Huntsville-July 2001

Review: Beledi Club 25th Anniversary
Huntsville, AL
July 2001

by Sherezzah Bint al-Waha

It had been several years since I'd been to Huntsville. The only reason for my absence was the distance and the difficulty getting there; certainly the people I'd met were friendly and they put on good events. But when I heard the Beledi Club was bringing back Karen Barbee for their 25th anniversary, I figured it might be worth the effort to get back there. Karen is one of my favorite teachers. I was able to get reasonable airfare, and the hotel is right at the airport I didn't need a car or anything, so I found myself in Huntsville in mid-July, 2001.

And I was glad I did. It was a highly pleasurable weekend all around. I was able to make better friends with some prior acquaintances. The hafla on Friday night was an occasion to meet people and munch on good food (and some of us got turned on to Mike's Hard Lemonade :-) There was a flamingo theme to the events, a reference to a number the Beledi Club created last year (about the difference between flamingo and flamenco).

At Saturday's workshop, Karen taught a hot 5-minute drum solo. On Sunday, she worked us on isolation techniques (which was a bit easier on the brain!)

But the highlight, of course, was the show. I was dancing in it, so I didn't get to see the whole thing, alas. But I did get to see Karen, who danced twice (left and right, and more pictures here and here).

The Beledi Club did a whole set, including live drumming and singing (right). Their set offered several different dance styles, including tribal sword and cave snake.

Finishing up the show was Aziza Nawal (left), who I also enjoy watching. Here's another picture of Aziza.