Aimée Machiels (left)
Aimée Machiels was born and raised on the island of O’ahu in the state of Hawai’i. She began dancing Hula, the dance of Hawai’i, at the age of six. Four years later she started Okinawan Dance under her aunt, Yoshino Nakasone, daughter of Yuko Majikina (in his lifetime proclaimed a Living Treasure of Okinawa). At fourteen Aimée began serious training in Hula in the school, Halau Na Mamo O Pu’uanahulu under the direction of Merrie Monarch Festival winner, Kumuhula Sonny Ching. She also began studying the dances of the Middle East with a focus on Egyptian dance. At eighteen she left Hawai’i to attend The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington where she met Dr. Ratna Roy and was introduced to Classical Odissi Dance in 2003. January, 2006, Aimée traveled to Bhubaneswar, Orissa, India, and trained in Odissi Dance under the watchful eyes of Smt. Aruna Mohanty and Madhusmita Mohanty, senior dancers of the Orissa Dance Academy. Aimée is a member of Urvasi, and has performed Orissi in several Northwest venues such as Seattle Folklife Festivals (see the News page for more recent Urvasi performance events), and Evergreen State College Dance Ensemble productions. In February, 2006, Aimée performed at the 21st Konark Dance and Music Festival, in Orissa, India, as a member of Urvasi.