Friday, 27 September 2013

Friday Fabulousness : Three Lovely Ladies!

Well, this is a turn up for the books! Sakura sitting side by side on the couch whilst the blog is written.
Notice I have not said whilst WE write the blog. That may be a rather premature statement as a certain person seems to be focused more upon asking impertinent questions of the one who is doing the actual writing. Just saying, JAN!

Anyway, yes we are here together. Yes we have chosen our video of the week together. Yes we are going to blog about it together. Oh yes we are, regardless of the giggles coming from next to me. You see now why normally I blog alone .....

Enough of the rambling and distractions ... I am going to hand the laptop over to Jan for the next bit ......

JAN : I do not know what to write, this is why I don't blog!!! Yes there is a smell of burning martyr round here!!! Anyway over to my creative writing dance sister to introduce the video.

Sigh. Well at least I tried! But honestly, we DID choose the video together - we are unanimous on that (we are actually unanimous on far more than folk give us credit for!).

Our fabulous video today is from three of our very favourite dancers and friends - it's a Scots/Italian collaboration from earlier this year and involves some beautiful GC style skirt work. We are delighted to present to you, at the Tribal Gathering in York in June, 2013, Cinzia, Deirdre and Sun Fyre! Woo Hoo!

Why do we love this video? If you know us at all it will be obvious ... it's just so full of colour and life and JOY! Jan has now come to life and is chunnering away next to me! She is saying that THIS is why we dance - you can feel the connection between these three (who don't dance together on a day to day or even week to week basis) - they share that soul that brings them together, united in dance and sisterhood across the miles. Those smiles are real smiles, smiles that aren't forced, aren't just on the lips but are springing from the heart and connecting the dancers with one another, with the music and with the audience. Love it!

Deirdre is based in Troon, Ayrshire where she teaches and performs tribal bellydance - Gypsy Caravan style! She regularly collaborates with Sun Fyre as Celtic Hips.

Sun Fyre is based in Aberlour where she also teaches and performs Gypsy Caravan tribal style bellydance.

Cinzia is based in Milan, Italy. she directs Les Soeurs Tribales and teaches and performs both tribal and fusion dance.

It has to be added that all of these ladies are multi-talented, as you will see from their websites! We are so blessed to have them in our community. Tribal Rocks!

Should I do it? Yes I will - I'll hand over to Jan for a final few words ...

JAN : Sorry all, but I would rather draw/paint and make vegan chocolate truffles than blog, good job my tribal sister is fab at it!

And it must be said she would also rather EAT vegan truffles than type!!!! Tee hee! Love ya really Jan!!

JAN : Excuse me  and who helped me eat them?

On that note I think I shall sign off! Enjoy the video and until next time - Happy Dancing!!!

P.S. I have just been instructed to tell you all that the vegan truffles are fab!! Which they are! 

Friday, 20 September 2013

Friday Fabulousness : Gypsy Caravan!

Today's video is a long one - and is best enjoyed curled up in an armchair with a caramel soya latte and two warm cats. Yes, I have personally tested this - and if you don't mind the cats looking alarmed at the zurna, it truly is heaven on earth!

Now I could have picked so many Gypsy Caravan videos to share with you today, but this one is definitely my go-to watch of the moment. It shines out like a beacon of everything I love about tribal bellydance - I am right there with them, barefoot in the dappled sunlight, dancing together beneath the trees, smiling, laughing, connecting, part of this amazing dance community! Dancing together through time and place - for joy, celebration, support. Every element blends together perfectly - the venue, the dancers, the costumes, the musicians (and the zills, played so beautifully and as a true part of the music). As I watch it I feel the warmth on my skin, the breeze in my hair, the rhythm. I am there, in that moment, in that dance ....

And here it is ...  [click on the photo to watch the video]

I'm not going to say much more - I don't want to break the spell ...

What I WILL say is on behalf of both myself and Jan, who have been watching so many GC style videos over this past couple of weeks ..from glorious dancers such as Gypsy Caravan, Gypsy Heart, Celtic Hips and Les Soeurs Tribales.. and it is just this ...

We are unspeakably proud to dance in the footsteps of these fabulous women, and to share in this amazing style of ours. Our souls are truly singing!

Until next time - Happy Dancing!

Friday, 13 September 2013

Friday Fabulousness!

