History & Links

Original Cast Standing L-R: Morgan Fay, Makeda, Bobak Salehi, Mark Veherencamp, Doug Shafer, Tabra Bay & Janelle. Sitting L-R: Charles Pike, Brittany Stark, Danielle Elizabeth & Paul Evans

Instigated by a spirited conversation early summer 2013 Between Danielle and Mr. Sol Crawford, the then co-director of Studio Datura (PDX) and Datura Online (interwebs), Baksana was founded with the mission of bringing the party to the people. The goal was to make our style of bellydance exciting and accessible for all by tapping into more of the folk roots of belly dance, and it’s powerful link to live music and celebration via busking on city blocks and at community fairs, to performing in fully produced stage shows.

Baksana dancers met while participating in Rachel Brice’s Datura Project and originally launched its first few performances with Rachel’s Datura Style vocabulary which was founded on core concepts developed by Carolena Nericcio‘s ATS (American Tribal Style ®).  These concepts center around an improvised style of “lead and follow” dance where one dancer leads by cuing a set of movements  for the rest of the group.  Today we still dance with some of those original structural and general stylistic concepts from Rachel and Carolena (with deep gratitude and respect for all their work!!!).  However, Baksana’s vocabulary has grown into its own set of original combinations and choreographies often paired with dynamic advanced finger cymbal compositions. Free improvisation is also a LARGE focus of Baksana, and thus our “style” and sets are constantly evolving with us.

Live Music was essential in Baksana’s vision and Paul Evans stepped up to the plate collecting some of the most versatile jazz and fusion musicians in Portland.

Baksana’s music and dance are more broadly inspired by Mid-East, Asian, and Balkan folk and contemporary genres; and groups such as Fat Chance Belly Dance, Hahbi’ Ru, and Bal Anat,

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