We’ve been a little busy recently – perhaps you heard? Baba Ghanoush and our dear friends Cypress collaborated to bring you Gemini: A Showcase of Belly Dance Duets. Featuring a selection of local professional and for-the-occasion duets, Gemini raised $1100 plus two laundry baskets of donation items for House of Ruth Maryland.
For those of you who don’t know, House of Ruth is a nonprofit organization that supports women and children who’ve suffered from domestic abuse. They do some amazing work in our area – please check out their website: http://www.hruth.org/. (You can make online donations!) To quote some of our promotional materials from Gemini: “Baba Ghanoush and Cypress feel that the soulful art of belly dance has given each of us a gift of self awareness and autonomy over our bodies. House of Ruth helps women and children who are or have been victims of domestic abuse find or regain the same things.”
One of my greatest pleasures in dancing, besides the dance itself, is using belly dance as a medium to create good energy and positive change in the community. Last year, BG participated in our mother troupe Aubergine’s show, Muppets & Monsters, benefiting Smiles & Dreams: The Tohoku Kids Project. (We were “Pink Fluffy Unicorns Dancing on Raibows.”) The year before, we debuted as BG in Nina Amaya’s Disco Hafla Competition, benefiting wildlife clean-up from the BP oil spill in Louisiana. (We danced to “It’s Raining Men” by the Weather Girls.) Earlier this year, we were a part of Gypsy Fusion’s Dance Your Heart Out Hafla, benefitting the American Red Cross. (Cypress was there too!) We perform at countless other charitable events with Aubergine. In Gemini, we have now, with Cypress, successfully organized and run our very own event!
It’s a lot of work. Quite a bit of stress. Probably best NOT to schedule it the weekend after another major performance (oops). But the payoff – the caring support of so many performers, volunteers, and audience members – is totally worth it.
(Photos courtesy of Pamela Rowlett Photography, Gemini’s official event photographer. You can check out all the photos here. Videos will be up soon. If you have photos or video from the event that you’d like to share, please leave us a link in the comments!)