Sunday, January 12, 2014

Cyborg Dance Projekt: Workin' the Workshops!

I've been looking forward to this weekend since I heard about it.  It was World In Motion's New Year's Gala with workshops and show.  It's really the first time I've performed for a bellydance-specific audience since about 2009 at CONvergence back home in Minnesota. The weekend included four different workshop options (3 on Saturday, 1 on Sunday), each workshop lasting for 2 hours a peace.  I knew that my spine was only going to tolerate one per day if I was lucky...since I was performing with my troupe Saturday night, I had to be really really careful with my spine if I wanted to be up on stage.

Pre-performance selfie- false lashes!
The Saturday workshop options were an ATS® combinations class with Nandana, a tribaret class with Emily Beaman, an ATS® with a Veil class with Sadiya from MN.  I was torn between the two ATS® classes, but ended up taking the first one as it gave me enough time between the workshop and the performance so I could rest up before the show in case my spine misbehaved.

Sunday had one option, a tribal fusion master class with Sara Beaman.  That was a no-brainer as I've taken a few classes with Sara, and she has been one of the people cheering this Projekt on (even offering to help me figure out bellydance biomechanics post-surgery, even though I didn't take her up on the offer).

The workshop with Nandana went well, no thanks to some charming North Carolina winter weather including a huge thunder storm.  She taught us a slow move with a three variations (the strongarm), a fast duet move that uses a base move that doesn't bother my spine when I don't overdo it (Arabic do-si-do), then a combination series that demonstrated how to string movements that help make the dance style look almost choreographed (Egyptian to double bump to single bump turn, to single bump half turn). During the Arabic do-si-do, I paired up with a troupe mate, but we ended up picking up the movement so quickly that we split up to help other dancers....which helped me realize that pursuing ATS® teacher training if I can financially swing it this summer is a good idea.

After the workshop I spent the afternoon hanging out at my partner's parents' house relaxing and trying to stay reclined until I needed to get my makeup on, hair done, and strapped into my costuming.  I was a little nervous as my partner had never seen me perform and it was his first bellydance show.  On top of that, I was a little wound up because I was relying on a troupe mate to bring hair flowers as I made a last minute costuming decision but didn't have hair decor that went with my black, red, orange, & white color scheme (see photo above for the hair as it all worked out!).

The show went really well.  I danced with four troupe mates to a slow but short piece that garnered a lot of compliments.  Thankfully my balance kept me upright despite my usual stubborn habit of leading a move that involves briefly being on the balls of my feet (camel walk....I'll usually "cheat" the move and not go on releve if I'm not leading, but since I'm so short I worry that dancers following me will have trouble catching the cue otherwise).  As usual, I overdid it....but I really don't regret it because of all the fun I had I got to see a lot of really fantastic dance of a variety of styles.  My partner enjoyed himself as bonus!  I hope he realizes that this means he has to come to more of my shows!

Post-workshop with Sara Beaman
This morning was a bit rough going.  I slept very poorly because of pain, so I was a bit worried about how the workshop was going to go....but since Sara is somewhat familiar with my spine-related impairment (we're Facebook friends), I figured I could get away with doing whatever I needed to do to have a productive experience. That really made my experience better.  I brought my crutch into the studio and ended up using it quite a bit to lean on for locking drills & liquid backwalks.  I sat on the floor for the breakdown of sidewinders.  I leaned against the wall to drill some arm movements.  Long story short, I did the best I could with what my spine was offering and I had a fun and productive time.  Even better...I have some movement ideas for what I want to do when I settle on music for the Cyborg Dance Projekt solo performance and I am learning how I need to dance with my crutch to make it work.

All in all a productive weekend, even if I am still grumbling about missing the veil workshop.  I'm going to sweet talk my troupe & dance collective sisters to pass along their knowledge once I get the right kind of veil for it!

Photo descriptions: 
Top photo:  the background is a white walled room with a dark brown door behind my head.  I'm wearing heavy stage makeup with red, white, and black faux flowers on my head and my hair pulled up. On my upper body I'm wearing a black choli with a red decorated bra along with a pewter coin necklace.
Bottom photo: taken in a dance studio with only sunlight lighting the room with the photo showing us from the hips up. I stand arm in arm with Sara Beaman, who is a bit taller than me with short brown hair & a warm smile.  We are both wearing dance practice clothes and my crutch is barely visible in the photo.

No comments:

Post a Comment