discussions and performances, Shimmy Con will give dancers in the Midwest a place to come together and share our wonderful art form in a supportive, fun and professional atmosphere. You will have the opportunity to learn, share, grow, be inspired, evolve, meet new people and create new friends.

The journey of the belly dancer is wide and complex. Be inspired and enjoy the dance that you can move to for your entire life. Come to Shimmy Con and experience everything that shimmies."

For more information: shimmycon.com

Blaine Festival  

Jawaahir Performing at Blaine Festival

Saturday, June 24, 2017. 4:00pm.

Aquatore Park under the East Pavilion

Come on out to the Blaine Festival this Saturday and enjoy a performance by dancers from Jawaahir Dance Company! Check out their website and plan a whole day of fun!

Midtown Music Festival logo  

Jawaahir Performing at Midtown Global Music Festival

Saturday, June 17, 2016. 10am–8:30pm.
Midtown Global MarketAccessibility symbol.
920 East Lake Street, Minneapolis

Look for Jawaahir at 2:00pm! The Seventh Annual Midtown Global Music Festival, in partnership with the Minneapolis Aquatennial, features a line-up of live music and dance from around the world, performing on two outdoor stages and one indoor stage throughout the day.



Alana Mari
Alana Mari by Dave Stagner

Anjela Polk
Anjela by Illume Allure Photography



Cassandra's Cabaret
Starring Cassandra, Alana Mari, Anjela, Lahlia, and special guests Blue Lotus, Jawaahir, Lesley Inman, and Sisters of the Sahara!

Saturday, June 10, 2017 at 8:00pm
Jawaahir Studio Theater Accessibility symbol.
3010 Minnehaha Avenue
Minneapolis, MN

$30 at the door.

Join Cassandra as she transforms the Jawaahir Studio Theater into a Cabaret! Intimate tables, delicious hors d'oeuvres, and an evening of fabulous dance and music. Doors will open at 7:30pm because cabaret guests may enjoy perusing through Dahlal Internationale costumes, hip wraps, music, DVD's, accessories, and more!

Purchase your tickets early! Your seat is not reserved until we receive payment.

For further information, call 612-872-6050, or email genmanager@jawaahir.org

Blue Lotus outside
Blue Lotus
Sisters of the Sahara by Ajith George Photography
Lesley Inman
Lesley Inman by The Dancers Eye
dahlal logo  

Dahlal International Vendor Sale
"Defining style with belly dance fashion and supplies for performers worldwide."

Saturday, June 10, 2017
Jawaahir Studio Accessibility symbol.
3010 Minnehaha Avenue, Minneapolis

Come to shop til you drop! Dahlal Internationale will be here to fill all of your dancewear needs. From full baladi costumes, to tribal costumes; from practice wear, to separates; from scarves, to props, accessories, and more, Dahlal Internationale will have what you're looking for!


Cassandra pic
photo by Jan Geisen

Cassandra pic 2
photo by Jan Geisen

Cassandra pic 3
photo by Nicole LeCorgne


Cassandra's College

Monday-Wednesday, June 5–7, 2017
$45 per class

Jawaahir Studio Accessibility symbol.
3010 Minnehaha Avenue, Minneapolis

Cassandra's College is back with 3 unique classes! Cassandra is the Artistic Director of Jawaahir Dance Company -- take advantage of the opportunity to learn from the best! 

Cassandra has been a successful Oriental dance performer for over 36 years, and is recognized internationally as a master teacher and performer. She has a wealth of information to share with students.

Baladi Progression Interpretation
Monday, June 5th, 6:00–8:00pm
Minneapolis Studio
Please register and pay $45 at class.

The term baladi gets used a lot, and can be confusing. This class focuses on the traditional (baladi) improvised urban conversation between the instrumentalist (often the accordion), drummer, and dancers, as the improvisation progresses through a number of rhythmic and feel changes, to be resolved…how? In so many ways! Come and have a great time working with different styles of baladi progression, with tips for making it your own!

Choreographic Ideas for Magenci (Entrances)
Tuesday, June 6th, 6:00–8:00pm
Minneapolis Studio
Please register and pay $45 at class.

This class is geared for soloists who want to tune up their entrances to the classic composed raqs sharqi entrance music, often called magenci. We’ll explore the different ways of using, or not using, the overture, and where a dancer places herself for the best, or desired, audience effect. We’ll talk about, break down, and dance to some of the more exciting and challenging sections of some of these marvelous pieces.

Arabic Music for Dancers: Melody, Melodic Instruments, and Your Movements
Wednesday, June 7th, 6:00–8:00pm
Minneapolis Studio
Please register and pay $45 at class.

We dancers who did not grow up listening to Arabic music need some time and coaching to really get the feel of the music we are dancing to “in our bodies.” This class will illuminate some of the instruments you are likely to encounter in dance music, and the melodic devices that are commonly heard, and too often ignored, by dancers. This class combines lecture, demonstration, and ultimately dancing in your way.


