Zahira discovered Steampunk via Abney Park in late 2009. A lifelong lover of fantasy and sci-fi, after having an intriguing dream with a mysterious faerie, her love and interest were rekindled and she went on to read and research. She came across the Faerieworlds Festival website, the Good Faeries and Bad Faeries Balls, and in the background, some music that blissfully awakened Zahira's soul making her heart jump, it was Airship Pirate...
Curiosity turned into interest, interest turned into obsession.
AIrship Pirate was on repeat on her ipod for days, weeks... When she was finally able to step away from that track for a moment, Sleep Isabella and all other tracks from "Lost Horizons" became quick favourites. Zahira avidly read about the Steampunk genre and downloaded all of Abney Park music ("The Vault") from their site and became a huge fan and of Steampunk in general and Abney Park in particular.
Zahira soon realized that she already had a few 'steampunk' pieces in her wardrobe and that her literary, aesthetic and musical tastes had been akin to steampunk for 'ages', she just didn't have a name for it!
The bliss she felt with the music, culture and aesthetic was loud and contagious. It soon sneaked into her regular bellydance classes and started touching everyone around her. She found kindred spirits with whom she shared this passion, some of them already knew about Abney Park and/or Steampunk, others were discovering it all through and with Zahira. She also found the love of her life through the sharing of Steampunk love. :)
Thus in 2010 she founded the "Airship Pirate Project" with a group of friends and colleagues, both pros and high level students who together with Zahira to put on her vision of a 'grand' choreography for Airship Pirate, which was filmed and later staged several times including at the International Bellydance Conference of Canada in 2012.
"Airship Pirate Project" at the Mirage show 2011
An already happy story became even happier when Zahira and Ruyah opened Dragonfly Bellydance. Steampunk and Abney Park had become a constant source of choreographic and movement inspiration that led to the creation of Dragonfly's SteamFusions Bellydance class, the first and only Steampunk inspired bellydance class in Toronto and in Canada, with students eager to dance and learn more.
The more advanced students of the class and Zahira grew eager to perform the choreographies learned in the class and thus the Dragonettes Ensemble was born: a troupe dedicated exclusively to Steampunk inspired bellydance performances. These were the origins of Dragonfly's unique Steampunk vision and movement signature.
Vintage Dragonettes, 2011 - 2013
Since then the Dragonettes (sometimes along with the Airship Pirate Project and Mirage) have performed Dragonfly's take on Steampunk bellydance in numerous events organized by Canadian Steam Productions, Toronto Steampunk Society and Steampunk Canada such as Steam on Queen, Fan Expo, Grand Canadian Steampunk Exposition among many others.
Zahira and the Dragonettes have also performed live with Johnny Hollow, Nomadica and Raquy and the Cavemen. Most recently Zahira had the opportunity to do a couple of improv performances live on stage with Abney Park at the Grand Canadian Steampunk Exposition 2016 in Niagara on the Lake.
Dragonfly's SteamFusions style is in constant exploration and development through the SteamFusions class, a high level experimental bellydance class that runs on Thursdays at Dragonfly Studio. The class has run strong since its inception in 2010 spreading the love and interest for the steampunk genre.