Tribal Corner & A Divine Journey by Regan Gardner

Tribal Corner
Tribal happenings plus Regan’s Divine Journey to Paris

Bellydance Oasis Issue 43. 2012

I can’t believe as I am typing that the end of the year is almost upon us but like you we have loads of performances & Xmas concerts & parties to attend. All good fun!

So when I last left you I had just come back from Adelaide in July & next up was one of my very fav events, Tribal Mosaic. This is a bi annual event run by Jacqueline Pepperkamp – Seaton & Director of Tribal Jewels. Tribal Mosaic is not a festival but an intimate retreat style dance camp held at the very relaxing Govinda Valley Retreat in N.S.W. What I love about Mosaic is that all participants are in one place, in a beautiful location & no one has to rush off because all events at mosaic is held in the same location as our accommodation. This means we have time to get to know each other, catch up, eat together..oh & dance together. AS well as the amazing dance workshops & fun chalk board performances on Saturday night there was also a surprisingly enlightening {for me} art therapy session, morning yoga sessions, a masseuse on hand & of course the AMAZING vegetarian food. If you haven’t already been, do yourself a favour & check in for the next Mosaic held in 2013.

In late August I was hosted to teach a day of workshops in Sydney by the ever lovely Margaret Walker of Onyx Tribal. She had asked me to present my new steps, combinations & concepts that I have created for my first solo DVD {more on that later}. Of course I was more than happy to oblige her & we had a room packed full of ladies all having fun. Onyx Tribal has only been around only for a few years but have already created quite a name for themselves with their exciting costumes & interesting choreographies. Dancers in the area should check out Margaret as a new teacher in the festival circuit at The Belly dance Evolution Festival held in Newcastle In February 2012 {more on that later too}.

So for the next 6 weeks I concentrated on my DVD entitled Devi’s Inspired Combinations. Wow! What a lot of work it is to produce a DVD on ones own! First things first were what the content should be. I am often inspired by other dance style & other dancers & this in turn has inspired me to create new steps & choreographies so it seemed fitting to me that I should create a DVD on what Inspires me. The DVD which I have already finished filming & doing voice over for has 12 “chunky” combinations {anything from 8 to 32 counts} then 6 smaller steps that occur within the larger combinations that can also be used on their own. We then put it all together in 2 short choreographies all with original music by Tarek Sawires. They cover anything with an ATS, Oriental, Tribal Fusion or Flamenco feel so there should be something in there for everyone. I have asked Tristan Baker of Moon Baker Studios {& husband to Jrisi Jusakos} to do all filming & pre & post production. His work is top notch & he is great to work with so if any of you are thinking of creating your own DVD out there Tristan is your man. I am hoping that the DVD should be ready by early next year so if you are interested in pre orders please drop me a line.

Cristie from Ghawazi Caravan & myself have also been teaching regular 2 hr workshops for ATS dancers at Ameras Palace hosted by Kurvy [aka Kellie}. These are finished up for the year right now but if you are interested in more of these please contact Kellie on .

As many of you know Bozenka was recently in Sydney hosted by Jrisi Jusakos. Unfortunately I did not get to go the workshops due to family commitments but I hear they were really fantastic & having seen her dance at the concert I was green with envy that I was not able to go. The concert was fantastic also & although I did not get to see most of it due to being in it & needing 4 costume changes I did get to see the whole thing on DVD which you can purchase from Jrisi.

Next was the very first Wollongong belly dance Festival hosted by Virginia of Cinnamon Twist, & what a great festival it was, very well organised with lovely volunteers & staff to help you find your workshop locations & the like. I particularly loved the venue. A big Novotel hotel right across from the beach! How awesome is that! Unfortunately I was not able to attend the whole weekend but it seemed like a huge success & something in it for all styles of belly dance & beyond.

Last week I was off to Taiwan for the 3rd time. This time as Carolena’s assistant teacher for her General Skills Certificate. If I haven’t already said it {which I think I have}, Taiwan has the best food ever! O.K so that has nothing to do with dance but food is important! Taiwanese people are equally as lovely, so polite & gracious. As students they are well prepared, punctual & respectful, & they all wear the same outfit to class! How cute are they!? After GS is over then begins the long task of photo taking & signing. This {in Taiwan} usually takes around 1 & a half hours!

As I type Carolena is holidaying in Melbourne & I will meet her there next week to co teach GS again & perform In Moorolbark. This time the ladies of Red Earth Ghawazee will be our hosts. Looking forward to that one!

In the near future we Ghawazi Caravan have many performances coming up before the end of the year & some bigger events coming up as well in the New Year. Hear is what I have in My calendar. If there is anything Tribal or like wise going on we would LOVE to hear about it so please drop me a line.

Firstly we have Kami Liddle coming in January hosted by Giselle Sybil,

Then Jill Parker goes to Byron & Sydney in February. {Belinda: for Byron or Kurvy : for Sydney}.

