Monday, 4 April 2011
Simply The Best : We love JoY!
Oh, the drama and poetry of it all!
Still, why DO we love JoY so? Well, here are ten good reasons!
1) THE ATMOSPHERE. Friendly, welcoming, intimate. Compared to some bellydance festivals JoY might be considered small - but perfectly formed. But hey, it isn't THAT small. It's large enough to attract renowned teachers from all over the world - of which more later! And yet despite its success it has never lost sight of its vision, has never succumbed to the lure of abandoning that sense of intimacy in favour of an expansion into anonymity. Quite simply, it is what it is - and it's a winning formula!
Well, how about a beautiful building with a magnificent hall where you can relax over a cuppa and browse the souk in between workshops? How about large airy rooms under the same roof, perfect for workshops? Gardens in front, complete with those stone lions, where the hardened smokers can chill and chat? Indeed,what more could you want?
8) THE TIMING. Twice a year. Only six months to wait until the next one. Nuff said.
Khaled Mahmoud : " His glistening gold and bronze fishscales and shimmery, glittery pectoral shimmies nearly took out my retinas!"
Tracey Gibbs : " A beautiful, heartfelt veil dance"
Chris & Debbie : "Fabulous, tight formations"
Beverley Spracklen : "Spooky but cute!"
Khalida : " Elegant. classical Egyptian, with wonderful musicality"
Moirai Tribal : " Beautiful costumes, elegant dance"
Mohammed El Hosseny : "Great Nubian and Saidi stick"
Katie Holland : " Truly beautiful Indian solo"
And to add to the whole glorious show, 400 Roses performed in their 'natural habitat' this year - outside the hall - delighting festival goers and passers-by alike!
10) THE PEOPLE. Last but not least, the people. That's what makes JoY the joy that it is! Super-welcoming organisers and helpers who, despite being run off their feet, are never too busy to stop for a quick chat to check that you're ok. Friendly traders, who not only know their stuff but are so helpful and always up for a bit of banter! They make shopping even more of a pleasure than it normally is! Teachers who, no matter how acclaimed, aren't too proud to join the rest of us over coffees in the hall and are always ready to chat and answer questions. And finally the dancers ---- friendships formed, renewed, cemented in corridors, souks, workshops, shows. There are the JoY regulars - so many 'Hello's to say and catching ups to do since last time. The people you see every week in class - workshop info and souk buys to catch up on. And the folk you've never met before - the strangers who are just friends you haven't made yet - and who will become part of your sea of 'Hello, how are you?'s at the next event. They all contribute to the whole wonderful JoY feeling -- which takes us right back to Number 1 - the atmosphere!
So THAT'S why we love JoY. Chris and Mandy - thank you for all that you do. Don't ever stop!!
If you want to find out more about JoY then check out their website.
Right, I'm off for a bit of post-JoY rest and recuperation! Until next time, happy dancing!
Thanks to the beautiful Jeanette Evans - a JoY 'regular' - for the performance photos.