produced by Maria Cresswell of
Ribes de Freser, Catalunia, Spain
June 20-22, 2008
photos by Eulalia Grau and Janixia
text by Ling Shien Bell
the third year in a row, Maria Cresswell produced
a dance and music festival honoring the Summer
Soltice. This year's three day event took place
high up in the Catalunian Pyrenees, in a rustic
hostel fed by fresh springs and bordered by a rushing
river. Attendants and teachers came from various
parts of Europe and the languages heard were Catalan,
Spanish, Italian, French, and English. Local red
wine was poured from the beak of the porron carafe,
and the fine hispanic tradition of two to five
siesta was respected.
included were Mark Bell, Ling Shien
Bell from the
USA, Shekina Sahar from USA
and Naples Italy, Marika Ferhat from
Milan in Italy,
Les Soeurs Tribales also
from Milan, Susan
Frankovitch from the USA and Croatia,
Raksan from Berlin, Germany,
and Imanuelle from Italy.
Shekina teaching folkloric sword infront of the yurt. She is
a former resident of Grass Valley, California where she
directed the Shekina Sahar Dance Troupe.
L-R: 1?, 2- Shekina, 3-?, 4-?, 5-?, 6- Maria Cresswell
More from Shekina' sword class
Ling teaches finger cymbals, student from Bilbao in
the Basque country absorbs information. In 1991,
Mark Bell formed the group Helm, dedicated to teaching
and perfomring the musical traditons of the Middle East.
Bell teaches students- 1st ?, Madi, Xevi.
Xevi's dog sleeps through it all.
Soeurs Tribale's Fan class. From Milan,
this troupe introduced Tribal style to Italy in 2003.
is orginally from New York and now lives
in Croatia where she teaches and performs her unique
style of Tribal Fusion with a Balkan flair
Xevi (pronounced-"shevy") and Emanuele discuss drum
Malika Ferhat and
wild babe (not hers probably Shekina's).
Malika resides in Milan where she is closely
related to Les Soeurs Tribales in performing
and teaching. Their last show, "Devota," toured
Italy and was very well received.
The chapel hosted the classes and
the performance starting the evening party
Raksan from Berlin,
a contemporary Oriental dance specialist, performs
in the evening show.
performing what they learned in the Hindu Fusion class
taught by Simona Vosatkova
Liz, an anthropology
student from Catalunia, is performing her own choreography.
is well versed in the folk legends of the Dones D'aigua,
dwelling in the deep rocky pools of Catalunia
The "Shimmy-forever" class
that Malika taught.
Ines is part of the South American immigrant population of
inhabits a restored farmhouse outside of Girona where
she hosted addtional rhythm workshops
with Mark and Ling.
Maria introduced the next number in her own unpredictable
performance of Oriental
fan dance taught by Les Soeurs Tribales
Teachers and Students pose for a picture. L-R:
1- Sarah, 2-Janixia, 3-?, 4-Raksan, 5-Maria, 6-?, 7-?, 8- lady w tattoo?, 9-?,
10-?, 11-?, 12-?, 13-?, 14-?, 15-?,
front row- 1-Susan, 2-Maria's child, Danu, 3-?, 4-?, 5-Ines
The warm smile of Janixia,
a scientist from Venezuela, who joined the festival after
attending a prothesis congress in Italy. She greets
us to the second
part of the evening in the meadow.
Kaliedoscope for photo of Janixia
teaching Ling a Venezulian dance the following week.
Mark's drum class accompanies the Berber dance of Malika
dance of Malika Ferhat. The drum student experiences the
thrill of playing for an accomplished dancer.
and Ling prepare to play "Masmoudi Forever" for
Raksan showing her perfect muscle control.
a tribal dance troupe from Mallorca, performing by the
bon fire. Their name is in refernece to the small
shell found all
Vanessa of Karinae can be seen in the trio performing
the Andalucian scarf dance taught by Ling that
Witches consult over the fire.
The pace quickens and the inciraf rhythm is being replaced
by the jaima (hang out area)
Madi, Maria, ?,
Xavi, Emanuele, ?, ?, ?. ?
Grau, the photographer
of most of these pictures .
here for next year's info
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Soltice Festival, Belly Dance in Spain- Part 2, Photos
held June 23-26, 2006. Part Two- The Evening Show, Event
organized by Maria Cresswell of Tribal Girona at Sanctuari Els
Arcs, Girona, Spain. A medieval hostelry with a chapel, set in
the beautiful volcanic natural park of La Garrotxa near the picturesque
village of Santa Pau.
Soltice Festival, Belly Dance in Spain- Part 1, Photos
held June 23-26, 2006. Part One- Workshops and Setting,
Event organized by Maria Cresswell of Tribal Girona at Sanctuari
Els Arcs, Girona, Spain. A medieval hostelry with a chapel, set
in the beautiful volcanic natural park of La Garrotxa near the
picturesque village of Santa Pau.
Del Vientre by Devorah Korek Book Review by Gregory
Burke Translation by Amina Goodyear
is in Spanish. Once in a while an object of desire comes along,
which is deemed important by its obscurity. Such could be the case
with this hardcover, difficult to acquire tabletop adornment from
Devorah Korek, an American-born Belly Dance teacher living and
thriving in Spain.
Animal Magnetism, Interview with Morgana of Madrid by
seeing Morgana’s Serpent Dance, where she embodies the
personality of the serpent, I was hooked. Any snake lovers or
snake dancers will have a special appreciation for this piece.
New Musical Inroads in Spain by Mark and Ling
takes Rhythm Diatribes Workshops to Europe, series continues...
7-31-00 The Dancers of the Infidel Emperor by
Did you know
that Belly Dancers played a significant role in the life and
destiny of a great European monarch?
Peek at Making Music Videos: Hakim, Khalid Selim, Walid
Toufic, Ali el Hagar, Elam, & Samira Said by
was either crying or yelling at Hakim for most of the shoot and
went home each day with a headache from it.
- Deeper than the Moves by Keti Sharif
dancer who feels “safe”in the rhythm, footwork, technical
movement feels grounded and secure as she dances. A grounded
dancer will be less "in her head”and allow the authenticity
of feeling to come through her body as a flowing, emotive movement
that expresses the music and how she “feels”the music.
feel the music when you're on stage!”Interview
with Ozgen, Male Turkish Belly Dancer, by Nini
I think my heart still beats for big shows and productions, as
much as I know how stressful and difficult that show-life can
be. I seem to not be able to live without it.