keryx: (art fights)
Pina Bausch died this week. I know her as an influence (and collaborator?) of Anne Bogart, one of my own huge theatrical - and as it turns out, life - influences. Bausch and Bogart blur the lines between visual theatre and theatrical dance. Which is which? Who stops where?

It doesn't matter. I see the world differently thanks to Pina Bausch, though, and I would love for you to see it too. Not that Youtube can adequately express live dance, but at least it can try.

Here's some of Vollmond, I think my personal favorite example of her being awesome...
part 1
part 2
part 3

It's like joy and gut-wrenching, on stage. She could also create work that was deeply creepy, even offensive. Her most famous work shows a little of that...
Sacre du Printemps/Rites of Spring
Cafe Muller
keryx: (Default)
It's not just the tiny skirts!

I think pretty much every angry young girl, girl geek, or wallflower has at some point learned that cheerleaders/The Popular Girls/whatever are evil. Yes? I suspect a lot of you were like me in that respect.

Bellydancing has totally changed my mind about that. I've met a surprising number of women who were, in fact, stereotypical Popular Girls (queens of things, cheerleaders, sorority presidents, that sort of thing). I've met even more who, whatever they were in past lives, act like those girls now. They're awesome. There is certainly a level of backbiting and enforced niceness - that is, there's a way to say things, and it's not blunt [though my closer dance friends have learned to live with my blunt] - but it comes with so much enthusiasm for the beauty of your costume, and your dancing, and your smile, and... wow you are just so cool.

I think most of them mean it. I've come to find their costumes, their dancing and their smiles beautiful, too. There's a graduation process from outsider to student to performer to teacher that helps you discover and champion the beauty in other dancers. I bet that it's a lot like being in a sorority. And like, I'm totally a senior now. I look at less-experienced dancers especially, and they're just OMGSQUEEWOW so very wonderful. Okay, maybe not quite as GAH, I LOVE YOU as the ATS dancers I dance with and have trained (there's wonderful, and then there's tribe). But pretty damned wonderful.

Also? The Popular Girls? Give you presents. Best idea ever. Let's all give each other presents.
keryx: (happydance)
I don't know if we'll do anything for First Friday this week (what with the baby, other people's schedules, plus the general freezingness of February at night), but there's a thing next Tuesday that a couple of TTE peeps are dancing at. I realize I've been terribly remiss in letting y'all know when we're doing something, so...

It's in COLONIAL HEIGHTS, Tuesday 2/10. )

Anyone else read the description & immediately think of a dirty epic war costume/theme set to "Red & Black" from Les Miz?

Just me, huh?
keryx: (hawaii sunrise)
OMG you guys. The DC halau? WROTE A MELE FOR OBAMA. *

He Mele Inoa No Obama. I give you You Tube link rather than embedding so you can click on "more info" and read the text and English translation.

* You probably got this from context, but a mele (pronounced MEH-lay) is a chanted hula.
keryx: (Default)
I am. Dancing again, that is.

You may now be thinking you stopped dancing?? - which, okay. Technically I didn't stop. For awhile there I just performed with my dance peeps doing our regular shows and little else. Tribe stuff transcends dance. On a physical level, it's more like eating than performance. And the only classes I've been taking are flamenco and hula. I had lost a lot of my creative energy around dancing, and I still had to muster a fair amount of management energy to get things done. I think my body only produces management energy as a by-product of the creative variety.

So. The break was nice. I've worked on 2 minor choreographies for PURE [We're doing a short piece for each chakra, which is a very cool idea. Last week the back-of-the-class kids and I worked out a "penis chakra" piece.] and one major spaghetti western hair band fusion choreography. I'm particularly pleased with the latter. It was conceived in a biker bar. I bet my parents would've conceived me in a biker bar if there'd been one in town. It's almost ready for its debut, too.

I've found a new solo voice that I'm *cough* actually going to display in public in a couple of weeks *cough*. I'm having a new costume made. I'm going to local workshops again. I'm - my life is weird, kids - teaching a 30 minute hula party thing tomorrow. I'm enjoying dance enough that I could teach again... except I can't teach a regular class, keep up with hula, join a CST class (which is starting a week, yay!), keep up with my practice & performance commitments and possibly start aikido all at the same time. Giving my body new creative fuel is the most important thing this year, so I may not come back to teaching except for private students for some time still [If you're interested, that doesn't mean no one in TTE will be teaching. It just won't be me. Most of our other members are qualified to teach now.]. So, yeah. Not back to teaching.

But dancing! Dancing I am back to. I feel like dancing everywhere in response to everything.


Jan. 4th, 2009 10:50 am
keryx: (forthefloor)
This is gorgeous enough that you should watch all 10 minutes of it even if you're not a dancer. Cause. Wow. Devyani (the women in red, gold & white) are especially amazing with the intensity of their focus.
keryx: (Default)
I mean. Not really.

