|Hooman and Dalena last night in 'Latin Heat' at Rio's Brazilian Restaurant|
I'm an unashamed groupie. Anywhere our dancing teacher, Hooman Ebadi, and his partner, Dalena Leggieri, are performing, you'll find us there. And last night was no exception. After all, groupies get a lot of perks - simply boasting at the door that we were friends of the stars assured us the best seats in the house. There we were, up on the balcony, with a great view of the dance floor.
|The view from on high|
We didn't just spend our time sitting up there in solitary splendour either. With our friends, Cathie and Ken, who met on a dance floor, we spent a lot of time meringue-ing, cha cha-ing and salsa-ing down in the thick of things. And I'm delighted to report that there were only one or two glasses of wine needed for Dutch (or perhaps that should be Brazilian) courage before we hit the floor, and no disputes once we got there.
But back to Hooman and Delana:-
We loved the show because it featured many of the styles we struggle with in class at their beautiful best. The Cuban rumba, the pasa doble from Spain, the infuriatingly difficult salsa, the lambada and naturally Rio de Janeiro's own stunning samba all took centre stage. We also particularly enjoyed the show because, as well as being its stars, the talented duo created, directed, produced, choreographed and led the troupe.
|The troupe in action|
As you can see, I've (finally) discovered photo shop. Because another of the perks of being a groupie is that it gives me ample opportunity to practise my photography. Shooting moving subjects in conditions of low and variable light is always a test of my fledgling skills.
Something I forgot to mention in listing Hooman and Delana's talents is that Delana designs and makes all the costumes herself. Which not only includes sewing on hundreds of sequins, but even welding the frames for the head gear.
|Yes, Delana made them all|
When the stars visited us before the show, I was intrigued to hear more about Delana's creativity. She obviously has a great eye for colour and fabrics, though of course some costumes require a lot less fabric than others.
My interest in the design and creation of costumes was intensified recently when we discovered the wonderful HBO series Treme.
Set in post-Katrina New Orleans, it introduced me to a group I had never previously heard of, called the Indians. An exclusively New Orleans phenomenon, involving an amalgamation of free American slave and First Nation customs, the Indians are one of the highlights of the annual Mardi Gras.
Exclusively men, the group spend the year making the most exquisite, elaborately-embroidered and feathered costumes. And when Mardi Gras time comes around, they dance, sway and chant to the accompaniment of African drumming and to the delight of the parade's crowds.
One day I'm determined to visit New Orleans during Mardi Gras just to see them live.
I've no doubt the Indians would greatly approve Hooman and Delana's passion, artistry and creativity. I know their groupies do.