Yep, it’s taken me over a week to process Tribal Fest 14.  It’s always such an intense experience, with dancers coming from all over the world.  And it’s a nonstop barrage of people — some of whom you know, and some of whom know you — which is a lot to handle for this introvert.

I only came up Saturday and Sunday – Saturday to perform, shop, and take a workshop with the lovely Devi Mamak, and Sunday to work at the FCBD® booth.  That means I missed seeing the lovely ladies and gent of Ebb & Flow performing on Friday night.  Ebb & Flow is a group of skilled ATS® dancers who are all based in the East Bay of the San Francisco area, led by Wendy Allen and Sandi Ball from FatChanceBellyDance®.  Check out this beautiful choreography.

(Yes, it’s choreo, and yes, that’s okay in ATS®, in case you’re curious.  FatChanceBellyDance® has always done some choreo, especially for big stage shows, or where we want to make the best use of a strange space like the very wide and shallow Tribal Fest stage.  The hallmark of ATS® is still improv, though, and that hasn’t changed.  Stay tuned for another blog post about that; I have many thoughts.)

I also missed Donna Mejia, who is one of my favorite fusion artists and teachers.  If you haven’t taken a workshop with her, please sign up for the first available; it will change how you think about bodies and movement and space.  She doesn’t have her Tribal Fest piece up, but you can go check out her YouTube channel and witness the expansive power of her artistry.

But Saturday was great!

I zoomed up to Sebastopol in the morning to catch my friend Heather Powers for her solo on the Tribal Fest stage.  Heather is an elegant, fluid artist who has joined the management team over at Bright Star World Dance in Portland, Maine, the dance studio I still co-own in name if not in day-to-day.  I’m grateful for her help, and I know my business partner Rosa Noreen is as well.  Check out Heather’s beautiful solo.

And of course there were lots of other performances Saturday, from the sublime to the truly weird.  But that’s okay; Tribal Fest is basically an open stage, not a juried show, and it’s an opportunity for people to express themselves.  It’s where we can all really let our freak flag fly, if that’s what we want.

FatChanceBellyDance® closed the show on Saturday.  There’s been a lot of anxiety and questioning in the broader tribal dance community about what’s been happening at the Mothership, and Carolena wanted a way for us to show the community what’s been going on at the studio.  Her goal was to show everyone that even with the proliferation of studio troupes, that we’re all still connected and enjoying being with each other.

I was point person, which meant I was in charge of wrangling twenty dancers.  TWENTY. But everyone took responsibility for themselves, and everyone showed up on time and was so easy and fun to work with.  And Carolena was happy, which meant we all were happy.  Here is the joyful result of our efforts.  Enjoy!

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