Saturday, 21 July 2012


The gold bedlah is now officially retired, pending a full strip down and rebuild.

Why? Well, for starters it's pissing gold beads everywhere, and no one likes a carpet-bomber. It's also got no lining, so it hurts to wear, the bra fringe is hopelessly tangled, and some of the accent beads are hanging off.

Look at it, the trashed, tit-flashing traitor

But the main reason it's in disgrace is because it no longer wishes to stay put. This evening, while dancing in front of about 100 people at a local Charity Hafla, it decided it wanted to part company from my left boob, and cosy up with my chin instead. Not to the extent of flashing a nipple, but there's a time and a place for underboob, and in front of half the local dance scene plus OZGEN is emphatically not it. 

Irritatingly, were it not for the costume malfunction it would have ranked as one of my favourite performances yet. I felt really confident, managed to blend the improv with the choreographed sections without ending up repeating myself ad infinitum, and earned gatrifiying applause and compliments at the end. I even got complimented on my lovely (traitorousm untrustworthy) costume!

Impromptu striptease aside, it was a cracking evening, and I felt really privileged to be on the same bill as the other acts. All the troupes, student and otherwise, were well rehearsed, smiling and clearly happy to be there. Such a refreshing change from some others I've seen! It's difficult to pick out highlights as all the acts were engaging and enjoyable.

Tahira's troupe 'Dhalal Banat' were lovely - there were about 16 of them performing a very clever choreography that saw them split into four corners and work every side of the stage (great when there are audience members on three sides).

Fulya and her sister Julie did a duet - this was the first time I've seen Julie dancing as she is usually stall sitting while Fulya solos. Lovely to watch and would like to see more of the other Ms Chapman please!

Organiser Emma Wheate duetted with a fellow dancer to do an Isis Wings piece. I hate Isis wings with a passion, but this actually made me wish I owned a pair. Very cleverly done, and lots of actual dancing rather than just stick waving.

Belly Fusion performed a raucous, Victorian flavoured circus act that went down a storm. I know I've seen them before, and loved them- this was no exception. The characterisation was spot-on, the tribal style moves were perfectly synched, I just loved it.

The night finished off with the afore-mentioned Ozgen. I saw him perform at Gothla last week, and was pretty impressed then (despite the fact that he is about as Goth as a daisy) by his skills, but smaller, more intimate shows are where he clearly comes into his own. His performance was like a whirlwind tour through bellydance, from arrogant Roma struts to incredibly technical belly isolations, audience teasing and pleasing, and even a spot of Zar when the music demanded it. So, so impressed, and what a fabulous way to end a good night.

Despite the booby.

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