You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘hafla’ tag.

Ever since I’ve started my most recent academic studies, I’ve had a drastically reduced amount of time available for my various non-study related things (work, dance, socialising, etc). As part of that I gave up bellydance teaching, I have seen my friends a lot less and have not really had the time to keep the Edinburgh Bellydance Calendar up to date. Given that it’s a bit of a ghost site, I’ve removed the link for it from my blog and website now, as the more sharp-eyed of you may have noticed.

Proving that nature abhors a vacuum, the wonderfully enthusiastic (and generally wonderful) Pheonyx Dance created a facebook group and now a new website, Bellydancing Buddies, and a new online google calendar, as a repository for information about what bellydance classes and events are on throughout Scotland. I fully encourage you to get your classes and events listed there.

Well done Pheonyx, and thank you!

I do a spot of graphic design, from time to time.  Here’s my latest, a promotional poster for the Leith Festival Hafla:

 

I’m gutted I can’t be there (an inescapable, long-standing commitment…) but I hope that YOU can all be there, and that you take lots of pictures and video clips so I can enjoy it afterwards!

As I mentioned earlier, we were spoilt for choice on International Bellydance Day.  Habiba Dance went to the hafla in Glasgow and has a few, lovely pictures of some of the performers, as well as a video of her own performance up on her blog.  I went to the Leith hafla (which raised £100 for Shakti) camera in hand, and was thoroughly entertained. Despite the event being cut short Martina managed to squeeze all the performers in.

And beyond? Well next month we have two haflas to look forward to in Edinburgh/East Lothian:

– A Bit of Cairo on Duke Street: Leith Bellydancers Hafla on Tuesday 14 June, 7.30pm-10.30pm, at  The Parlour Bar, Duke Street, Leith.  This is running as part of the Leith Festival and has… free entry!  

The annual Musselburgh Hafla on Thursday 30 June, 7.30pm – 11pm, at the Musselburgh Rugby Club, Stoneyhill Farm Road, Musselburgh.  Tickets for this will be £5 with the proceeds going to charity.

Elspeth SwishandHips is organising both events – if you’d like to perform do get in touch with her: swishandhips at hotmail.co.uk

Now I did say I had brought my camera to the Leith International Bellydance Day hafla… Here are just a few pictures from the night to give you a taste.

Below is the lovely Constantina (who we won’t have here for much longer – we found out at the hafla that she’ll be moving back to Greece shortly!)

The elegant and polished Natalie!

And the hhhhorrible Elspeth – topping off the show with a Sha’abi piece:

This Saturday, May 14th, is the 5th annual World Bellydance Day, an event conceived of by Lydia Tzigane in 2007. It encourages charitable events worldwide, on the 2nd Saturday in May, that act as a reminder that belly dance can be a family-friendly* art form.

In Central Scotland we have two charity haflas on that date – one in Leith in part support of Shakti Women’s Aid (organised by Martina) and one in Glasgow in support of the Marine Conservation Society (organised by Sarasvati Tribal).

The Leith event is from 19:30 – 23:00 at South Leith Parish Church Halls (6 Henderson Street, Edinburgh, Scotland, EH6 6BS). The theme is International with performers

encouraged to represent a country with music, colours and costuming. There may even be a live band and stalls.

To purchase tickets in advance send cheques to Martina Kyriazi at 79 Hawk Brae Livingston EH54 6GF, £10 for non-dancers and £5 for dancers. Ticket price includes some nibbles and soft drinks and a BYOB charge. The facebook event can be found at: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=192060964164082

The Glasgow event is from 7.30pm at La Bodega, Dance With Attitude (1120 South Street, Glasgow G14 0AP). The theme is Marine with all styles are welcome and encouraged. There will be a prize raffle (proceeds to MCS).

To purchase tickets in advance you can pay using Paypal or cheques – more info at http://www.sarasvatitribal.co.uk/mcs.htm (tickets cost £7 and all profits will be going to help MCS continue their work protecting our seas, shores and wildlife). The facebook event can be found at http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=202545746441029

There’s been a bit of disappointment about these events clashing, particularly because they both look fantastic. To help prevent this sort of thing happening in future I’ve created a Bellydance Scotland public Google Calendar to track bellydance events (but not classes) – I don’t plan to keep this updated all by myself; I think it would work better as a communal activity (and I don’t have the time to do it all myself). To that end I’m looking for anyone who wants to contribute to this by adding your events or events in your area to get in touch with me so I can add you as editors of this Calendar. I’d also encourage you all to look at, and use, the Bellydance Scotland Facebook Group.

