Monday, November 19, 2007

A Tribal Dreams weekend

This weekend I attended the Tribal Dreams Festival in Lincoln, hosted by local Improvisational Tribal Style troupe Benu.  This annual festival is always a real treat – they bring in some phenomenal instructors and the vendors are usually good too – which explains why I’m completely broke now! J  Because most of my weekend revolved around going to the festival, it was actually a less busy weekend than normal.  Shocking, I know. 

I narrowed my class selection down to just 6 classes (the minimum to get a discount) – it’s always so hard to choose.  I took 2 classes with Princess Farhana, one of my favorite belly dancers – her Extreme Taxsim class I’ve taken before, so it was a nice refresher.  New to me was her Veil Obedience class.  I’m not a prop dancer – I have enough trouble remembering that I have arms, much less manipulating an object with them, while I dance.  I learned some cool tricks and hopefully I can incorporate more veil-work into my dancing.  I also took Performance Focus with Sabine of Tribulations.  This class discussed stage fright and other performance hazards, so it was right up my alley!  

The Khaleegy class on Saturday afternoon was…interesting.  I can’t say that I loved it, but it was interesting to try.  Khaleegy is basically an Arabian social dance done by women while wearing a large garment called a “thobe”.  There isn’t much hip action, just steps and arm motions while moving the dress around.  I’m sure it’s great fun at parties. J  Some of the thobes other students had on were beautiful – I just wear a piece of fabric pinned over my shoulders…

The last two classes of the weekend included More Tribal Fusion Combos with Chris and Elizabeth of Marrakech (a follow up to last year’s Tribal Fusion Combos, naturally), followed by…get this… Pirate Belly Dance!!!  We were instructed to bring an empty rum bottle, and lots of people dressed up with eye patches, hats and other pirate garb.  It was tons of fun!

I can’t wait until next year.  I heard rumors that Benu is bringing Unmata (an amazing tribal troupe)!

This is definitely one of my favorite workshops.  I love workshops in general – you don’t always remember everything you learn, but it serves as a great reminder of how great the belly dance community is and how much fun dancing is in general.  I always leave wanting to go straight home and practice…until I get home and remember how sore and tired I am…which pretty much describes my physical state right now!