Q+A with LEAF performer Lisa Zahiya

Photo courtesy of Lisa Zahiya
Photo courtesy of Lisa Zahiya

In advance of the fall iteration of LEAF, held at Lake Eden in Black Mountain, Xpress is talking with a number of LEAF performers about their work and what they have in store for the weekend-long music and art festival.

Local dancer Lisa Zahiya owns Studio Zahiya — voted Best Place to Take dance Classes or Lessons in the annual Best of WNC poll — where she teaches Banhra, Bollywood, West African and other dance classes, and workshops like her “Twerkshop,” which, according to her website, is, “Designed to literally get that booty moving.”

Zahiya has performed with tribal fusion/performance art group, Beats Antique, whose members include belly dancer Zoe Jakes. Beats Antique, a LEAF alumnus, returns to the festival this fall and, in addition to the band’s Friday concert, Zahiya and Jakes will stage two performances of their collaboration, House of Tarot.

LEAF takes takes place Thursday, Oct. 20, through Sunday, Oct. 23. Tickets are available online through Oct. 20, unless they sell out sooner.

Xpress: What will House of Tarot with Zoe Jakes entail?
Liza Zahiya: [It’s] a theatrical dance piece, which uses bellydance and experimental dance pieces. Each piece is a unique tarot card.

LEAF offers a lot of wonderful dance performance, lessons, and participatory experiences. For those who are new to dance, where would you suggest they start at LEAF? Go and watch the contra for sure! It is such an amazing experience. There are also some fun lessons which are good for beginners.

In your studio in Asheville, what are some dance classes you’re especially excited to share? I love hip-hop fitness. It is a fun, accessible class where we get supersweaty. I also am excited to be adding more yoga to the studio.

What’s a favorite memory from a past LEAF? I think my favorite LEAF was the last time Beats Antique was there. I am lucky enough to dance with the band on the East Coast. It was raining outside and inside the tent the energy was awesome. They [put on] such an amazing show!

If you could collaborate with another fall LEAF artist, who would it be and why? Beats Antique! I am excited to be in the show with them.

Zoe Jakes & Lisa Zahikya present House of Tarot Friday in Eden Hall, 7:30-8:30 p.m.

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About Alli Marshall
Alli Marshall is the arts section editor at Mountain Xpress. She's lived in Asheville for more than 20 years and loves live music, visual art, fiction and friendly dogs. Alli is the winner of the 2016 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize and the author of the novel "How to Talk to Rockstars," published by Logosophia Books. Follow me @alli_marshall

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