Voted as “Top 5 Dance Events” in The Overcast’s Best of St. John’s Survey for 2014, Seraka Dance Company’s one-night-only production of A Night at the Caravanserai is “a mesmerizing evening of eclectic and inspired performances of belly dance, juggling, classic burlesque, magic, jazz, and musical interludes. 

Phil Goodridge will assume the role of master of ceremonies, and there is no shortage of acts he’ll be introducing you to, including, but not limited to:

Special Guest: Audra Simmons

Audra Simmons is the Founder and Artistic Director of The Dark Side Studio. In 2007, she formed Lavish, which performs modern and tribal fusion belly dance with a twist.Lavish has appeared at Tribal Fest, the New York Theatrical Bellydance Conference, and is the host of artist-in-residence program The Lavish Project.

Audra began studying belly dance intensively with Yasmina Ramzy at Arabesque Academy in 2000, and taught there from 2001-2004. Today, she continues her training with Rachel Brice, with whom she has studied since 2004.

At the Caravanserai, you’ll see solos by Audra, as well as a collaboration with Vanessa, Karen, and Susan of Seraka Dance Co, which incorporates concepts from The Lavish Project 2015 – a project of 14 artists from across North America that took place this past June in Toronto.

Belly Dance: Company of Gypsys

The Company of Gypsys represent an eclectic group of women who share a passion for belly dance. Through belly dance, they strive to promote the concepts of a healthy mind, body, and spirit. Formally founded in 2011, the Company of Gypsys does not prescribe to any particular style of belly dance, instead, they focus on dancing for fun.

Burlesque: The Island Belles

Island Belles are a performance-based troupe who are hoping to spread awareness about Burlesque. With a combination of new faces and experienced performers, these ladies are devoted to providing the best performances possible. This troupe has a little something for everyone.

Burlesque: KeiKei De Murre

Beginning with Jezebel Express and The Purity Girls in 2006, KeiKei has been a popular stage siren since she first slid off her glasses and shook down her multicoloured hair. Known for her stage presence and audience interaction (along with her green mane), she’s currently a member of the glitter brigade at Island Belles Burlesque, she has a love of old school burlesque styles.

Dance: Lynn Panting

Lynn Panting is a local dancer and choreographer who has been creating innovative dance works for the past ten years. In 2013, she was shortlisted for the Newfoundland and Labrador Art Council’s Arts Educator of the Year Award.

Panting has been featured in a number of Neighbourhood Dance Works productions including the Festival of New Dance. Panting has also created work for Sound Symposium and Wonderbolt as well as self-producing her own shows.

Panting is known for creating dances that appeal to a wide audience and she often works with artists from other disciplines to generate a theatrical yet lyrical blend of choreography. Her work is at time humorous, heartfelt, bold and always original. Here is a collaboration with musician Sean panting:

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Flamenco: Christina Penney

Flamenco dancer Christina Penney fell in love with flamenco in 1998. She has since studied with some of the top flamenco dancers in Canada and the UK, and has also repeatedly traveled to Spain for intensive training and to immerse herself in Spanish culture. She has taught flamenco lessons from beginner to advanced levels, and enjoys performing in the local arts scene. At the Caravanserai, Christina is accompanied by singer Sean Harris of El Viento Flamenco/Compañía Azul, flamenco guitarist Manny Companjen, and percussionist Anthony Tucker of El Viento Flamenco.

Belly Dance: Samantha Carroll

Sam Carroll began belly dancing in 2010 and quickly fell in love with the challenging and expressive art form. She’s taken regular classes with Vanessa Elizabeth (of St. John’s Seraka Studios) and is Basic Black certified (with Toronto’s Dark Side Studios). Her dance style is best categorized as “modern fusion” and she has an extra soft spot in her heart for cathartic, lyrical pieces.

Saxophonist: Mike Fleet

Mike Fleet is a local alto sax player who has been playing in St. John’s in various Jazz and Rock groups for several years, and also performs as a solo artist. The most recent project he is involved with is the Slampiece Orchestra.

Magician: Michael Conway

Michael Conway was born and raised in St. John’s and has been performing his magic around Newfoundland since 2007. He started with birthday parties and has worked his way up to sold-out shows with large illusions at the Arts & Cultuer Centre.

Belly Dance: Janice & Andrea

Andrea began dancing nearly 10 years ago, where her experience began with both troupe and solo choreography, as well as teaching. Six years later she met Janice in one of her dance classes, and they have been dancing, choreographing, and growing as dancers both together and solo ever since. The combination of their fresh ideas and their love of vintage-inspired, industrial, and sometimes macabre music, has led to a style which might be described as whimsical with a touch of attitude.

Jazz Dance: Stephanie Moyst

Stephanie Moyst began dancing at the age of 4, and 40 years later has no intention of stopping. She started teaching and choreographing at the age of 16. Stephanie was owner/operator of Dancenterprise in Alberta for 20 years and since moving home formed Tuckamore Dance Company. She specializes in contemporary dance and dabbles in the theatrics of musicals.

Vocal Companion to Stephanie Moyst for the Night: Charlene Mannings

Charlene obtained her music performance diploma at Cambrian College. Later she went to St. John’s and is currently studying under Dr. Jane Leibel at Memorial University School of Music. Charlene has sung with the university’s choir as a soloist for their concert series and recently she was in an opera with the Halifax Summer Opera Festival in the opera Julius Caesar in Egypt. She’s currently working on a production with the Memorial School of Music Opera Workshop, working on Jacques Offenbach’s Les Mariage Aux Lanternes.

Juggling and Object manipulation: James Burke

James Burke first discovered his love of juggling while visiting Edinburgh, and has since used the medium as a method of self-expression and communication, enjoying the challenges and rewards of connecting audiences through visual arts.

Trained by world leaders in juggling at the Jonglier Katakomben in Berlin, James also studied multiple other disciplines to better his craft, including clown under Ian Wallace. His performance style focuses on object manipulation and flow, melding juggling, dance, character, and showmanship.

A consummate entertainer, James’ acts are constantly evolving, and his personal fascination with movement has taken him all across Newfoundland, Canada, the United States, Germany, Spain, France, England and Ireland. Notably, James performed at the Vancouver Winter Olympics, and is a member of the local Wonderbolt Circus.


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Tickets are $15 in advance, or $20 at the door. Advanced tickets are on sale now through Seraka Dance Company online.