Belynda Azhaar

Welcome to the official website of professional Middle Eastern and World dance instructor, choreographer, and performer, Belynda Azhaar.

★   Belynda Azhaar   ★
Middle Eastern & World Dance Artist

Using music and dance:
For artistic expression, physical well-being, and internal healing;
To bridge the cultural gap, bringing people together.


Lelah Masriya Festval, Cairo, Egypt ~ July 1-7, 2012
  About Belynda Azhaar  

Dr. Belynda Azhaar, PhD, is a professional Performing Artist (dancer, actress, musician, singer), Instructor, and Choreographer with more than 20 years’ experience in TV, stage, and screen productions. Belynda is known for her musical approach to dance, finger cymbal and fan veil technique, innovative theatrical concepts, and special skills such as dancing on a drum. She combines her acting, musical, and dance skills to create powerful performances - from soulful, to playful, to exciting! Belynda is equally comfortable performing elegant Egyptian Raqs Sharqi as she is bone-chilling Dark Fusion, and can switch between these distinctly different styles with ease.

Based in South Korea, Belynda tours worldwide teaching, performing, and researching Middle Eastern, Theatrical Bellydance Fusion, and World Folk Dance. To date she has taught workshops/performed in 16 countries (Australia, China, Egypt, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Malta, Mongolia, Philippines, Sweden, Taiwan, Turkey, and Vietnam), and was a featured instructor at the 2012 first edition of the Lelah Masriya festival in Cairo, Egypt. Belynda has been involved with adult education and corporate training since 1995, and brings a wealth of teaching experience to the classroom. She specialises in teaching Egyptian dance (classical, modern, and folkloric), Tribal Fusion (specialising in Dark Fusion), and traditional dances of the Middle East, Maghreb, Balkan, and Central Asia areas. Her students range from absolute beginners through to professional dancers.

   

Actively involved in community work, Belynda Azhaar has performed at and organised many fundraiser charity events. Most notably, she organised the Aid Gaza Benefit Night (AGBN), which raised about US$3,000 for the UNRWA Special Gaza Appeal, and performed with Chinese celebrities at a special charity show in Deyang, China, for victims of the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. Belynda has organised annual World Belly Dance Day fundraiser events in Korea since 2009 which have donated approximately US$6,500 to local Korean women's charities. She created and manages the "Bellydance Events in Asia" Facebook group, and founded MECDACK (Middle Eastern Culture, Dance & Art Club in Korea).

Belynda considers herself an eternal student of Middle Eastern arts; she regularly travels overseas to improve her dance skills, as well as experience the traditional music and culture behind the dance. She has attended numerous classes with master dancers, and continually strives to improve and push the boundaries of creativity. Belynda would like to take this opportunity to thank the following teachers for their inspiration: Mahmoud Reda, Farida Fahmy, Essam Mounir, Nour, Tamra-henna, Tamallyn Dallal, Karim Nagi,and Kamellia. Belynda's passion for ethnomusicology and dance ethnology has driven her to research Al-Andalus and the Silk Road, and she plans to conduct field research in Central Asia in the near future.

Music is the driving force behind Belynda's dance. She is a continual student of Middle Eastern music and instruments including Arabic percussion (sagat, tabla, def, riq) and the oud. She has studied (live) with renown percussionists Karim Nagi, Issam Houshan, Mansour, and Youssef. In addition, Belynda is proficient at a variety of Western instruments (piano, 6/7/12-string guitar (acoustic and electric), and 4/5-string bass guitar) and in her spare time composes lyrics and music.

     

  Belynda's Music & Dance Background  

Music is an integral part of Belynda's life. Coming from a musical family, Belynda was constantly surrounded by music of all genres. At the age of 7 Belynda taught herself how to read music and began to play the piano and acoustic guitar. When she was 11 she joined a stage band as pianist, regularly performing with this band for the following 6 years. Belynda has also been a member of rock bands playing a variety of instruments including keyboards, rhythm guitar, bass guitar, and percussion. Although gifted with instruments (she also taught herself to play the clarinet, saxophone and trumpet, and will give any instrument a go!), Belynda's main musical passion is vocals - she has performed in various vocal ensembles and choirs since 5 years of age. She has performed in many concerts, both as a soloist and chorister, and is experienced in musical theatre as well as orchestral, choral productions. Her house is full of instruments including 9 guitars, keyboard, and various world instruments. Most recently she acquired the traditional Mongolian instruments morin khuur (fiddle) and yangqin (hammered dulcimer).

Not surprisingly, Belynda was also fascinated with dance from a young age. As a child in a small country town, Belynda did not have access to dance classes - instead, she would mimic the ballet, musical, and opera dancers seen on TV, and experiment with movement on her own. At 15 years of age, Belynda finally commenced formal dance training at the Bjelke-Petersen School of Physical Culture. (Physical Culture is the uniquely Australian competitive dance sport (solo and team) comprised of marching, aerobics, gymnastics, classical ballet, jazz ballet, and modern dance. Each year, solo competitors perform set routines and are graded on technique and individual expression; teams of 8 dancers perform the same routines and are graded on technique, homogeneity, group expression, and creative team patterns.) Belynda attended various "Physie" clubs for a few years, but became frustrated and disillusioned by the cliquey nature of the clubs. She yearned for something more ...

