Dancing cultural night away
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.
Candice Frankland performs the opening oriental dance act at the Hafla.