80s Haflas Raqs!

Jenny's thank you card was awesome. Totally Rad!

Jenny’s thank you card was awesome. Totally Rad!

Just some thoughts on last Friday’s totally rad show! It was certainly a night of old school raqs and roll at Steve’s Live Music last Friday. It was exciting to hear a lot of the old tunes again, danced to by some of the city’s loyal students, teachers and raqs stars of Atlanta’s Bellydance and Raqs community.




The Line Up:
Mina – Sweet Dreams (Marilyn Manson cover of Annie Lenox’s)
AsmakJump in the Line (Shake Senora) Harry Belafonte
JasmineWith or Without You by U2
Jenny Nichols‘You Be Illin’Walk This Way by RunDMC Aerosmith collab
Barbara SmithLorelei by the Cocteau Twins
JendayiI Can’t Stand The Rain by the Queen, Tina Turner
Northside TribePuttin’ on the Ritz by Taco
TamarIn the Air Tonight by Phil Collins of Genesis
Saniyah – Maak Hanan
Mina & family friend/pet – Tainted Love by Marilyn Manson (originally by
Jendayi & Kyle w/tabla – Rock It by Herbie Hancock
Jenny Nichols and husband LeeNight Shift by the Commodores
Jahara PhoenixMickey by Toni Basil (yes, it’s a i not a y, I almost joined her fanclub, I should know. Lol)

House Band – Deepcut Rewind with hits by The Go-Gos, Tears for Fears (yes, I got up and acted out 3/4ths of that video, went home and told Curt (co-founder of TFF) about it),  and many other great artists as well. This was their first time playing together and they did a darn good job! If they play for the community again, let me know in advance so I can bring a microphone and “represent” when Tears for Fears are played, then I’ll be the house dancer with ‘the bob’/aka “The Carlton” included.*If anyone is wondering where any of these artists are today, let me know. I have the fanclub links to several and many are still singing with meet & greets to follow with fans. I’ve met just about everyone except Toni Basil. They’re all really friendly!

Jenny looking like, omgaah, major awesome! (I still dress like this at the club and I'm quite proud of it)

Jenny looking like, omgaah, major awesome! (I still dress like this at the club and I’m quite proud of it)

Though I was only a toddler at the start of the decade, barely reaching the age of 10 by the end of the decade, I still remember so much about it. I remember as a pre-teen in the 90s still liking the songs from the early 80s and getting kind of sad when I couldn’t hear them in the on-air radio rotation anymore. By the time I was 8 years old Tears for Fears were on a compilation disk!! The horror! So with every performer I was taken back to the time and place I first heard their song of choice. I immediately relived moments with my relatives and extended family when everyone was still in the United States, learning to tease my bangs (my mum’s idea not mine, she was the fashionable one) and watching the Smurfs on Saturday mornings while writing letters to the cast members of Saved by the Bell (they wrote back and now I actually get to see them in person from time to time (i.e. that picture of me and Mario Lopez that’s floating on my FB page), it’s still totally awesome, like fabulous ohhkayy).

I loved this 80s hafla show for the music but even moreso for the work that went into it. People really got into their songs and put on a cool show to a packed house, not one seat was empty from what I could see.The show began around 8:30 because another group was having a concert and let out at 8:05 or so. They cleared the area and we filed in.

Candid shot of Jenni, Amani and Jaki!  Photo by Jaki

Candid shot of Jenni, Amani and Jaki! Photo by Jaki

Memorable Highlights
Amani Jabril was the MC and did a great job, totally decked out with teased hair. She looked like every awesome icon from the era. Nice work! The costumes really stood out as expected. I loved Mina’s outfit and if I find one my size, I’m wearin’ it. Asmak had a great costume for Jump In the Line. They were mimicking characters from the movie Beetljuice. They were very insync and creative. But Northside Tribe and Jahara Phoenix stole the show with theirs. They embodied the songs and the dance with their choreographies and their outfits were perfect!

Jasmine’s dance was the most modern with poi to U2’s With our Without You. She moved and spun that poi in rhythm with the music. You could see she too put a lot of work into this or either her soul was just truly meshing with that music. She was one of my favourite performers of the night. Her dexterity and calm nature brought a different energy to the show and it was appreciated.

Saniyah was a show stopper, spinning the assayah/cane and dancing to the only Mideast regional music that was heard all night minus Kyle’s cool tabla playing. It was a very refreshing number and she looked awesome. Great crowd interaction and the perfect energy. Shukran Saniyah!

Both Jendayi and Jenny’s duets with their spouses were a treat. Loved Lee on the guitar and Kyle was spot on with Herbie Hancock’s Rock It. Aziza, Jenny and myself were in our element doing ‘the bob.’ Yaaaaas honey, you can do the bob to Rock It. You can do the bob to anything and many did. For some that was the only dance they know and for me, it’s the only western dance I can do aside from the flying wombat made famous in, say it with me now, Mad World by Tears for Fears. Let the record show, I talk about TFF A LOT!! Ask Roland, he knows I love to sing their songs

As with most iconic music, you get one of the songs stuck in your head for days. Mine was Lorelei by the Cocteau Twins. I hadn’t heard that song since the 80s. I had forgotten about it. But upon hearing it, I remembered how beautiful it is. I literally had the song in my head for 5 days. I remember going to work out Monday evening and it was still in my head. Yes, it’s one of those kinds of tunes.

Again, great show, amazing music choices and very different from our usual. I admit I thought dancers were going to bring music from the Middle East, Cheb khaled tunes and that of the singers that came before them. I also thought they’d wear some of the iconic costumes of that era. Though we didn’t go down memory lane in the Mideast, we did revisit some very mystical and fascinating times and I loved it! Stayed right up to the very end, watched DeepCut Rewind pack up…it was just that good! Jendayi said a 90s themed event is next…and if that’s the case, I’ll bring the Vogue professionals. You can’t have a 90s function without people who respect The Houses! Oh honey, THE FUN we shall have…if I don’t pass out from excitement.

Thanks for reading!

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