Summer Hafla brought dance and joy to Medical Garden

THOSE who braved the late-July heat wave to attend the seasonal teahouse within this year’s Summer Hafla in Bratislava’s Medical Garden on July 20 were rewarded with live jazz-fusion music, various styles of Oriental and tribal dance, delicious teas and Oriental snacks, and a friendly and welcoming atmosphere.

(Source: Zuzana Vilikovská)

THOSE who braved the late-July heat wave to attend the seasonal teahouse within this year’s Summer Hafla in Bratislava’s Medical Garden on July 20 were rewarded with live jazz-fusion music, various styles of Oriental and tribal dance, delicious teas and Oriental snacks, and a friendly and welcoming atmosphere.

This year’s Summer Hafla was a repeat of last year’s premiere within an event called FestTeaval. Hafla translates roughly as “party” in Arabic, and a private hafla thrown by a belly dancer usually involves Middle Eastern music, performances by belly dancers and an open-floor dance that gives everyone the chance to get up and move to the music. This year’s Hafla offered a variety of genres performed by different dancers and dance groups, from traditional folklore (Belledi, Shaabi, Saidi, dancing with finger cymbals) through a more modern take on Oriental folk dance (Melaya, Hagala), as well as cabaret-style, tribal and tribal fusion, and the Egyptian-Gypsy style, Ghawazee.

The event culminated in an improvised tribal dance involving all of the performers, who took turns leading the circle with the others following the leader’s movements. This unique finale highlighted the friendly and non-confrontational character of the whole event. It also reached back not just to the roots of tribal dance but also to the roots of Oriental dance as a joyful celebration of togetherness.

The Hafla civic association’s next event, the Pressburger Dance Festival on September 27 to 29, will be more “confrontational and competitive”, but there will be more informal and playful Haflas to come, like the “Halloween Hafla” on November 2.

Get daily Slovak news directly to your inbox

Top stories

News digest: Former state secretary describes the corruption at courts

Schools will definitely not open on Monday. Coronavirus vaccine could be available starting in mid-December. Slovakia joins campaign to fight violence against women.

The Presidential Palace lit in orange, to support the Orange the world! campaign.

One in five women has experienced violence

The situation is far from satisfactory, said President Čaputová.

Secret votes and public lies

There are uncanny echoes today of Slovakia’s agonies over its choice of chief prosecutor ten years ago.

Dobroslav Trnka (left) and Jozef Čentéš (right), the candidate who was eventually selected by MPs in 2011, never got to take up the post because the then president, Ivan Gašparovič refused to appoint him for reasons that were never clearly explained.

How a Catholic charity became a voice for migrants in Slovakia

Religious organisations have added leverage in changing perceptions of foreigners and migrants, says Caritas Slovakia.

Caritas Slovakia's ‘World Without “the Other” – Migration Myths’ campaign educates Slovaks on migration in a fun and artistic way.