May 21, 2011

Dragon Boats

For the 2nd year running, Ashnah danced at the Abingdon Dragon Boat event, and in all the 3 years we've been together this was the first time we were confronted with chilly damp weather - what a shock to the system brrrrr!!

For 30 minutes we danced a variety of our numbers - a lively one with zills, next a slow and senuous one, a solo from Rita, a stick dance and the finale ended an improvised piece. It's very difficult to dance along by the riverbank as the curse of the long grass dragged at our long skirts causing us to trip as well as the unsure footing in ruts and over bumps making spinning hazardous. Nonetheless, beer, burgers and ice-cream went down well and we all thoroughly had a brilliant time at this fabulous event.

......... wonder if I can fit my lawn mower in the car for next year ..... ?

May 19, 2011

OMEDS Spring Hafla 2011

The wonderful OMEDS hafla delighted us yet again - such wonderful dancing by many fabulous dancers - what a vast variety to keep many a spectator entertained!! Ashnah dancers Jen, Hannah, Agne and myself (minus Rita and Pips who were attending a wedding) donned our new uniform of striped skirts and headed on into Oxford to perform an ATS improvised number. It's very difficult hiding a tribal costume until appearing on stage - 4 or 5 layers of clothing consisting of pantaloons, two 17 yard full skirts, tribal belt and/or shawl too with flowers and tassles complete with tucking the 2 skirts up into the waistband - all topped off with a tribal coat over the top, we often resemble something out of a Dickens novel with hooped skirts!!!

The talented photographer Agata Lucka-Ahmed was again on hand snapping away at all the dancers, creating stunning photo's. Check out her website!!

The rain washed down that evening, but it didn't dampen anyone's spirits at the fabulous hafla.

May 08, 2011

Variety Show, St Helen & St Katherine School

Ashnah were invited to take part in a most worthy cause - a show in aid of Against Breast Cancer and Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals Charitable Funds. The wonderful Variety Show took part in St Helen & St Katherine school theatre on a most humid, sultry evening, which proved extremely difficult for those wearing layers of costume!!! The show consisted of wonderful acts - a singer, comedy, magician, pianist, flute player whilst we opened the show and also our 2nd number closed the show at the end.

In between acts, we waited behind the scenes, nibbling on snacks, drinking plenty of fluids on this hot evening and amused ourselves trying different accessories we stumbled upon in the prop box - numerous styled hats, face masks with various hilarious expressions, ghosts, a coffin (mmm), rabbit's ears and even the pantomime horse complete with 'human legs' got a look in too. We did draw the line when someone came across a blow up sumo wrestler though .........

Enjoy the pictures!!

Planet Egypt, London

Ashnah's most major and anticipated bellydance event came upon us on the 28th April, and after setting off to London by coach we checked into our hotel, re-boosted our flagging energies with the most delicious pizzas at a local Italian, then proceeded to pamper and preen ourselves in preparation for the night. With much amusement to the taxi driver having 4 costumed ladies in his cab we duly arrived at our venue, Darbuka. By the time Ashnah's performance was up, our costumes had generated so much interest that they got a mention in our announcement!! Our 'sassy chicks' dance performance went across beautifully and left us all buzzing!! A few numbers later (and after what was for me a quick change), my solo was up. As usual, good vibrant music had the audience on side cheering and clapping. It all went well and was certainly an experience not to be missed, culminating in our hostess paying us the best compliment by inviting us back.

The day after our performance, still in London, we took in the wonderful atmosphere of the Royal Wedding celebrations with many other like minded people, cheering at a huge TV screen we happened upon in a bar in Victoria. People were sitting on the floor, bar stools, standing in doorways, craning to see 'that kiss' on the balcony, and rushing outside to the fly past on the planes.

Truly a wonderful 2 days!!

International Day of Dance 2011

Abingdon Town Council hosted the local International Day of Dance and showcased a rather varied and eclectic programme. On show this year were Indian, Thai, Swing, Scottish, Irish and Balkan dancing, and of course Abingdon's own Ashnah performers. The event was compered by the inimitable Town Crier John, and none of it would have been possible without the sun coming out to play and bringing along a nice big crowd.

picture courtesy of This Abingdon blog