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Circus Pays Tribute to Icon Moira Orfei
Brescia, Italy
By Cosimo Attanasio
16 Nov 2015

Video shows the performers of the famous Circus Orfei paying tribute to Moira Orfei, known as the queen of the Italian circus, after she passed away on November 15, during the circus' tour in Brescia, Italy.
Moira Orfei was an undisputed icon of the circus. She also appeared in many movies with Mastroianni, Gassman, Toto, Sordi and Monicelli.
Despite the grief, on November 16th, her family run the show in Brescia with their usual professionalism, at the end of which a long applause paid homage to the "Queen".

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Tamy Rodriguez, a Cuban Prima Ballerina
Havana, Cuba
By Jonathan Alpeyrie
06 Sep 2015

Tamy Rodriguez is one of the most important and prolific dancers in Cuba. The 28 year old has made dancing her priority in life since she was a little girl. Already, as a child, she always danced at any music tuning. Her parents, quick to recognize their daughter’s love for dance and her ability to move with grace, signed her up to her first classes. Talented and focused the young girl was later was picked up by the famous Lizt Alfonso Dance School based in Cuba’s old Habana. Lizt is probably the most famous Cuban choreographer of her time and took Tamy in and trained her to become the number one dancer in her famous school. The particularity of Lizt’s Dance School is the fusion of all dance types found in Cuba mixed with African roots as well as the rigorous ballet tradition from Western Europe. This fusion gave birth to a very unique and powerful new type of moves, which is now internationally recognized, allowing its top dancers to travel the world each year to perform in major venues a few weeks at a time. Tamy, through her talent and leadership, leads the others from her group to become both uniquely cohesive and united. During my time with her, I was able to photograph her training at the school surrounded by the other members of her group. Each day practicing the numerous dance types, going from one room to another, each with its own challenges and technical difficulties.

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Havana
By Jonathan Alpeyrie
06 Sep 2015

Tamy Rodriguez, a Cuban Prima Ballerina

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Havana
By Jonathan Alpeyrie
06 Sep 2015

Tamy Rodriguez, a Cuban Prima Ballerina

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Havana
By Jonathan Alpeyrie
06 Sep 2015

Tamy Rodriguez, a Cuban Prima Ballerina

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Havana
By Jonathan Alpeyrie
06 Sep 2015

Tamy Rodriguez, a Cuban Prima Ballerina

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Havana
By Jonathan Alpeyrie
01 Sep 2015

Tamy Rodriguez, a Cuban Prima Ballerina

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Havana
By Jonathan Alpeyrie
01 Sep 2015

Tamy Rodriguez, a Cuban Prima Ballerina

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Havana
By Jonathan Alpeyrie
01 Sep 2015

Tamy Rodriguez, a Cuban Prima Ballerina

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Havana
By Jonathan Alpeyrie
28 Jul 2015

Tamy Rodriguez, a Cuban Prima Ballerina

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Havana
By Jonathan Alpeyrie
18 Jul 2015

Tamy Rodriguez, a Cuban Prima Ballerina

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Havana
By Jonathan Alpeyrie
18 Jul 2015

Tamy Rodriguez, a Cuban Prima Ballerina

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Havana
By Jonathan Alpeyrie
18 Jul 2015

Tamy Rodriguez, a Cuban Prima Ballerina

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Havana
By Jonathan Alpeyrie
18 Jul 2015

Tamy Rodriguez, a Cuban Prima Ballerina

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Havana
By Jonathan Alpeyrie
17 Jul 2015

Tamy Rodriguez, a Cuban Prima Ballerina

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Havana
By Jonathan Alpeyrie
17 Jul 2015

Tamy Rodriguez, a Cuban Prima Ballerina

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Havana
By Jonathan Alpeyrie
16 Jul 2015

Tamy Rodriguez, a Cuban Prima Ballerina

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Havana
By Jonathan Alpeyrie
16 Jul 2015

Tamy Rodriguez, a Cuban Prima Ballerina

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Havana
By Jonathan Alpeyrie
15 Jul 2015

Tamy Rodriguez, a Cuban Prima Ballerina

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Prizren's Dervish Fakirs: The Newroz ...
Prizren, Kosovo
By Michele Pero
08 Jul 2015

Ancient Shiite rituals were brought into the Balkans in the 15th century during the Ottoman invasion and dominion and have been kept intact up till our day, representing a parallel and very deep-rooted Islam amongst the people. In the town of Prizren in Kosovo there is the tariqa Rufai. To celebrate the Newroz, or Nevruz, the beginning of the new year which coincides with the arrival of spring, all the dervishes in the area meet up here to celebrate a propitiatory ritual. The ritual lasts five hours and is extremely exacting. The followers must go through a great test of physical and mental exertion. The dervishes pray, dance and sing and try to attain a state of trance. At the culmination of the ritual the feats of Fakirism take place. Whilst some of the dervishes play and sing, the shaikh takes long skewers and begins to pierce the mouths of the dervishes who willingly undergo this test, beginning with the children. The older dervishes, the braver and more expert, are pierced with a real sword. A blade is placed on their throat and the shaikh climbs on top of it. The ritual ends when the dervishes remove the skewers. Just a few drops of blood appear on their cheeks.