Here again for a limited time only- some of the videos that really inspire us, make us smile and are just generally fabulous!!!

The first one is from one of our very favourite troupes at the moment - Gypsy Heart of Portland, Oregon (and yes, there may well be more videos of these beautiful ladies coming up over future weeks, because we just love them!). Directed by Carol Vance of Gypsy Caravan, they describe themselves thus :

'Bringing the spontaneous and improvisational core of Tribal Bellydance to each performance, this Troupe will take you on a dance journey as old as time and as new as this moment.'

This time we have chosen a duet as our featured performance - it's something that, as a duo ourselves now, we identify really strongly with. We love to sit and 'ooh' and 'aaah' over it ... and yes, to use it as inspiration for our own Sakura performances! It's from 2012 so has been floating our boat for more than a year now, and we still adore it just as much as the first time we saw it ...

There is just so much about this that we love and we are constantly finding more in it! But for us the key thing that comes across is the sheer JOY in the dance that is shared by these ladies. Those smiles are real, not just pasted on for performance! The little glances at one another, teasing looks at the audience - everything is 100% genuine! Add to that the wonderfully flowing, relaxed Gypsy Caravan style, the style that sinks into your body, bones and very soul, and you  have our perfect experience. We love you Gypsy Heart!

You can catch up with Gypsy Heart on their Facebook group - GypsyHeart Tribal Bellydance '- or via their website,
Until next time, happy dancing!

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Every Picture Tells a Story!

Good morning! And it is a good morning ... I'm just chilling and doing a bit of writing whilst I get ready to head over to Jan's for a Sakura practice, more chilling, coffee, chat  - you get the idea!

One of the topics of conversation is sure to be the fantastic 'Book of Bedtime Stories' where we performed on Saturday. It was a great evening; storytelling, some wonderful dancing and of course catching up with friends! We just loved seeing everyone and grabbing reams of hugs and it was fab being joined by Sarah and our lovely friend Kate. We made quite a carful I can tell you, particularly with us Sakura girls up front in our scary makeup!! Beware, oncoming vehicles!

I don't want to give too much away about our performance as we'll be pulling it out again at a couple of upcoming haflas (albeit slightly different as there's a fair bit of improv in there!) but I can tell you that it was something completely different for us Sakura girls. Certainly the costumes and make up were not our usual thing as you will see from the photos here. We were captured in performance and beyond by the most excellent Mr James Lacey of Dark Soul photography; visit his website here for more wonderful examples of his work! But it wasn't just our appearance that was strange on Saturday ...

The hafla title says it all really - our dance had to tell a story. Now this is a path we've never ventured down before and so it was a real voyage of discovery. It did present its own particular challenges as we were determined to get as much improv in there as we could - which we did - whilst still ensuring that there was a clear tale to tell. I  was especially concerned about this as I am notoriously not the most astute at identifying stories in dance when I'm an audience member. Quite honestly, I do usually need it spelling out to me in words of one syllable as I tend to get lost in the dance itself (poor old Jan is often the one who has to explain it to me!). But maybe having those limitations was actually a help in making sure our story was extra clear?

Whether that was the case or not, we certainly seemed to manage it! People told us our dance made them feel both happy and sad (box ticked), someone said she got so tied up in the story that she actually 'awwwwwed' at one point (another box ticked!) and we were told we should do stuff like that more often (my make up did grow on me - but yes, Jan, I DID take it off before I went to bed!). The audience were wonderfully supportive and it was great to look out at a sea of smiling faces (as I have blogged before that really does make such a difference to dancers!), So yes, despite the inevitable post-match dissection ('We did that move on different feet' etc etc) we did leave feeling good about it, and yes, we're looking forward to doing it all again!

I think though, that what meant the most to us was the feedback from Sarah and Kate. Now they won't mind me saying here that they are not the most fluffy of folk. They have much in common - neither likes being hugged for example (although they don't always get much choice!!) and we were really bothered that they would hate our story-telling dance. So imagine how fantastic it felt to see huge grins on their faces as we danced, and to hear them clapping along! They loved it!!! And yes, we glowed!!!! Thank you girls!!!

So - Hi Ho, Hi Ho, it's off to practice I go. More chat about the show, new combos to play with .. it's all good!

Until next time, happy dancing!