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Graphic design: Konstanze Winkler

Interview with Slovenian group „Ambrosia“

by Marcel Bieger

First came only Nika Mlakar from Slovenia and won seemingly effortless several first prizes, in different categories. Next year she was accompanied by a Slovenian Tribal Fusion tribe, “Les Petites Bijoux”, who also made it to the top rank and was all in all a sensational happy crowd.
These “Little Gems” renamed themselves in “Ambrosia”, after returning back to Slovenia. This year Nika will not only sit in the jury of “Bellydancer of the World” she will bring with her several groups, and they will line up then no less than four categories. "´Ambrosia" will be amongst them.We are extremely exited …
Tell us something about your tribe?

We used to be called “Les Petites Bijoux”, but since that name was too hard to pronounce we decided to change it to “Ambrosia”. This is a newly formed tribal fusion belly dance group from Slovenia, consisting of 4 girls: Anita Kompare, Eva Županic, Nika Mlakar and Vesna Zorman.

What kind of dance education do you have?

We come from different backgrounds in dance education. Nika attends a school for dance and has learned different styles of dance: modern, ballet, hip hop, show dance, oriental dance, contemporary, jazz, Eva has a background in jazz ballet and hip hop, Anita in classical bellydance and jazz ballet and Vesna in oriental dance. All four of us found a true love in tribal fusion, and coming from different dance backgrounds really works in our favour, since we are able to incorporate moves from different dance styles into our choreographies to make them unique. Besides weekly dance classes we regularly attend different workshops around Europe with world class dancers such as: Jill Parker, Rachel Brice, Mardi Love, Kami Liddle, Sharon Kihara, Sherri Wheatley, Suhaila Salimpour, Unmata, Elizabeth Strong, The Uzume and others.

Do you have any idols? Who do you look up to?

We have dance idols, yes! And all four of us have different ones, depending on what style of dance we feel the closest to, Nika looks up to Kami Liddle, Sharon Kihara, Sylvie Guillem and Jeanine Mason, Vesna loves Kami Liddle, Jill Parker and Sherri Wheatley, Eva is a fan of Samantha Emanuel and Anita’s favorites are Kami Liddle, Sharon Kihara, Sera Solstice, Urban Tribal and Manca Pavli. All four of us adore The Indigo dance troupe!

silver, glass, porcelain or plastic. Beduins used them as payment instruments) and so forth. All this pieces are then sewn on or glued to the fabric. We buy most of our stuff on eBay, especially the antique pieces, and some we buy locally here in Slovenia.
How do you select songs for your performances?

When we are deciding on a song for a choreography, each of us first makes a list of top songs we like and then we share this among each other, soon we have a song that we all like and after that we can start working on a choreography.

Concerning tribal fusion bellydance Manca Pavli was the first to introduce it to Slovenian dance scene, soon it was embraced by the public and today we have a fast growing tribal fusion community

Was this your first performance in Germany?

Yes, this was our first performance in Germany and we loved it! Leyla is amazing at organizing things, we felt really welcomed, the dancers we met there were really warm and kind, we will keep this event in great memory. We are hoping to return soon

Nika Mlakar
Homepage Nika Mlakar:
Nika Mlakar and her Groups are guest at
19th Oriental Festival of Europe
Leyla and Roland Jouvana
18th - 28th November 2011 in Duisburg
Photos © 1 Konstanze Winkler; 2, 5, 7 Ambrosia; 3, 4, 6, 9 Jernej Lovrencic; 8 Tim Pipp; 10 unknown
Since when do you dance tribal fusion?

We met over the course of a few years while attending weekly classes with Manca Pavli (also a Bellydance Superstars dancer for European tour and assistant of Rachel Brice in annual “Rachel Brice Costa Rica” retreat for many years). Eva and Vesna are practicing tribal fusion for 3 years, Anita for 4 and Nika for a year.
How do you include dance into your life?

All four of us either attend school or are working, but we dedicate our free time to regular dance classes with Manca Pavli and weekly practices with just the four of us. We tend to socialize outside of the dance studio as well, just to meet up for coffee and chat, sharing ideas about choreographies, costuming and upcoming workshops.
Do you make your own costumes?

Yes, all our costumes are hand made by us with some help of Nika’s mother and grandmother who are great seamstresses,
they sewed our pants which we adorned them by hand a
fterwards and wore on our Heartbeat performance in Germany. The designs are first drawn down, after that we start collecting
all the material needed, such as fabrics, lace, turkmen buttons, coins, rhinestone chains, Swarovski crystals, talhakimts (note: drop shaped pendants made of stone,
Can you tell us something about the Slovenian dance scene?

The dance scene here is really lush and not just the belly dance community, but all dance styles. We have some really amazing belly dancers here such as Nika Mlakar, Sara Vujinovi´c, Ksenija Rejec, Irina Stankovich and Manca Pavli (tribal fusion).

What are you plans for the future?

Our plans are very simple, to have fun! We dance because we enjoy it, we love hanging out together, planning and organizing things and have a good time! The most important thing in life is to create good memories!