‘I really love to eat souls when I’m on stage’Posted by in Tribal Fusion
Sometimes videos just don’t do a performance justice. But if you haven’t seen Marjhani perform live, watch the following video to see how mesmerizingly talented she is:
Marjhani at Ojai Bellydance Festival, 2009
Marjhani is one of the most memorable performers you’ll ever see. Certainly she has a unique dance style, and she doesn’t look like your average bellydancer or fusion dancer for that matter. But more striking is her presence. She’s captivating. So captivating that during one of her performances (see above) I couldn’t look away even as I feared she was casting a spell. I seriously had to tell myself “It’s just a performance, it’s just a performance”. You could cut the tension with a knife!
Marjhani sweetly accepted my invitation for an interview at Cairo Caravan. She had made the drive from Humboldt county to perform and teach, making it in time for my small window for interviews. Getting to know her better was a real delight.
After discouraging remarks from her Ballet teacher and not feeling it with the jazz and tap, she got most of her dance experience in goth and industrial clubs. But it was Tribal Fusion and ATS dance that got her back into dance classes. She’s been involved with the Renaissance Faire for 23 years where she would frequently watch the bellydancers. She was first captivated by the shells, beads and mirrors of Tribal bellydance although she has also taken cabaret with Shoshana in Northern California. “That’s the beauty of dance, I don’t have to limit myself.”
Marjhani’s “first love” was theatre. Which she started when she was 5, taking acting classes and eventually learning and loving “everything about the stage”, including lighting and soundboards.
“Something takes over me when I’m on stage. Like there’s this other presence that comes in and just really takes over and I feel very intuned with the piece that I’m doing”.
Marjhani teaches workshops on Gothic Fusion, Staging a performance, drills, moving slowly and ‘Devouring Your Audience’. And she assures us that she doesn’t cast spells without permission.
Marjhani performing Itsy Bitsy Spider, 2009