I had a friend who could just look at a movement and reproduce it. I envied that seemingly direct channel from his eyes to his body. A moment ago, I surprised myself by busting some convincing Acadian heel-toe action without even thinking about it.

Which makes total sense. I've been dancing and looking at dance for long enough that, having seen that dance, I can reproduce it. It would be even cooler to practice throwing down in unfamiliar dance forms enough that I could do what he did - replay a movement, then be able to break it down enough to teach it. That's a pretty badass skill right there, mixing unconscious with conscious competence.
keryx: (forthefloor)
Another handy thing I picked up from the Fat Chance kids: cutting two holes in your socks, so instead of covering your toes, there's just a thin strip of fabric between your big toe & second toe.

It gives you a nice spinny quality on wood floor, keeps you from sticking quite so badly to marley (which is what they practice on), and on carpet... well, not so useful, but probably warm.

Plus they're nice if you crazily left the house in flipflops this morning.


Aug. 10th, 2008 08:18 pm
keryx: (taro)
Hey! I've found something really important!

I love hula. I think I'm going to have to start getting up at the crack of dawn every Saturday to drive up to the halau in Alexandria.

In related news, seated mele (chanting & dancing mostly with body position & arm gesture) drive my cats BATSHIT CRAZY.
keryx: (sing it)
Y'all. I have to share a very important thought. LEG WARMERS RULE.

I was at the Target buying a humidifier so I stop waking up ill and a cheap scale for my how-much-does-my-weight-vary-in-a-day project, and I spontaneously bought some cheap leg warmers. They are the best thing ever for dance practice, which usually involves my big fluffy skirt getting hiked up to my knees.

Apparently I care a lot less about looking cool than I did as a small child in the 80s, people - because I'm still pretty sure they look dorky as anything. But I do not care. Keeping warm while dancing keeps muscles from getting all crotchety, and my calves are normally Walter Matthau.
keryx: (finger licking good)
It's officially my birthday! I now have an enormous photo of myself framed on the wall as you walk into the door of my apartment. AND an artist's rendition of myself on the facing wall. That's right... even my birthday gifts are apparently self-absorbed. And some are gay. Also, no one listens when you tell them not to bring presents.

My peeps are fantastic. They moved my living room into my bedroom. And back. In the time it took me to have a conversation and a couple of cigarettes outside. That's some motivation!

We also had a nice relaxed stage show at Gay Pride this morning. It was not, despite what everyone else in the tribe seems to feel, a bad set - it was just a contained set and on a stage, neither of which we do a lot. Technically, it was much more controlled and well-executed than our usual performances; it was solid, one of the more consistent performances this iteration of the tribe has done. We've just done so many loud, limit-pushing, interacting with the audience things that a technically good set feels weird, less sexy. Lest you think it was completely dry, though, know that every musician wore sunglasses the entire show.
keryx: (family photo)
Friday (two days from now) TTE is back at Fourth Friday at Art Works. Yay! We're doing a set at 8 and one at 9. Please tip us, as we are broke.

Also! We're starting classes again for the fall on September 18! Tuesday nights! Tell your friends! Read all about it!
keryx: (Default)
I feel like everyone loves me today!

Everywhere I go, there's no line and people are smiling. Work was totally chill (if sadly lacking in Dickensian prose). There was no one in the Taco Bell (hangover food, though I'm not exactly hung over) drive-thru at lunch! In Short Pump! I got into and out of a Lowe's filled with happy people in about 3 minutes. An entire line of people patiently waited for me when I got the wrong thank you card for my colleague and had to go pick out another. I just happened to have cash on hand as I was driving down Broad St by VCU, so I got to stop at Aladdin (which was emitting the yummiest smell ever). They tried to get me to stay, and when I didn't, they gave me free cake.

And, guess what?! To the Earth will be TWO next Monday! We're a toddler.
keryx: (kills fascists)
It was ostensibly just costume photos from a member of the Detroit PURE group (and dude! they have THIRTY people!), but it sparked a couple of dismissive comments about cultural appropriation followed by some more investigative ones followed by some really unfounded notions that PERFORMANCE IS NEVER ACTIVIST.

That's right, people. Art? Is just about some person's "self-expression". O RLY? Have you no education in the history of performance? [Okay, yeah, I know I'm being a cultural snob here, but on what planet is protesting the One True Activism and art a sideline activity? It's not like art-as-protest is either new or dead. Hello? LiveEarth? Like, last week? I don't get how someone could be so clueless on this subject.]

The comment thread has: misunderstandings of tribal bellydance, debate about what's "real" fattivism, disparaging remarks about art, snark about "sisterhood", questions about cultural appropriation (and a hint of Orientalism, but I think maybe that was just me). It's like lj-feminist came to hang out on [ profile] fatshionista just to entertain me!

