How the dancer lost her mojo, and found it again…


Once upon a time there was a dancer who lost her mojo. That meant that she had no enthusiasm to dance and no lust for costuming or music. This dancer just wanted to curl up and watch Sex and the City until it came out of her ears. That dancer was me!

Notice how I used “was”? That dancer is no longer me. Just when I was beginning to despair and update my Facebook status about it, it all came back to me. I’m cured!

I wasn’t sure whether it was the end of year blues, the fact that I’ve just spent this year prepping for performances or if the state of belly dance was just tiring me out. Whatever it was, it had made me uber depressed and rather unhappy. I think that it was because we had our show at the beginning of the year, which was a really big deal and we had a lot to work towards and we spent the whole of the first term prepping for the show, and then the rest of the year we’ve been preparing for the International Oriental Festival (which would get its own blog post, but there’s not much to report). Preparing for dances is great and it’s always nice to learn new choreography, but I feel like I need to learn something NEW. I have so much on my list of “things to learn” and I’m not covering any of them, really.

But there is always a light at the end of the tunnel, my light was called Balkanology.

A couple of weeks ago, Paula got hold of Leoni and myself to ask if we’d like to go to an event with her. This event was Balkanology. I’d heard about it via Facebook and some people that I am connected with, but never really thought more about it or looked into it at all. Paula found a brilliant half-price deal online and we promptly decided we wanted to go. Without really knowing what it was about, we booked and paid for the tickets.

It turns out, it’s exactly what it sounds like – Balkan inspired/styled music with a side of crazy(that’s the “ology part). The theme was “Animal Farm”, the whole evening followed this theme, with the pigs declaring their command over the “farm” and telling us humans what we could and couldn’t do. As the evening progressed, people dressed in freaky animal costumes paraded around with signs and generally mingled with the crowd (and by mingled, I mean growled and pranced around) while bands like Manouche, Nomadic Orchestra and Mr. Cat & the Jackal played awesome tunes for us. Towards the end of the evening, the animals all took over and threw the pigs off the stage, and tore down their piggy decorations. We were then told that the building was now open and that Toby2Shoes was going to be DJing for us inside and we were to party it up in there!

What has pulled me out of my mojo is the music that they played that night. It was so refreshing to go out and listen to real music, honest music with instruments. We had a people playing wooden spoons, guitar, drums, saxophone (what a sexy instrument), violin, accordion and a tuba. It was fun, and light and it was so easy to just let go and dance. Also, the tuba player was very sexy.

The head-pig telling us what we can and can't do

More pigs

A lovely guy who came dressed as "my little pony"...

It was this music that has “saved” me from myself and brought back my mojo! I am so inspired to create choreography to this music (which is up for free download on their facebook pages!) and I just want to tell everybody about it. But I think that I will quietly go about creating choreography and maybe one of the bands will notice and they will ask me to dance at the next event. 😉 Now wouldn’t that be something!

A member of Manouche - after this I put my camera in the car and got ready to dance. 🙂

One of the many animals - excuse the blurry pic. It's difficult to take photos of moving targets in the dark!

Go and listen to all these band’s music. Go go go!

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5 comments

  1. YAY! So happy you wrote this! Firstly because I was dying for a new post 😉 and secondly because it’s awesome to hear you’ve been inspired again! There’s nothing worse than becoming despondent about one of the things you love most.

    I also think it’s wonderful that you promote these bands! They’re fantastic and everyone should get to hear them

  2. Am really glad you found back your zest for dancing! I know what you’re talking about, especially in this age when a lot of oriental music is done purely with electronic keyboards, and sounds generic as a result, live bands can be refreshing. There is, by the way, a great album by Bulgarian gypsy clarinettist Ivo Papasov which is also called “Balkanology”, you may want to have a listen to it sometime.

    1. Ooh! Thanks for the comment! 🙂 Ivo Papasov does some very cool music, I had a quick look on YouTube for some of his stuff and I really like it – need to find some more to listen to! 🙂

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