FULL ARTICLE AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST

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Havana
By Jonathan Alpeyrie
14 Jan 2015

Tamy Rodriguez, a Cuban Prima Ballerina

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Havana
By Jonathan Alpeyrie
14 Jan 2015

Tamy Rodriguez, a Cuban Prima Ballerina

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Havana
By Jonathan Alpeyrie
14 Jan 2015

Tamy Rodriguez, a Cuban Prima Ballerina

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Havana
By Jonathan Alpeyrie
14 Jan 2015

Tamy Rodriguez, a Cuban Prima Ballerina

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Havana
By Jonathan Alpeyrie
14 Jan 2015

Tamy Rodriguez, a Cuban Prima Ballerina

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Havana
By Jonathan Alpeyrie
14 Jan 2015

Tamy Rodriguez, a Cuban Prima Ballerina

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Havana
By Jonathan Alpeyrie
14 Jan 2015

Tamy Rodriguez, a Cuban Prima Ballerina

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Havana
By Jonathan Alpeyrie
14 Jan 2015

Tamy Rodriguez, a Cuban Prima Ballerina

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Havana
By Jonathan Alpeyrie
14 Jan 2015

Tamy Rodriguez, a Cuban Prima Ballerina

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Havana
By Jonathan Alpeyrie
13 Jan 2015

Tamy Rodriguez, a Cuban Prima Ballerina

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Havana
By Jonathan Alpeyrie
13 Jan 2015

Tamy Rodriguez, a Cuban Prima Ballerina

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Havana
By Jonathan Alpeyrie
13 Jan 2015

Tamy Rodriguez, a Cuban Prima Ballerina

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Havana
By Jonathan Alpeyrie
13 Jan 2015

Tamy Rodriguez, a Cuban Prima Ballerina

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Havana
By Jonathan Alpeyrie
13 Jan 2015

Tamy Rodriguez, a Cuban Prima Ballerina

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Havana
By Jonathan Alpeyrie
13 Jan 2015

Tamy Rodriguez, a Cuban Prima Ballerina

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Erawan Shrine Dancers
Bangkok
By Ralf Falbe
03 Jan 2015

Temple dancers at the Hindu Erawan Shrine, Sukhumvit Road, Bangkok, Thailand.

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Afrin Khan, The Princess of Pakistan'...
Lahore, Pakistan
By vincenzo floramo
01 Jan 2015

A crowd of men whistle and cheer when Afrin Khan, alias the “Princess” performs her ’sexy’ dance on the stage at the Alfalah theatre in Lahore. This is not a nightclub or a cabaret show - the theatre is rather a venue for stage drama.

During the two-hour show, actors perform comedy, drama or satire. As part of the show, three girls each perform a short 4-minutes theatrical dance. However, every play must be approved by government censors and every night the show is supervised by a city official.

The lyrics of songs played during the shows are also censored. Dances cannot be too explicit and dress code restricts revealing ’too much’. The Princess is well known in town for her daring and sexually provocative theatrical dancing. In a conservative Pakistani society, sex is hidden and therefore, the Princess attracts a large male audience. Punjabi men flock regularly to the theatre to see her perform. However, she was once banned from performing for a week by the government censors because of sexual connotations she made with a cushion. Afrin Khan is not happy with the censorship, she would like to perform more freely on the stage, but today, in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, it is quite impossible.

The Princess started dancing when she was 13 years old after her family fell on hard times as a result of her father’s ill health and struggle with cancer. She began to perform at wedding ceremonies and became very popular. She was then recognized by a producer who promoted her stage performances. In order to be more attractive, she had breast enhancing surgery and she took supplements to make her figure more voluptuous.

"I started dancing at 13 but my body was not developed so i got breast implants,” she said. “I am also naturally too skinny. I get made fun of. So now I take pills to stay plump, because that is what the audience likes.”

Afrin Khan considers herself a western type of girl who would like to be free to walk in the street wearing a mini skirt - not restricted by the cultural local dress-code. Living in a middle class villa complex on the outskirt of Lahore, she shares a house with her mother and a brother, while her father lives with his parents in another home. She drives a brand new car and dresses in nice clothes. While there is a great demand for her performance without moral qualm, there is another face of society that defies its existence.

"I am a modern girl and I want to be able to wear miniskirts to the mall if I want to,” Afrin said. “But in this country, people may be educated, but they are still so small minded. They will always be hicks even if they move to the cities."

