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
Herb Goat Cheese Dip
4 weeks ago