August 1, 2010

Channeling Dalia Carella

Instead of channeling spirits from the past, apparently I have the capacity to channel live ones.  This weekend was Z-Helene and Rick Fink's 6th Annual Middle Eastern Troupe Competition and Dalia Carella was not only a guest judge but also taught several workshops.  Now I confess that I know her name and reputation but never took any classes from her and maybe watched a handful of videos of her.  I know that she is immensely talented and well respected in the dance community and that I would be foolish to miss a class with her...especially when it was less than five minutes away from my house.

What I was not prepared for, was how much I loved her class and absolutely LOVED the way she moved.  She's now on my short list for future workshops and classes.  We learned a short choreography to Ghannalli which was not only challenging, but really fun to perform.  The most surprising fact is that today, after sleeping...I remember the whole thing!  Yes, craziness!!!!   I'm great at learning choreographies and pick them up quickly, but rarely do I remember one after a workshop.  My mind only retains pieces that I like, and the rest falls away. And since I don't typically perform another dancer's choreography I never think twice about it.

However, for some reason this one stuck.  So, on a whim I downloaded the music and decided to teach it to my intermediate class tonight. Since most of them performed in the showcase last night, I knew it would be a small group and I thought this would be a treat for the dedicated ones who showed up.  And when I ran through it the first time, they all laughed.  Not because I did a bad job, but they said it was a "Najla" choreography if they had ever seen one.  And , as I broke down each move I realized that so many of them indeed were already in pieces they had learned.  All the way down to certain small kicks and hand flourishes. It was eerie in the similarities.  In fact, it was so eerie that my students had the number down in about 45 minutes (the workshop was 2.5 hours)...simply because they already knew the steps!

So, apparently I have been channeling Dalia all along and didn't realize it.  Her movements and choreography were so in tune with the way I dance that I was quite giggly tonight over that realization.  It's like finding the mother ship without even knowing that I had one.  Now, my challenge may be to finish the choreography (we only learned about a third) and then see if anyone can spot the authentic "Dalia" moves versus the "Najla" ones.  

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