My new year has started in the Far East. I’m just back from a very interesting trip to Hong Kong, Macau and Guangzhou, China. Three totally different cities in which I could find something familiar all the time.
In Hong Kong it was the cosmopolitan atmosphere to make things easy; in Macau it was the Portuguese heritage to make me feel home; in Guangzhou it was the the tribal bellydance community to warm my heart.
How could this happen?
Almost ten years ago I sent a message in a bottle. I wanted to enlarge my horizons and collaborate building new tribal communities around the world. A dancer from the other side of the world caught my message and we started a delicate dance friendship which is growing up during all these years. Gods were on my side because Ally Chen is just adorable. My first trip to China is now ending and I don’t have words enough to say how warmed and happy I feel. Thank you Ally, I’m so grateful.
# HONG KONG
The city holds the Past and the Present, the Eastern and the Western life styles mixed together and this is very pleasant to see and to live in. Also, in Hong Kong I could meet some friends who live there - the dance star Olga Meos from Kazakstan and my dearest Barbara, friends since school times in Brazil.
Crazy city halfway between decadence and futurism. It is very poetical, delicate and violent at the same time as all Portuguese colonial cities. China is treating it well with lots of money and a very bad architectural taste, mix of Bollywood and Las Vegas. My partner Claudio was there and made this part of my trip romantic as well.
In Guangzhou I finally met the real China, with all its contrasts, its smells, its big population and interesting ways of living. I might be wrong but everything looked so similar to any big city in Brazil… I felt quite like home.
My 5 days American Tribal Style® Bellydance Intensive was a wonderful experience. Only two dancers in the group were already familiar to tribal (Ally Chen and the lovely Ann Wang who made all her way from Shanghai to attend). The others came from different styles of oriental dance. But at the end everybody was in love with ATS® and I’m sure that a new dance community is up to grow there: I couldn't be more satisfied.
On January 7th we had the Hafla-Show in a quite new, high-tech stage called Music Factory in Guangzhou South. Many dancers and tribes joined from different cities. My solo performance with the basket was a tribute to our dance style - my personal way to send good vibrations to my students, dance partners and teachers.There was also improvisation time with many enthusiastic local dancers. Official photos and video coming soon.
Notes to my China students
As promised during workshops in Guangzhou, find here some advices to improve your knowledge:
✓Music: check the band Helm, almost everything they do is good for ATS®.
✓Online instruction: Carolena Nericcio-Bohlman's classes on Powhow.com are the best way to practice ATS® at distance. I really like and recommend it!
✓Book: download here the e-book American Tribal Style® Classic Vol. 1.
✓ Playlist: see below and enjoy all titles we used during the ATS® Intensive in China.
Keep dancing and feel free to contact me for any questions you may have!
Next week I'll be traveling to Kansas City, Missouri, USA, to join my dance partners Gudrun Herold and Philippa Moirai of the ATS® Sisters Collective. We will teach a workshop and perform at ATS® Reunion. It will be a global ATS® bellydance conference, I can't wait to be there! If you wish to receive the newsletters from the ATS® Sisters Collective please subscribe to our mailing list here.
I hope you are all very well and enjoying life. I feel always happy to receive answers, questions, comments and criticisms.
Sending love to my family, friends and students worldwide!