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What an experience!

I’ve never helped organise or run a hafla before so this was really new and exciting (and nerve wracking!). But it all came together, the three of us (Caroline Rose, Elspeth and myself) worked beforehand and on the night, each doing our different bits and pieces which wove into something that, I think, worked rather well.

The performers were varied yet all lovely, talented with no “diva-ness” in sight. The audience were plentiful and noisy. And special mention needs to go to the lovely Elysse and Laurie of the Edinburgh Uni African and Arabic Dance Society, who worked on the door. They were complete stars!

Below are some gorgeous pictures of Lorna and us (the organisers) that Vi Anne took on the night. They really capture a lot of the atmosphere.

Lorna in her first outfit of the night.

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So, this is the first time I’ve been involved in running a hafla.  It’s scary and exciting all at once.  I went along to the venue today with Caroline and had a look. The venue, ‘The Underground’ at Teviot Place, is a place that I’ve been to in the past for club nights and must admit I’d been having trouble wrapping my head around the thought of it being used for a hafla, but having gone today and had a look around (without a club night’s paraphernalia in the way) it all became clear.  This …is gonna be awesome.

Teviot, the oldest purpose-built student’s union in the world!

There’s a space off to the side of the stage that we can cordon off and use as a performers area, the stage is a good size and there’s enough floor space infront of the stage to accommodate large groups of dancers (which there will be at least one of).  There is seating on the same floor as the stage and there’s also a balcony that runs half way around the space (so you can feel like you’re at the ballet or opera!).

And… did I mention I’ll be performing at this?  This will be my first ever hafla performance (despite performing professionally for over a year now)!

And, the fabulous Elspeth ‘Swishandhips’ has set up paypal so you can buy your tickets in advance – I’ve got a button for it on the front page of my website as does Caroline.  Tickets cost £8 advance/£10 on the door, the hafla will run from 7-10pm on Thursday the 18th of March – that’s two weeks today!  I better sort my choreo out…

Oh – if you enjoy reading my blog you can click on the “Email subscription” button on the top left hand side of the page (it says “sign me up!”) and it will automatically email you any new blog posts that I make.  I’ve found it quite a handy tool for keeping up with the other blogs I like to read.

It seems like we’re entering hafla season! Thursday just past was the Edinburgh University’s hafla and now Caroline Rose tells me that she’ll be having a hafla in the Pleasance Cabaret Bar on Feb 27th – which, I think, would be a fabulous end to a day of workshops thatI’m throwing as part of Festival of the Middle Eastern Spirituality and Peace (there are more details and the ability to book my workshops on my website and there is, of course, info on the Edinburgh Bellydance Calendar – see links at the top of the blog page).  I’ll add more details to this on Caroline’s hafla when I have them.

[EDIT 2/2/10: I’ve heard on the grapevine that Caroline might be shifting the date of this hafla to March. Will update when I know more.]

AND… the weekend after that there’s a hafla at the Inchture Hotel in Perthshire on March 6th.  There’s event details on facebook here and a facebook group for the hafla here and it has it’s own website here!  This hafla raises money for Talking2Minds  (http://www.talking2minds.co.uk) a charity that works with people who have Post Traumatic Stress disorder.  Tickets cost £8.

And for your viewing pleasure here are some videos from the University hafla last week:

Habiba Dance

Hannah

Tigerlily

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