Sunday, 22 May 2011

Shekinah Presents!

Last night Sakura were back to full strength and heading off towards the seaside (didn't actually see the sea but did smell the salty air!) to Shekinah's very first hafla in sunny old Formby. And what a delight it was! The girls (Amy, Lisa and Hayley) did a superb job and we had a great time watching, performing and having a good old bop afterwards (How many of us hit the floor for 'Sweet Home Alabama'? Own up girls - you know who you are!)

The audience balance for this event was more tipped towards non bellydancers than usual. Not only was it the girls' first event, but it was also the debut performance of 'Out By Seven' who rocked us with some great tunes! Sadly we missed them during the interval - but more than made up for that after all the dance performances. This meant that a lot of family members were there, as well as friends of the Liverpool flamenco group who clapped and stamped their way through two spots for our delectation. Everyone seemed to really enjoy themselves and the dance floor was packed at the end of the evening!

There was plenty of fabulous tribal for us to get our teeth into of course. Both Shekinah and Tantrum did two performances each, including a really atmospheric Indian flavoured dance from Jane and Nicola - beautiful costumes girls! Our Morrigan friends performed again to 'Kelling', and were great company to boot, and Sirens of Shadows did their dark fusion bit (Tribal Jane made a hasty dive under the table at the first strains of Wumpscut!).

Sakura performed two dances. Our first was a slow number (100% improvised) to Gypsy Caravan's "Carolyn's Walk' (shortened version!) - a traditional tribal track that we've always loved! We had found during practices that the music rather disturbingly hypnotised us somewhat so that we forgot to change moves - not good for a performance! However it was alright on the night as they say, and we had fun slinking and stalking (in our new dresses!)!

Our second track was a bit of a departure for us music wise (as you may have anticipated if you read our blog post the other week). We performed to a contemporary track, 'Dog Days Are Over' by Florence and the Machine, and what fun we had  (apologies to all the non-dancing audience who were startled by Cayte's loud and over-excited 'Yip!' as the first fast bit kicked in!). If you don't know it, there are a lot of tempo changes in this song - it goes from slow to steady to fast to slow to fast to chonky (sorry - words fail me but you know what I mean!) to fast to slow ---- phew!!! But yes folks, apart from the slow opening sequence it WAS all improv. Basically we knew the track inside out and upside down musically (Sarah did threaten to sing along at one point!) and it just seemed to work so well with our tribal moves - and more importantly, feeling. We're certainly not moving away from dancing to more traditional tracks, but this was a great change of pace for us and certainly kept us on our toes (particularly at the point where Cayte's dance sandal got stuck in her pantaloons during a Turkish Shimmy Combo. Ooops!) And of course it contrasted beautifully with our early more traditional slow dance. Lots of fun!
There were of course other types of bellydance too - a fast-moving sword dance from Helen, two lovely solos from Bassima and a truly beautiful veil dance from Romy (complete with an amazing rainbow-hued veil which has Cayte drooling every time she sees it!) We'd like to give a special mention to Romy's two students, Hannah and Ree (hope I've got your names right!). Not only did they duet together as Ophidia, doing an Egyptian number but, as other members of their group couldn't make it, they also stepped into the breach at the last minute and performed a fusion dance as Bellydance Beatbox. Well done girls!

And so another great hafla came to a close. Huge 'Thank Yous' to the ladies of Shekinah - we really enjoyed ourselves, as did everyone else! And of course, Cayte won two raffle prizes which always goes down well... Hopefully this event will be repeated? Yes? Please?

It came as a bit of a surprise to us to suddenly realise that we haven't got any more hafla performances lined up for four whole months! We seem to be beset by clashes of holidays/work commitments/family stuff that spookily seem to be timed to coincide with all the events we'd normally dance at - Pauline Qu's Close Encounters of the Tribal Kind, Burnley Hafla, Yorkshire Bedazzle, Merhaba hafla. You name it, at least one of us have managed to clash it this year. One or other of us will be going to at least watch a few haflas, but performing is on an enforced hiatus. Still, it will give us chance to concentrate on a few different aspects of our dance ready for an Autumn which is already looking more than a little busy! It's all good!

Until next time, happy dancing!

Thanks to  Victoria Ward Photography for images in this post


  1. Sounds like you had a fantastic hafla - would have loved to see the Florence track!

  2. It was a fab night! Cayte & Sarah