Sunday, February 27, 2011

Tribal Con, the quick report

Tribal Con has taught me not only new ways of thinking about and executing belly dance, it has also told me the importance of supporting the local economy by eating my way through the neighborhood around the hotel and trying many new, delicious beers that are available in said neighborhood. Hey, I was working hard this weekend!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

What the h@ll just happened!?!

I wish I could better remember my performances. When I am in the moment I know what's going on, and for a few minutes afterwards I have the whole thing in my head. After about an hour, though, it disintegrates into a blurred impression with a few clear moments standing out.

Last night I performed solo and with Kallisti at Charm City Tribal's 2nd anniversary show. The solo was a first for me. Well, last year I did a short solo with fire sword for a show of all illuminated performances, but that was so heavily choreographed and so specific it felt more like a fire performance pulling from my dance experience not not really a belly dance piece. The only thing I remember from my three and a half minutes on stage was, at one point thinking, "I'm really glad I know my choreography so well." And that's it.

I was really nervous about last night's solo. I've been taking non-tribal classes for a few years with a great teacher, and decided this year I'd finally try to integrate what I've learned and step out on stage alone. It was really well received and I got great compliments from everyone, and I wish I'd been watching from the audience because my impression? Thinking, "Ah! Arms still for too long, move them!" and "Careful when spinning it's a little slippery up here!" and "One and two and three and four and five AND" (to hit a tricky accent that was eluding me) and "Smile! Look at the whole audience not just over their heads!" And that's about it. Oh, I do remember my belly rolls because they got a really good reception, the feedback made it through the fog.

For Kallisti's set we started with a short veil intro and then went into ATS, adding zills later on. And for that my thoughts were, "Don't fall off the stage when spinning", "Did I just hit my troupemate in the face?", "What am I going to do here, ARGH! zills fumbled while thinking!", "Hey there in the front row I'm smiling at you, oh hey! You're smiling back!" I do remember every time we circled up seeing my troupe mates smiling faces, which is always a great comfort and boost while performing.

I don't really remember any of the moves I use. I have no concept at all what my costuming is doing. Lyra once mentioned how our skirts were hitting each other while spinning in a small space, I had no idea at all because it's like I'm a brain and a body and everything else just falls away. Last I was really worried about the top I wore for my solo because I usually don't wear just bra tops, so I made sure I was tied in tight and secure beforehand because I knew if something slipped I'd have no idea of what was going on.

One thing I wish this happens because I'm having a moment where I'm completely immersed. I've talked to or read accounts by dancers where they recount times when they are getting into the music and everything else just falls away and they are in the moment and it's incredible. I've never had that happen. The closest is usually when I'm dancing with Lyra because we like to try to trick each other or steal the lead or throw in tough moves, so I'm really focused on her and the dancing to keep it going. Usually when I'm dancing it's like the control board of some sci-fi space ship, where the pilot is flipping switches and pushing buttons, scanning the screens and making decisions and maneuvering around. More systematic than ecstatic.

I'll keep trying to be more present in my dancing. I was actually thinking that before I went on: be present, enjoy myself, listen to the music and the audience. Hopefully I'll get to the point where even if I don't remember the entire thing I can have a more detailed impression of what went on. I put so much work into this I want to remember it!*

* unless it goes badly, then I can happily forget it, except those are the moments burned into my brain

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Baltimore Bellydance Extravaganza 02/19/2011

All that practicing is not leaving me much time to promote the event! Charm City Tribal is hostessing a show to feature Baltimore area Tribal and Fusion dancers. I am performing with my troupe, Kallisti Tribal (ATS-esque). I am ALSO doing a SOLO! Yikes! Doing a solo is one my of goals for the year, so here it goes! If I like it I plan on doing it again, though hopefully with a little more prep (I kind of threw myself into this one). I'm sure my SO will be happy to no longer hear the repeating soundtrack coming from the living room. I'll be happy with getting 8 hours of sleep afterwards!

I know it'll be worth it though, and this is going to be a fabulous show and a fabulous party!

* * *

A special, BIGGEST EVER, showcase of tribal bellydance in Baltimore. And a fundraiser in honor of the Second Anniversary of Charm City Tribal events!

From the Creative Alliance:

Stunning gals, glittering costumes and a mind-bending mix of tribal fusion bellydance with hip hop, latin and world dance celebrate Charm City Tribal's Two Years! presenting, Baltimore's big premiere of experiments in tribal fusion bellydance.

Lineup includes Naimah, Lilam Bellydance, Kallisti Tribal, Troupe Hip'Notic and Christina of Verve Tribal. The night wraps with an open dance floor and drinks with the dancers.

8pm. $20 General Admission, $15 for Creative Alliance members. Cash bar.

Tickets at:

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

One Down, Twelve to go

One month of my year of practice (well, year of movement) is done! And though some days my get up and go got up and left, I was pretty happy with the overall outcome. I had a couple of days where my movement was shoveling snow; weather and commuting and the actual shoveling left me pretty wiped out, especially the night I almost got stuck at work.

For the near future my practice is focused on a performance in mid-February. My other goals for the month are to try out new sections of my yoga DVD, keep better notes about my dance practices, and after the performance give a new shot and doing Jillian Michaels' "30 Day Shred" video. I am traveling late in the month, to TribalCon in Atlanta. On the travel days I'll have to be careful about getting in my movement, but the rest of the weekend is going to kick. my. butt.

So, I'm pasting my monthly movement list below, so I can free up the sidebar for February!

1/1/11: morning yoga, shimmy drill practice, hiking
1/2/11: shimmy drill practice
1/3/11: mile + walk
1/4/11: troupe practice
1/5/11: late evening yoga: looking forward to it!
1/6/11: two dance classes
1/7/11: wine break, then yoga!
1/8/11: First shot at "Killer Ziller" DVD, am combo + zill klutz
1/9/11: yoga, Jamila "Hip Work", am surprisingly sore next day
1/10/11: yoga, class work (zills, rhythms, Alf Leyla Wa Leyla)
1/11/11: build set list for CCT, play w/veil moves, zills
1/12/11: shoveled snow a.m., post work yoga p.m.
1/13/11: two dance classes, not feeling the drum riffs
1/14/11: 30 minute walk during lunch, worked 9am to 12am
1/15/11: yoga, enjoying
1/16/11: hour hike in the snow, need to remember binoculars
1/17/11: brainstorming for troupe practice and solo, feeling frazzled between ATS and what I'm learning in class
1/18/11: troupe practice, lots of veil work
1/19/11: "Killer Ziller" combos and zill patterns from class, working on tying hips to R and L and sounds
1/20/11: two dance classes, finally enjoying solo stuff at the end
1/21/11: hours dancing to Balkan Music, good cardio workout!
1/22/11: Rachel Brice "Serpentine" DVD, if not doing full yoga in the future use Sun Salutations to warm up
1/23/11: Yoga
1/24/11: work on veil parts for troupe practice
1/25/11: troupe practice
1/26/11: snow shoveling is it, bad weather, bad day
1/27/11: long walk in the snow, sleepy yoga
1/28/11:Pick up new veil, practice for next show with it.
1/29/11: Practice with new veil
1/30/11: dance to show music, start "Drills, drills, drills". Need to develop ab strength!
1/31/11: "Drills, drills, drills": foot pattern layering and shimmy drills