What’s in a name?
Khepri Arts and Productions draws inspiration from the Egyptian sun God Khepri. In ancient Egyptian mythology, Khepri was associated with the sacred scarab beetle, and it was his task to push the sun across the sky every day, and escort the sun through the underworld each night. Every morning the sun would emerge again and travel across the sky. Because of this role in the eternal celestial dance of the sun’s return, Khepri is associated with rebirth, renewal, and resurrection. The word Kheper literally means to emerge or come into being.
Like the sun god, Khepri Arts is dedicated to helping the light within each dancer emerge, and honoring the shining ancient traditions of our art as we emerge with new works that renew and invigorate traditional belly dance. Khepri Arts shares its dynamic vision of belly dance through performance, event production, teaching, and community outreach.
With a rich background in the performing arts, Andrea Sendek brings a lifetime of passionate involvement in acting, music, and dance to her role as a choreographer, instructor and performer. With over 2 decades of belly dance experience and 10 years training and performing in other dance genres ( bharatanatyam, ballet, and modern), Andrea integrates philosophies from various forms into her teaching and performance style. Having undergone rigorous training from 2004-2014 at the acclaimed Salimpour School, Andrea has attained a high degree of skill under exacting instructors. While at the Salimpour school, Andrea achieved recognition in her Suhaila Level 4 (advanced performer) and Jamilla Level 3 certifications. In 2007, she became a staff instructor and the Assistant Director of both the Suhaila Dance Company and BalAnat, while also performing as a principal dancer and soloist in both companies. A multifaceted artist, Andrea performed as a featured soloist to a live Arabic band from 2006-2010 at Marrakesh Restaurant in San Francisco. She has performed and taught across the United States and internationally; some highlights of her itinerary include appearances in Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Canada, and South America. In 2015, ready for a company of her own, Andrea founded Khepri Dance Company, and to this day continues to dedicate herself tirelessly to the pursuit of excellence in her craft and to embodying an authentic creative voice in belly dance.
The Dance Company
Natsumi Suzuki is a dancer from Tokyo, Japan, residing in San Francisco since 2007. She is a recipient of an O-1 visa (ability artist visa) by dance in the U.S. Her focus is on combining the elements of Traditional Japanese Culture with Hip Hop and Tribal Fusion Belly Dance. Classically trained in ballet as a child and expanding into hip hop dance in her teens, she also studied Club Jazz and Pop Lockin’ and street dancing.Natsumi is a graduate of the department of dance at Tokyo music and media arts shobi In Japan, she learned many styles of dance and body physiology before graduating at her dance college(Tokyo music and media arts shobi: Department of dance). While Natsumi has been in San Francisco, her passion for knowledge and improving her skills has led her to study bellydance and tribal fusion vigorously for the past 6 years with Jill Parker, Rachel Brice, Kami Liddle, Mira Betz, Suhaila Salimpour, Andrea Sendek, Ariellah and Zoe Jakes. Natsumi toured Japan and Mexico teaching and performing from 2013-2014. Natsumi has been a Khepri Dance Company member since 2014.
Mohini has formally studied classical percussion and drumset. She has been performing jazz, R&B and world music for the last 15 years. After becoming interested in Middle- and Far-Eastern music, Mohini went on to study Middle-Eastern folk dance, darbuka, and Arabic percussion for over 8 years. She has studied dance with The Lady Fred, Jill Parker, The Salimpour School, and Andrea Sendek. She performs with various Bay Area music and dance projects, including Rumen Shopov’s Balkan Social Club, Zoe Jakes’ Arcana, Little Egypt, and Khepri Dance Company. Mohini is grateful to study and collaborate with the dynamic bellydance community of the San Francisco Bay Area. She has been a member of Khepri Dance Company since 2014.
Lucille’s passion for middle-eastern dance brought her to the Bay Area where she has trained and performed extensively. Lucille was invited to join the Suhaila Dance Company in 2009, gaining certifications in the Salimpour format in 2010 and 2011. She has performed extensively as a soloist and dance company member on both the east and west coasts at private events, theater productions, universal studios, and numerous restaurant and club venues. Her life long love of dance has lead to diverse training including ballet, jazz, Classical Indian Dance (Kathak), salsa, and Flamenco. Her knowledge and exploration of dance from both eastern and western disciplines allows Lucille to approach the art of Bellydance with richness and depth, drawing on the varied techniques, stylizations, and emotional perspectives cultivated by these arts throughout the centuries. Lucille brings her unique and varied background as a dance artist to her work with the Kephri Dance Company. Lucille has been a member of Khepri Dance Company since 2015.