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Friday, March 17, 2006

Bellydance partywith feast of sound

Tokyo band Tabla Kwaiesa will be injecting the plush Club Heights in Shinjuku with a whole lot of Arabic soul for "Tokyo Ihtifaal," an event taking place March 21. Some of Japan's top bellydancers, including Suran Negishi -- competition winner at Armani's Oriental Festival in Lebanon last year -- and Nicole, will perform with Kwaiesa's collective of Middle Eastern-influenced percussionists. According to the band, ihtifaal means "large party" or "feast" in Arabic. The event is the followup to last October's sold-out show that coincided with Ramadan.

News photo
Bellydancer Nicole

Tabla Kwaiesa have been wowing audiences across the country with their electrifying performances since 2001. Playing Arabic pop songs on instruments such as darabuka (goblet drum) and zills (finger cymbals), their exciting, energetic concerts are filled with style, showmanship, and of course, much dancing. The latter has made them a favorite of the world-music crowd -- and more specifically, bellydance enthusiasts.

"Tokyo Ihtifaal" will see the act expanding their lineup to create Tabla Kwaiesa & Orchestra. More than a dozen other musicians will join the Japanese septet, adding accordion, horns, and oud (Middle Eastern lute) to their already eclectic mix.

"Tokyo Ihtifaal" starts at 6:30 p.m. on March 21 at Club Heights, Toho Kaikan 8F, 1-19-2 Kabukicho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, next to Koma Theater. Tickets are 4,000-6,000 yen yen. E-mail ticket@kwaiesa.net or visit kwaiesa.net for more information.

Club Heights is a five-minute walk from JR Shinjuku Station's East Exit.

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