Wednesday, July 16, 2008

TGIT (Thank God It's Tribal!)*

I wrote this for my regular blog, to amuse my friends and show them what things we go though as dancers. Of course I have to repost it here.

This past weekend our friend Cathy hosted Zafira for 2 days of workshops. It was incredible. I've taken workshops with Maria and Olivia twice before, at Triboriginal in 2006 and 2007, and even though some of the material this weekend was familiar I still walked away with so much new knowledge, so much inspiration, and so much of my a$$ being kicked (in a good way). I love them. Or lurve them. Or luff. With two effs.

Saturday night was the gala show. Cathy scored the Theatre Project, which I feel was (physically) an awesome venue, even with the tiny backstage (and tinier backstage restroom, which really makes you understand the term "water closet"). There were a lot of people in attendance, and though it was not a dance crowd (i.e. very quiet while you danced) they were very receptive and appreciative. Also, very patient and gracious with the sound mess ups. I'll get to that in a second, but first:

The good: Piper rocking her solo even with the horrible sound, getting to finally see Sammati from the audience (go zills!), Piper and students dancing with drums!, Levialora's beautiful basket dance with live music, Naimah showing us her softer side and endless shimmies, the huge group improv set with baby dancers to seasoned pros all dancing together even though most of us have never danced together before, Shems' glittering veil solo, getting to dance with Lyra and knowing that no matter what happens we've got each other's backs, Mavi being an incredible sword goddess, and Zafira working an amazing spectrum of dance from a saucy vaudeville number straight through to heart meltingly romantic belly dance.

Now, let me tell you about the crazy parts!

I have this part under a cut on my other blog, titled "You thought we would stop dancing, but you were wrong"

There were sound problems all through the show, starting with some of the CDs not working during the sound check. Piper's music from her CD was barely audible, full of static and the sound person cut it early, who knows why!! The crew didn't seem to understand that Zafira wanted their music to start and then took their time turning it up loud enough. Even though the sound guy said our CD worked, I ran for my iPod during the intermission, which was good because the CD of music for the large group set wasn't working and I thankfully had let the practice playlist on the pod. I didn't trust our CD to work, and I was worried even with the pod.

At first, despite the crew not understanding "Bring up the music and lights at the same time", it went well. But then, well, here's what was going on in my head:

First song done! Why are the lights going down? We have another song. It rocks! What? Okay, we'll stand here. And smile. Smile more. What is this! Okay, I'll start to taqsim just to do something. Hey, people are clapping, and it's a 4/4. We can dance to this! This is okay! Maybe the music will be fixed! Wait, this could go on forever. Thank you Mab for wrapping that up. Standing. Fine, I'll go up into the booth. *hike up skirts, run up the steps, pull up the exact song we need (the performance was single tracked)* "Don't hit play until I get down there!" *climb back to the floor* "Brooke, you go first!" Man, I am out of breath, but smile! Uh, why is our first song playing again? Okay, we'll dance to it! These poor people. I am so hot and sweaty. My arms hurt. Hi Brooke, look at us dancing! Hello people in the front row, are you tired of me yet? Okay, that's over. Pose, smile. Why are the lights going down! *scowling* Sound guy: "There's only one song", Me: "It's single tracked!" Suddenly! Our second song! Yeah! But it's too low. Make turn it up motions. Both of us yell: LOUDER! Hey, there it is! Me: Shimmy shimmy shimmy! Brooke: Shimmy shimmy shimmy! Both of us: dance dance dance dance. Totally rock the ending! Pose! Applause! Smile! Bow! Walk off. Sweat, gasp, gulp water.

So yeah, have I told you lately about the glamorous world of belly dance? On the other hand, improv rocks my world!

*Tribal group improv, that is

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