torsdag 29. juli 2010

My Gothla.uk experiences. Discovering tribal fusion heaven!



Picture from my class at Gothla.uk 2010. Photo by Heike Humphreys

Gothla.uk is a Fusion bellydance event in Leicester ....England..... 3 days of workshops, shows, open stage and souk. The first edition in 2007 was a real eye-opening experience for me. It was quite a discovery to see how people use the dance to do all these crazy fun stuff, without any boundaries. Her Royal Hellness Lucretia aka Christine Emery made a huge impression on me. She made things her own way. She felt like doing a zombie-bellydance, so she did. And she did it with success! I had myself started to think about how to combine my Sami background with my dancing. Given that the oriental is just the opposite of the “stiff” Sami people. In the beginning I thought it was impossible. We don’t even have a known traditional dance. Sure there was some kind of dancing, but no one knows anything about it.....

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Rosie, one of the organisers (which I was buying Afghani belts from over the internet from) mentioned Gothla.uk, and that I should come. She promised it would be well worth it, so I went. Ariellah was there, and her being one of the dancers I was mostly inspired by, I was ecstatic when I was able to do all her classes and see her live! When I came back from my first Gothla.uk I was so full of impressions and inspiration that it was quite a turning point for me. A whole new world opened up for me. Everything was possible. I had just started teaching in ....Norway..... A little ATS and some Tribal Fusion. But after Gothla.uk I only wanted to continue doing Tribal Fusion, and I wanted to do it dark. That first Gothla.uk has stayed in my mind since, I will never forget how I felt being there, it was like going to Tribal Fusion heaven!....

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The next year I unfortunately couldn’t travel to Gothla. In ....Norway.... I continued the work with bringing my Sami background into my dancing. I danced onstage on concerts with Sami artists and bands in ....Norway.... and choreographed to Sami music and tried making Sami dance costumes. ....

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The third edition of Gothla.uk in 2009 I was able to go back, and it was once again a powerful experience for me. The impressions where overflowing! Everyone, organisers, teachers and students where again just fantastic awesome people! I signed up for the open stage and was dying from my nerves. I was, like always on dancing weekend events, tired, overworked, and the body was hardly functioning from booking too many workshops… but I kept going! (will take better care of myself from now on) I danced at the open stage, could hardly breathe and was terrified by the thought that Ariellah and Morgana, two of my biggest inspirations would actually sit in front row watching me. At this time I felt I had no progression at all in my dancing, and wasn’t sure if I should continue my work with Tribal Fusion in the extend that I had been. I remember thinking: “If Ariellah says it is good, I will believe her. If she thinks it good, it has to be, and I will continue dancing and never think about stopping again”. I danced to Beats Antique- terrified, and aching, but gave everything I had. Afterwards Ariellah said, “You are that Sami artist, aren’t you?” (we had talked on myspace before, and met in class, but I never expected her to remember me amongst all the people she meets around the world.) I answered “Yes, how did you know?”, and she said something like “You showed it in your dancing. It was good!” And it was like she screwed a lightbulb on my head! Of course! I showed it in my _dancing_! Not the music and costume, but in my dancing! The piece I danced had nothing to do with Sami culture. The group Beats Antique is from ....USA...., and the moves where all known Fusion dance moves. But my expressions and the way I put together moves, and how I execute them tells everything! It’s not so much about costume and music, its all about expression! ....

I realised then that all the classes I had given, where I had been talking about expressions, feeling and focus, I was really trying to educate myself, and tell myself how to combine Tribal Fusion and Sami tradition without it being unnatural and full of clichés . Now I realised how simple it was! Dancing has a lot of acting in it. But acting is acting out a part of _yourself_. And dancing is acting out a part of yourself. Yet another turning point for me thanks to Gothla.uk.....

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After this performance I was invited to teach at Gothla.uk 2010. To be asked was really overwhelming and I couldn’t really believe it. I was so surreal. I had everything to thank Gothla.uk for. It had been my biggest source of inspiration, and now was my chance to inspire other people. I felt so lucky to be able to give something back when I had received so much. The spirit of all dancers there is so alive. Everyone is so dedicated. I haven’t experienced this spirit so strong in other dance events, and to be able to be a bigger part of it now makes me feel really privileged! ....

After my performance at the show, I couldn’t sleep at night. The only times in my life I can’t sleep is when I get new ideas and make up new projects for myself. And this time I saw clearly how my dancing would grow from this point on. I knew exactly what I should be doing to continue my Tribal Fusion road trip. This Gothla made me realise exactly what it is that I can bring to the table, what makes me the dancer I am, and how I can use it when I create. ....

My workshop “Tribal Fusionze Yourself” went really well. The dancers I talked to afterwards said they had been so inspired, and had started thinking about their own path in dancing. That is exactly what I wanted with this workshop, so it couldn’t have gone better! I am really happy now! Thank you Rosie, Heike, Bridie, Susie, and everyone else I have been in contact with at Gothla, you all make my life special! :D....

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P.S. Yes Heike, when I said I know what I wanted to do, I meant will do a forrest-fairy-troll-fusion. Heheh Its going to be awesome! ....

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