Belly-dancer flying out to Brazil to perform at festival
A belly-dancer is being flown all the way to Brazil to perform at a top cultural event.
Melisa Yavas, of East Putney, is jetting off to Sao Paolo to dance in Istanbul Agora, a festival which celebrates contemporary Turkey from April 11-22.
The dancer has been selected by event chiefs to put on belly-dance workshops and dance in Istanbul Sessions, a headlining concert featuring jazz musician Ilhan Ersahin.
She will also be showing clubbers how to belly-dance their way along to Turkish music.
Concerts, dance, literature and film make up the event, with thousands travelling internationally to take part.
Ms Yavas, originally from Izmir, regularly performs in South West London venues Cappadocia in Fife Road, Kingston, and Cirrik, Kew Road, Richmond.
Belly dancing fans can also watch her performances in Lala, Hammersmith, King's Club, Chelsea and Best Mangal, Fulham.
Her dancing style is described as unique, fusing traditional Turkish moves with Oriental techniques.
She uses props such as swords, wings and silk fans to enhance her shows.
Ms Yavas said: "This is my first time to Brazil and I am so excited to be joining such an illustrious group of artists to showcase contemporary Turkish culture.
"It will be the most incredible feeling to be dancing on stage with Ilhan and his Istanbul Sessions band – the energy and positive feelings it invokes in me and the audience will be electric.
"I hear Brazilians love belly-dance, but I’m also looking forward to picking up a bit of Samba. My bags are packed, Brazil here I come."