Samantha Algerian

Samantha Party



Jawaahir Open Rehearsal: Samantha Burnstein Choreography

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Jawaahir Studio Accessibility symbol.
3010 Minnehaha Avenue, Minneapolis

Jawaahir Dance Company is pleased to announce that we have received an MRAC Arts Learning Grant to be used to bring two guest choreographers to set new pieces on the Company.

The second of these choreographers is Samantha Burnstein. Ms. Burnstein will choreograph a tableau of two Algerian styles for Jawaahir. The first is kabyle, which she states, "is wonderful, very joyful, and choreographies are fairly simple, but hard technique." The second is Algerian Chaoui which she says is "tunisian fezzani." Both styles are Berber from Algeria.

Based in Montreal, Canada, dancer and researcher Samantha specializes in the dances of North Africa and the Middle East. She has dedicated herself to this passion for ethnic dance for the last 22 years. Called by the music, she was drawn to study the dances of Africa, and subsequently the Middle East, studying with many master teachers across North America, in Egypt, and West Africa. Samantha is the director of the folkloric company, Sanaa Dance, and has a bachelors degree in anthropology specializing  in dance ethnology.

Join us to watch Jawaahir rehearse Samantha's beautiful choreography! Samantha will take a few questions and discuss her process following the rehearsal.



Caravan Under the Stars
Jawaahir's Annual Gala & Fundraiser

Thursday, May 11, 2017
6:00 – 10:00pm

Jawaahir Studio Accessibility symbol.
3010 Minnehaha Avenue, Minneapolis

$35 at the door.

Cassandra and Jawaahir invite you to join Cathy Wurzer, TPT2's Almanac co-host, and our mistress of ceremonies for the evening, and Gary Kruger, our live auctioneer, for an evening of celebration and gratitude for all of our beloved supporters....YOU!

We’ll have a short performance from Cassandra and Jawaahir for you to enjoy, sumptuous hors d’oeuvres, a silent auction bursting with amazing things for you to bid on, and a super fun live auction. Plus, Angela, from Ancient Traditions Mehndi will be here to give you some beautiful henna. All of the delicious food you get to enjoy is being graciously donated by Mediterranean Cruise Cafe and the Beirut Restaurant!

Uncover hidden treasures such antique jewelry, Arabic music CDs, collectible Hawaiian screen-printed fabric, Egyptian history, and design books, ethnic clothing, ethnic home décor, framed Egyptian papyrus art, hand-crafted jewelry, hand-woven and beaded pendant bags, household collectibles, Middle Eastern cook book, and more! Relax and smile while you peruse the gift certificates from local restaurants, theaters, galleries, and shops:

Abdallah Candies, Ansari’s Mediterranean Grill & Lounge, Bibelot, The Black Forest Inn, Brave New Workshop, Bryant Lake Bowl, The Children’s Theatre Company, Fresh Look Studio, Fulton Beer, Gandhi Mahal, Guthrie Theater, Hi-Lo Diner, Hollywood Music Center, Izzy’s Ice Cream, Jungle Theater, Oasis Dance Camp, Landmark Theatres, Mediterranean Cruise Cafe, Midtown Global Market, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minnesota Historical Society, Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, Minnesota Orchestra, MN Sword Club, Mother Earth Gardens, Out On A Limb Dance Company, Patrick’s Cabaret, Ragamala Dance, Red Cow/Red Rabbit, Red Stag Supperclub, W.A. Frost, Rock Camp for Dads, The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Saint Paul Saints, Science Museum of Minnesota, Sebastian Joe’s, Seward Community Co-op, She Rock She Rock, Weisman Art Museum, Vertical Endeavors, Wiseacre Eatery, Zorongo Flamenco

As always, spend $100 or more for an invitation to the dress rehearsal of our annual show. Then, to sweeten your evening...simply by coming, you’ll be entered into a drawing for two tickets to Jawaahir’s next annual show in November! To win, you must be present for the drawing at the end of our party.


Hair toss
photo by Hilary Smith


Bellydance Blossom Festival
Featuring Cassandra and Jawaahir

Friday-Sunday, May 5–7, 2017

Harbourfront Centre, Toronto, Canada

"The Bellydance Blossom Festival is an all-immersive experience where international dance artists and scholars engage with each other in creative collaborations and meaningful discourse. Internationally known Master Teachers are invited to teach, perform and participate in discussions where possible. All registrants are highly encouraged to participate as a dance artist, choreographer or speaker in one or more of the various categories; Collaborative Works, Explorative Works, Blossom Talks, and Panel Discussions."

For more information: bellydanceblossom.com


Cultural Dance Series
Featuring Cassandra and Jawaahir

Saturday, April 15, 2017
2:00 – 2:30pm

East Lake Library
2727 East Lake Street
Minneapolis, MN

Join us on the public floor of East Lake Library for FREE special performances from three of Longfellow Neighborhood's incredible dance studios, including Jawaahir! Performances will celebrate dance from around the world. Open to all ages. Registration is not required.


class showing

musical bake sale flyer


Class Showings after Winter Session (all classes)
PLUS, we'll be having a Jawaahir and Khazanah Musical Bake Sale!

Saturday, March 11, 2017
3:30–5:00pm in the Minneapolis Studio Accessibility symbol.

