The Datura Project
Datura projects are annual choreographic and compositional explorations, led by Rachel Brice, using belly dance as the primary movement inspiration. Members are invited on a project-by-project basis, and over the years we've become a family.
Through these projects, artists have met and new ideas and explorations have begun! Be sure to visit the websites of the members to see what else they're up to.
MOst recent datura project members
Director and founder of The Datura Project, Rachel Brice has been the project's fearless leader since it's conception in 2012.
Throughout the years, Rachel has hand picked the music and dancers on the project, conceptualized the costume aesthetic, created choreographies and Datura Method improvisational phrases, and trained the dancers. She's worked tirelessly to bring the Datura Project to life.
Rachel's full bio can be found here.
Based out of Portland, Oregon, Ashley is an internationally touring artist and instructor. She holds a bachelor of music in vocal performance/opera, is an 8 Elements™ certified practitioner, a Registered Yoga Teacher, and a certified Pilates, cycling and fitness instructor. You can learn more about Ashley's classes, newest projects, and upcoming performances here.
Brittany Stark began her performance journey with music. She studied classical violin for 13 years, culminating in a Bachelor of Arts degree. Music led her to discover dance and she began to dabble in an array of movement arts.
She’s trained in Tribal Fusion with Rachel Brice & Ashley Lopez, ATS® with Colette Todorov, American Cabaret with Fanina Padykula, and Hip Hop with Bevin Victoria. Her performances reflect an aesthetic synthesis of training in these various dance forms.
Brittany is an Eight Elements™ Cultivate and a certified Stott Pilates Instructor. She is a co-director and member of Lucine Dance Company and has had the honor of performing with the Datura Project from 2013-2015.
Dance has fueled Brittany's love of adornment and she has recently set up shop making jewelry incorporating fine gemstones, tribal pendants, and other vintage found pieces. You can see her designs here.
Colette Todorov began belly dancing in 1997 with Carolena Nericcio-Bohlman of FatChanceBellyDance® (FCBD) and was immediately intrigued by the many facets of American Tribal Style® (ATS®). She was a member of the professional troupe for over 6 years and a teacher at the FCBD studio, appearing in instructional and performance videos during that time. Colette relocated to Oregon in 2008, establishing Scarlet Thistle Studio and founding her performance troupe. She is the resident ATS® instructor at Datura, Rachel Brice’s studio in Portland, and DaturaOnline, bringing over a decade of belly dance teaching experience to students all over the world.
Colette continues to study and train with renowned dancers and musicians. She completed FCBD's General Skills in 2008 and FCBD's Teacher Training I/II in June 2012. In 2011, she was part of the first group to receive a “Certificate of Initiation” in Rachel Brice’s 8 Elements Format, received a “Certificate of Cultivation” in 2012 and completed the coursework for a “Certificate of Culmination” in 2014. Colette has studied at the Suhaila Salimpour School of Belly Dance, trained with Mira Betz in Mira’s weekly classes and has completed multiple zil and rhythm workshops with the group Helm and master musician Tobias Roberson. Her goal is to continue to develop as a dancer and to inspire others to discover how dance and creativity can drastically enhance their life.
Danielle Elizabeth is a multi-disciplinary movement artist and musician, focusing mainly in Western Contemporary, Middle Eastern, and Balkan dance and song. She has studied jazz & ballet since age 7 and graduated from Alfred University in 2007 with a BFA degree in mixed-media performance art with a focus on contemporary dance. Since moving to Portland in late 2007 she has been involved with Water In The Desert (Butoh) & Rachel Brice's Datura Project (belly dance), toured the US & Europe with The Underscore Orkestra, creates full length dance shows with Evening Star Collective, is currently the co-director of Baksana (PDX) and Arcana (SF) music and dance ensembles and teaches both dance and yoga. She is deeply inspired by the natural environment, peaceful silence and observation, compassion, and the interwoven connection between music and dance throughout all cultures.
Janelle is a progressive performing artist who originated from Spokane, WA and is now based out of Portland, OR. Passionate, dedicated, raw and real. She started out as a competitive equestrian rider, classical pianist and fine artist. In the year 2004, Janelle attended a belly dance instructor showcase of which transcended her life into a new direction. At that moment, while being entranced by the drum music and the beautiful performers who were adorned with old afghani coins, silk pantaloons, silver jewelry and bone beads, she fell in love with Belly Dance. Since she has enjoyed studying Tribal Fusion, American Tribal Style (ATS), basic Ballet and Modern Contemporary dance. Janelle has completed training and passed testing for Phase I: Initiation and Phase II: Cultivation of Rachel Brice's 8 Elements program. She has shared the great honor of performing with the Datura Project from 2012 to the present. She is a member and co-producer/director of Lucine Dance Company from 2013 to the present. From the studio, to the restaurant and then to the stage, Janelle has thoroughly enjoyed the journey of being a student, loyal company member, teacher and soloist.
"Find what you love and pursue it with relentless dedication" ~ Janelle Jackson
Currently residing in Portland, OR, Makeda's ever-evolving dance style is influenced by styles and energies from her various collaborations. She began dancing in Stanford's Middle Eastern troupe, Arabesque, in graduate school. She continued her training in California, studying traditional Arabic bellydance with Sandra. After performing locally and traveling with Khamsin, she was drawn to the complexity of the mind-body element of dance introduced by Ashley Lopez. In 2009, she became a dedicated student, studying tribal fusion as well as mixtures of other forms of dance. Her Bay Area projects included Khamsin, No Rules, Almaz, Orchid Bellydance and Aria. Since moving to Portland in 2012, Makeda has trained and performed with Datura Dance Project, Baksana, Amrita, Allegro and Tidal. A perpetual learner, Makeda is inspired by Rachel Brice's 8 Elements and enjoys cross-pollinating with movement and music artists around the globe: http://facebook.com/mosaicbymakeda.
Makeda's love of learning keeps her engaged in the world of education. She works with youth, teachers and supporting adults in exploring the Science of Self: http://www.mosaiclifecoaching.co.
Morgan Fay is a visual artist, Fusion and American Cabaret belly dancer based out of Portland, OR. She began studying belly dance at the age of sixteen and currently trains with Rachel Brice, Suhaila Salimpour, Henna and many other wonderful teachers. She has danced with the Datura Project, Apsara Experience, Basharaat Dance Company and Baksana. With over fifteen years of experience in various dance forms including Ballet, Samba, and Jazz, Morgan is now devoted to studying the history of belly dance and Classical Arabic music, building a library of reference books dedicated to belly dance, and creating original and intricate compositions for finger cymbals. Find out more about Morgan Fay here.
Tabra is a professional performer and full time student of Dance. With a strong passion for her art and dedication to furthering her education she has studied many forms of Belly Dance including Fusion, Cabaret, and ATS. Currently a student of Classical Ballet and Contemporary dance, her performances are an eclectic mix of these two different dance worlds. Tabra is a co-producer of Lucine Dance Company, a member of Scarlet Thistle, and the Datura dance project, as well as working on many different collaborations with teachers and choreographers that inspire and push her in new creative ways. Currently she is a Level II 8 Elements Certified dance student, FatChance BD Modern and Classic Certified student, 200 hour registered Yoga teacher (RYT), and a Fitness instructor teaching Mat Pilates, MOTR and Barre.