BDUC 2008 Splits the Universe!
A review by Marta Schill
Long Beach, CA: In February, 2008, the Belly Dancer of the Universe Competition was able to split not only the atom, but also the Universe…imagine the explosive results!
The number of categories in BDUC, as in the art of Bellydance itself, had snowballed. In order to present everything, the Saturday production was displayed on two stages in two separate areas simultaneously. The venue change was negotiated successfully, yet Tonya and Atlantis also became aware that everyone really wanted to see everything! Maybe a new fourth dimension is needed – yeah! Time travel – the answer at last!
As a result, the February 21 and 22, 2009, BDUC spectacular will boast one venue, continuously presenting all competitions. How will they do it? Stop by and see…
In 2008 there were new levels of accomplishment, including the ultimate award of Champion of Champions, in which all winners from the other competitions competed. This year’s winners were Junior Champion Kata-Maya from Texas (now also Champion of Champions!) and Little Champion Al Hasan from Puerto Rico as first runner-up, both displaying the amazing potential of youth in this dance form. Another new category, Taksim, produced Dilek from California as the winner. Other 2008 victories went to Belly Dance Korea from South Korea in the Group Category; Fusion, Tehani from California; Drum Solo, Kendra from Oregon; Veil Solo, Tanna Valentine from New York; Tribal Fusion, Lisa Zahiya from North Carolina; and the Tribal Group Category was won by Mandala Danceworks from California.
The Sunday evening gala topped off the weekend with Mia from Puerto Rico being chosen as the Universal Champion from the four excellent finalists, and in the Egyptian Division, winner Amanda Rose from Arizona accomplished the same. Dancer, choreographer, and producer Isis of Texas was deservedly honored with the coveted Lifetime Achievement Award. What an incredible year! The DVD’s from this event are now available…see below.
In the new Universe, all factors continue their expansion, offering even more incentives for competition hopefuls: Now four categories will boast $1,000.00 prizes – Champion of Champions, Universal Solo, Egyptian Solo, and the Group Category, which will now include all ages and all styles. Also, this event will be showcasing Dr. Samy Farag’s exciting new CD as the music utilized for the finalists of the Egyptian Category. Be sure to see the details of every competition classification online. Dr Farag’s CD as well as Tonya’s CD and DVD’s are also available.
2009 instructors include Eva Cernik, Helena Vlahos, Tonya Chianis, Isis, Alex Spurkle, Angelika Nemeth, Princess Farhana, Nina Sahar and Lee Ali. Class schedules are on the same websites along with the highlights of the Saturday and Sunday gala shows.
Tonya and Atlantis traditionally kick off the Holiday season with a party featuring the Megastars of past Competitions at the gorgeous Khoury’s Restaurant in Long Beach. This year’s festivity will be December 3, 2008, featuring incredible music, dance and celebratory entertainment to welcome everyone into this favorite time of year.