Sunday, February 27, 2005
Shimmy South With Aziza
The first part of this weekend was totally involved with bellydancing. Friday night, after getting the thumbs up from the physical therapist (they have released me to every other week appointments now, and have placed an insert into my right biking shoe), I attended the opening hafla which hailed the arrival of Shimmy South with Aziza. My class performed a karsilima choreography, featuring solos and duos by roughly half the class (not my half, as I prefer at this stage in my dancing to still remain in the background). I was quite nervous as I had not really had much time rehearsing this particular choreography, but I trust that it went okay. Guess I'll find out for sure once the video is out! Then Saturday morning I attended the first half of the workshop taught by Aziza. What a personable and engaging instructor - she has the most amazing smile! Of course, after she had us shimmy for 21 straight minutes, I was beginning to wonder exactly what I had gotten myself into.....I made the decision to head back home after the first half of the workshop for a couple of reasons, not the least of which was to give my poor knee some rest. Also, as we were performing as background dancers for one of the professional troupes at Saturday night's performance, I felt more comfortable having more time to dress and prepare. We arrived back at the fairgrounds early at the request of the troupe in order to run through the choreograpy a couple of more times before performing. Finally, 7:30 arrived - showtime! The 15 of us who were the "caftan ladies" comprising the backdrop for the Belly Revelations troupe zilled and shimmied our way through the audience and up onto the stage. It was surprisingly exciting performing at a "real" show with an elevated stage (before I had only performed at student and more informal haflas). Of course, I won't deny that I was happy to just be one of the, as Jamie put it, "DooWap gals", and let the focus of the audience's attention remain on the primary troupe performing in front of us! And I have to admit that dancing to live drummers has a palpable life to it that no CD can mimic. I was glad to have gone on first, because that meant that for the remainder of the show, I could return to my front row seat to soak in and enjoy all the other performances, and there were some outstanding ones. One performance that comes to mind as particularly spellbinding was performed by the young Sarah of Blue Moon Bellydance, who performed an outstanding Tribal style scimitar solo using a live bladed (SHARP!) scimitar. She thrilled us with the most amazing flat backbends and spins, all while balancing the blade on her turban. I was totally mesmerized. And needless to say, Aziza dazzled us with three incredible cabaret performances, including the drum solo she taught during the workshop, earning herself a well deserved standing ovation. After gathering around to have the obligatory "performer photographs" taken, it was time to head home. I think I may sleep in tomorrow!