Welcome to the 15th International Oriental Dance Festival in Tallinn on 25-26 November 2023!

This is a grand jubilee festival,
marking 20 years since the first International Oriental Dance Festival in Tallinn!

The festival is supported by the Tallinn Culture and Sports Department.


Badriyah - a living encyclopedia of raqs sharqi and a modern Golden Era Bellydance star!

Lenka Badriyah is a dancer from the Czech Republic, now teaching regularly in Belgium. She has been a dance teacher for more than 15 years while constantly studying the dance form and performing in several dance troupes. Badriyah also performed for 10 years alongside Jillina in Bellydance Evolution, both as a lead dancer and troupe dancer, performing in more than 60 shows in Japan, Taiwan, Morocco, Australia, the United States and other countries. Badriyah is the organizer of the Kan Zaman festival and the Leylet Raqs festival.

Badriyah is passionate about Raqs Sharqi and its history. She loves to study legendary Egyptian dancers, and perform so-called Golden Era Bellydance. Badriyah is a collector of vintage items depicting Golden Era legends. Her collection includes more than 400 items, such as postcards, vinyl records, posters, magazines, and very rare items such as signed photos of Samia Gamal, vinyl records with the voice of Badia Masabni, original photo print of Shafiqa El Koptiya, and a billboard with Samia Gamal. To share all this content with the dance community, Badriyah created an online museum on her website ( and now she is renovating a space to build an actual Raqs Sharqi Museum in Belgium.

In her daily job, Lenka is a space weather application scientist and science communicator. She focuses on one of the space safety projects by the European Space Agency, and she leads an educational project for blind and visually impaired children.


Modern Lyrical Raqs Sharqi

This workshop includes a lot of contemporary Raqs Sharqi techniques stylized into Arabic pop culture music, highlighting a rising star singer Elyanna. The choreography taught in this workshop is very contrastful: it includes very fluent and smooth movements, as well as strong and energetic ones; it has lyrical and romantic sections, as well as very passionate and dynamic parts. It explores the possibilities of Raqs Sharqi dancers in a modern way, both through the movement vocabulary, and expression of feeling.

History of Raqs Sharki in a nutshell

The lecture covers the evolution of Raqs Sharqi from the 18th century to the late Golden Era in 1960's. It includes tons of information on the ghawazee, awaleem, birth of Raqs Sharqi and how the Western world reacted.

Golden Era styling

In the workshop, we learn about the Golden Era position, how the technique is driven, what are the typical movements, and styling. We combine everything into a short choreography.

Dovile - a dynamite that leaves her audience breathless...

Dovile Karpushenko is a multiple award-winning belly dancer from Kaunas, Lithuania. As a dance teacher, she teaches both groups and private lessons and gives workshops both at Lithuanian festivals and abroad, mainly in China, Malaysia and Europe. Dovile does not count the hours she spends in her studio, for her, dancing is her life. According to her, belly dance already does not belong to Egypt, it belongs to women.


Modern Balady

You will learn lots of specific balady style movements and beautiful combinations that will be all combined into a powerful Modern Oriental Balady dance choreography.

Drum Solo:

You will learn Dovile’s unique drum solo technique and train how to isolate all your muscles. All technique and combinations will be combined into a fiery tabla choreography.

Zahra - considered as the “mother” of Morroccan dance here in Estonia, she this time surprises us with a spicy Egyptian oriental!

Zahra is a Moroccan dancer and teacher living in Finland where she runs a dance school since 1996. Zahra is known for her unique strong style on the stage. She organises dance trips to Morocco and has spread Moroccan dance and culture in Estonia in cooperation with local dance teachers. She has taught a lot about Morocco to Estonians and considers Estonia to be one of the few countries where dancers know a lot about Moroccan dancing styles. Zahra feels that Estonian dancers are like her daughters to whom she can pass on her knowledge.


Oriental “Asena”

In this workshop you will learn a very modern Egyptian dance that includes movements you don't get to learn during regular dance classes. This dance can be performed in a simple top, leggings and hip scarf. The choreography includes hip drops, arabesques, hair tosses and other showy movements, perfect for groups because dancers can perform different accents in turns. It is an easy and exotic way to show your isolation skills. Music is from Asena's 2005 album.

Nataliya Kulishenko - one of the best performers of roma dance in Ukraine. Her passion and positive energy makes a lasting impression!

Nataliya is Director of the dance school “Dance Hayat”, a choreographer and producer of Roma (previously knows as “gypsy”), folk and Balkan dances; she is a graduate of a dance studio at Pavlo Visrky Ukrainian National Folk-Dance Ensemble.

Nataliya Kulishenko is well-known and respected in Ukrainian and European dance circles as a person that has established her own dance school, discovered new dance directions; and as a person who creates her own choreographies both for her dance school and for workshops for those that wish to learn dancing.

