INES OGOREVC   •   18/01/2020

Arrebatate has been really special for me, especially since I wanted to go there for the past two years and now I have finally made it. For the first time I steped into the New Year at a dance festival. So far I usually went to summer festivals abroad or in Ljubljana, but Arrebatate was so inviting due to New Year's Eve celebration and the atmosphere during holiday time.


The workshops didn't actually have some particular New Year's note. Besides the regular workshops, they organized two boot camps. One happened a day early and was not included in the price. The second was scheduled during the regular workshops, which somehow took away its appeal, as it seemed as just one of the workshops to choose from. The only real differences were that you had to sign up for it beforehand and you had to perform if you wanted to participate in it. I am not a fan of performing as my memory seems to go blank when I get on stage. That is why I didn’t attend this boot camp even though the topic and teacher seemed awesome which also showed at their performance as they were really great. In couple of hours Regla managed to come up with a really wonderful choreography.

One of the best workshops at the festivals where Diana and Osmani are both present is Dance Battle. Even though I don't like performing, I always go a little outside my comfort zone here, because the workshops are really awesome and also the battle itself has some special energy. I especially loved this battle, as Diana put together an interesting concept and created the real storyline in several chapters. Throughout the choreography the energy was constantly rising and concluded with a very strong combat message. Meanwhile, Osmani's choreography had the exact opposite message that the fight was not about showing strength, but to please us. And it suited the situation really well, as we waited an extra hour for them, but it was worth the wait.


Each social/party was special in its own way, so it would be hard to pick a favorite. The first night, the atmosphere of the event and types of dancers were revealed. At most of the festivals, I'm used to dancers sticking to their familiar groups and not ask so many dancers out of their circle for a dance. But here it was a different story, not a single night have I stood beside the dancefloor for a long time. The boys continued to invite me to the dancefloor which for me was one of the most beautiful part of the festival.

Each social had a different theme. The first night was more relaxed, dancers just getting to know each other. On the second night carried a special energy, probably due to the performances, some better than others. But this energy continued throughout the night and towards the end of the night a circle was created where everyone had an opportunity to show their knowledge of afro and rumba. The third evening had a theme - cops and prisoners to which the dancers responded very differently. Some completely ignoring it, but very large part of the attendees took it very seriously. The costumes were awesome, some in a more seductive manner and others in a humorous way, so compliments to everyone for their efforts. Dance animations were also tailored to the theme, which added a special spice to the night. The main animation was "Te va llevar la policia".

New Year's Eve was decisive for me to choose this festival. I don't like celebrating New Year on the street, because you don't know from where a firecracker or a rocket can fly over at you. However, that factors split our group, as quite a few dancers decided to go downtown to wait for midnight. I arrived at the party just a few minutes before the countdown, perfect timing. Together with some friends, the teachers on the stage and the whole dance floor we jumped into 2020. Instead of the smoke of fireworks, confetti were shot into the air and the whole dancefloor just sparkled. All the good wishes and toasts were followed by a set of animations that further enhanced our cheerful mood. The evening went on so well, so many invitations to dance that I could barely catch my breath the whole night. Towards the end, I was unfortunately betrayed by my knee, indicating that it was time to rest.


I recommend Arrebatate Festival to everyone, as this was one of the festivals where I danced the most, as it was evident also on my smartwatch, cca. 30,000 steps each day. Compliments to the organizer for all aspects of the festival - from locations (two buildings 20m apart), to the super thought through parties and excellent teaching staff.

In this holiday season Budapest is beautiful in all its lights, you feel safe on the street and in the close proximity of the festival you can find many Airbnbs, in case you don’t decide to sleep in the official hotel of the festival or it is already sold out. In any case, hurry up with reservations as in the holiday season the city is crowded with tourists and accommodations run out fast.

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