Posts tagged: gothla

Dec 29 2008

Gothla UK 2008 Videos

Excerpts from the first seven performances at Gothla UK 2008, British Theatre Dance Association, Leicester, 18th July.

Excerpts from six of the later performances at Gothla UK 2008. Deva Matisa expressly asked not to be filmed.

Video and editing by Sue Hutton. Videos uploaded to GothlaUK YouTube site.

First published 24th July 2008.

Dec 29 2008

Aarachna dancing at Gothla UK 2008

The second Gothla UK event took place in Leicester, UK, this last weekend, 18th-20th July 2008.

The hafla was held in the theatre of the British Theatre Dance Association.  Fourteen acts included some of the foremost exponents of gothic bellydancing – Ariellah, Sashi and Tempest from the USA, Deva Matisa from Germany and Morgana from Spain, as well as performers from around UK.

I have been the webmistress for Gothla UK since the beginning of 2007 and instrumental in setting up the online payment system.  I print the tickets, design the posters, send out the newsletters, maintain the blog and generally liaise with managers of the venues in Leicester in partnership with my daughter Rosie.

Over the weekend, I’ve stood on duty in the booking office at BTDA, been ‘chick on the door’ at Studio 79 and minded the Gothla stall at the souk (bellydance accoutrements).

The event passed off very smoothly. We had ladies coming from as far afield as the Czech Republic, Poland, Italy and Sweden as well as from all over UK.  It looks as if it will become an annual event.

I’m very pleased and proud to air this video I took of Rosie, stage name Aarachna, dancing at the hafla on Friday evening.  Her backing track was Exterminate, Annihilate, Destroy by Rotersand. As her intro stated, there’s not a cyberman, doctor nor dalek in sight!

First published 22nd July 2008.

Dec 29 2008

Gothla, Jogle 2007 and Betjeman

It's not that I've been doing nothing, but that I have been doing a lot which has prevented me from updating my news.  It didn't help when I discovered that I wasn't able to log in to write an entry.  This was finally resolved when I worked out that the web host had changed security settings on my site.

Gothla happened in June.  I wrote originally about the positive interaction we were having with Internet marketing and social networking back in February

The event itself was a great success, and we are looking forward to repeating it next year, this time in a specialist performing arts venue in Leicester.  Over 100 people thronged to the hafla on the Friday evening.  The workshops were fully booked, such that Sashi repeated her Gothic Tribal Bellydance workshop on the Sunday afternoon, and even that was over-subscribed.

The website has been updated with video and links to a photo gallery on Flickr

No sooner had I finished, temporarily, with Gothla, then I was organising the John O' Groats to Lands' End bike ride on behalf of my son and four of his friends.  Seventeen year old lads have the energy and fitness levels to do the ride, but lack the organisational know-how.  More sombrely, we discovered that they did need adult backing anyway to be able to make bookings at campsites.  Several campsites demurred at the age of the boys and only accepted them when they knew that they would be accompanied by adults.  I was surprised to find out that most campsites will not accept bookings from same sex parties.

Notwithstanding, the ride went ahead and was hugely successfull and fulfilling for all involved.  I have written up the story of the JoGLE on the web, which we hope will be a useful resource for anyone else wanting to undertake the journey.  Furthermore, the boys raised sponsorship of £1180 in aid of Cancer Research.  The cheque presentation took place last week during half term.

Finally, I researched, scripted and starred in an entertainment at The Richard Attenborough Centre in Leicester at the end of September, entitled, How to Get On in Society! John Betjeman revealed in his poetry and song. I had fantastic support from friends and was pleased that we managed to get around 60 people in the audience, including members of The Betjeman Society.  Again, I'd had to trudge the streets of Leicester to distribute leaflets and talk to media outlets.  It's not enough to send press releases by email.  You have to get on the phone as well or meet people directly.

And I took my Open University exam in Economics a week later.

First published 28th October 2007.

Dec 29 2008 up and running

I have joined a cooperative of enterprising ladies, including my daughter, who are organising a gothic bellydance event in Leicester in June 2007.  We've found that we've been able to do most of our PR and marketing via the web so far, using niche groups at and LiveJournal.

The website was created with one page initially to which the MySpace diverted enquiries.  Our aim was to collect email addresses of people who were interested in attending the event.  I use List Messenger Pro to manage the database and to send out email newsletters.

List Messenger also allows people to confirm their subscription and to opt out.  I haven't used the facility to design forms to collect preferences yet. 

Paying for the software meant that I did get a personal reply from the creator, and I can use the ticket system to get priority support but otherwise, I have to use the forum just like everybody else.  A free version of the software can support 100-200 subscribers.

The Gothla website is designed for a specific event, and thus is likely to have a limited lifetime – unless the weekend proves so successful that the organisers decide to do it again.

Thus we have focused on just the information likely to be required by attendees.  We've used PayPal for bookings, but also allow people to download a booking form to send with a cheque if they prefer.  We've used a Google map to highlight the whereabouts of the different venues, bus and rail stations and hotels.

Each member of the cooperative has her own email address.  One of the benefits of doing the website is that it seems to have focused the organiser's attention on their specific roles – a great aid to management of the project.

I commend Compila, the webhost, which was in turn recommended to me, for the facilities it provides for just £20 a year, with second year free.  250Mb web space, unlimited POP3 email addresses, 2 MySQL databases and unmetered bandwidth.

We have also used MySpace and YouTube to garner interest.  And I have learnt how to convert a video in DVD format to something that you can see and hear on the web.  Every web project pushes the boundaries that much further.

First published 15th February 2007.

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