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Tribal Cafe and Beyond

July 28, 2009

Sometimes I need a push creatively.  Especially when it comes to dance. Tribal Cafe has always been a good place for that for me.  Tribal Cafe is DC’s monthly Tribal Fusion show that takes place every last Sunday of the month at the Asylum Bar.  It’s 3 performers at 15 minute sets, 1/2 price burgers, vegan options on the menu and a really good beer selection if you are into that.  This month was kind of special for multiple reasons. Eugenia, one of DC’s finest fusion dancers is moving to Boston for grad school and this was her final performance before the move. Also Na’la of Shakra fame was going to be performing solo which never happens. I mean the planets have to align just right for it to happen.  So taking the drive to DC for this was a no brainer for the boy and I.

Also this kind of an event does really good things for me. It remin3765530109_a55ce93c6ads me how multi-faceted the bellydance scene can be.  Also how warm and inviting it is.  A particular shining light of note is Na’la.  I’ve only just gotten to know her over the last couple of months but I must say that her energy and her desire to learn and spread that all around is truly inspiring.  She has found passion in her need to dance thanks to a sharpened focus. She has been so wonderful to speak on about such things that I find myself wanting to push further and further as far as doing things my way.

Shakra has always been a troupe that has moved to the beat of their own drum and has been inspirational for me because of it.  Na’la’s, one of the co-directors of Shakra performed solo and her energy and spirit is definitely one to watch.  her dance went from being playful and coy, to oppressed and scared to throwing punches at those that tried to hold her down artistically and in this specific case dedicated to the UK Border Patrol. 3765546133_6e37310c3dShe had it all and I could only sit and watch in awe. Expression and energy is huge for me when it comes to dance. You can have all the skill and technique in the world but if you can’t express the who’s what’s and why you are dancing what is the point? It’s just steps then.  You might as well be a robot.   Afterward her and I talked about the next step. Not just for her and her troupe but also me. Finding our creative sparks, moving forward in the face of fear and uncertainty. She is incredibly strong and free spirited and I am always happy and inspired after talking with her.

When the boy and I left to head back to our neck of the woods I was feeling much better about the direction I am taking things right now. Knowing that the fears and doubts I have about my own art is similar to the ones that those I consider mentors and inspirations have.  It’s really just a matter of rolling up the sleeves and actually doing i, which is what I did on Monday heading back into dance class.  Fighting the fears inside and just doing what was placed in front of me. Now I am working on things that are strictly mine. I am finding the creative building of this new dance piece to be more free as long as I stop thinking about what people will think of the wrapper which is my body and look at what is being expressed. I need to stop worrying about what others will think and keep moving forward on the path.

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