So, whatever you choose to do this Saturday I hope you have a good World Bellydance Day – in Central Scotland, at least, you’re spoiled for choice!

(* I feel a blog post brewing about this issue…)

My weekly public and private classes started back last week and it felt goooood.  I love being around my students, “my ladies”.  In among the hard work and concentration is always a fair amount of chat and laughter.  This term some of my familiar faces aren’t there, for a variety of reasons – uni & work pressures, moving city, having babies!  You guys are missed!  But we also have new faces (who will soon becoming familiar faces), all bringing their own personality and energy to class.  The diversity is fabulous!

It’s a nice, positive experience of community for me, and (I hope) others – even though it might only be a fleeting community of people brought together for one hour a week.  Hafla’s can offer more opportunity for socialising in a bellydance context outside of class, and I’m hoping to have more of an idea of when the next Edinburgh hafla is after this coming weekend.

Watch this space!

I performed at a hafla for the first time ever at the very same hafla that I helped organise, also for the first time ever.  I certainly don’t do things by halves…

Performing for other bellydancers was, in my head, far scarier than performing for a more general audience.  They’ll know if you make a mistake for a start!  They know all the moves, so impressing them is harder! But, as I’ve found with a lot of things in life, the reality wasn’t much like the fantasy at all.  Perhaps because many of the crowd know how hard it can be to perform they are more understanding than a regular audience.  Perhaps because they love the dance already they are more receptive to its performance. It certainly helps that they know to make noise and show appreciation.

So, despite pulling my quad part way through my performance and messing up that bit (I was slowly sinking down whilst doing vertical 8’s with my hips), I feel really good about it.  It went well and many people have since given me a lot of positive feedback.  Even the singer & songwriter of the music I performed to, Karine Polwart, approves 🙂

Below I’ve included some photos of the performance and a video of it as well.

Read the rest of this entry »

So as I mentioned previously, last week I became a bit of a Lorna Gow fangirl… I like non tribal-fusion bellydance well enough, but I don’t tend to have as strong a reaction to it, as to (for example) watching Zafira or Rachel Brice.  But perched in the DJ booth in my role as DJ Shadow (helping our DJ, Peter, spot false endings and such like) I saw Lorna perform live for the first time. 

Peter and I had puzzled over the CD – the track listed as being over 9 minutes long.  Surely not?  I had to (quickly) double check with one of the other organisers before Lorna was due on that it was right.  It was. 

And then it started, and we waited for Lorna to appear. 

And we waited. 

A minute passed, the music was rising coming to what I thought was the end of the intro bit.

And then we waited some more. 

And then, when the tension was becoming unbearable, she appeared.  Garbed in a beautiful black and blue costume hand-made specifically for her she emerged, her black veil flowing behind as she made her entrance. She greeted the audience, making a tour of the crowd gathered around the dance space in front of the stage before beginning to dance.  She was the first performer of the night to utilise the stage, and the only performer to use both that and the dance area.  Her presence filled the room. 

The below video doesn’t capture even half of what it was like to have been there, but sadly it will have to do.

There’s lots of little details in this that I like, for example the way she discards her veil without interrupting the flow of the dance – seamless integration.

And that was how I became a Lorna Gow fangirl.

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

Yesterday I taught a taster workshop which included a short performance at the end for a local community women’s group. They are a really lovely bunch of ladies who made me laugh so much. Time just flew when I was with them, they were a delight to be with – funny, extremely complimentary towards me and willing to give the dance a try in spite of stiff joints. I stayed chatting with them afterwards, having a giggle before I realised the time and had to shoot off.

One of the nicest things about it was that it was repeat business. They had asked me to come and do the same thing around about the same time last year. For me, that is one of the best compliments as an instructor and performer; to have clients that want you to come back.

It’s got me thinking about how repeat business works, or doesn’t, in the bellydance performance and/or workshop ‘market’. Many of the events I’ve been asked to perform, or do workshops at are special events – significant wedding anniversaries, hen nights, and wedding receptions, for example. With these sorts of events you’re unlikely to have a direct repetition of the event. The best you can hope for, perhaps, is a guest at the event who decides they’d like something similar if/when they are in the same position. So it seems to me, then, that repeat business is an unusual occurrence, and it’s something that I am taking the time to treasure.

Have a good day, and I’ll hopefully see some of you at the hafla this Thursday! I’ll be performing to a piece of music that I love, but think is a little bit unconventional for a bellydance performance. Wish me luck!

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.

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 315 other followers

Twitter Updates

May 2017
M T W T F S S
« May    
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031