Next is The Belly Dance Evolution Festival held in N.S.W. For more info check out:

In March I will be travelling to N.Z, Tasmania & Adelaide so I hope to see you at one of these locations.

N.Z contact:
Tasmania contact:
Adelaide contact:

O.K so enough about my journeys lets hear about another journey. Regan, Sarah & Sarah from Divine Elements Belly dance Company in Adelaide had the amazing opportunity to perform in France! Go Girls! Thankyou to Regan to writing into the Oasis & sharing in this inspirational & exciting journey! We love to hear all about it so thanks for writing in to us : ).

Over & out from me & have a FANTASTIC Christmas & New Year everyone!

A Divine journey to Avignon!

By Regan Gardner aka”Rania” Divine Elements Belly Dance Company and Belly Dance Arabesque Adelaide

August 2011

If you have a passion for something there is nothing better for the soul than to feed that passion. There is joy in the journey, the exploration, the creation, and the presentation with each piece as relevant and as inspiring as the next. It is not always about the end result but about the journey that you took to get there.

Divine Elements Belly Dance Company is just as the name suggests an acknowledgement of all the elements that go into the art of Belly Dance and the creation of performance art. It was formed in 2009 for the Adelaide Fringe with a vision of bringing Belly Dance in all its diversity to general audiences. Some of who may have never seen Belly Dance before, or may only know of it in one form or another.

Through our collaboration with The Garage International and with two successful shows in the Adelaide Fringe in 2010 and 2011 we were invited to perform in the larger Avignon Festival Le Off in France in July 2011. At the Heart of Belly Dance had a 14 show season booked at the Garage International venue at St Benezet at the Hotel Mercure in Avignon, an exciting but daunting task. Many hours of rehearsal time in Adelaide, planning, costume making and fundraising went into the trip that would see three of the Divine Elements and Belly Dance Arabesque dancers in the journey of a lifetime. Not only would we be performing our art but we would share it with audiences in France.

Sarah J, Sarah T and I left on July 11 on a 26hr journey on planes, trains and automobiles to the town of Avignon, a fortified town that is something straight out of the movies. This beautiful place took our breath away from the moment we laid eyes on the castle wall that surrounds it. We spent two and a half weeks there living and dancing right at the heart of the Festival. Our fourth floor apartment was nice and had an amazing view of the town and the Palais De Papas. We were living on one side of the town and performing on the other with no transport other than our feet. I have no idea how far we walked during our two and a half weeks but that combined with the four flights of stairs to our apartment and constant dancing made sure we were very fit!

Every day we busked in the squares and in the cobblestone streets, handing out flyers and promoting our show alongside the many other performers doing the same thing. We went out in costume, playing our zills and saying Bonjour and Merci and had the good fortune to dance with a Romanian Brass Band and some African Drummers who we met by chance in the street. It was both elating and exhausting, trying to generate interest in our little Belly Dance show from Australia.


It was the first time there had been a Belly Dance Show from Australia or possibly anywhere in the festival and when people found out we were from Australia they couldn’t believe we had travelled so far to be a part of their festival.

Late every afternoon we would head back to the apartment to put on our full stage make up, hair and choose a costume to walk to the venue in. We would pack our suit case of dancers’ necessities and walk across town, playing zills and handing out more flyers along the way. Our shows were at 10pm at night which is just after dark and the streets were busier than ever. We made friends with some French Nomad Jewellery sellers who would always have their stall set up near our venue. It was nice to have some regular friendly faces in what seemed like an endless crowd of people.

Our audiences were varied and each night we never knew who or how many people we would have. With 14 shows there was much variety in the audience and each night we gave 110%. It was fascinating as artists to feel our show growing and changing with each performance. You would think the nerves would have left early on but each night they crept back in ever so slightly.

Our dear friends, lighting and sound team Meg and Pete Stephens were our little slice of home and it was so nice to have them there. They supported us in so many ways, it would not have been the same without them. It was a joy to see them every night, and after the show we would all head off to our “regular” café to see our new friend and waitress LuLu and eat crepes at midnight, watching the buskers in the Palais Square.

We made sure we took time to do some sightseeing and see some festival shows, including that of our dear host and inspiration Shakti who really took our breath away with her Classic Nu. A big thank you goes to Shakti and her husband Jorg, who not only create these amazing spaces for the Garage International artists and audiences but who have also had faith in us from the beginning.

This trip has given us so much as artists and we have grown in so many ways. We will take this experience with us into our future projects and create new pieces, forever influenced by our journey to Avignon. We feel incredibly blessed to have been able to have this experience, with hard work and determination we made it there and back. Not forgetting the support of our families and our Belly Dance Arabesque community to whom we are eternally grateful. You have one life, don’t be afraid to follow your dreams, you never know where they will take you!