Last night Sitris and I performed for the first time at Joolz, a Middle Eastern inspired restaurant in downtown Bend, Oregon. It was a bit of a trial run for both the restaurant and ourselves, but it worked out beautifully and we are making plans to be there regularly on the second and fourth Tuesday nights each month.
It’s been about 3 or 4 years since I performed regularly in a restaurant and I really was starting to miss engaging an audience in such an intimate atmosphere. Stage performances are wonderful–I love being on a stage, but a restaurant is something wholly different. It is such an interactive atmosphere with servers going by, customers coming and going and diners at the tables–there is so much to be aware of in addition to dancing either solo or with a partner. A dancer must be PRESENT and fully aware of her surroundings at all times and I love that extra layer of complexity and excitment!
Since it was our first time at Joolz and it was a bit of a last minute decision on what night to dance, Sitris and I improvised our sets together and performed solos. Aside from a few kinks with our Ipod, the performances went very well and from my perspective, were dynamic and utilized the space to our advantage. There was even a crowd outside the door watching us as we performed. Next time we’ll be able to promote ourselves and hopefully get some of those folks in the restaurant to dine!
Speaking of the food…after our performances, Sitris and I sat down for a meal and it was delicious! They have seriously good food at Joolz! I sampled a couple of items from both the regular and the Happy Hour menus and it was all scrumptious. I’ll definitely be going back, both as a regular customer and as a performer! The owners and waitstaff were warm, friendly and attentive and Sitris and I are looking forward to developing a great professional relationship with them and making dining at Joolz just a little more entertaining!