Recently, Afrin Khan played a part in a documentary film, Zunn: Showgirls of Pakistan. The documentary tells the story of the marginalized lives of showgirls in Pakistan. On the movie set, Princess could finally perform her provocative dance freely, without censorship. However, in Lahore, where the entrance of the theatre is armed guarded and the audience is individually checked to prevent terrorist attacks, it seems that the Princess will have a long wait before she can fulfill her dreams as an expressive ’sexy’ dancer.

FULL ARTICLE AVAILABLE ON REQUEST

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Gayrilleros8
santa clara, cuba
By Conteur d'images
03 Oct 2014

Certain artists, such as Juan and Lorenzo of the dancing quartet “The Dream Boys”, portray feminine characters without having started hormonal treatments. They consider themselves to be primarily “transformists”, though some of them will one day become transsexuals.

Juan et Lorenzo, membres du quatuor de danseurs homosexuels The Dream Boys, sont considérés comme des transformistes, étant donné qu’ils interprètent des rôles féminins. Originaires de La Havane, ils se rendent tous les hivers à Santa Clara pour donner des représentations. Contrairement aux artistes transsexuels, ils ne souhaitent pas changer de sexe et n’arborent pas de vêtements féminins en dehors de la scène.

Ciertos artistas, como Juan y Lorenzo del cuarteto de bailarines gays “The Dream Boys”, interpretan personajes femeninos pero todavía no toman tratamiento hormonal. Se consideran ante todo como transformistas, antes de convertirse, para ciertos, en transexuales.

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Mr. Handsome Competition 2013
Kathmandu
By Transterra Editor
02 Nov 2013

First gay males' Mr. Handsome competition in Nepal
The contestants are coming out, one at a time, wearing only jeans, neckties and cowboy hats. Some are a little stiff. Clearly nervous. But they have a reason to be nervous: They are participating in the first gay beauty pageant: Mr. Handsome, the first of its kind in Nepal. Some are coming out to families and friends by participating here. As the minutes pass, the participants become more and more confident, like they have been out their whole life and have performed many times. They show their moves, facing hundreds of spectators, parents and well-wishers, and they smile.

Homosexuality has been legal in Nepal since 2008, which is one of the most liberal Asian countries, but contestant tell stories of being abused and thrown in jail. In Nepal, homosexuality is often seen as a product of reincarnation and thereby a punishment for poor choices in a former life and same-sex marriage is seen as an import from Western and European culture.

The Mr. Handsome pageant was hosted by the Blue Diamond Society (BDS), Nepalese NGO focusing on LGBT awareness activities, as a way to fight discrimination across the country on the 2 of November 2013. The NGO asked for contestants through its 40-something offices and was ecstatic when they received 35 entry applications. They had expected none.

Prim Pakrim, 22 is one of the contestants, is from Kathmandu. When asked why he's decided to attend the pageant he said “because I’m gay and I'm happy being gay." His family is aware that he is gay but he thinks a beauty pageant like Mr. Handsome can change people's views on gay people and will hopefully end the discrimination gays are facing in the country.

Anup Shrestha, one of the runner ups, from Chitwan, is extremely happy for his prize. He is coming out as being gay by being a part of this competition. He said: “We are intelligent, and we are happy to be gay," and added “There are hundreds of people like us living in Nepal. It´s a wonderful life and we can´t hide it any more” He is now ready to face his family and all the questions that come along with his coming out.

On the stage the contestants are asked what they would say to a headmaster who, as many is currently doing in Nepal, is refusing gays access education. Biswo Raj Adhikari answered, “Every gay and lesbian should have equal rights to education. They should not be isolated or discriminated for their natural identity because being gay or lesbian is not a disease but a feeling.”

Sunil Babu Pant, BDS president, said: "This programme has encouraged gay men to reveal their hidden talents and will create more awareness about gender and sexuality” and added "Although treatment of gays has improved in recent years, many are still not willing to come out openly.” Sunil hopes the competition will become an annual event.

The country’s new constitution is expected to define marriage as a union between two adults, regardless of gender, and to outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Photos and Text by Ulrik Pedersen

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The FNB Durban Diwali Festival 2013 (...
Durban, Africa
By Elo B
26 Oct 2013

Diwali (The festival of lights) is a five-day Hindu festival, the biggest of all Hindus holidays. Each of the four days is separated by different traditions with its own tale, legend and myth to tell.
Its origin can be traced back to ancient India; however, there are various legends pointing to the origin of Diwali.
One week before, Hindus from South Africa have a colorful float procession in the streets to announce the Festival of Diwali and share their traditions with other communities. Local and international cultural entertainments are brought to the visitors during a fair at the Old Durban Drive-In.