Raks By The Sea 2018. Dance and Rejuvenation
- By alisa87
- On 05/05/2018
Today I am happy to share with you my recent dance experience at Raks By The Sea Festival which took place in Bali, Indonesia, 27-29 April 2018. The event was organised by the beautiful dancers Christine Yaven (Indonesia), Darren Ho (Singapore), Brancy Teo and Sherlyn Koh-Shum (Malaysia). The invited international guest teacher was Yasmina Of Cairo, the dancer with over 25 years experience in teaching and performing belly dance in Egypt and abroad.
The three-day festival had a regular structure: dance workshops by regional and international teachers, bazaar, competition and gala show. However the vibe of the event was special! Everyone was friendly, easy-going and relaxed, and there was no tension between participants whatsoever!
Yasmina’s workshops and performance were the highlight of the festival. I have learned a lot, but probably not in terms of technique and choreography. She’s got that perfect balance of being grounded and light at the same time along with very powerful feminine energy. Yasmina generously shared her signature combinations, breaking down the moves till everyone got it right. Her presence and connection to the audience is very strong and nourishing. Her inner stillness and calmness were mesmerising. I couldn’t take my eyes of her during her 2 sets at the gala show, and they were around 15 min each!
I have participated and won in the solo professional category of the competition. I normally don’t like the idea of comparing myself to other dancers, as I feel it limits my self-expression. Our personalities and bodies are different as well as our vision of the dance. We are all unique and come in one sample therefore can’t possibly be compared. Yet, competition is a great motivation to pull your energy together and practice to feel comfortable on the stage in front of the dance community. Another important bonus is you get to ask the judges feedback about your performance, how you can improve as a dancer whether there were any mistakes in terms of cultural presentation and so on. Nowadays, competition industry is huge all over the world and there is tremendous amount of pressure on dancers to be better than others. Sometimes in order to stand out dancers really push boundaries and there is a lot of misunderstanding and misinterpretation in the Middle Eastern dance, especially when it comes to folklore. Having your own style is important, however it’s essential to have respect to the culture you represent when you perform belly dance.
Anyway, this trip was very special to me due to I got to share the stage with my mother! She has been dancing for over 45 years, yet, was performing at a belly dance competition for the very first time in her life! We have composed a duo choreography and it was incredible experience for both of us! Since we live on a different continents we used Skype and other technologies to rehearse our performance. We arrived to Bali 3 days in advance and spend 3 hours a day practicing. They say happiness is the journey not the destination. I agree with it 100%! We had so much fun preparing our costumes and the number that when we met everything came together harmoniously and joyfully
Photo Credi: Idol Hunter, Malaysia
In the end I would like to thank the organisers for putting together such a wonderful event where everyone was able to learn and perform in a friendly environment, rejuvenate in local SPAs, soak in the beautiful Balinese Sun! Please note, Raks By The Sea 2019 is bringing in a very special guest Jillina Carlano from Bellydance Evolution (https://bellydanceevolution.com) and we can’t wait to join them!
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