For this fourth of July, I headed over to the shire of Arenal for their 30th year anniversary and Arabian Knights. It was about a 3 hour drive. But it passed fairly quickly. I thought that getting there by 5 would guarantee me a space inside, but it wasn't cabins-- it was a large open space with some spare room at the back of it for people to set up in. So I was fortunate to have brought my tent with me and get it set up in the grass out back. It didn't take long (: It's a really easy tent to set up. And when I checked in at troll, they had the most AWESOME site tokens! I'll have to load up a picture of it (: They have a metal worker who cast them out of lead-- it's based on a period Mongolian Travel Visa-- without one, a person traveling through mongolian lands could expect to be decapitated (:
I got to meet a couple of new people-- Rolando and his wife (...whose name is escaping me, but I can tell you that like me, she plays a Rom (: And her persona is late period.). She's been drumming and dancing for the last 2 years. He's been drumming and dancing for the last 10! I -finally- FINALLY!!! got a chance to sit down with an advanced drummer and ask questions! (:
He showed me finger rolls-- I learned I've been cupping my fingers where they should be flat-- flat is faster and the sound is crisper. The same is true for my teks and my kas. And they showed me two different kinds of finger rolls-- and I -finally- begin to understand how you start to put them into the music! The also showed me pops. Snaps. And a couple of other new tricks I'm going to have to practice before I can actually use them (: It was SO much fun!!! Then, just before going to bed, I got to take a Chinese Dance class. Kira is, by far, the BEST SCA middle eastern Dance instructor I've had! I -loved- the moves.
In the morning, I took two more of her classes, got to try out my new fans (:
(to give you some idea of what we discussed/ practiced!)
I made them on Friday. I _LOVE_ them!!!! Looking forward to playing with them at the next bellydance class for the shire, and making a couple of other ones made with silk (: These are still good, considering it cost me a grand total of $7 to make them (: (Thanks to ebates. Otherwise, it would only have cost $17. From what one of the ladies told me that night, I should be able to get silk from Hancocks for about $3 per yard, so it'll only cost me about $25 to make them out of silk!)
(what I aspire to)
I also took a class from Petite Jamilla. Oh My Goodness! There's a reason this young woman is part of the Bellydance Superstars! She can DANCE! She's also lovely, with a lovely personality. I took a 2 hour class from her-- LOL-- there were several occassions that if I was working with her with a tape doing this, I would have stopped for a break (: That's one of the great things about a live teacher-- you CAN'T pause (: It was so much fun! And I learned that doing the moves SLOWLY, works into the concepts of Tai Chi-- requiring greater muscle concentration and strength. You really feel the motions and can completely isolate it to figure out which muscle you should be using.
Lunch was good, if simple-- I supplimented it with olives, peppers, cheese, crackers and grapes (: Then went back for the yurt making class. It was mostly a hand out on images of when they made their yurts. But I got to see a couple of really cools yurts, in person, from the inside. And THAT gave me a lot of ideas on how to take what I've seen online for practical application (:
Then I got to drum with my friend Fiona at her stall.
Yes! There were some REALLY good merchants at this event (: I even did some shopping-- found some turkish coffee cups and a perfect tray for them (now I just need to find a turkey coffee maker that is NOT brass!-- that is one thing I will NOT buy at an SCA event from a merchant-- metal drinking vessels. They don't always know if it's potable. And they sometimes guess that because it's a drinking vessel it must be. That's not always true! And I'm not interested in metal poisoning!) I also got some presents for Mark and the boys, since they stayed at home for this weekend. (: This was -my- vacation. Anyway, back to drumming with Fiona (: So we started drumming at the back of her merchanting booth--and the next thing you know, we had an impromptu drumming circle going on with 8-10 drummers (: It turned into a practical middle eastern band when Fiona started playing her flute and another gentleman brought back this viper rattle and a tambourine (: Then, one of the ladies there brought a couple of other noise makers and some finger cymbals. It ROCKED!.... Hmmm....I guess that would be more appropriate to say "It RAQed!" (;
Then, before I knew it, it was time for feast! Oh my goodness! It was -delicious- from the first course with mongolian pancakes, to the cake for celebrating Arenal's 30th year. It was wonderful! And practically for every course, there was a performance by belly dancers. There were SO many styles represented! (I'm including youtubes--to represent the styles of dance, not the actual performances I saw though.)
The first woman did cabaret with zills.
Then two women did a bit of Tribal fusion.
The next four women sword danced.
The woman after that did Andalusian (which was truly beautiful and stunning to watch!).
And the two final performances were by Petite Jamilla-- the first was her double veil dance-- Oh man! It was like watching a flower move! And her second was classic Egyptian style dancing, complete with the heels! LOL-- I may not be able to DO it, but I can at least recognize the different styles when I see them (:
(This is a youtube of Petite Jamilla)
Because it had rained heavy, if briefly, earlier in the day, and my tent failed the rain test, my bedding was completely soaked and there was no way on earth I was going to be able to sleep out in it over the night, so I had packed it up before drumming with Fiona. So I only stayed for about 40 minutes of the drumming and bellydance party before I needed to leave to make the 3 hour drive home. All in all, I missed my guys, but I had a great time (: I really do enjoy the middle eastern SCA events!