Monday, April 25, 2011

Casino Carnivale

Monique and I performed at a great event at the Casino last week, Casino Carnivale. All week they had entertainment and special promotions. On April 16th and 17th a group of circus performers were brought in from all over the city and abroad to perform on and off for the evening. I had an awesome time meeting so many fascinating people! In bellydance land, I rarely have the chance to work with performers from different disciplines, so it was a thrill for me! So much damn talent in one room. I even got a private juggling lesson!

Monique and I (Monique's Blog here)

Caitlan and Monique (Caitlan's Blog here)

Caitlan and I, practicing my cirque skills!

Just chillin'.

Caitlan stretching

Monique before performing

Caitlan in the lobby stage

Tribally Yours 2011

This April, Monique and I were invited to teach and perform at Tribally Yours in Quebec. Our friends and fellow performers Kay and Elinor joined us for the road trip. Kay drove the whole way there and back in one shot, about 28 hours of driving total! We managed to make the drive fun with good music and photoshoots.

After settling in at our gorgeous B&B, we had a fabulous supper at a nearby restaurant, fresh salmon perfectly cooked, and handmade pasta with carmelized onions and sun-dried tomatoes. Yum! The next day we woke up early to teach our workshop, Drunken Master. Not your typical topic, this was about exploring the loose, juicy side of your dancing. Letting go of inhibitions and stiff perfectionism. However, we stressed that to really achieve the "master" part of the equation, technique needs to be so ingrained in your body that you can let go of thinking about it.

This workshop was inspired by Jackie Chan's Drunken Master, as a martial artist he gets better and better as he drinks, letting the punches flow by as he moves freely and softly around his opponant. We were also inspired by dancers like Dina and Zoe Jakes who truly "let go" when they dance, as well as Turkish Rom which frequently involves pantomimes of drinking. Our featured choreography, of which we taught some sections, has us drinking out of rhinestone flasks and loosening up as we dance.

The workshop was a blast, we started with shaking out the tension in all our body parts, then learning some funky "drunken" combos, and finally I led the girls in a Zaar-inspired ritual at the end to experience letting go of our "demons" and stress of our lives.

As students, we enjoyed Marie-Chantel's awesome Bollywood/Bellydance workshop, and Domonique Senecal's Tahitian dancing.

The performance was an amazing mix of over 30 acts. A HUGE amount of talent in this show. Monique and I performed solos as well as our Drunken Master duet. My favorite act was Marie-Chantel's infectious Bollywood to "Choli Ke Peeche" which I can't get out of my head.

Monique's awesome Hula Hoop/Bellydance/Cirque act:

My sword solo:

Drunken Master:

We spent the next night in Montreal, drinking wine and chatting with the girls. It was a great trip- we really enjoyed meeting so many talented people and seeing their creations! We were sad to go...especially sad to leave the land of fresh squeaky-cheese and easily accesible wine. Le sigh.