October 14th, 2013



Oh, Cleopatra. Where exactly do I start?

My bellydance teacher, Nicola, teamed up with the director of the local Spanish dance troupe, to put together a lavish dance production that told the story of Cleopatra's life. When trying to explain it to people, I told them it told a story using dance, like when you go to the ballet, only we used Spanish and Egyptian dance movements.

They flew in internationally sought after Spanish dancer and instructor Beatriz Barcelo to play the title role, and as you'd expect, she was wonderful. As you might not expect, she was also a lovely person to work with.

We started rehearsals in January, every Sunday evening until the show opened in July. The last couple of weeks, I started to think we all just lived in the studio. Fortunately, we lucked out with our cast, and everyone got on really well.

The first act details Cleopatra's rise to power, her relationship with Caesar, and ends with his death. Act 2 involved her love affair with Antony, the big sea battle with Rome, and Cleopatra's suicide. We did 7 performances at the fringe festival (a live theatre festival that goes on for about two weeks; there are a ton of live shows to see, and 7 is about the average number of shows), and reviews were... kind of hilarious, actually. People appreciated the gorgeous theatricality of it and that we were different from everything else that was playing, but weren't quite sure what to expect from a dance show. You got the feeling a few of the reviewers had never been to the ballet, let alone seen anything like the type of dancing we were doing. Everyone who came for the dancing enjoyed it, though.

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