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  1. #1
    Member Taslin's Avatar
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    Big Grin 1st Hafla question (and jitters!)

    So i will be attending my first ever hafla. Even after all the workshops ive attended work prevented me from attending the performances/shows/parties for those events, so i have alot of questions.

    I messaged my instructor of course but i figured if im this stressed that a thread could help other newbies get the 411.

    So do you gals and guys wear your costumes to and during the hafla? Do you change once in them? what is more common? Do you wear cover ups to the venue and then after opt to change to street clothes?

    Im performing. Id obviously wear street clothes otherwise-oh wait this hafla has an open dance floor at some point?

    So what do y'all do as far as clothing/changing for haflas.

    I dont have a cover-up but i am going to scour a thrift store right now for an appropriate cover.

    thanks in advance for any feedback

  2. #2
    Super Moderator gisela's Avatar
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    If there is a break and I perform in the second half, I usually go and change during the break, then wear a coverup of some sort until it's my turn to perform. If I perform in the first half I either change right before the hafla starts, or... if there are some performances that I'm not not dying to see, I change during those. Usually I change back pretty much immediately after my dance, UNLESS there is someone I really want to see dancing right after me.

    So... to sum up. I get there a bit before it starts, check the line up and decide where in the program it would work for me to change.

  3. #3
    Moderator Darshiva's Avatar
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    For the open dance floor, street clothes are perfectly fine, as are basic faff items like skirts, cholis & hip belts. Do NOT wear the same costume you're performing in if you want to be taken seriously.

    For my own preference I wear jeans & a nice shirt & I take a good hipscarf with me for the open dance floor bit. I like social dancing at haflas and I take my tips from how I've seen it done in Egyptian cinema.

    Coverups are ideal for sneaking into the audience to watch the other performances around yours in the same set.
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  4. #4
    Member Taslin's Avatar
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    thank you for both responses and the open dance floor tip-i had no idea :0) Ive never seen an open dance floor happen.

    My instructor did get back to me and asked about what time we all wanted to perform and then went from there to answer the questions.

    So ill be bringing a change of clothing, and just a veil for a coverup. And since we will go on early ill wear my costume there and use the coverup then change after.

    Im so excited to see other performances too.

  5. #5
    Premium Member Aniseteph's Avatar
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    I'm with Darshiva - not that I perform much but when I do, costume is costume and for performing only, and the coverup is for when I have to be ready, or haven't had the chance to change back. Costumes might look lovely but I do not want to sweat into them or risk spilling things on them or be tortured by the bras any more than I have to!

    I go with whatever I'd normally wear to an informal social do, maybe going a bit glitterier if I feel like it, and take a nice hipscarf for open dancing.
    I take my tips from how I've seen it done in Egyptian cinema.
    Exactly. Can't go wrong. Even if it turns out to be one of those haflas where hitting the belly dancer dressing up box seems to be the norm and you feel underdressed (maybe not quite the right word in this case!), you have the comfort of knowing you are authentic.

  6. #6
    V.I.P. Kashmir's Avatar
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    Depends on what you mean by a "hafla". If it is really a casual get together, then something nice in the audience then a hip belt may work fine. If it is something a little more formal then a complete change is in order - sitting in the audience in the costume you are about to perform in is tacky. In some situations an opaque, neck to knees cover-up might be acceptable (not a veil).

    If however, the organizer is using "hafla" to mean "show" - then you don't sit in the audience at all in costume - even in a cover-up. Change clothes. My stage manager even gets antsy if people wear their stage makeup where they can be seen by the audience.

    Best to ask the organizer what she means by hafla and what the expectations are.

  7. #7
    Senior Member nightdancer's Avatar
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    Also, a veil is not a coverup. They can be gotten very cheaply at the thrift store, there is no need to spend a great deal of money or effort on them. Also make sure that the neck opening is large enough as to not disturb your hair. I've lost a fair few hairpins to one coverup I used to have.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Duvet's Avatar
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    Heads up to all the advice given. Don't know when the hafla is, but just wanted to add; hope the performance goes well, listen to your instructor's advice (she presumably knows the level of formality/expectation), don't worry too much about making mistakes or faux pas (its your first hafla), and have lots of fun (especially on the open dance floor!). Let us know how it goes.

  9. #9
    V.I.P. Yame's Avatar
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    It depends on the hafla. But around here, generally speaking most performers get there in street clothes (but with makeup already done, for the most part), they change in the designated changing room (make sure there is one) some time before their performance, perform, then change back into into their street clothes.

    Bring a cover-up anyway, in case you need to go out of the changing room at any point after putting on your costume. It may also be acceptable (but uncomfortable) to come in costume (with cover-up on top, of course), and just wear that the whole time. Some people walk around in costume, without a cover-up, but it's generally considered bad etiquette.

    In my area this is how it is, so I just know and don't need to ask. If you are unsure, the best person to ask is the hafla's organizer.

  10. #10
    V.I.P. khanjar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kashmir View Post
    Depends on what you mean by a "hafla". If it is really a casual get together.......

    Best to ask the organizer what she means by hafla and what the expectations are.

    Agree, exactly what is meant by using the word; hafla, as it is usual for people to mess about with words to change the meaning to suit their purpose, when I am one where I understand the meaning, I dislike individuals messing about with words in case they stick and the true meaning is lost or redefined.

    Hafla's I think I have been to three of them, I use think, as they were just get togethers for dancers to dance and show, no official anything about them, so basically dance parties created and run by dancers for dancers. Parties basically and monies taken just paid for the venue and usually a charity donation. Food is often provided by dancers themselves. My first hafla had musicians, and traders, but they were local musicians and local traders, usually connected to dancers or were dancers themselves, yeah make a few quid, but more of a service to other dancers to get stuff there and then, not trawl ebay.

    As to costumery, some go the whole hog, others just wear normal party clothing, myself included, just smart clothes as it's not a fancy dress party. But of those that do dress up to perform, they change at the show, usually in the male bogs.

    But are hafla's done in more businesslike capacities ? If so I expect an organiser that is taking money as the main qualification to go will make the event whatever they want it to be and call it what they like.

    That is why I for one would particularly like to understand what hafla actually means so I may draw reference and compare so I may decide and know where I stand.
    Last edited by khanjar; 05-21-2012 at 11:14 AM.

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