Come and support the belly dancer in your life and sink your teeth into sumptuous treats while you peruse $5 belly dance music CDs for sale! These class "showings" are not formal performances but a chance to show what you've been learning and polishing. It's for all levels, so you can see what's in store for you. Free and open to the public, it's a chance for you to invite friends and family to see your progress and to have fun!

Review of a previous Class Showings


"The class showing was SPECTACULAR!
Even people who were shy in class were thrilled to be performing and had great energy during the show. Students were excited to show what they knew. There was even one class that had only one student performing, but she went on accompanied by her teacher and did a great job!
The students who watched the upper levels perform were excited and inspired to see what else they could learn. The audience clapped along and supported the performers with great energy."

SOS logo  

Sisters of the Sahara Hafla: Shimmy Into Spring
Featuring Jawaahir

Friday, March 3, 2017 at 7:00pm

ISD 191 Community Education
200 West Burnsville Pkwy, Ste 100
Bursville, MN 55337

Come to Sisters of the Sahara's annual spring bellydance show!

They will be showcasing new pieces from SOS, solos from SOS members past and present, your favorite local soloists, community education groups from across the Twin Cities, as well as a special performance by Jawaahir Dance Company!

This show is pay as able/pass the hat with funds going to support SOS endeavors. We will have chairs, but last year we ran out, so bring a cushion or your own for maximum comfort! This is a kid friendly, casual event.






Cassandra's Cabaret: Habibti al Helwa (Sweethearts)
Starring Cassandra, Angelina, Julianna, Zahirah, and special guest dancer, Katie


Saturday, February 18, 2017 at 8:00pm
Seating starts at 7:45.
Jawaahir Studio Theater Accessibility symbol.
3010 Minnehaha Avenue
Minneapolis, MN


Join Cassandra as she transforms the Jawaahir Studio Theater into a Cabaret. Intimate tables, delicious hors d'oeuvres, various beverages, with fabulous dance, and live music by Amwaaj, is all included in your evening. Amwaaj is a Twin Cities band including Dawn Doering, Laura Harada, Yaron Klien, Mohamed Lulu, and Tim O'Keefe.

For further information, call 612-872-6050, or email genmanager@jawaahir.org





henna party


Tim O'Keefe

Angela Skrade of Ancient Traditions Mehndi

Henna Party 2013
photo by Jan Geisen


Jawaahir's 24th Annual Henna Party featuring live drumming by Tim O'Keefe!

Sunday, January 15, 2017
2:30 – 5:00pm
Jawaahir Studio Accessibility symbol.
3010 Minnehaha Avenue, Minneapolis, MN

$12 per person, $6 per child 10 and under, $10 per person for groups of 5 or more.
You may pay at the door.

Delight in an afternoon of henna, dance, food, and fun as we once again bring the Middle East to the Midwest.

● Performance by Jawaahir at 2:30pm.
● Special live drumming by one of the top percussionists in the Twin Cities, Tim O'Keefe!
● Cut loose to the live drumming during open dancing.
● Informal dance instruction in basic moves from the Arabian Peninsula.
● Indulge in the ritual of henna painting traditionally done at women's celebrations.
● Enter our two awesome raffles.
● Rejuvenate with an assortment of snacks and beverages.
● Mingle with friends and Jawaahir members.
● Experience the hospitality the Middle East is known for!

Two raffles to be purchased at the party:
$5 tickets for a chance to have Angela, our henna artist of Ancient Traditions Mehndi, work her magic on you. She’s so amazing, we want to avoid a long line of people waiting for her designs. We'll pull 10 lucky winners from the magic raffle basket.

$10 tickets for a chance to win a 10-week session of Level 1 or Level 2 classes at The Cassandra School. We’ll pull 2 lucky winners from the magic raffle basket.

We provide free DIY henna and guests are welcome to bring your own small cushion for comfort!

From attendee Aziza about the 2015 Henna Party: I had so much fun! Jawaahir rocks an excellent party! The dancing was tremendous and the free flowing henna was a blast! Thank you all so much for your efforts towards a fantastic afternoon.




The Cassandra School Open House

Sunday, January 1, 2017
12:00 – 2:45pm
Jawaahir Studio Accessibility symbol.
3010 Minnehaha Avenue, Minneapolis, MN

Join us for FREE mini-classes, and refreshments!
Classes open to new and current students.
NEW STUDENTS — Receive $10 off a full session when you register at the Open House!

There will be 3 free beginner classes at 12:00pm, 1:00pm, and 2:00pm.
Here is the complete schedule:

  Beginners 12:00-12:15 Angela
  Level 2 12:20-12:35 Angela
  Level 3 12:40-12:55 Jenny
  Beginners 1:00-1:15 Renee
  Level 2 1:20-1:35  Renee
  Level 3 1:40-1:55 Jenny
  Beginners 2:00-2:15 Cassandra
  Levels 3 &4 2:20-2:35 Cassandra

The School offers 18 classes each week, for students ranging from two left feet, to Jawaahir company members continually honing their skills. All ages, levels, shapes, and sizes welcome!