All her choreographies have a bright, colourful character, guaranteeing the audience a real show. With Nataliya you can immerse into a fabulous dance world, travel to the Balkans and, of course, be inspired by the energy of cheerful fiery romas!


Roma dance (mustlastants)

This workshop is a real treat for roma dance lovers! Many repetitions, slow combinations that grow faster and warm up your audience. Also flying skirt technique and sharp accents and a sea of emotions! Both beginner and intermediate dancers will learn something new in the workshop.

NB! Bring a wide skirt!

Kalila - one of the brightest young teachers in Estonia, waving our flag high throughout Europe - she and her students keep bringing home competition medals!

Kalila is a young Estonian freelance dancer, choreographer and dance teacher. Kalila started dancing when she was 3 years old, and she started belly dancing in 2005. Since then, belly dancing has become an integral part of her life. She started teaching belly dance in 2010, and by now Kalila has been teaching in various places all over Estonia and abroad, and she teaches regular classes in Tallinn and Hiiumaa.

In addition, Kalila has competed in several Oriental dance competitions both in Estonia and abroad and won several prizes. During the last year, she has brought home medals and trophies from competitions in Denmark, Spain, Norway and Poland. The choreographies created and taught by her have also been very successful at competitions.

Her dance background is varied and versatile - in addition to belly dancing, she has developed herself in many different dance styles (ballet, modern dance, Estonian folk dance, etc.) and she also holds a Master's degree in Choreography from Tallinn University. In addition, she continues to improve herself at courses and workshops of various dance styles both in Estonia and abroad and finds that it is always possible to develop further and learn something new in the dance world.


Competition choreography (intermediate/advanced)

In this workshop, we will learn a short but striking choreography, which is well suited for performing in competitions, as it allows you to show your versatile skills as a dancer. In addition to learning choreography, we will talk about what to keep in mind when participating in a competition; what are the more common point categories in which contestants are judged; how to prepare yourself for competitions both physically and mentally; how to show yourself as versatile as possible as a dancer with strong technique and how to stand out in the competition.

Everyone who wants to learn a lively choreography is welcome to the workshop, even if they don't want to participate in a competition!

Iris - one of Estonia's most talented belly dance choreographers, whose fusion dances are loved and performed in every corner of Estonia!

Iris has been active on the dance scene for over 20 years. Her dance path began with Indian classical dance, after which she devoted herself to flamenco. Belly dance then became her main dance style.

Iris is one of the first professional Estonian belly dancers. She has been a member of Estonia's first professional Oriental dance troupe "Zahira" since its creation. She is also a soloist and dance teacher, and has participated in projects both with the troupe and as a soloist, performing and teaching in Estonia, Latvia, Finland, Egypt. Iris has worked as a dancer for many years in Arab countries: in the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Oman, Jordan.

Iris dances and teaches other styles besides belly dance, such as Spanish/Flamenco fusion, Bollywood, Latin-Oriental dance fusions, ethnic dances from around the world. Iris' fusion choreographies are very popular among Estonian belly dancers. As a member of the Estonian Chamber of Oriental Dance, Iris contributes to organising local Oriental dance events.


Arabic pop choreography “Happy Birthday/Sana Helwa ya Gameel” (intermediate)

Dancers are often invited to perform at birthday parties - so a well-known birthday song is a good addition to a belly dancer's repertoire. Also, this song and dance are connected with this year's jubilee Festival! The workshop participants have the opportunity to perform the dance with Iris the day after the workshop - as an intermediate show number during the competition. NB! Bring your costume!


“Funoon Shaabeya” is a film documenting Egyptian traditional dance and music throughout the many regions in one of the world’s most fascinating places. From original settings to regional troupes. What folklore means to Egyptians and how it has shaped their culture. Today in modern Egypt we still see evidence of its vast past through tradition, folklore and it’s people which will be highlighted in the documentary.

The term “Funoon Shaabeya” refers to traditional art in general and the film is focusing on its folklore artists. These important living traditions can still be found thanks to persistent artists who have devoted their lives to their art, young activists through cultural events and venues. You may find these venues everywhere in Egypt with its variety of dance and music styles, from the ancient to modern Egyptian times.

Film author: Sheyla (Tereza Bártová Klementová)
Camera and postproduction: Klaudia Bónová
Sound postproduction: Roman Opia Ševčík

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The International Oriental Dance Festival in Estonia has taken place since 2003 and is the oldest and largest Oriental dance event in Estonia. The festival features dance workshops, a competition, a gala show, open stage performances and an Oriental Bazaar. The festival has also featured panel discussions, film screenings and fashion shows. The event brings together dancers from every corner of Estonia, as well as the neighbouring countries and further places around the world.