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Archive for April 24th, 2006

A Peek from Backstage

Monday, April 24th, 2006

Habibi Dancers Annual Show 2006I took a lot of photos on Saturday during the show. I did not see all the dance numbers, but those I did see I photographed. My camera is neither good with moving subjects nor low-light situations, but considering those limitations I think I did OK. Here I offer you a peek from the backstage perspective.

Habibi Dancers Annual Show 2006The first photo is the only one I have of me. My friend Sally took the shot while I was dancing… just as my camera was giving up from lack of battery power and a full memory card. Thank goodness for PhotoShop, where I was able to lighten it enough for you to see actual dancers. I’m the dancer second from left, kneeling with a turquoise ponytail holder.

Habibi Dancers Annual Show 2006My dance was a candle dance, where we held brandy snifters with lit candles in them, and danced most of the dance with those as props. It was a lovely choreography and we performed it as well as we had ever done it in rehearsal. Since we were the last dance by our troupe (the last dance in the show was by the star we brought in to teach us), we were pleased to do such a good job in the actual show. Yay!

Habibi Dancers Annual Show 2006There are a lot of photos here, I hope I’ve made them small enough to load quickly but not so small that you can not see what is going on. For the record, the only photo here that was cropped at all is the first one. All the others are exactly the same view I had when I was taking the shot.

Habibi Dancers Annual Show 2006I’m sorry to say that somehow I do not have an official program so I do not know the names of the guest troupes that I show here. I will not see any Habibis for a week and a half because of my New York Trip so I will do my best to describe what I do remember…

Habibi Dancers Annual Show 2006After the candle dance photo you will see photos of two cabaret-style dances by the Habibi Dancers (my troupe, which sponsored this event/concert). Then at right you will see a photo of three of the featured student dancers, taught by our troupe leader, Yasmina Amal. My friend, Debra, is at far right in the front row, in dark red. I’ve known Debra over ten years now, we used to work together at Black Child and Family Institute. Sort of “in a previous life,” as they say. For the record, the crowd really liked this performance. They clapped along with the music during the dance. I know that made the dancers feel just great!

Habibi Dancers Annual Show 2006Following that you see the Middle Eastern Dance Ensemble (Director, Aida Al-Adawi, based not too far from Detroit). They did a traditional Saudi dance in oversized gowns called thobes (for short, they have a longer name). The dance shows off the pretty clothing and hair and jewelry of the dancers.

Habibi Dancers Annual Show 2006Next is a troupe in an Indian tradition, based near Lansing. I do not know much about this dance tradition, but I recall that it has a spiritual basis. They did a wonderful job, I loved it. (Most of the dancers were children, but they had great presence on stage and Brian found himself surprised to see their small sizes/ages when he saw them in the lobby after they danced.) Their costumes were incredible, too!

Habibi Dancers Annual Show 2006Next are two photos of a veil dance by Habibi Dancers, followed by one photo at left of a newly-formed troupe in Chicago.

Habibi Dancers Annual Show 2006Here (at right) you see the most talked-about number in the show. It would be none other than the snake charmer dance… four snakes, five dancers (one is the charmer, the others dance with snakes around their torsos/arms or loosely around the neck).

Habibi Dancers Annual Show 2006This kind of snake sees a human as a sort of tree to climb, so the dancers are in no sort of mortal risk, although any live animal is a wild card on stage as you can imagine. It went well this year. Better than could be expected, really. Notice the shadow of one of the snakes, center front in the photo.

Habibi Dancers Annual Show 2006Following the snakes would be two photos of a fan dance. There were three kinds of fans, it was a big job to put together this choreography but with a team they did just a wonderful job. It was great to watch, very eyecatching. We have never done a fan dance before so that was a nice new treat.

Habibi Dancers Annual Show 2006This shot at left is Kazna Khalil. She is a member of the Habibi Dancers but she has made a living as a dancer in Chicago for a few years now. She performed a dance in a Turkish rhythm, very difficult. She really does an amazing job playing finger cymbals while wowing the crowd with her energy. The crowd really loved her performance!

Habibi Dancers Annual Show 2006The last photo is a guest troupe dancing a traditional hula (not the kind we see most done for tourists, an older style as I recall.) I totally loved this! Not only that, it made a nice transition from dance this week to Ukulele music next week!