Danc­ing cul­tural night away

The Tribune (NZ) - - COMMUNITY COOKBOOK - GE­OR­GIA FORRESTER

The glit­ter and glam of beaded cos­tumes shone un­der stage lights as the Mid Win­ter Hafla re­turned to Palmer­ston North.

Pro­fes­sional Auck­land-based ori­en­tal dancer Candice Fran­k­land, 31, opened the Mid­dle Eastern hafla show­case at the Re­gent on Broad­way on Satur­day night.

A hafla is the Arab equiv­a­lent of a Celtic ceilidh, a party show­case of dance styles, cos­tumes and tra­di­tional and con­tem­po­rary mu­sic.

Along­side about 80 dancers, Fran­k­land per­formed an ori­en­tal fu­sion dance in a beaded pea­cock cos­tume.

She said belly danc­ing per­for­mances ranged from tra­di­tional folk to mod­ern dance, but all dance show­cased the beauty of the Mid­dle Eastern cul­ture.

‘‘Eskan­derani is a tra­di­tional dance taken from Alexandria. It’s in­spired by the sway­ing move­ments of women wear­ing a melay lef [shawl].’’

Fran­k­land said it was a beau­ti­ful dance and the hafla was a great way to share the cul­tural dance with the Palmer­ston North com­mu­nity.

Anoushka Treur, from Hip­no­tize, pre­vi­ously said the hafla show­case started 11 years ago in Ha­likar­nas on Fitzher­bert Ave, and grew from there.

‘‘Ev­ery year we out-do our­selves. This year we have out­stand­ing in­ter­na­tional artists, Candice Fran­k­land and The Ruby Lady.’’

About 80 dancers, in­clud­ing one man, took cen­tre stage at the Re­gent on Broad­way on Satur­day night. In­ter­na­tional per­former Mirian Caber­lon from Brazil, who is now a Welling­ton-based belly-dance tu­tor and per­former, also per­formed. As did Aar­a­lyn from the Christchurch Trib­alDiva Belly Dance Com­pany, and Palmer­ston North’s Manawataki Drum­mers and lo­cal belly-dance troupe Al Raja.

Work­shops took place on Fri­day and Satur­day to give peo­ple the chance to see the skills and work be­hind the cos­tum­ing, drumming, and dif­fer­ent styles of dance and pos­ture.

Fran­k­land said belly danc­ing was a fun, em­pow­er­ing dance.

PHOTO: WAR­WICK SMITH/FAIR­FAX NZ

Candice Fran­k­land per­forms the open­ing ori­en­tal dance act at the Hafla.

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