16 April 2003 Daily News, Nanaimo – Review by Lynn Welburn
Miraj (an Arabic word meaning ascent, the journey upwards) was the perfect title for the April 11 performance by Earthfire dance at the Malaspina University College theatre.
But mirage, commonly used to describe something you think is real and which then vanishes, leaving you doubting your senses, would also have been appropriate because this performance was magical, mystical and, as each piece, ended, you were left wondering whether you had really seen it at all. Earthfire is one of the province’s top dance troupes, and are almost unique in the way they blend various forms of Middle Eastern, Gypsy, North African and other folk styles of dance. And their show, Miraj: Beyond Belly Dance, was an amazing showcase of not only their considerable dance talents, but also of their ability to put together a visual and auditory treat with costumes and settings that added to the sense of magic. With fabulous creatures of myth, whirling swords and costumes that shimmered like liquid jewels, Miraj was a sensory treat. Earthfire (Ferda Bayazit, Lynette Harper, Faith Lafave, Leah, Yvonne Olson and Taissia Sinclair) along with actor Pat Donaldson as the crone/fortune teller, guest dancers (Kelly Rollick, Sheila Bowman, Taiya Curie, Reziah, Shamani and Kirsten Stallman) and guest drummers (Goldean Abbadon-Lowe and Fiona Stuart) took their audience on an amazing journey to a Middle East much different from what we see on television each day, to a place where travelers from various places meet and mingle and dance, moving them and the watchers to a higher place, a place where we could all converge in a blend of lithe and sinuous dance, sensual music and lively humour.
(See excerpt “Queen of Wands” on Video page)