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Interview with
Leyla and Roland Jouvana

by Marcel Bieger (also translation)
For 24 years, Leyla and Roland Jouvana invite to Duisburg, Germany, to their „Oriental Dance Festival Of Europe“ (OFE), at the end of the year. This event belongs to the the biggest, most important and most prestigious Bellydance Festivals in the world. The associated fair blasts all boundaries, on stage the stars from all continents are coming and going, and the contest „Bellydancer Of the World“ during the festival has many categories, and here you can see top performances, which deserve this name. Who will make it here, will make it everywhere. And this all happens on the solid basement of perfect organisation and hard work the whole year. Enough now of this, why not ask the organizers about their feelings and impressions regarding their festival …
For the 24th time we will have the Oriental Dance Festival of Europe this year and again you seem to have invented this event anew. What will be new in 2016, what has stayed?

Basically almost everything will be as usual, but there will be a bigger offer regarding workshops, shows, Superstars and the training for the dance format C.O.D.E. (dancers as well as teachers).

Additionally there are innovations prepared: 3 different noon and afternoon shows, which will each be combined with parts of the contest „Bellydancer Of the World“ as well as the Special Star Jury Show. Also you can visit the fair, while the contest is going on, even without buying a ticket for the show.
For the first time you will incorporate the dance education C.O.D.E. into your festival. Both of you are state approved teachers and artists so what does it mean concerning C.O.D.E. and what have you planned exactly?

Right, our C.O.D.E. training will be open then for a week long intensive for the time of the festival. We call it C.O.D.E. short term. Besides Roland and me as one of the main teachers the students can choose between many other certified international dancers. During the festival you can pass the modules C.O.D.E folklore/traditional (Cfo) and C.O.D.E. fusion (Cfu). All festival workshops and festival teachers respectively are ackownledged for this occasion. If you prefer to join a workshop for your C.O.D.E. qualification, or just for fun, or to collect the ws hours for a later exam is up to you (also for C.O.D.E. rhythm Crh or C.O.D.E. classic Crl). A confirmation of participation will be given by request. If you would like to know more about C.O.D.E. check this out.

More about C.O.D.E.:

For the tenth time there will be the contest „Bellydancer Of the World“ one of the most important contests in the world. Every year amateurs semi-professionals and pros from literally all corners around the globe apply to the contest. Would you ever have believed in such a success?

It fills us with pride and joy, as you can imagine, that artists from all over the world participate. We are also happy, when we see that the winners of the contest have a career boost after their success in Duisburg. Many of them are invited to main events worldwide, as soon as they made it at our contest. And it touches us at the bottom of our hearts, when we meet them again at other festivals in China, Hong Kong, the US and so on.
What do I have to know about your so called „combi“ offers?

You have many options to combine your entry tickets, for instance you can go to the noon and afternoon shows (including the judges show, the contest, and the fair) for 10 Euro. And if you buy a Grand gala ticket you get a discount of 10 Euro for all other shows. And if you have booked minimum three or more workshops you will obtain a quantity discount and tickets for free.

24 years of Oriental Dance Festival of Europe in all probability makes you the oldest and most successful festival in the world. Do you look back in joy and what did you keep in mind?

Of course we are more than happy and very proud about a festival that has run for such a long time and still is alive and kicking. We have kept in memory the many positive experiences with the visitors and attendees. Not to forget the many friendships that we have made at 24 festivals.

And we are looking forward every year anew to the positive thinking contestants, who see in this event their big chance to perform in front of
a first class international jury, who are thankful for all the feedback they get, and who know how to use that, what they get to hear, how to improve and on what to work on, in the best sense for their personal art
You are not only festival promoters, but also much on tour to all places on Earth. There you have more than once found one or the other dance pearls, which we get to know in Germany the following year (and who we otherwise may have missed). Where have you been this year and what wonderful things did you see there?

We have been to such wonderful places as Hong Kong, Slovenia, Austria,Turkey, Israel, Netherland and, of course, all those wonderful cities in Germany, where we have given workshops. We are looking forward to Italy and Norway. It’s always a wonderful experience, when we meet one of our contest winners at one of the shows, where we are invited to perform, also. It’s an open secret that many international promoters write to us after each contest to get in touch with the „Bellydancers Of the World“. We also cooperate with quite a few partner festivals, who are more than willing to invite our 1st place winner to their shows.

Festival Info:

Contest Info:

C.O.D.E. Qualification Info:

Festival Flyer:
The Festival-Flyer as pdf Download here ...

Photo left: in perfect harmony - Leyla and Roland presenting a drumsolo

Photo below: Leyla dances a traditional Shaabi
Leyla Jouvana and her project group with a beautiful and award-winning feather fan choreography
Photos ©: Andrè Elbing, Konstanze Winkler, and others