Arabian Nights – Toronto Fringe 2014 Press Release

From Press Release

Arabian Nights

For centuries, Belly Dance has classically been an art form designed at entertaining revelers at parties and dinners. The Sisters of Salome have taken Belly Dance to great new heights, lifting the art form from restaurants and parties to a soft seat theatre telling a full length story, a concept usually reserved for the ballet.

The Sisters of Salome have again risen the bar this time with their telling of “Arabian Nights”. Assembled over centuries during the Islamic Golden Age, this collection of Arabic fairy tales known as “1001 Nights” was translated into English in 1706 and have come to be known to western audiences as “Arabian Nights”.

The tales are told by Sherehezade, the latest bride of King Shahryar beginning on her wedding night. Having been cheated on by a past wife, King Shahryar has decided that the only way to keep a wife faithful is to kill her the morning after their wedding, before she gets a chance to betray him. Sherehezade’s challange is to save herself from her own imminent execution. Her plan is to captivate her husband with her fantastical and eccentric tales, and just as the story peeks she will stop, promising to finish the following night. Since he yearns to hear the ending, he lets her live another day to hear how this story ends. That night, she finishes the story but then starts another scintillating tale that intrigues him again. And this goes on for 1001 nights. Luscious fables like Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves, Porter and The 3 Ladies of Baghdad and The Serpent.

With action, mystery and romance, this feast for the senses will transport you with enthralling music, colourful costuming, dramatic storytelling and gorgeous dance.

2 years ago at The Toronto Fringe Festival, The Sisters of Salome enchanted audiences with their telling of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid. The Toronto Fringe Festival themselves named this production one of the “Top 5 Must See Productions”. Both NOW Magazine The Grid included it as #7 of their Top Ten Picks.

 

What was said about The Sisters of Salome’s last Fringe production of The Little Mermaid:

At first glance, a bellydance version of The Little Mermaid seems like an odd idea. Why would anyone want try to sexy up a classic children’s story? After watching five minutes of the Sisters of Salome’s reinterpretation of the Hans Christian Andersen tale, the question becomes “Why didn’t anyone think of this before?”

Chris Dart / The Torontoist

The Little Mermaid currently playing at the Toronto Fringe doesn’t seem very Fringe-like at all. And I mean that in the best possible way. It’s a visually stunning show with grand costumes and an ensemble cast of 16! Now that’s worth seeing.

Every time I marveled at what they were able to do with yards of gorgeous fabric, they topped it. We saw beautiful waves and massive wings and cascading fans all made out of this light airy material that created a breathtaking set.

Sonia Borkar / MooneyonTheatre.com

With attention paid to crowd-pleasing production values (lots of sequins and effects with fabric and fans), the show boasts a few standout performances from Victoria Buston as an over-the-top Sea Witch and the dignified ensemble performing a wedding procession with candles balanced on their heads.

Hans Christian Andersen’s classic fairy tale told through belly dancing? It sounds crazy, but it works. As it turns out, the aquatic-themed story is perfectly suited to the Middle Eastern dance form, with its undulating bodies and billowing veils.

Martin Morrow / The Grid

 

About The Sisters of Salome

The Sisters of Salome are a constellation of stars who belly dance. The lead Sister and choreographer in this endeavor is Sarah Skinner, an accomplished belly dancer who recently re‐located to Toronto after an illustrious career in New York City. She is a founding member and co‐producer of a belly dance co‐operative in New York City called Venus Uprising where she staged belly dance shorts telling the fates of Cleopatra, Salome, Medusa, Mata Hari and others. She is the host of a long string of instructional belly dance DVDs that are sold globally. Also a graduate of F.I.T. (Fashion Institute of Technology in New York) Sarah has created an unimaginable array of incredible costumes for this large cast production of Arabian Nights.

The Sisters of Salome in association with The Toronto Fringe Festival presents:

Arabian Nights

Written by: Various writers.
Adapted and Choreographed by: Sarah Skinner
Starring: Sarah Skinner
Featuring Sarah Skinner, Amoura, Anh Luc, Balkis Catelin, Ian Crewe, Karyn RuDance, Kevin Fox, Lamia, Mentor Sejdiu, Paul Limgenco, Sahar, Zoe Smith
Lighting design: Holly Meyer‐Dymny
Opens July 2 runs to July 13
Tarragon Theatre. 30 Bridgeman Ave.
Performances:

  • July 03 at 06:30 PM
  • July 05 at 01:45 PM
  • July 07 at 04:30 PM
  • July 09 at 09:15 PM
  • July 10 at 04:00 PM
  • July 11 at 11:00 PM
  • July 12 at 12:30 PM

 

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