Dec 13, 04:12 PM
First of all, sincerest apologies for such a long gap inbetween blogs. It has been such a busy and eventful year, I have tried to include as much as I can and apologise prefusely if I have missed anyone or anything out!
We left off in February 2011. Commencing the weekend of 4th – 6th March, I spent this sunny weekend in beautiful Glastonbury at the Majma weekend bellydance festival. The Friday night show was so inspiring, from ATS tribal to traditional Katak and barefoot flamenco. All us RDC gals were all revved up for the weekend ahead. Out of all the workshops I attended, my favourite was Valerie Romanin. I love flamenco, and she is such a warm and inspiring teacher with her effortless and innovative style, I left wanting MORE! To end the day, I got to perform my duet with Bonita once again accompanied by the Ramzy Egyptian Orchestra, as well as our signature flamenco / egyptian piece which was lots of fun! I absolutely loved Glastonbury and left really wishing i’d gone for longer to explore the cobbled streets, boutiques and historical sites… maybe next year?
March was generally such a busy month… the following week saw David Kallo and I performing at Tribally Inspired hosted by the lovely Morai Tribal Troupe in Essex. They were such a warm and welcoming audience, which included the one and only Carolena of Fat Chance bellydance and a Phil Thornton disco! Clips from both of my performances can be found on YouTube.
The following evening, Bonita and I were guests at Brighton Orient, performing alongside Miriam and Khaled. This was the last event hosted by my good friend Mayaan, which is such a shame as Brighton Orient was one of the first Egyptian Dance events I had ever attended, and somehow just feels like home for me as a dancer.
The 2nd April was the Uckfield “Shimmy Shimmy” hafla hosted by Uska Dara. All of my dance school performed, including Zaphira doing Pac-Man (incidently being Jamilla’s first performance- a baptism of fire?!?!?) and Il Nana dancing to Aziza. This was their most difficult choreography to date and I was so proud at what they achieved, despite me nearly falling off the stage during my exit! The star of the show that night was my good friend Sabrynah, whom all of my students felt so inspired by, they are STILL asking for her to come and perform for them again!
25th June brought “Dance Queens of the Nile” back to the stage, this time at the Chequermead Theatre in East Grinstead. This gave us as the RDC the opportunity to showcase this amazing production polished, perfected, and even included a performance from Judite of Portugal – her group dance of which was stunning! It was wonderful to do it all again, and our wigs this time were so cool, I wore mine out to dinner afterwards!
16th July was Zaphira’s Sylvia’s Wedding. Set in historical Battle Abbey, it was a fabulous day, including some (slightly sloshed) performances by all the students! Congrats Sylv to you and Dave in your new life together!
The following week, honourary Zaphira member Kathleen married her childhood sweetheart in stunning romantic Sorrento. Sarah Fay, Iris and I attended, and were so glad we did. The fantastic setting and amazing ice cream (and wine)made our days fly by and we brought all our families with us. Maybe we should make troupe holidays a regular tradition?!?!?!?
Saturday 30th July – the day after we landed back from Italy, Il Nana and I were guests at Galit Mersand’s stage show. My students loved being a part of this event which was set at the Sallis Benney Theatre in Brighton. We performed our Saidi routine and I also had a solo. Despite the jetlag, and suitcase still unpacked, this was definately worth attending!
I also went to a Serena Ramzy workshop on 10th September in London and learned a choreography to “Planet Egypt” from their new album; “Egypt Unveiled”. Bonita and I loved this dance so much that we have since turned it into a duo which we can perform together! Serena’s workshops are always challenging and so much fun! I encourage any student no matter what level to learn from (in my opinion) the greatest egyptian dancer in the UK now.
On Sunday 18th September I hosted an Egyptian Fusion workshop to “Lirrili” which I performed later in the Year at the Sea Gypsies Hafla. There was a good turn out, and I am hoping to teach these workshops bi-monthly in the very near future!
Hilde hosted a Tribal show in Brighton on Friday 23rd September. I attended with some students to support, and this was hands down my favourite night of the year. All of Hilde’s students were a credit to her, clean, creative and innovative. Sam Emmanuel never fails to disappoint, (I was just gutted that her workshops sold out so i couldn’t go, even though my student got in!!!) There were so many amazing performances, I was saddened to hear there was no recording of the event, because as soon as it was over, I wanted to see it all again! I will definately be attending her next show.
On Sunday 25th September, David and I performed at London’s Silk Route once again. Probably my favourite London Showcase Venue, our dance was warmly received and we came off stage buzzing! The line up was all tribal-inspired performers, and was found to be really enjoyable for all those who attended.
On Sunday 13th November I hosted a drum solo workshop in Hailsham. This was a tough class to teach due to the sheer aerobics of dancing to a drum solo over and over again for 2 hours! We all worked up a sweat, and I was informed by a few of the students who attended that this was their first ever experience of learning to dance to drums, so I was honoured to be their first experience, and I hope they all found it informative and helpful.
Saturday 19th November, I performed alongside the Ramzy Dance Company in Derby. Another place that I had never seen; it was a shame that work had not allowed me to stay a little longer to explore. Our talented host made us feel welcome and her students, (some of which had never performed before) were polished and confident in their veil dance from Hossam Ramzy’s ‘Ruby’. I had costume envy from a Spanish dancer in a beautiful green and crystal costume and had to remind myself that I DON’T need a new one!
Thursday 24th November, I performed at London’s Planet Egypt in a sold out show where Galit was the star. I danced ‘Diamond in the Rough’, I love the romantic nature of the music and every presentation at Planet Egypt is always received positively. David and I also aired a brand new peice, one which I hope we can develop further for our next venture together!
Saturday 3rd December – The Sea Gypsies Hafla “Viva La Dance” was a long awaited event by local teacher Alison who had not staged a show for 2 years. Opening with an Elvis-inspired / Las Vegas theme, the dancers were clearly enjoying themselves as did we! Zaphira performed 2 peices which was their debut airing in front of an audience! Unfortunately Tina had been signed off work so was unable to dance with us, which meant re-arranging the choreographies, but I think we just about managed it blag our way through for the night!
Saturday 10th December – Our mega mini Christmas hafla took place at my house! This was to replace a fundraiser by local teacher Joyce who had to postpone her event, therefore we used this as an opportunity for some food and dancing around Christmas time! I had 20 students attend and perform in my living room, surrounded my cushions, incense and twinkling fairy lights! It was a lovely evening, and could be an idea for future Christmasses?!?!!?
So, what is coming up in 2012?…..RDC’s Helen is getting married on the 7th January, and of course we will be there for support, shed a few tears, and perform for her guests.
Egyptian Nights III date and venue has been confirmed for Easter Saturday. See News page for further details. Only 15 rehearsals left by the way! Tickets will be on sale from early January.
Wow! I think that is just about it…Last class for the year is tomorrow night..Merry Christmas one and all! First class of 2012 will be on 11th Jan, so i will see you all then, lots of love and happy dancing! xxxx
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