When I found out that my new friend from ATS GS, Lara Baker Whelan, was giving a workshop up in Chattanooga, I immediately went to the website to sign up, even before telling Margali. Skirts and Romany 9/8 rhythms, what’s not to love??
Luckily Margali was all for the road trip with me (again, skirts and Romany 9/8, what’s not to love?). So early Saturday morning we met at my place for the not quite two hour drive to Chattanooga. After getting only a little turned around in the unfamiliar environs, we pulled into the parking lot of Barking Legs Theater right behind Lara herself.
The 9/8 Karsilama rhythm is not unfamiliar to me, thanks to earlier workshops this summer, but it takes a little time to get used to each time I work with it. Fortunately we spent the first half of the workshop sans skirts working on the steps and moves. After a brief break, it was time to don the yards of cloth and add in the swishiness, along with giggles and general laughter at the odd moves of Turkish/Romany style dance (belly throws, anyone?)
Once the workshop was over, we had plenty of time to kill before the evening show, so we headed up through downtown and across the river to Manufacturer’s Row and the interesting shops there. Late lunch/early dinner was at FoodWorks — yummy in general, and the bread pudding was OMFGINCREDIBLETODIEFOR!!!
Back at Barking Legs Theater, we claimed the best seats available for the show. I, at least, had very mixed feelings about the show. Some of the dancers were very good; Lara, of course, was exceptional. Others were definitely not to my taste, such as the “I Dream of Jeannie” number, and at least one group really was not ready for performance. Margali & I agreed that, based on what we saw, we were certainly at the point where we should put something together for the next performance opportunity. THAT, my friends, may have been the most important takeaway of all.