Night in Morocco benefits Grand Arts Council |

Night in Morocco benefits Grand Arts Council

Courtesy photoRafi'ah, one of the Denver area's most celebrated Middle Eastern dancers, will be the featured guest performer Sept. 16 at a fundraiser for the Grand Arts Council.

Once again the Grand Arts Council is hosting an evening of exotic food and entertainment. This year, the annual dinner and show will be at The Grand Arts Center on Park Avenue in Grand Lake on Saturday, Sept. 19.

“A Night in Morocco” will feature a full authentic dinner prepared by local favorite chef, Sherry Kent of Showboat Catering. Diners will feast in the opulently decorated banquet hall, which will be transformed into an oriental oasis. Loose, flowing clothing or Moroccan-style dress is best suited. Dressing in theme is encouraged and will add color and mood to the event. Everyone will also have a chance to play rhythm instruments and to learn a few dance steps.

Chef Sherry has hinted that the dinner will be a buffet style feast of gourmet treats for both the eyes and stomach. All will be complemented with a selection of wine and beer, while you are entertained by belly dancers from both the outside world and here. It is considered a compliment to a dancer to be offered a dollar bill or two, which may be tucked discretely into her costume as she dances.

Jim Peterson will be our Sheik and Master of Ceremonies for the evening. He is expected to have a selection of his colorful jokes to add to the enjoyment.

Musicians are also welcome to come and participate. They should bring their own instruments and drums, tambourines, and such.

Rafi’ah, one of the Denver area’s most celebrated Middle Eastern dancers, will be the featured guest performer. Her particular dance style has been labeled as “liquid fire” as she has the ability to be extraordinarily fluid, possessing an almost “boneless quality.”

Her precision and technical skill give her the ability to dance with a passionate and spontaneous abandon. Her performances are deeply evocative and can transport you to an ancient place where you will experience the depth and mysterious beauty of this dance.

Rafi’ah has been a guest performer in Grand Lake many times over the past several years . Her skill in sword balancing is a thrill to behold as this lethal weapon spins and floats to Rafi’ah’s dance. The accompanying dancers are in Grand Lake for a weekend of intensive dance classes to learn her impressive techniques.

Event organizer Cathy Walton-Smith has been a strong supporter of the Grand Arts Council for many years, and now serves as its president. Cathy also teaches belly dance in Granby and Grand Lake.

Dancing as “Kysheema,” she will perform along with several long-time students. Her passion for this dance form encompasses women’s health, knowledge of self, personal beauty, costume design, rhythm and the hypnotic effect of the music. She brings this to share at every class she teaches.

Come enjoy this great show and wonderful food and participate or just watch and have fun. Tickets are on sale at the Grand Lake Art Gallery and from Grand Arts Council board members for $65 per person. Seating is limited to 80 participants, so get your tickets today. There will be no additional auctions or donations requested at this event. Just come for the fun.

Cocktail hour will begin at 6:30 p.m., with all guests being seated for dinner at 7:30 p.m. For reservations, call the Grand Lake Art Gallery at 970-627-3104, or Cathy Walton-Smith at 970-531-3055.