The MEDANZ Annual Festival
Every April, MEDANZ holds a 3-4 day festival to showcase its dancers and provide a series of workshops with national and international teachers for members and non members alike. Of course, being a member assures you a place at a reduced price. Even if you have never attended a belly dance festival before, it is a very worthwhile and enjoyable experience for people who have an interest in this beautiful dance form.
When MEDANZ formally became an Association in 1992, its members would gather for the AGM in Auckland. In 2000 the first Festival was held on 14-16 April in Christchurch. This consisted of a full two days of workshops which were held in two studios, a show where dancers could dance for each other, their friends, family and the general public, a swap and shop and the AGM.
Of those who attended, many were from Christchurch. However, other members also came from Auckland, Wellington and Dunedin. The following year an extra day of workshops was added along with a professional theatre and a grant was received in order for Gendi to organise it.
The library still has many of the early shows from this time and you can see some of the popular experienced NZ teachers in their Bellybaby phase, these can be hired from the MEDANZ library for a small charge. If you are interested in hiring anything from the library, please check the library section of the website and email the librarian with your request.
The festival has been held in the following places:
Each year the festival has improved and changed, and still had a long way to go.
2006 was the first we had not just one, but two overseas guests and more people applying to be part of the show than we could possibly offer places, which has provided the organisation with a good idea of the interest levels in this dance form, and given New Zealand's teachers (and overseas teachers), dancers and enthusiasts an opportunity to showcase their skills and see other dancers in action.
Since 2006 MEDANZ has tried to host both a dance and drum/music teachers from overseas each year to better cater for the diverse Middle Eastern Dance Community and their interests in New Zealand.
Both the Show and the Hafla are popular performance platforms with groups and soloist from all over the country submitting items each year and often planning work especially designed for the MEDANZ festival.