Monday, 19 September 2011

Improv Rocks!

First off, so sorry you didn't get a video of the week this time around --- my non-dance life has been taking its toll! Still, if you're VERY well behaved I may just include one or two videos here for your delectation ...

'Happiness is dancing improv to a live band!' 

Thus spake our lovely friend Jan, after dancing the night away to the fabulous Arcomnia on Saturday! We were back across the Pennines in Shipley (minus Sarah, who couldn't come out to play this time) for a day of fun and frolics with Chris Ogden and 400 Roses, starting with an afternoon workshop. Three hours of great improv later and it was time to don our gladrags in preparation for the evening's tribal hafla. We managed to bag ourselves ringside seats and after a couple of hours of eyeshadowing, hair-falling, skirt tucking and bindi-ing (not to mention safety-pinning and squealing when Jan jabbed me!) we were all ready to go!

Arcomnia had arrived and were busy setting up by this time, so there was a chance to browse the rather impressive souk .... Luloah. Peacock and Rose, Tribal Temptress, Deadly Desires, Feral Strumpet ... sigh.. Tribal heaven!!! There's a great set up at the Kirkgate Centre with a big room for the hafla and separate adjoining rooms for stalls, food and changing. Something for everyone! Eventually, clutching a newly acquired kuchi necklace and Hand of Fatima bindi tightly it was time for the fun to begin!

And what fun it was! Tanzhexen started us off with a deeply dark number (literally - the lights were out!) and were followed by a good variety of performances. I can't remember the order (old age is creeping up on me!) but there were several dances from the Roses in a variety of combinations and permutationsm including Chris and Debbie ... fabulous to watch! In the video below you can see the Roses at the very recent Sowerby Bridge Rushbearing. They're dancing to An Dro ... which we all performed together as a join-in dance on saturday (thank you Lesley for hissing the choreo to me so I didn't go hurtling in the wrong direction!).


We enjoyed tribal style performances from several of Chris' Yorkshire classes as well as a flirty Egyptian number from two Leeds ladies (so sorry girls; I didn't catch your names!). The wonderful Tantrum had also braved the Pennines all the way from Liverpool to entertain us with ATS to Aicha - one of my all-time favourite tracks! I loved Maura's 'Naughty Jacobite' costume and she reappeared later with SpiralDancer to be transported away by that Spirit In The Sky!

However, of course the highlight for us was when we got to hit the dancefloor with the other workshop girls for a bit of improv to Arcomnia live! Such fun! We performed to 'Macrina's Dance, which you can hear on the video below :


Fantastic --- but the fun didn't stop there! Arcomnia played several sets - and the dance floor was never empty. When I browsed through my photos later I couldn't understand why I had only one photo of the boys actually performing, until I realised that pretty much every time they played I was strutting my stuff on the dance floor --- strutting my improv stuff of course!

And that really made the night for me - a spot-on balance between great performances and lots of dancing time that really gave the hafla that dance party feeling! It was made even more perfect by the live musicfrom Arcomnia of course - amazing (not forgetting the Thorns too!). Chris and the Roses really put on a great event with a laid back family feel where everyone had fun! There were lots of sore feet by the end of the evening, a sure sign of a great hafla.Thank you all - and roll on the next one!

Until next time, happy dancing!





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