Bellyfusions 2013

My weekend at Festival Belly Fusions in Paris

Belly Fusions was my first international gig of 2013 and I was delighted to be performing in the New Talents Show in the beautiful Theatre de Menilmontant.

I left a snowy London on the Eurostar from kings Cross and after a quick passport check before I new it I was on the train Paris bound.

I should have had time to check into my hotel first but the train was a little delayed with snow now in northern France too and by the time I had queued for a taxi I realised I needed to go straight to the theatre to make my tech rehearsal slot.

Belly fusions is a great event that has been going for several years and celebrates all things fusion and theatrical in belly dance so it is a great opportunity to dance pieces that express this. having decided upon dancing my Woman in Black performance (a piece based on the classic English ghost story), my lighting and staging would be really important and I knew I needed to make this rehearsal so straight to the theatre it was.

On arrival I managed to find my way backstage, dumped my case, threw off my coat and ran up the stairs, making it just in time for rehearsal. Now that’s timing! With no time to change, in my jeans and t-shirt I had to do it. Ah well I thought, if I can do it in character like this I can do it on the night.

Tech done, I was off to find my hotel and with a quick sandwich, a bit of unpacking and hair done it was time to get back to the theatre.

Backstage had a really good vibe, everyone was really chilled and friendly and I met some great dancers backstage who I managed to hang out with for the rest of the weekend, lucky me :)

This was it, it was now my turn to go on stage and I was ready for it. Focused, I was the Woman in Black and away I went! I really enjoyed dancing my piece and the French audience was very receptive when I was finished. Job done and it was worth all the travel and preparation. Walking back to my hotel the snow had really started to come down and boy it did not stop all weekend but it was very beautiful and did not stop us die hard belly dancers from getting the most out of our weekend.

As is often the way I didn’t get to see the other performers but the show was filmed and I can’t wait to see them all when the videos come out on the Belly Fusions YouTube channel.

Friday done and the rest of the weekend was mine to enjoy taking workshops with Alchamy Dance theatre, Crystal Silmi, Mirjum Sutter and Anasma, and although I missed out on Aepril Schailes workshops that had sold out it was great to see my friend Aepril again who I met last year when hosting her for Dark Britannia 2012

Bellyfusions_2013_photo@janesutherlanMG_9101The Saturday night show was exceptional as it is so diverse and exciting and one thing you are guaranteed of is a true fusion of belly dance with no artist being the same in styles. it was very inspiring to see the possibility of what you can do through dance.

Every artists routine in the show was polished and well thought out but my particular highlights had to be, Anasma and Pete List who were so great together i didn’t want them to leave the stage, Crystal Silmi for her sheer energy and the ability to work a crowd, Aepril Schaile who is a fearless artist and walks on stage like a goddess! and Mirjam Sutter as I have never seen anyone finish a piece by diving in the air, landing on the floor and rolling off the stage into the wings, that was quite an ending! And finally the Smoky Eyes with there exciting and creative interpretation on the 4 seasons.

With fantastic shows and workshops Belly Fusions really is a great event and opportunity for dancers of all kinds to experience a diverse weekend of training to help dancers develop their style and artistic abilities.

For dancers based in the UK Belly Fusions is easy to get too with a little over 2 hours from Kings Cross to Gare Du Nord so London Based dancers there is no excuses, get out there for Belly Fusions 2014 and broaden yourself as an artist and make a few new friends on the way :)

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