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These were unforgettable days in Romania at the first Tribal Fest Bucharest!  I think we will all remember our first visit to Romania and big thanks to Andreea and Hermina for organizing an amazing festival, being great hosts, and putting their entire heart into this event. This is the tribal spirit and I loved every minute of being there!
Photos ©: "Sway" Konstanze Winkler, Basar & Workshops: Takasi Poate, Shows: Stelian Sescu
Graphics and WebDesign: Konstanze Winkler
Sway as „Hagallady“at the
„1st Tribal Fest Bucharest“

by Sway


Tribal Fest Bucharest was the first festival of its kind in Romania. Months before the festival started, Andreea and Hermina, the organizers, already put a lot of effort into their artistic baby. They introduced every performer of their festival on their facebook page, organized several small haflas, an ATS Flash mob and an awesome “Hello world, here we are”-video to get the small and growing community ready for what was coming.

And to give notice to the international community, also they put a banner on Europe’s biggest tribal online magazine, “Hagalla”. As a performer from abroad and the “Hagallady”, the official reporter from “Hagalla”, seeing all this effort and  love, made me excited and I felt privileged to attend.
It seemed I was not the only one, as there were a lot of stunning, beautiful and inspiring artists from all over the world travelling to Romania to be able to attend and see what will be the “first of its kind” in Bucharest. Bucharest is not without reason called “small Paris” or “Paris of the east”. It is a beautiful city with beautiful architecture. Like in every big city the traffic is annoying, but you find a lot of tiny parks, forgotten old places and traditional restaurants to hide and recover. 
competition on Saturday and more workshops, the bazaar and the gala show on Saturday. However there was some time left to visit the old town and have dinner in a traditional Romanian Restaurant with Tjarda and her nice and perfectly organized host Deea (3. Place of the competition) as well as a quick lunch with Ashley and her lovely host in a cute food shop called “Frufru”.
What pleased me most, was that even the stars themselves participated in these different classes.
This mixture blossomed in a pretty, alternative, heart warming bit of “Tribal Fantasy”. It had a colourful tent in its middle, with pillows, shisha and tea, surrounded by people and shops selling self-made foods, soap, jewellry, costumes and more, everything nicely arranged on colourful fabrics, tree branches or ribbons. Everyone was proud of the things, they were selling and I really enjoyed wandering around, eating, learning about self-made soap and freeing some bracelets out of a pretty arrangement of branches and ribbons.

This is a flair I normally find on my beloved Fantasy Conventions and desperately miss on most huge Tribal Events, which are more fair-like.

The moderation of all shows was done by the lovely, well organized and endearing Florentina Vinica Barbu. The first show was the open stage. Here we could see many talented dancers and troupes out of the area. The starting performance of the Barbarossa Samba Group made the audience jump up and dance.  With a lot of power and filled with energy after a lot of dancing and shouting “Barbarossa!” we went on to the different acts which where all enjoyable and it was a pleasure to have been there as an audience member.

Especially the Cat Tribe left a memorable impression with their beautiful and skillfully presented piece and I was happy to see them in the contest again (1. prize winner). Furthermore Makeda Perryman from Portland fascinated the audience from the first to the last second. I already met her at the contest in Hanover and again she demonstrated great technique and a piece carrying a calm energy and aesthetic which I liked a lot. Hermina del Naja - Member of the Najah Tribe and Co-organisator of the Tribal Fest Bukarest - showed us an elegant, lovely and coquettish piece.  Hermina is an amazing person from both inside and out. Her enthusiasm about the Festival and the Tribal dance art in general was highly catching and motivating. And last but not least, the super cute improvisation by Eliza Ilie-Rusu & Deea Carevasăzică and the colourful and energetic oriental dance of Mikado dance teacher Virginia Maria Ioana Jeleascov. Florentina Vinica Barbu who guided the audience through the evening happens to be not only an excellent moderator but also a passionate dancer as well showing us a gypsy fantasy.
This competition was intended for semi-professional and professional dancers, as well as creative newcomers. Two different groups were judged: “soloist” and “troupe”. The jury consisted of nationally and internationally acclaimed dancers such as Ashley Lopez (USA), Tjarda Van Straten (The Netherlands), Manca Pavli (Slovenia),  Kamilla (Romania), and myself (Germany) assessed different aspects of the dance like technique & choreographic harmony, versatility of improvisation, the general level of dancing and range of movements, costume, hair and make-up, musicality, stage presence/expression and use of stage. Additionally for troupes: group harmony, synchronicity.

1. Haza Nadyka (France)
2. Csilla Pribojszki (Hungary)
3. Deea Avram (Romania)

1. Cat Project (Jaroslawl, Russia)
2. Mikado Dance Company (Romania)
3. Najah Tribe (Romania)
Postscript “Hagalla”:

The two first places of this contest will perform at the Tribal Festival Hanover, Germany on June,
3th - 15th 2014

