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An Interview with Mares - Mużajk Magazine

You have been dancing for almost 30 years. What got you dancing?

Everything! I can not imagine my life without dance. Dancing makes me happy, preserves my creativity and keeps me feeling alive all the time.

Why do you love to dance?

Because it is the best way to express myself & my feelings without the need for words. It is something that I need. It is a part of me.

Have your dancing experiences ever taught you anything so important that it keeps coming back to you?

Everything! Dancing gives me something new every day. When you learn something, it stays with you forever. When your body picks up a new movement, you will never forget it and it is yours forever. We all do learn every day, so for me I value it as a new gift every single day. How generous life could be!

Generally speaking, dancing gives me my sense of creativity, the ability to feel every small detail and the way I see the world; beautiful.

You have studied with acclaimed dancers and choreographers. What is the best piece of advice any of them ever told you?

A lot, but once my ballet teacher told me when I finished my courses, “Now it is time for you to choose what you want and what you love the most. I taught you the technique, but now it is your turn to find yourself. The best teacher is not always the best. Even if the teacher’s technique is not that good, it does not matter. What matters the most is finding the best way that suits you. The most important thing is who you are. Once you find your personal style, you will immediately know it and then you will shine.” Then, one day, many years later, I was watching a video of a famous dancer and suddenly his words hit me. Everything he said made sense all of a sudden. I found myself and what I want! I will always remember that moment. Undoubtedly, I could say that it was one of my happiest moments ever.

What inspires you as a choreographer?

It could be anything; a song, an idea, a specific feeling in a specific moment or even a costume!

Do you have any role models?

Yes. Many. They are also so different. Every one has a different style, but that is absolutely what I like because then I can create something with what I like the most from everyone.

Who is Mares apart from her dancing?

Well, I love going to the theater, concerts and art in general. Also, I do love traveling when I could. But, frankly, when I do not have any plans, I am always happy just relaxing on the beach.

Do you have any weaknesses?

Yes. I believe I am a very responsible and organised person, so I have a bit of a short temper when someone is a bit careless or irresponsible, specifically if it will affect the workflow or the tribe.

What is Tribal Fusion Dance? How does it differ from Belly Dancing?

Tribal Fusion Belly Dance is a modern Western form of belly dance which was created by fusing American Tribal Style belly dance (ATS) and American Cabaret belly dance. Artists frequently incorporate elements from Popping, Hip Hop, ‘Egyptian’ or ‘Cabaret’ belly dance, as well as movement principles from traditional forms such as Flamenco, Kathak, Odissi, and other folkloric and classical dance styles.

Anyway, you could find all the information you need in details on my website (www.marestribalfusion.com).

Your classes have names like ‘My rebel side’, ‘Dangerous immersion’ or ‘Metamorphosis in action’. What would one expect at her first class?

Those are the names for each level. I prepare all the course in September when we start. Every level is different, but for instance; what beginners will basically learn in the first year is to get to know their bodies. This is the first step. Generally, we do not know how our bodies work or how to control them. Thus, this level stresses on hips, chest, arms, torso, etc. It is quite incredible what they learn in one year!

How do you hope students feel at the end of a session?

They do feel good because they could easily see how they are improving everyday and have more control over their bodies, which accordingly makes them more confident. Many times they say, “1 hour has already passed!? Not fair. I have been waiting for my dance class all week long and now it is gone that fast!”

From the comments I have read, you make your students feel good about their movement and their bodies. Do you require any dancing background or any physical attributes to attend one of your classes?

No at all! Everyone is welcome in the Tribe! If they do not have any experience, they start in the beginner level and that is all! We dance to have fun, learn about our bodies and enjoy it together. No competition whatsoever in class. There is always a small competition in almost all dance styles. Nevertheless, I do not let that be, albeit a little. I treat all my students alike. Even throughout performances, all my students exchange positions so that everyone gets the chance to perform at the very front of the stage.

In September you are organizing the second edition of Zfin Etniku. What made you organize the first edition? Tell me more about this event.

Well, this is more than an event. This is also an exchange program between Spain and Malta. I still have my students in Spain and I travel many times a year to keep making their choreographies and helping out in general. Moreover, I do have my partners and my group in Spain and we are working on all of this together. This is our second year. At the beginning of July 2015, all my Maltese girls flew to Spain. We had workshops and performed live in our annual dance show, not to mention the excursions and the lots of fun we had. They were hosed by my Spanish girls, so obviously my Maltese students did not spend any money on accommodation, transportation or food. In September 2015, the second phase of the exchange program will take place in Malta, whereby my Spanish students will fly over here to exchange the same memorable experience. It is really nice seeing the Maltese and Spanish students getting along with each other and building a unique friendship, which undoubtedly encourages us to keep bringing this project about.

What would one expect by attending?

It will definitely be a very nice show with people from different whereabouts. Also, as I said, what I do is Tribal Fusion and every group has its own choreography fused with different styles. So, people will be seeing a bit of contemporary, hip hop, Balkan and more, with oriental as a base. Then, we will be having a bit of salsa and some improvisation with my partner, performing some American Tribal Style.

An Interview with Mares - Circle Magazine, Time of Malta