When I was growing up as a teenager kina gece or henna parties on a large scale within the Turkish London/UK community were deemed as 'old fashioned'. It is really nice to see that the kina gece has done a 180 and is popular once again. I have had the pleasure of performing at wonderful henna parties. The brides and organisers are getting really creative.
Personally, I love performing belly dance at a kina gece. It celebrates, women, community and love - three things that I value dearly. I love to see everyone enjoying themselves, young and old dancing together - even that aunty or Teyze who has the 'knee problems'. Without the men around, I really feel that women can let go and enjoy the night fully.
Planning a kina gece party? Here are my top 5 kina gece essentials.
1. A good venue
Make sure your venue is well organised, the space flows well and they can work with you to fulfil your needs and wants. Don't necessarily go for the cheapest option. People always remember food and space. Check that if you do go for the cheaper option will it sacrifice the level of service? Will you end up having to buy it from else where? Think about convenience x cost x time. Perhaps you could have smaller flower arrangements and spend your budget on food or less guests but more included in your package... Weigh up your priorities and work with your venue.
Depending on what your music taste and budget is, take time to research DJ's/music. There are traditional Turkish kina gece songs. You can play these from youtube or buy them on iTunes if you don't have a DJ. One of my personal favourite songs is 'kınayı getir aney'.
3. Your outfit
Their are so many beautiful Gelin kina outfits. Instagram has lots of inspiration. Here are some of my top accounts to follow for inspiration:
Koko Kina Organizasonu
Kina Organizasonu Anatolia
White Love Kina
4. Turkish Belly Dancer/Musicians
Make sure you hire a Turkish Belly Dancer or Musicians who understand the traditions and culture. It is so important, especially if you have older family members or a Turkish guest list. Get in touch with Tevec for your belly dance requirements.
Seems obvious. Who's going to carry it, prepare it, serve it. Does your venue have somewhere that you can prepare it? Do you want a professional henna drawing artist? Do you want to hand out little pieces of kina? Don't forget your kina at your kina gece...
6. One more for luck...
Think about your back drop. What colour, theme do you want? Will you have chairs, a swing, table, chaise longe? What suits your style? Do you want to sit with everyone else? Who do you want with you on your 'head table' or stage?
Nisan Tespileri London (for favours and table pieces)
Regency Banqueting Suite
Wishing you a memorable kina gece. Have fun!
Images below courtesy of:
When talking about Turkish musical styles, let's start with the fundamentals - instruments. Below I have listed the main instruments typically included within a Turkish band for oryantal dance and some instruments used for regional folk dance compositions. Comment below if you think that I've missed any.
String Instruments -
Saz, (most popular lute like instrument - see image below) Baglama, Kanun (played on the lap), Violin
Bow Instruments -
Kabak Kemane, Karadeniz Kemencesi (Black Sea folk musical instrument)
Wind Instruments -
Zurna (commonly played with the Davul), Kaval, Ney, Clarinet (all flute style instruments), Tulum (bagpipe)
Davul, (large drum played using sticks) Nagara (small hand played drum), Tef, (tambourine) Kasik (spoon). Tabla, Darbuka,
Zill (finger cymbal)
Hello Belly Dance Lovers!
Belly Dancing is harder than it looks but it's so much fun! You don't even realise that you're working out :)
I look forward to dancing with you in 2017.
You've got the footwork and the timing. Woohoo! You've nailed the dance right? Then you watch it back on video you're like...why doesn't it look right?
Dancers don't just dance. It takes years to master the flavours and ingredients that make a good dancer. There's so much to think about and it takes a lot of effort to practice the different elements.
I love this infographic which shows characteristics that dancers have to think about - in order to achieve greatness. It's tough work to make it look so effortless...
....Oh and don't forget to breathe :D
Infogrpahic courtesy of: http://riotandfrolic.typepad.com/blog/2014/03/a-little-explanation-of-judges-marks-characteristics-of-the-dance.html
Elegance within belly dance stems from good posture. Without good posture you won't be able to achieve elegance. Below is a great infographic of how to improve your posture and what good posture looks like.
Image courtesy of: http://www.dancerhangout.com/content.php?r=496-Permanently-Correcting-Your-Own-Posture
Happy new year belly dancer lovers!
Wishing you a healthy, joyful and prosperous 2017. I spent my last few minutes of 2016 performing and saw the new year off with loved ones. Forget the new year's resolutions that you won't keep. Keep it simple. Do more of what you love in 2017!
Something we do in my classes is plank. Here is a great video that you can use to perfect your plank. Her explanation is spot on. You shouldn't feel any pain in your shoulders or lower back. Give it a try and enjoy the video. :)
Wedding season is here. I've had the pleasure of performing for beautiful Bride-to-be's all over London this summer. From Mehendhi parties in marquees with 50 ladies to Bridal showers with a belly dance class in the garden. Congratulations to all the Bride-to-be's. Enjoy your day!
Happy international dance day to all my dancing friends and students.
For me, dance is the ultimate joy.
To be able to inspire and be inspired, create friendships, unify communities, bring laughter and happiness through dance is the most beautiful and humbling feeling.
My student Ceniz put it very well today, "dance allows us to live in the moment."
Couldn't have said it better myself. Long live dance!
Award-winning Turkish Oriental and Theatrical Fusion performer and teacher.