Paul F. P. Pogue
Wednesday, Jan. 11
As local DJ and promoter Empress Alyda Stoica tells it, her fascination with the art of belly dance started when she was a teen-ager sitting in the Parthenon and witnessed a belly dancer's performance for the first time. Years later, when she promoted her first Hafla in 2002, she noted that it was both a chance to bring offbeat world music to a wider stage and to give local belly dancers a more frequent venue to perform and socialize.
Indeed, the Haflas were fascinating events to watch, as the dancers, ranging from traditional to gothic to Shakira-inspired looks, shook off their inhibitions and performed not for any audience, but for themselves and each other, relaxed and unassuming and finding new and unique rhythms in the process.
The Haflas, from the Arabic term for "celebration," were successful but infrequent events for Alyda back in 2002, but it's now her hope to continue the event monthly, the second Wednesday of each month, starting Jan. 11 at the Vault, east of the Circle downtown on Market Street. The event runs from 8 p.m. to 3 a.m., with no cover the first month, $3 thereafter.
The newest incarnation of the Hafla/Worldbeat includes Alyda and Badfaery as DJs spinning music from a wide variety of sources, both electronic and traditional, with influences from Celtic, folkloric, African and Eastern European music.
For more information check out www.alyda.com