Where hips don’t lie… still for very long

One of the great things about globalisation is that all the traditions and cultures of the world are no longer bound to their country of origin: you can eat sushi in Scandinavia and go skiing in Dubai. Denmark is no exception and this weekend is a proof of that, as we’ll see the Danish International Belly Dance Festival take place in Glostrup.

The sport has proved to be quite popular here, and Denmark has a number of great dancers who regularly compete around the world. This is Denmark’s chance to give back to the belly dancing community by hosting a weekend festival where dancers from all around the world will compete.

The festival starts on Saturday with the qualifiers for the three different groups: grand diva, for performers who are over 37 years old and have more than four years of dancing experience; duo/group, for groups of two to eight dancers; and soloists who must be between 18-37 years old and have more than four years of dancing experience. In addition to performing a choreographed routine, contestants in the solo and grand diva groups will have to do an additional round of improvisation. Those who qualify will then go on to dance in the finals on Sunday. The finals will see a special appearance by the renowned percussionist Mohammed Zaki who will play live during the grand diva and soloist improvisation rounds.

For those who are not content with just watching the beautiful belly dancing and want to jiggle their own hips, there will be workshops taking place during the weekend that anyone can attend. On the Saturday at 17:30 there will be a two-hour workshop focusing on the Egyptian Baladi, an Egyptian folk style belly dance, and how best to present this style on stage.

On the Sunday there will be three different workshops. The first one starts at 09:15 and is hosted by the experienced Sirka Sepänen from Finland. Sepänen will teach how to improvise to and interpret the music in belly dancing, especially when dancing in a group. At 10:45, Hilde Lund from Norway will present some of the traditions of Algerian folklore dancing. Also on Sunday at 10:45, Selina Sevil from Sweden will teach how to incorporate veils in both classical and modern belly dancing.

Over the entire weekend, there will be a baazar where you can buy miscellaneous belly dancing-related goods such as hip-scarfs, baladi costumes, veils and a variety of jewellery and beauty products.

Danish International Belly Dance Festival

Glostrup Hallen, Stadionvej 80, Glostrup; qualification on Sat from 10:00, Sun finals: 12:30-17:30; tickets: over-12s: Sat: 150kr, Sun: 245kr, weekend pass: 350kr, under-12s: 75-200-250kr, under-3s: free adm, workshops: prices vary, www.billetlugen.dk; www.danishopenbellydance.wordpress.com