Friday, 10 June 2011

Video of the Week - Wendy Marlatt!

This week we have a real dance treat for you all, in the shape of the fabulous Wendy Marlatt! As some of you may know we were privileged to have here with us on this side of the Atlantic when she was based in Dublin for several years; it was then that we fell in love with her dancing, and spent many happy hours watching both her and the other wonderful dancers on our 'Magic Caravan' dvds (still one of our favourite dance performance dvds - just a really happy 'watch'!). She's back in California now, but is continuing to spread the joy both with her fusion solos and with world fusion performances with her troupe, 'Rashani'.

'Rashani World Fusion Belly Dance is the vision of Wendy Marlatt, a San Francisco based dancer, performer and visual artist.  Wendy's unique brand of World Fusion Belly Dance draws on influences from around the globe and across time.    
World Fusion Belly Dance is both ancient and contemporary, respectful to tradition as well as innovation.  
World Fusion expands the vision of what we know as Belly Dance.'
Rashani website
There are so many videos of Wendy we love that (once again!) it's been really difficult to choose. We're going to start with one of her most recent solos at Tribal Fest 11 in May of this year :
The first thing that really strikes us about this video is Wendy's incredible stage presence; your eyes are glued to her from the minute she steps onto the stage. Her beautiful posture and attitude - she exudes 'duende'! - really shine out, together with her brilliant smile, and you can't help but smile back. She moves with such grace and fluidity, and we are mesmerised by that half spin she does on her knees at the start of her floorwork - how does she manage to do that and still look so graceful?! She's also a master of layering moves, which really shows in this video, as does her spot-on musical interpretation as she switches the mood of her dance to fit perfectly with the different pieces of music. We love it!
Wendy also does some beautiful world fusion and improv with Rashani. We wanted to show you the full version of their recent Cues and Tattoos performance, but unfortunately You Tube have removed the soundtrack. However, we did manage to find a short excerpt from it, which the music moguls haven't got their hands on yet! Enjoy :
Wendy's skirt work is just divine - and once again there's that marvellous posture and presence. The ladies work so well together and are very obviously having a ball up there. Gorgeous costumes, fabulous dancing - great performance!
We just can't finish without singing Wendy's praises a little more! She is a fantastic teacher - patient, encouraging and inspirational. We know this not only from workshops we've taken with her but also because we had the privilege of having a private lesson at her home studio when we were in San Francisco last year. She not only welcomed us into her home and later shared a meal with us, but also gave us lots of tips on places to see and things to do. She did all of this with a huge smile on her face, even though she had only just got in from a day's work (we were literally waiting on her doorstep for her!) - and had only flown in from Dublin the previous day! She must have been shattered but never let it show for a minute.
She really is a very special lady - beautiful on both the outside and inside. Perhaps it's that, coupled with her fabulous dancing, that shows through in that amazing stage presence?
Huge 'Thank Yous', Wendy!
If you want to know more about Wendy, check out her website here. There are more videos on there too for your delectation!
Until next time, happy dancing!
Thanks to Wendy Marlatt for the images in this post

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