The hafla on Saturday night was really good. Somebody said there were too many acts, but I kind of liked that. It was more of a 'watching' hafla though, it was in the main hall with the chair laid out in rows, and one act was on straight after another, with a couple of breaks. There was a dancing room upstair with a DJ but not many people went up there, even on the breaks. I think it was a little too spread out for that. The people dancing were really good though, especially Seetha (wow! I could go on about her for ever), Djamila and Khaled. Asmahan was dancing as well, as the 'star' of the show - she was very good, definitely more cairo style than the rest. I'd better explain why I liked Seetha so much - she did an AMAZING dance with Isis wings - my new prop of choice, my jaw was just on the floor, and I wanted so much to grab her and get her to tell me all she knows about dancing. She also did a cheeky dance with two giant burlesque type fans which everyone I spoke to loved. That dance had finished and all I could think was 'who on earth is going to follow that?!' And the answer - probably the only person who possibly could - Khaled. He came on from the back, totally unexpected, and proceeded to dance among the seated audience, on chairs, getting someone else to dance from the audience as well - he's definitely the best audience-worker I've seen in the world of belly dance. Fantastic! Oh, there was another dancer I'd never seen before too - Artemisia - she was also fantastic, and great - she did a veil dance that was very atmospheric and floaty and made me wish I could do more than swish a veil from side to side. :)
My Sunday classes included Romany Gypsy with Raheesha - I learned a lot about putting emotion into the dance, and storytelling, and I was very inspired with the moves she taught us too.
The I had a class with Djamila - Surprising Effects and Movements, which was hard, but also inspiring and informative. There were a couple of moves I just could not get into my head for a while, but she taught us a lot of interesting combinations, and they're definitely worth practicing.
Then I had a class with Seetha - 1001 steps and drops. I'd been looking forward to this all day after seeing her at the hafla the day before, and she didn't disappoint. She taught us hip drop and step combinations, and we drilled them. Some of them were really hard, but she was very good at getting us to go over them and telling us if we were doing something wrong. She was very good at looking through the whole class, and showing us all the moves from different positions so we could all see.
I came away from the weekend totally inspired - and with a new costume and Isis wings! I learned so much from all the teachers I had, and I'm definitely going back next year. In fact I'm saving now so I can buy even more costumes and stuff.
Next - a post with pics and links, since I don't have time to get them all looked up and uploaded just now. And then I'll get back to knitting, I promise! :)