Thursday, July 30, 2009

Dancing the Tides

Poet Joshua Gage has written pieces inspired by my artwork before, this time he took my little drawing Drum Solo in Blue as a muse (and was kind enough to mention it). You can find his poem published in the Summer 2009 issue of Goblin Fruit: Raqs Sharqi. Enjoy some bellydance-themed verse :)

Monday, July 27, 2009

Preparing for the Faire

After approximately three years of taking classes, a handful of workshops, and a slew of bellydance DVD purchases later, I'm actually going to perform*.

Before the official start of last week's class there was a flurry of activity involving the experimental whirling of tiered black skirts, and the pairing of colorful fringe with bits of banjara textiles that glinted like disco balls in the light. It was a little dizzying to observe, but the giddy atmosphere aroused by the splay of costumery was infectious. I was almost immediately addressed as the only person who didn't provide an official response regarding the upcoming performance opportunity (that would explain the unusually intense fuss over tribal gear before class). I vaguely remembered receiving an e-mail about it but sheepishly declined, partially because I assumed that it was intended for students in higher class levels, but also because I instinctively feel that Desirée and performance do not belong in the same sentence.

The bulk of the class was essentially a rehearsal where we danced to the actual piece being used in the show, which is blessedly brief, practicing changing designated leaders at the appropriate spot in the music. It was so much fun that I was beginning to regret my knee-jerk initial denial. My teacher and a few of my classmates were trying to persuade me to reconsider. They had some good points: I don't have to lead, and the song is only about 2 and a half minutes long. It would also be a really good excuse to wear some of the nifty things I've accrued since my bellydance addiction began. By the end of class, I had succumbed to the peer pressure (it's not just for kids anymore!) and was added to the list for the Level II performance piece.

The performance will be at the Wrightstown Renaissance Faire as part of a line-up featuring other levels of dancers from Hipnosis' studio on the two days before my birthday, thankfully giving us some time to rehearse and pull together a costume.

I've been fitted for my banjara choli halter, and my fringe is in the mail. I'm going to attempt to make a belt from some of the supplies of coins, Turkman buttons, guls, and other goodies I've been hoarding. My hair and makeup are still up in the air, but I did get an awesome bindi and I would love to make and wear a nath, which is apparently the word for the chain that drapes from a nose ring around the side of the face and attaches to an earring, since I think this might be the only type of occasion where I could actually get away with wearing one!

* Technically, I did perform a short veil choreography with classmates at Casablanca, a Middle Eastern Restaurant in Warrington, when I first started taking classes, but it didn't feel like a real performance to me. Instead I felt more like a tutu-bedecked toddler at a dance recital being patronized by my parents and other onlookers for my endearing awkwardness and incoordination.