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Vancity Vendor -
Samar Oriental Dance Ensemble

June 15th, 2012 by Jeannine

Vancity Vendor: Samar Oriental Dance Ensemble

If you’re looking for a unique act to entertain at your wedding, you should meet my latest trio of Vancity Vendors. Ashley is a bellydancer with almost 20 years of experience and together with percussionists, Tim and Liam, they are Samar, a Middle Eastern performance group who brings a high energy show your guests will certainly not forget.

Samar incorporates styles from various influences including Egyptian, North African, Gulf, and Lebanese rhythms. A typical performance lasts 20-25 minutes and includes drum solos, 3 costume changes, and use of various props such as a veil, finger cymbals, a sword, or a cane. Dance lengths can be adapted to the bride and groom’s preference or can even be interactive with the audience! It’s a great icebreaker for your guests and can really get the party started! A show like this will run you $450, but Samar has more affordable options for those who want the experience for less!

Couples also have the option to hire Ashley only, which will run you $200 for a 20-25 minute set. She can provide her own music as long as you have a way to play it. Her program consists of an opening act with a sword or wings, a sword balancing performance, audience participation, and a drum solo. You can also break up the 25-minute set for an extra fee, so if you want 2 short performances in a longer span of time, the fee is $200 + half price of the first show, which totals to $300. Ashley says the fee is standard with all the professional dancers in Vancouver. For further locations, a travel fee will be charged, just ask for a quote. Other dancers may be hired in addition to Ashley but at least 6 weeks’ notice must be given and it will cost an additional fee.

Ashley even has fun stagette activities! For $225, the bride-to-be and her best girlfriends will spend an hour with Ashley learning some basic bellydancing moves and at the end, performing a full dance! It’s a great photo op, it allows you to have fun with your friends and at the same time, try something new!

A Few Words With Samar…

Why should brides choose this type of entertainment for their wedding?
“Having a live belly dance and percussion show is a wonderful way to include something different, exotic, and fun to a wedding.  All the members of Samar are highly trained professionals who have years and years of experience and enjoy providing live entertainment to events such as weddings.  Having a live belly dance show is a great way to open up the dance floor, break the ice and also get people talking!”

Since this isn’t your typical wedding entertainment, what kind of reaction do you usually get from your audience?
“People tend to be very interested in what we provide, and since we have a lot of fun performing, this is contagious!  In all the weddings we have done in the past, we have always had a fantastic reception.”

What do you have to offer for brides with lower budgets?
“For our set live percussion and dancer show, there is not much of a discounted price as our package includes transportation, getting ready and also takes into account hours and hours of rehearsal time, costumes, instruments etc.  We are open to speaking with  a bride though if this is what she wants and can’t afford the set price.  Another option would be to have the dancer only or to have one drummer and a dancer using pre-recorded music and finishing with a live drum solo.  We have performed this countless times in the past before the creation of Samar and it goes over so well!”

What sets you apart from others in the same field?
“We are the only live percussion and bellydance show in town, and we take great pride in this!  We have spent hours and hours conceptualizing and rehearsing our show to offer something unique, professional and cultural.”

What do you enjoy most about your job?
Ashley: I love performing.  I adore being able to make people happy through performing and including them in my show.  I am a people-person and this comes through in my dance.  Samar has a wonderful time working and performing together, and this comes through in our collaborations.  Tim and Liam are in constant demand for their musical contribution in performances and groups, and so I am honored that they have decided to work with me.”

What should your clients expect when they have their first consultation with you?
“That we can work around any consideration, concern or question in order to tailor our services to the event.  We offer a fantastic show but if the bride/groom wants us to include something in our show, we will do what we can to accommodate this request.  Our job is to provide a high quality performance as entertainment, and we take this seriously!”

If you had one piece of advice for a bride and groom, what would it be? 
“Get ready to dust off those fancy shoes and join Ashley on the dance floor!”

To contact Samar, visit their website.
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All photos and videos were provided by Samar.

Vendor prices are subject to change. All prices quoted are accurate to the date published.

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