On a serious note, I do get that people who find bellydance troublesome have probably gotten tired of explaining why by now. Just because I don't get tired of examining that particular fish doesn't mean others are obliged to. But, really, people? If you're gonna bring it up, do you have to be such a dismissive ass about it? In my experience, people often haven't given thought to the cultural implications of dance shit, but they're pretty open to questioning it.
keryx: (Default)
My weekend actually started Wednesday with dance practice. What we do to prep for a big performance, if you're interested ) After practice, we drove to the wilds of Chesterfield because [ profile] garrity and family are swell. And I went to bed way early because, I think, I was still healing (I am a little in awe of people who get tattoos that take several hours, given that my own recovery time was so long).

Thursday, as mentioned, [ profile] cutegaychick and I went to Natural Bridge to act like dorks.

Friday was basically - get up, run mad errands, get in car at lunch time, drive to DC. We listened to the Buffy musical on the ride up, which made at least an hour of our three hour tour go faster and more fun-like. After that and tech and trying to get food and getting dressed and watching all of the other performances, I really don't remember how the show went. Brettocks and Dave took pictures, if that helps. Some thoughts on the other performances, at least, since I hardly remember ours... )

Friday night [ profile] missmeridian and I stayed up too late. Saturday morning was a driving comedy of errors the likes of which only DC can produce. I did not get lost, though! I did, however, get to the workshop late. But in a way that was good - it helped me approach the workshop as just another way to dance and get better and have fun. I tend to keep skulking off to the back to take notes, like writing it down will help (it will at least give me a reference) even though I'm more of a kinaesthetic/spacial learner. I feel like I have to find a way to ingest everything because it may be a year before I have a teacher in front of me again.

This time was different, though - more time to focus on refinement, more willingness to dare and fuck up, no notes taken whatsoever and hardly even a second's break from dancing. It was so cool to see so many beginners there! It was even better to dance with new people! And I left Sunday with a Sahra turn and a calibrated spin which did not suck.

Also, I feel like I've now been invited into a sisterhood of tattooed bellydancers. I think everyone who knew the tattoo is new came up to exchange tattoo stories. Though people did mistake the pomegranate on stage for chili peppers, goldfish, and a variety of other unexpected things, apparently.

So, yeah. That was a really long weekend to not feel at all like a weekend. Just like a different kind of work. I LIKE work, mind you, but it does tire a girl out.
keryx: (Default)
I am cleaning the house. I have done closets & the bathroom grout. That's intense cleaning. Ironically, the rest of the house looks just as sloppy as ever.

In cleaning the house, I rediscovered Microchip Squeeky Mouse. Sere has been a maniac all morning. I? Have been up since 7am on a SUNDAY.

Oh. We're sharing a stage with Carolena and Meg in less than two weeks (in DC, by the way, if any DC peeps want to come see us). Thank $DANCE_DEITY we have a solid set worked up already. Still. Gulp. We don't even do bellydance shows in general very often, let alone with the pressure of our teachers watching us.

I need character shoes (for a beginner's flamenco class) again for the first time in what, 15 years? Maybe 10. I may have worn them in college.
keryx: (happydance)
Last night, $DANCE_DEITY smiled down on us, I tell ya. We were gooood. The musicians overpowered the shitty acoustics at Plant Zero for the ROSMY set and rocked that joint ([ profile] cutegaychick in particular pretty much drummed her whole awesome self out, necessitating 30 minute crash between sets). Every time I looked over at the chorus when [ profile] arovd and I were duetifying or I was leading and turned around, TA DA - they were beautifully together, and dancing rather than staring at [ profile] garrity's ass (though a fine ass it is).

Ironically, then we flubbed the choreographed ending... cause we were relying on an audio cue and could hear neither saz dynamic shift nor Brettocks' near-shouted count of eight. Thanks to the magic that is ATS, none of us were really phased by the departure of our choreography. Even that was a work of art.

Locals, if you missed it, man... you missed To the Earth mach 2 ON FIRE. [Er, I wish we had video of the set, so we could later pick apart something that was already made of awesome and make it into a more artfully carved awesome. The video we have now is mostly from one night of less conviction.]

Oh, yeah. And then we went back to Art Works and did it AGAIN. That time with a wee bit less fire and nailing the ending.

And then? I came home to an invite to perform at Tribal Pura. On stage with our (well, Dvora & my) TEACHERS. Which I am totally confident in our ability to do after last night. Dude!
keryx: (happydance)
TTE is doing both a performance at ROSMY's annual art auction and a set at Art Works on Friday 6/22.

It sounds crazier than it is, since Art Works and Plant Zero, where the auction is, share a parking lot. We're really just doing two sets like always, but in slightly different places.

1. ROSMY art auction, Plant Zero (0 E 4th St), 7-9:30. To the Earth set at 8, also bid on art made by [ profile] petite_tadpole.
2. 4th Friday at Art Works (320 Hull St, aka The Exact Same Place), 7-10. To the Earth set around 9 in the All Media (upstairs) Gallery.
keryx: (Default)
I don't think I picked up the harp or did anything other than recuperative CST stuff all weekend. I slept weirdly (3 hours one night, 15 the next) and danced. ).

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