I’m lying here in bed, enjoying finally sleeping in for once! I don’t think I have slept in since I got here- it’s been a whirlwind of activities without much time for rest and now I feel as though I am fighting a little cold. I went to a store yesterday that looked like an herbal/natural supplement store and while everything looked interesting and potentially helpful, I couldn’t read any of it! I did communicate enough to let the person know I had a cough and am now drinking an interesting mixture of honey and unknown herbs.
I spent the last few days in heaven taking dance workshops from Ozgen and Reyhan. Ozgen, who is based out of London but is Turkish is a fabulous teacher and taught us classes on both Oriental and Turkish Romany. Reyhan is probably the most well-known and most respected teacher on Romany style dance and the combination of teachers for these workshops was ideal. Ozgen taught us the movements in great detail, really breaking the movements down, then Reyhan’s style was really to just dance in the authentic gypsy Romany was as we followed along and tried to do it. Key word here is TRY.
Turkish Romany Style dance is very difficult as most of the movements are contrary to what we are used to doing in Oriental dance. Firstly, the rhythm of the music is all 9/8, so every movement you make of your feet, hands, shoulders, hips are all accenting this irregular rhythm which takes some getting used to. Also, while Oriental dance is very balletic, Romany dance is very earthy and folkloric.
One of the key hallmarks of this style of dance is that the pelvis is constantly moving up. In Oriental dance we are used to moving the pelvis down with the focus being on down, not up. Reyhan is an absolute joy to be around and has a smile that lights up the room with her incredible joy and spirit. I’m taking a private lesson with her on Thursday- I can’t wait!
Reyhan performed for us at the end of class yesterday. If you want to learn this style she has a DVD called “Raw Roman”- I highly recommend it!