The runners-up have won an interview with online magazine “Hagalla”; you will them both after this report. And, thank you very much, Sway, well done!
For the gala show Andrea Bonea invited an incredible line-up. I felt honoured and proud to share the stage with such special artists. I was impressed by the amount of wonderful performances and variety of expression concentrated on one stage. The audience was extremely nice, interested and motivated, a pleasure to performing for. Here the local hosts Andreea, Hermina, Kamilla & Electric Brother did not miss the opportunity to demonstrate a versatile and expressive ITS performance to the music of the Romanian DJ Electric Brother. - Cerasela Hekman (Kamilla) Teacher and performer in Romania of the Oriental Delight Dance School we saw before that she is a skilled tribal performer with Electric Brother and the Najah tribe, here she demonstrated a theatrical oriental Tango dance poem about a lover desperately missing someone. The piece strongly indicates her Raqs Sharqi roots and demonstrated fine technique, strong feminine energy and sensuality.
Tribal Nova are the dancer Patrizia Pin and the violinist Simone D´Eusanio; they presented their piece “From the Basement”. It is not an exaggeration to say that for a long time every time I hear a violin, I had to think about Patrizia. - Taisa Jah Surya is an ATS and Tribal dancer from Kiev, Ukraine and the Director of “Jah Surya” Dance Group - the first in Ukraine Sister Studio of Fat Chance Belly Dance. This time though Taisa showed us a modern flirtatious and very playful solo piece.

Extremely impressive and expressive Flamenco Fusion piece by Lucas Molina called "mute".  His play with sound and silence using hands, heels and a darbuka is hard to describe and must been seen

We saw Ashley Lopez in two performances this evening. One was more cabaret like with a red silk veil plus drum solo fusing acrobatics with Belly Dance. The creative veil work and difficult movements presented in such an elegant and playful way delighted and amazed me, making this my favorite piece that evening. - The second performance was an elaborate piece of art. In the first part Ashley demonstrated her beautiful opera trained voice whereas in the second part she danced to out of tune sounds with impressive undulations and sharp locks. She was joined by Makeda at the last half of this piece finishing it with amazingly synchronized series of turns.
I saw this performance in a different version again on You Tube.
From her blog you may know that Alexis Southall feels that after several new experiences she emerged and finally feels at home in her dance. That is exactly what I saw on stage in Bucharest.
Manca Pavli showed one of her signature Tribal Fusion performances, incorporating Indian hand and arm move- ments. She combined a calm song with a lot of fast, precise movements and pop and lock combos that are particular to her unique style of dance.  - I (Sway) had the honour to present my new theatrical choreography piece “Queen of the Naga”. A story about pride, magic, and transformation.
In addition we again enjoyed seeing the two competition winner performances of Haza Nadika and the Cat Tribe. The Bucharest Tribal Festival is definitely on the map now and I feel certain that we will hear a lot more from there in the future
"Hagallady" Sway
ATS-Flashmob video, click on the picture ...
The bazaar
Workshop at the "ArCub"
The Workshop participants with Ashley Lopez (in the middle below)
Florentina Vinica Barbu
Barbarossa Samba Group
Hermina del Naja
Virginia Maria Ioana Jeleascov
Eliza Ilie-Rusu and Deea Carevasăzică
Haza Nadyka (F)
Czilla Pribojszki (H)
Deea Avram (RO)
Cat Project (R)
Mikado Dance Company (RO)
Najah Tribe (RO)
Tribal Nova
Ceresala Hekman (Kamilla)
Andreea, Hermina, Kamilla & Electric Brother
Alexis Southall (E)
Tjarda van Straten (NL)
Lucas Darion Molina Perez (RO)
Taisa Jah Surya (UA)
Sway (D)
Manca Pavli (SLO)
Ashley Lopez (USA)
Makeda Perryman (USA)
forward to the interviews with Csilla and Hermina ...
Greetings and thanks from Germany to all the friendly and warm-hearted people I had the honour of meeting. And I would like to give a big recommendation to everyone in our community to visit this festival, if you have the chance. But let’s start from the beginning.
I already arrived on Thursday and was kindly welcomed by Viviana (a member of the Najah Tribe), who showed me around in the old town of the city center. It was as beautiful as expected and buzzing with life with a lot of people wearing costumes and celebrating Halloween.

The whole festival took place over three days and was fully packed with workshops on Friday,a bazaar, an Open Stage an a fusion dance
During the three days of the festival we could attend three workshops a day with one of three great teachers. Ashley Lopez, Manca Pavli, and Tjarda van Straaten. I am glad to have had the chance to visit several of these workshops.  Some of them were open level, while others were intermediate / advanced. Like all open level classes they depended on the level of the group, which was surprisingly high! All the girls worked really hard and concentrated but still had time for a smile. Many of the people I saw there I later found performing in one of the shows.
The “ArCub”, where the show as well as the competition and workshops took place, was located in a modern, pretty theatre not far from the city centre. Despite the lovely violet theater hall there was a lot of space for workshops and a pretty art nouveau tea shop (Ceainaria ArCuB), where you could find most of the dancers during the breaks and before classes.

I especially loved the bazaar, which was sited in the main hall of the theatre. It nicely showed the curiosity of the Romanian people to the tribal community and how everyone was drawing a picture in their mind, what Tribal actually may be.
All participants demonstrated the same high technical skill I observed during the workshops. Furthermore there was a lot of creativity and uniqueness. (Dancers like the lovely Diana Scantee, the talented Anna Maria Laura Anton, the beautiful Raluca Edu and the dreamy Florenta Cernescu showed their inspirational and passionate pieces.) However, based on the assessment criteria the winners were as follows:
Tjarda van Straaten showed her thoughtful and captivating piece to “wear it like a crown”. Like all of her choreographies this one was highly expressive and inspiring and nearly brought me to tears.
It is not without reason that it was seeing her performing which brought me to start studying Tribal Fusion