Sixth Annual Fringe Benefit Supports The Partnership for Children, Family and Adults.
This is a music column, a space reserved for information about local and regional bands, their shows, their music and all things related. I was recruited specifically to write about such things. “So why,” you may be asking yourself if you skipped past this introduction to see who the article was about this week, “are you writing about a belly dance performance?”
Good question. There are three reasons: 1) It is a charitable event, raising money for a good cause that deserves all the support it can get; 2) There will be live music there featuring one of the greatest acts in the area and also some Irish band you’ve probably never heard of; 3) What is dance in general and belly dance specifically if not music given physical form? That’s my justification and I’m sticking to it.
The Sixth Annual Fringe Benefit will be held on Sunday, Nov. 16 at Ripple Theater, 3264 Brainerd Road. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the event begins at 7:30. One hundred percent of the money raised will be given directly to The Partnership for Children, Families and Adults to support their Family and Sexual Violence programs.
This year’s special guest artist is world-renowned dancer Mira Betz. Betz is one of the most sought-after belly dance performers, instructors and choreographers in the world today. Her grace, wit and charm make her one of the most beloved as well. As one of the founding members of Aywah! Ethnic Dance Company, Betz has played a direct role in the emergence and popularity of fusion tribal belly dance in the past decade.
The event also features local dancers performing a variety of original solo and group choreographies, as well as special musical guests Danimal Planet and the Molly Maguires. Danimal Planet, the creation of musical phenom Danimal Pinson, has been featured in this publication and is a popular and highly respected act in the region. The Molly Maguires have achieved some small degree of notoriety for their interpretations of traditional and modern Celtic music (and legendary bar tabs).
Generous donations and corporate sponsors have enabled the event to provide an open bar with beer and wine, light hor d’oeuvres, a photo booth and a silent auction. Admission is $20 in advance and $25 at the door for adults 21 and up, $15 for young adults and teens. Children 10 and under are admitted free.
Now in its sixth year, the benefit seeks to provide top-notch artistic talent while generating much-needed funds for local charities serving women. The event was originally conceived by founding Mirabai member Miranda Cagle who has this to say:
“Belly dance is such an empowering form of dance and expression. It gives so many women the freedom to love their bodies, find community with one another and walk with pride and ownership of themselves. We created this event in to try to share and nurture those feelings, to offer the identity, strength and grace we find in this dance to help heal women who are struggling in our area and hopefully help them rediscover and embrace their own power.”