Tribal Fusion Belly Dance & Greek Blues

Sunday, February 2, 2020
Join us for the first Djam NYC show of 2020 featuring some fabulous Tribal Fusion dancers and Greek Blues (Rembetiko) music!
Avram Pengas (Guitar, Vocals)
Damian Dudu (Violin)
Nick Mandoukos (Guitar, Vocals)
Seido Salifoski (Percussion)
Danielle Hutton
Debbie Despina
Han Chen
Irina Akulenko
Jordana D’amours (Quebec)
Kaeshi Chai
Laurens of Arabia (Lauren Jeanette + Lauren Robbiani)
Danielle’s Students: Christine Feller, Oksana Savuk, Anny, Ria, Undine
Máti Dance Tribe directed by Debbie Despina Cartsos with Inna, Dixi, Gigi and Despina
Secret Room NYC, 707 8th Ave, downstairs, New York, NY 10036 between 44th and 45th St
6:30-7:00pm Doors Open
7:00-9:30pm Show
$15 Early Bird / $20 General Admission / $25 at the Door / $15 after 8:30pm.
Plus 1 drink or food item if seated at the bar
or 2 drink or food items if seated at a table

Tickets are general admission and non-refundable.


TABLE RESERVATIONS: Text Lindy at (929)497-6304 with your name and number of people you want seated at your table.
DETAILED BIOGRAPHIES (Listed Alphabetically)
AVRAM PENGAS is a master guitarist and bouzouki player in the Greek/Middle Eastern tradition. He plays to a regular crowd of Israelis, restauranteurs and the occasional bellydancer in downtown manhattan. He has released numerous albums and his latest “Santorini ” pulsates with Greek and Turkish rhythms, Israeli pop, sinuous Arabic melodies, Latin beats, Armenian dance sounds- all done up in a fresh, crisp production. Pengas’ extreme virtuosity has garnered him accolades from among the best in the music community. Israeli guitarist Yosi Piamenta describes Pengas as “a guitarist that I every time admire to watch him play”.
DAMIAN DUDU was born in Romania. From his early age, he started playing violin and he attended the very famous university named “UNIVERSITATEA DIN CRAIOVA Department of Music”. Then, he moved in Athens, Greece and he attended the very well-known conservatory “FILIPPOS NAKAS”. He also started to teach violin to young children. During his 15-year presence in Greece, he collaborated with the most famous artists in Europe such as Anna Vissi, Antonios Remos, Charoula Alexiou, Sokratis Malamas and Stamatis Kraounakis. He was also playing violin with the well-known group “DIMINUITA”, which is a very successful and famous band with outstanding performances all over Europe. Some years ago, he decided to focus only to a solo career. He has been named from a lot of journalists as “The Magic Violin”. Damian has a magical way when he plays his violin to fuse the gypsy swing with the Jazz. He has appeared as a lead musician at the most distinguished organizations and venues such as Carnegie Hall, Megaron of Athens, Hunter College Theater, Herodus Atticus/Acropolis and the Greek Consulate of New York.
IRINA AKULENKO is a New York City-based performer, teacher and choreographer with a burning passion for arts of all genres. Although she discovered Middle Eastern dance purely by chance, her interest in expression started at an early age and was channeled into ballet training, in addition to piano and voice lessons as well as drawing. Since 2001, Irina explored Egyptian Cabaret and American Tribal style belly dance, Flamenco and Classical Indian dances (focusing mainly on Odissi) and now enjoys fusing these styles as well as everything in between. Today, Irina performs on various New York stages and tours nationally and internationally as a soloist and as member of various stellar projects. She released three instructional DVDs with World Dance New York and has two instructional series of videos with the popular website “”. Furthermore, she holds a Bachelors degree in Political Science, and has a strong interest in women’s issues and visual arts.
KAESHI CHAI is a world-fusion bellydancer and teacher trainer who co-founded the professional dance company and school, Bellyqueen, and also PURE (Public Urban Ritual Experiment), a global community of artists focused on empowerment and social change through dance and music. Kaeshi has performed and taught extensively internationally, and is an alumni member of the Bellydance Superstars, Jillina’s Bellydance Evolution and Kenji William’s Bella Gaia. One of her all time joys is dancing to live music. In addition to her years on stages from Las Vegas and beyond, from 2007-2017 she curated the weekly Djam Under Jebon event for dancers and musicians to create and play together in the East Village of NYC. She teaches at the Bellyqueen School of Dance, leads creative labs using Sprint methodology to create full length theatrical dance shows in 3-4 days and curates an annual PURE Conference. Her mission is to develop bellydance as a stage art and explore its powerful, healing properties. | |
DEBBIE DESPINA CARTSOS was born in the US and raised in Athens, Greece where she was exposed to belly dance from a young age. The appreciation of the music she grew up with at home, as well as her love for Middle Eastern music, dance, and folkloric costuming awakened her passion to study belly dance. In 2005, Despina began studying American Tribal Style® belly dance with Mimi Fontana. In 2012 she began studying with Irina Bellyrina who introduced her to the Suhaila and Jamila Salimpour Formats. In 2014 she obtained her Jamila Level 1 certification, 2015 she obtained her ATS® Belly Dance Teacher Training and was granted her Sister Studio status from FatChanceBellyDance®.
Despina is a founding member of Manhattan Tribal. She currently dances in Belly Sol directed by Irina Bellyrina and as a soloist. She loves dancing with finger cymbals, swords, and designing dancewear for her own company D.Webb Designs!
KAESHI CHAI is a NYC-based performer, theatrical director, teacher trainer, and award winning designer. She co-founded the professional dance company and school, Bellyqueen, and PURE (Public Urban Ritual Experiment), a global community focused on healing and social change through dance and music. Kaeshi has extensive training in contemporary dance, physical theatre and Silk Road dances spanning the Middle East to China. She has taught or performed in 47 states and 38 countries. She is an alumni member of the Bellydance Superstars, Jillina’s Bellydance Evolution and Kenji William’s Bella Gaia and curates the Djam NYC event for dancers and musicians to create and play together.
Current projects include Ocean Stories, a performance integrating art and science to create more environmental awareness, and Creative Labs in which participants conceptualize, choreograph and mount full-length theatrical dance shows in 3-4 days.
LAUREN JEANETTE hails from Georgia and holds a bachelors degree in English and Theatre from Marymount Manhattan, where she graduated summa cum laude and was the valedictorian of her class. She began studying bellydance with Trisha McBride about eight years ago and has since had the privilege of studying and collaborating with some of the most beautiful dancers in the world, including Mardi Love, Dalia Carella, Irina Wen, Mattie Waters, Mat Jacob, Alice Giampieri, Debbie Despina and Lauren Robbiani, to name a few. A Brooklyn based dancer with roots in Tribal Fusion and Butoh, Lauren is lucky enough to have danced around with Mardi Love’s Lady Goodnight and the Voodoo Lillies, The Dalia Carella Dance Collective, Irina and Ian Wen’s DeNovo Dance. She is a founding member of Maiden China and throws the The Red Room’s Bal Oriental with the illustrious Lauren Robbiani.
LAUREN ROBIANNI’s bio is coming soon.
NICK MANDOUKOS is a professional musician based in NYC
SEIDO SALIFOSKI – A Macedonian Roma, Seido has played dumbek in Balkan and Middle Eastern style for thirty years. He is known for his unique virtuosity in the U.S., Canada and Europe, playing with notable musicians such as Tarkan, Omar Faruk Tekbilek, Ivan Milev, and Ivo Papazov. While exploring his roots in his own group Romski Boi, he is also a member of influential Balkan-jazz quarter Paradox Trio.