Rhea Rhea doesn't do email, but it is easy to call her:
In California, call her at 650 558-8265. Her cell is 781 786-1413.
Her number in Greece is 011 30 210 323-1289. Just remember that in Athens, it is 7 hours later than on the East Coast of the U.S., 10 hours later than the West Coast. So that's 011 (Europe) 30 (Greece) 210 (Athens) 323-1289 (Rhea's number).
Rhea in her home studio in Athens, Greece
Rhea: American Belly Dance Pioneer, Master of the exciting Greco-Turkish style! Rhea began her dance career with Jamila Salimpour’s Troupe Bal Anat in 1968. In the early '70s, Rhea became a sought after solo performer and instructor in the San Francisco Bay Area. In 1977, Rhea left the U.S. to explore the various sources of dance in the Middle East, finally settling in the ancient city of Athens. Throughout the '80s and '90s, Rhea headlined at Athens top nightclubs, performing five shows a night, seven nights a week. Now, Rhea teaches and performs all over the world. In Greece, she is regarded as the country's premiere expert in "Χοροσ Οριενταλ" and regularly featured on television and in magazines. Rhea welcomes guest dancers and students from around the world to study in her Athens studio and perform with her troupe. Come and soak up the magic of Greece with Rhea!
Rhea's journey in dance began with her teacher and mentor, Jamila Salimpour. Jamila Salimpour speaks at the 1997 International Conference on Middle Eastern Dance exerpt from above article by Jamila Salimpour "I created a variety show where each number was no more than three to five minutes long and represented a cross-section of old styles from the Middle East. ...I had a student dance with a real Turkish sabre, balancing it on her head. For her finale she did a backbend and plunged the sowrd into the wooden stage where it stood upright as she retreated to make room for the next dance. That was, I believe, the first time the sword dance was seen in America. Suhaila at age 3 opened the show. We had a Ouled Nail dancer from Algeria .... That student, dancing with a real Turkish sabre, was Rhea!
Rhea with Bal Anat at the 1971 Renaissance Pleasure Faire
When Rhea was a baby dancer at the Bagdad Cabaret in San Francisco, she was influenced by the experienced dancers working there, especially Fatma Akef amd Aisha Ghul. Click HERE to see video clip and read an article in Gilded Serpent about these two great dancers, written by Amina, the sassiest dancer on Broadway in San Francisco.
If anyone out there has photos of Rhea at the Bagdad, please send them to Piper!
The above photos by Jules Kliot were kindly contributed by Najia Marlyz