Offaly festival to welcome international guest dance instructors

Justin Kelly


Justin Kelly


Offaly festival to welcome international guest dance instructors

Irina Popova

A host of international guests are set to appear at the 14th Shakefest Festival at Charleville Castle, Tullamore, taking palce on June 1-2.

The event offers exciting cultural activities for everyone to learn and experience, including belly dance workshops which will be instructed by two of the world’s artistic and stylistically sophisticated performers - Irina Popova from Russia, and Patricia Zarnovican from Germany, as part of this year’s Miss Tribal Bellydance Ireland Show.

Coming from different cultural and professional backgrounds they are innovative and uniquely passionate about performing their respective styles. Here in Ireland, there is a growing community of dancers who are already practicing the oriental dance style, and people are fascinated to learn about it. We have seen more than a few dancers from different parts of the world coming to take part in workshops and perform at festivals in the country. So, we are indefinitely aspiring to enhance the presence of this community, and are super delighted to host events for belly dancing. 

Irina and Patricia will be instructing and performing at Shakefest, and their belly dancing styles are also different, meaning that they have a lot to offer for anyone from starters to improvers to advanced improvisers. Irina Popova is known for the fantastic and rich Oriental Bellydance style, that originates from Middle-eastern cultures, communities and is known as Raqs Sharqi (Eastern dance) or Raqs Baladi (Folk dance).

She has been performing and instructing on this art during her career which spans 11 years, and gained a remarkable reputation in the contemporary belly dancing world. She established her grounds in professional choreography and a musical education, enabling her to show undeniable talent in international performances and give adept instruction to her students, who became belly dance medalists in Russia.

To complement the oriental dance style, Patricia Zarnovican adds Tribal Fusion to our list of genres. Being a professional instructor and performer as well, she participated in numerous international performances at festivals, staging as a soloist at world events like the European Olympic Games in Baku/ Azerbaijan, and has been a fully qualified teacher of Tribal Fusion or ATS® (American Tribal Style) since 2006. Patricia is not only a Tribal Fusionist, but she also educates herself on various forms of dance and draws from various influences to produce an integrated approach to belly dance for performance and instruction.  

Their workshops are going to touch upon everything from the basics of oriental dance to performance tips, movement combination, and drills that will enable dancers to tap into their inspirations and lead their development. So, if you are familiar with belly dance and want to sharpen your skills, Shakefest will be the perfect playground!

After the workshops with Irina Popova and Patricia Zarnovican, we will spark the occasion to have them perform for an exuberant Evening Recital of music and eclectic dance, taking Charleville’s stages alongside many other performers. So get ready for an art-filled evening, and we are ever impatient to host it for you! 

Irina Popova’s workshops will be held at Shakefest on June 1 from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm in the Charleville Castle Morning Room, and on June 2 from 12-2pm and 3-5pm in the Charleville Castle Ballroom. 

Patricia Zarnovican’s workshops at Shakefest will begin on Saturday, June 1 from 1:30 to 3:30pm in the Charleville Castle Morning Room, and on June 2 from 10am to 12pm in the Charleville Castle Ballroom. 

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