So, before yet more stuff happens to us, I should try to play a bit of catch up. Don’t know when I will finish the description of our little vacation last month, but I hope to eventually.

This last weekend was MEDANZ (Middle Eastern Dance Association of New Zealand). They held their yearly event in Wellington again, which was very convenient for us. Next year it is in Timaru, so we probably won’t be going. Tam managed to get her paperwork in early this year, and thus made it into all the workshops she wanted to (last year she was late, and all the cool ones were full).

Saturday night was the “Yalla!” show, nearly 3 hours of bellydance by troupes from all over NZ, plus some guest dancers from Australia. I used to find lenghty bellydance shows a bit boring. Once I took some lessons it helped, as I knew what I was looking at and could appreciate when a dancer was doing something very tricky. (Often some of the most challenging moves look rather small and simple from the audience’s perspective.) But even so, 15 cabaret performances in a row can get rather dull and homogeneous.

Not a problem with this years show. If anything the theme could be described as: “Bellydance, it’s not what you think”

– a tribal group dancing to “Du Haast” by Ramstein. Cool and Gothic
– a tribal group called “Kiwi Iwi” doing a combination of bellydance and Maori dance. Tribal with poi! The danced to music by Ociania. (Iwi means tribe in Maori, for our overseas readers)
There was a group that did a Beegees number, while cute and amusing it was not as out-there and original as the previous pieces.
-Beverly (our teacher) led a big group piece called “feeling zilly”, where the dozen people on stage provided all their own music with zills and body percussion. Very neat and enrgetic choreography!

The result was a very fun show. The cabaret pieces became much more involving when mixed into such a heterogenous show. The two Autralian dancers were fantastic, though one had a slight “wardrobe malfucntion” which nearly resulting in her top popping off half way through her number! She managed to get everything reassembled smoothly and subtly while continuing her number. Very profession. And the final number by Sahara (a young Lebanese dancer from Sydney) was so hyper-enegeretic… well, let’s just say that if we could hook up power leads to her, she could power a small city.

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