It doesn't seem long since the Cardigan Belly Dance Festival in August - well, it has only been two months. All of a sudden, Lampeter World Dance was upon us and I was in full cat-herding mode again.
Autumn is well and truly here; there has been an outbreak of horrible colds and dancers have been dropping like flies. Two pieces were cut from the running order in the 36 hours before the show. The main problem with the running order was to ensure variation in the
style of dances whilst giving dancers who were in more than one piece
enough time to change and catch their breath. With a bit of jiggling, it seemed okay. Luckily, there were no special requirements for lighting, the music was run from a few CDs, and we had a set of technicians who knew what they were doing to look after that side of things. I printed several copies of the running order, but it seemed to me that everyone wanted one and I ended up without one! Note to self, print enough copies next time so that every group gets one, plus one for each dressing room door.
Also creating problems was the Friday night show slot. It's fine for anyone living locally, but a bit of a scramble for people having to come after work and travel, since Friday night traffic can also be a problem. So it was wonderful that we managed to get Zara's Zouk up from London again, this time without Zara who was submitting her PhD thesis, and especially impressive that our star dancer and workshops teacher Tracey Jones managed to get to Lampeter all the way from Wiltshire, whisking her daughter away from school and depositing her with her grandmother on the way. Mind you, Tracey Jones is impressive and inspirational; you can read about her story here.
This year, India Dance Wales joined the show with short piece of Bharatanatyam Indian classical dance. The three young dancers were utterly enchanting. One of them is the daughter of someone I used to dance with in Carmarthen, several years ago. She was there with husband, another daughter, and her mother and father. I had only met her mother once, although we have mutual friends, but she recognised me and we had a lovely chat in the interval. My friend Wendy teaches ATS® in Lampeter and danced a slow duet as well as fast pieces with the whole tribe. Thalatha provided drum solo to live drumming and joined Tribal Unity for an impromptu post-show jam (which I was too busy chatting to join!). Rose and her dancers gave some of their pieces another airing, and two of her older dancers did an Isis wings duet, with the husband of one of them singing 'Music of the Night' to a backing track. He has a great voice, hitting the high notes (A4, I think?) with a resonance which made my spine tingle. There were other solos and duets, including a Chinese dance. A pair of dancers came down all the way from Corris again, and gave an unintended lesson on how to manage a costume malfunction during their belly dance duet. They have no teacher and dance a sort of generic belly dance which would probably upset the purists, but they dance from the heart and their joy in dance is palpable and infectious.
I received some lovely comments about my Zeibekiko piece, which was nice after all the time I spent researching and rehearsing. I was disappointed when I watched my video; plenty of room for improvement and the lighting reduced me to a fuzzy bluish blob. Oh well, the only way to get better is to keep dancing!