So the idea of today's hafla was to meet up with dancers, enjoy some performances and sell off all our unwanted dance gear.
I managed two out of the three, and came back with much more stuff than I managed to sell! I sometimes think I should save myself the effort and just direct-debit my wages straight into my teacher's bank account, as that's where it all ends up anyway. This time I ended up with a big bag of silver icicle fringe, plus a grey lace shawl from a troupemate, and a tribal dangly thing. Net cost? £10. My total sales for the day? £7 :(
The event was very well attended, and there was a real mix of acts. The organisers had clearly put a lot of work into it, and one of them was even dressed WI style in a pinny and spent the afetrnoon serving teas to thirsty shopprs! Could really have done with a compere though, as I didn't recognise all the dancers who performed.
The opening act was a troupe that I didn't recognise, performing a piece with veil fans. They were beautifully costume-coordinated, and danced beautifully. It was a real shame that some of them didn't smile though, as they looked far too professional to be affected by nerves!
They were followed by cabaret performances by Barbara Street (one of my class mates, who is always glam and fun to watch), Ozlem (a Turkish dancer who performs in the most vertiginous heels!) and belly dance royalty Lorraine, who was one of the first teachers here in the West Midlands. We had crazy cyber fusion from my teacher Dawn, and a lovely gypsy piece from Maureen Pemberton. Great entertainment to be had from watching people trying to clap along to 9/8 rhythm!
The first act was rounded out by a very young group of ladies and their teacher, performing a contemporary dance piece. Sadly, these girls could have done with rehearsing their manners as well as their performance, as they spent most of the first act taking the mick out of other performers. Poor form, and I hope their teacher tells them so!
I was a last minute addition to the act, and performed an improv piece to 'Egyptian Ella'. Not the most successful dance I've ever done, due to a baladi dress that would. not. stay. put. but fun and well received (or if it wasn't, then the audience were being super polite!)
The second act saw a duo that I didn't recognise performing a very sweet piece that made great use of their wrist drapes without turning them into a gimmick. Local troupe Salmacis also performed as a duet, this time doing a pretty veil piece. As usual they had great eye contact and engagement with the audience. Another duet (there appears to be a trend here) performed a hula fusion piece. I've seen them perform before, and while the dance is lovely, the costumes are getting more and more 'thought-provoking'. I'd love to see them dance in a more traditional costume rather than hipscarfs and no skirt. A local teacher then performed a solo piece. We were chatting prior to the show, and she expressed concern that there were men at the hafla! Le shock! I don't know whether the offending gentlemen were shooed out for her set. If they were, then they missed out on seeing some of the most unrestrained and exaggerated chest lifts and boob shimmies I have ever seen in a belly dance performance. My F cups were aching in sympathy!
My cabaret class did a veil/stick piece, which is always fun to dance, although I was stuffing it up horribly at the back as usual. Me and spins do not mix, and it was notable that there weren't any during my solo piece.
I missed the last few acts due to changing and stall minding, and have been told i missed out on a gorgeous Isis wings piece :( I made it back into the hall in time for the last performance of the day though- my ATS group performing the zill piece that was driving me mad all last year. They were fabulous and clearly having fun, I was in the corner with the camera twitching with remembered trauma!