It was a combination of her passion for ethnomusicology, Egyptology, mathematics and art (hence Islamic geometric art) which led to Belynda's "discovery" of Oriental dance. (Belynda majored in both mathematics and art at high school.) Her discovery soon became an obsession, and since 2004 Belynda has dedicated her life to promoting the Middle East and its arts.

Belynda at a Physical Culture Competition in Sydney, Australia.
Past International
Performances & Workshops

2016/06 - Adelaide, Australia
2015/07 - Ulaanbaatar, MONGOLIA
2014/05 - Brisbane, AUSTRALIA
2014/05 - Ho Chi Minh City, VIETNAM
2012/07 - Cairo, EGYPT
2012/06 - Fukuoka, Japan
2012/03 - Bali, INDONESIA
2012/02 - Kuala Lumpur, MALAYSIA
2012/02 - Linköping, SWEDEN
2012/02 - Rome, ITALY
2012/01 - Malta & Gozo, MALTA
2010/12 - Cairo, EGYPT
2010/11 - Istanbul, TURKEY
2010/09 - Hong Kong, HONG KONG
2010/09 - Taipei & Tainan, TAIWAN
2010/07 - Osaka, JAPAN
2010/07 - Rockhampton, AUSTRALIA
2010/07 - Brisbane, AUSTRALIA
2010/06 - Port Macquarie, AUSTRALIA
2010/06 - Melbourne, AUSTRALIA
2010/06 - Kuala Lumpur, MALAYSIA
2010/06 - Manila, PHILIPPINES
2010/04 - Hong Kong, HONG KONG
2010/02 - Hsinchu & Taipei, TAIWAN
2009/11 - Taipei & Tainan, TAIWAN
2009/08 - Hanoi, VIETNAM
2009/05 - Taipei, TAIWAN
2008/10 - Beijing, CHINA
2008/09 - Deyang & Changde, CHINA
2008/08 - Beijing, CHINA
2008/07 - Osaka, JAPAN
2008/03 - Osaka, JAPAN
2007/09 - Kobe & Osaka, JAPAN
2007/06 - Osaka, JAPAN
2007/03 - Taipei, TAIWAN

  Past Events & Career Highlights  

Workshops & Performances
• International tours in Australia, China, Egypt, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Malta, Mongolia, Philippines, South Korea, Sweden, Taiwan, Turkey, and Vietnam.
• Special guest workshop teacher and performer at the following festivals:
      - Lelah Masriya (Cairo, EGYPT)
      - Bellyfest (Manila, PHILIPPINES)
      - Club Rakkasah (Melbourne, AUSTRALIA)
      - Summer Festival (Osaka, JAPAN)
      - Oriental Dance Festival (Beijing, CHINA)
• Performed at the Sphinx Festival, Egypt, in front of special guests Farida Fahmy & Mahmoud Reda.
• Performed at the Nile Group Festival, Egypt.
• Performed with Chinese celebrities at "快乐蜂人志愿团", a charity event for victims of the 2008 Sichuan Earthquake held in Deyang China.

Productions & Event Organisation
MECDACK (Middle Eastern Culture, Dance & Art Club in Korea)
RAK 2012, RAK 2011, and RAK 2010 World Bellydance Day Fundraisers (Seoul, Korea) - More than US$6,500 has been raised for Korean charities.
Aid Gaza Benefit Night (Seoul, Korea) - Around US$3,000 was raised for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency Special Gaza Appeal.
2009 World Bellydance Day (Seoul, Korea)

Competition Adjudication
• Korea Bellydancer "Top 10" Contest (2011, Korea)
• Asia-Pacific Open Oriental Competition (2009, Taiwan)
• Taiwan Open Bellydance Competition (2009, Taiwan)
• 3rd Asia Bellydance Championship (2008, China)

Awards
• 2013 Innostar 33 Award - Promotion of Middle Eastern Culture in Korea
• 2012 Ambassador of Middle Eastern Dance in Korea
• 2010 Bellydance Evolution Asia BDE - "People's Choice"
• 2008 Oriental Dance Festival (China) - "Best Acting"

Workshops in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam with Belynda Azhaar - 2014 Lelah Masriya Festval, Cairo, Egypt ~ July 1-7, 2012 Workshops and show in Fukuoka, Japan with Belynda Azhaar - 2012 Workshops and hafla in Bali, Indonesia with Belynda Azhaar - 2012 Workshops in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with Belynda Azhaar - 2012 Belynda Azhaar in Italy - 2012 Workshops and show in Malta with Belynda Azhaar - 2012