Jan 20, 2013

What is a Hafla?

Okay. So I have been asked several times over the past few weeks "What exactly is a Hafla?". In anticipation and excitement for my first Hafla, which was last night, I had mentioned it many many times on Facebook and in person to people. So I decided to use this entry to explain exactly what a Hafla is.

Hafla. (Pronounced "HAHF lah".) This basically refers to a party. A private hafla thrown by a belly dancer usually involves Middle Eastern music (sometimes live musicians jamming, sometimes just taped music), dancers taking turns performing for each other, and some open-floor dancing for everyone to get up and enjoy the music. A more public hafla may be effectively a full belly dance festival, with vendors selling their wares and a more formalized stage show.

It is especially good in order to provide students with a low-stakes arena in which to perform, as well as to expose them to the style of other bellydancers.

Our Hafla last night featured students and professional troupes. Prior to the Hafla, there were also workshops being offered by members of Torque. It was AMAZING! I highly recommend, even if you yourself do not dance, that you go to a Hafla at least once. It is such a beautiful artistic expression and to see how differently each person and/or troupe uses it and personalizes it is truly a sight to be seen!

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