Belly dancing party in the city
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.