From my long time friend/collaborator Chris Vlachos in 2016.I have known Marina Bistrin for over two decades. She has been a fellow dancer and confidante.

We danced together in the Middle Eastern Dance scene in Melbourne during the 1990's and early 2000's.

Some of the qualities I have always cherished in Marina are her gentle nature, her calming influence, her infinite knowledge of music and dance and the efforts she puts into research. She is also is a passionate gardener and has become involved in sustainable garden communities in Melbourne and around Australia. She has an amazing collection of books on art, dance, nature and healing. I warmly refer to her as a sparrow, due to her flitting from place to place collecting knowledge and wisdom.

Marina will play an obscure piece of music and know its' origins, have researched the dance, the costumes, collected props and various pieces of clothing to make up the costume. She's a great collaborator and always open to other people's input. She's also incredibly generous about giving from the heart. Whenever I have needed support, she has guided me gently through movement to soothe my soul.

I would recommend Marina to anyone interested in music and dance, particularly that of the Silk Road. She is an excellent resource on Sustainable Gardening and contributes enthusiastically to Community Life. She loves to create and extend networks and looks to support newly-arrived communities to share their culture, whether it is through gardening, cooking, music or dance. It is always interesting to sit down to have a coffee or chai with Marina, while sharing stories of our recent creative ventures. The experience flows like a river.


From Michelle in Melbourne...Marina's Barefoot Flamenco workshop was brilliant. I felt free, uninhibited, light and in sync with my body. She used some wonderful imaginary that I really connected with and which drew me out of my rigid patterns of movement and response to music. Thank you." Michelle.


Another from Michelle..."Marina's Fan workshop gently challenged me. I liked the diverse range of fans, movements and music, we used in the w'shop. I particularly liked using the long silk fans: they allowed me to take up space beyond my own physical self - extending me in all directions. They beautifully swirl, twirl and ripple, and this lifted my spirit". Thankyou. Michelle.


From Prue Cerin, Statewide Co-ordinator, Victorian School Canteen Association  "I respect and love your dance work and know the many rewards it has given me (fitness, flexibility, ability to move naturally gracefully in my own fashion - plus all the unexpected spin off benefits of self esteem, mental/spiritual health, self confidence, body image and sheer joy and celebration of femininity in being part of a nurturing group of women). I see your belly dance session in the "happy hour wellness workshops" at the Victorian School Canteen Association's 2008 Conference as a chance to perhaps help others to discover these benefits for themselves and to join in the freedom of expression and fun that dancing offers everyone." 


From Jenni, participants in various workshops; dance teacher and performer, of An Urban Gypsy Beledi Dance Studio, Pascoe Vale, Melbourne, www.ibellydance.com.au  You were surely Middle Eastern in your last life (if not this one), you just have that way about you and I cannot help admire your compassion, knowledge, style and ability in the art.


From Tess Campbell, participant at a workshop in Daylesford,
i thought that the way the workshop incorporated lots of improvisation was fantastic. it was good to find your own interpretation of what flamenco is about before the more technical moves were shown. there was a good balance between improvisation and some technique, which was good as some technical  moves need to be shown so that people can feel they came away with  something solid. however you are definately right to have the improvised approach in my opinion, it made the workshop very enjoyable and i liked your teaching approach of encouraging individual expression and most  importantly connection to the flamenco style. I really enjoyed the workshop and am interested in dance therapy too so it was great to be a part of it