04-09-10

Back from Orlando!

orlando_flyer.jpgJust returned from an amazing weekend in Orlando with Aziza of Canada and Lena Helt of Sweden :) It was absolutely fantastic, I am still on my cloud, totally inspired :)

I originally heard about the event from Aziza herself at Leyla's festival in Duisburg, it was held at the Doubletree Resort in Orlando, organized by Andrea of Stellaradvantage during her birthday weekend, and thusly called 'Aziza's birthday bash'.

Aziza invites international teachers she loves to take classes from, and this year it was the fabulous Lena of Sweden.

 

Thursday - travel day

 

A failed attempt at packing light, a (very) early morning coffee in Düsseldorf airport, takeoff to Atlanta and Orlando. The meanwhile view = international clouds. I arrived just in time at the hotel to have a quick stroll in the beautiful gardens before the official 'meet and greet', where the festival teachers and international guests *waves at Nelleke and co* gathered to celebrate our birthday girl.

Friday - day one - workshops and show

A hearty hotel breakfast, just the thing to prepare for Aziza's drum solo craft workshop! It was fun and challenging at the same time, with the classic 20-minute shimmy drills plus a new spin on 'environment management' for dancers :) Lena's oriental workshop on Friday was FAST but also very musical, with a super cute melaya nod in between.

There were 2 shows at this event, one on Friday and one on Saturday. I was pretty nervous to perform there myself.. Aargh. With Aziza watching, my inspiration and dance hero. But I survived, somehow, happy there would be a second event. Did not get to catch the whole show sadly, but I did see some beautiful and incredibly innovative performances.. Karolina, Mia Sha'uri and her brother Al Hassan..  Those are definitely dancers to watch! Loved Leela's baladi, Sherena's fiery performance and the awesome Sheherazade girls. Lena did a super cute number in part 2 and Aziza was absolutely gorgeous in red.

Saturday - day two - workshops and gala show

Loved loved loved Lena's shaabi classes on Saturday, I feel I've learned so much and the choreos were a hoot. I enjoyed being able to hang out with her and Aziza for a whole weekend so much, truly great personalities and very generous people. It was a lot of fun to be able to meet some of Aziza's intensive students as well *waves at Lorena and co* and to see some great dancers from Bhuz *waves at Mahsati and others* 'live' for the first time at this event.

 

 The gala show on Saturday night was on, and my preparations for this one were a bit more.. eventful. I had brought the mirror costume with me, and while unpacking I found one of the mirrors on the skirt was missing. Panic! I found it thankfuly after some rummaging in the costume bag, then had the luminous idea of trying to fix the skirt by ironing the glue to activate it again. And lo, it WORKED! I sat there feeling super smart for a few minutes, then had the even more luminous idea to start ironing my white veil.. with that same iron. Oops. The stain did not show much on the veil in movement thankfully, but the rest of preparations were done with a shaky hand and a careful eye..


The show on Saturday was even more spectacular than the one on Friday. I had never seen Aziza dance in her white costume before, and she simply took my breath away. Lorena was beautiful, Kaitlyn was awesome, the Swedish girls rocked, the whole show was simply top notch, everyone brought their best to the table. Lena closed the evening with the Shaabi number we learned in class, and boy did she bring it! Got the birthday girl up to dance and worked the tables, joked with the emcee and danced like there's no tomorrow. We didn't want the evening to end!

Alas, good things do still end in the end, so after some winding down with a late-night snack it was time for..

Sunday - day three - workshops, goodbyes and after party

 

Aziza taught an amazing class on improvisation techniques in the morning. I have taken this workshop before in Germany and Sweden, but every time I learn something new. The concepts she touches on are great for performers as well as teachers, and the information she shares is invaluable for students of all levels. She challenged us with assignments and joined us in the fray.. after the workshop there were emotional goodbyes, as she had to leave for the airport right away.

Lena's baladi class on Sunday was super sweet. She talked a bit about the music and styles, as well as her life in Egypt as a dancer, and we learned the choreo she performed on the first night.

The classes ended in the afternoon, which meant there was some time left for relaxing in the pool (finally! lol) and a memorable afterparty with the Swedish and Hawaiian girls at Greek taverna 'Opa!'

Monday - return


Flying back from the event was hard, too many good memories to leave them behind. I was picked up by Andrea and June in the morning for our trip to the airport. We quickly said our goodbyes, I took a last airport picture (with palm trees), shopped and had more coffee, then headed off home again. Feeling very grateful, with a head full of dance and a heart full of inspiration I'm sitting here writing.. Can't wait to dance some more soon and see my dance friends again!

The End!

PS: Check out the complete picture album here: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=206460&l=1a8bd8...

PSPS: The costume coverups you see on me and Aziza in the show pictures are from Jewel of India Imports -> Bipin indjewel@bellsouth.net ;)

15:23 Gepost door Khalida in Fotos, Shows/Events | Permalink | Commentaren (0) |  Facebook |

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