Belly danc­ing party in the city

The Tribune (NZ) - - ENJOY -

Mid­dle Eastern dancers from around New Zealand are hold­ing a party in Palmer­ston North next month.

It’s called a Hafla and about 80 dancers and ex­po­nents are com­ing to the city over the week­end of July 8 and 9 to hold their unique Mid Eastern Dance Event.

Hafla is an Ara­bic word for party and it pro­vides an op­por­tu­nity for belly dancers na­tion­wide to show­case their ta­lent.

The event is or­gan­ised by ex­pe­ri­enced teacher and per­former Anoushka Treur and a team of six ded­i­cated women. It will cul­mi­nate in the MidWinter Hafla at the Re­gent on Broad­way on Satur­day July 8.

This event will show­case a range of Mid­dle Eastern dance styles from folk­loric to the pop­u­lar con­tem­po­rary, per­formed by begin­ners through to sea­soned pro­fes­sion­als.

‘‘Sev­eral of the teach­ers and per­form­ers have danced pro­fes­sion­ally over­seas and are con­sid­ered among the most suc­cess­ful in New Zealand,’’ Anoushka says. ‘‘The dances are deeply spir­i­tual and of­ten tell a story. They’re a mov­ing ta­pes­try with the story in­ter­pret­ing the mu­sic. The sto­ries are about love, loss, heartache and joy, filled with heart­felt emo­tion.’’

Anoushka knew about Mid­dle Eastern danc­ing from a young age. Her mother brought belly danc­ing to the Manawatu and taught Anoushka from her teenage years. Now she’s one of the most ac­com­plished teach­ers and ex­po­nents in the re­gion, di­rect­ing her Hip­no­tize Belly Dance PN in both the city and Feild­ing.

Anoushka ex­plains that, while the belly does a lot of work, there’s an equal amount of sup­ple move­ment go­ing on from the rest of the body.

‘‘Many women are at­tracted to it be­cause it’s ac­ces­si­ble to all age groups and abil­i­ties. It also in­spires con­fi­dence and ca­ma­raderie for peo­ple,’’ she ex­plains.

‘‘It builds you from your soul and gives you great sat­is­fac­tion and a sense of achieve­ment.’’

All per­form­ers will be dressed in a va­ri­ety of cos­tumes from tra­di­tional to con­tem­po­rary, pro­vid­ing a great spec­ta­cle for the au­di­ence.

‘‘They’ll love the colour­ful cos­tumes, sto­ries and move­ment of in­di­vid­u­als and dance groups,’’ Anoushka says.

‘‘I want to de­velop Palmer­ston North as a great lo­ca­tion and venue to host such events.’’

In ad­di­tion to the per­for­mance, work­shops will be run at the Re­gent from 9am Satur­day through to Sun­day af­ter­noon and the public is wel­come to at­tend. A free work­shop, part tech­nique and part lec­ture, is sched­uled for the public on Sun­day July 9 at 10am which will give an over­view of the var­i­ous cur­rently pop­u­lar styles of belly dance around the world.

Mirian Caber­lon, star belly dance per­former and teacher.

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