So. For the past couple of months, I've been travelling to north London to cook up a (dark and moody) duet choreography with the ridunkulously skilled Darkstar Dance. We met properly earlier this year at one of Hayaam's Bellydance Showcases in Piccadilly, and it was Hayaam's idea that we duet. So we did!
We came up with it pretty quick - this year I am finding duet choreographies so so much faster than solos to create (when you forget all the hours invested in chatting and tea drinking and video watching when you get together to create stuff or course) - and we were to perform it at Darkstar's show Dark Britannia on the 27th September, alongside all these dance ninjas from all over the world. Darkstar put us as the second to last act - right behind the Lady Fred herself! No pressure then.
The show was really great - I was so thrilled to see a bunch of my Cambridge students and their friends in the audience! - and it had great dark fusion performers from all over the UK and the world - Israel, New York, Denmark, Italy - who had flown in just to be a part of this show. I didn't see all of it, as because I was performing twice I spent a chunk of time backstage cramming in sandwiches and changing costume and spraying everything and everyone with glitter (which I have just discovered - genius. Though my boyfriend still has glitter on him and the show was three weeks ago), but what I did see was awesome. I think my favourite pieces were Elizabeth Zohar's vampire dance, cos as an avid True Blood fan I definitely have a thing about vampires, and her skills were immense, and Ginger Cupcake's tap dancing zombie apocalype was awesome too. I think a special mention has to go to Dud Murrmand, for her really awesome and creative piece, which was my partner's favourite.
I'm still crazy thrilled that I got to work with Darkstar on a project because, dude, she's another level of awesome, and really excited and surprised that she's so keen on working with me. We are working together on another project, the touring Aladdin theatre show, so bring it :D
Here are some pictures, because if there are no pictures, according to the internet, it didn't happen:
Last weekend I was super honoured to be part of a theatre show run and directed by Darkstar Dance as a part of the Camden Fringe Festival in London, dancing alongside Darkstar herself, her performance troupe Team Darkstar and the delightful Kathy Pearlson.
Darkstar's vision for the show was to put fusion bellydance in a place and position to be seen by peeps NOT already a part of the belly universe - to get it out to people who haven't seen it before, and where better than the Camden Fringe, where people like to take a chance to go try out some weird new stuff. In the bellydance community we seem to spend forever winging that we don't get the same respect and venues as other dance forms, but to get that kind of respect and venues we do have to put ourself out there first.
We had the tiny baby Ecetera Theatre to dance in and three one-hour shows in three nights to fill. Our dressing room was a teeny tiny sweaty box filled with stressed-out dancers looking for missing bras and getting glitter everywhere. It was so black in the blackouts I'd be groping on the wall at the side of the stage looking for the stage door, hoping I'd find it before the lights turned on again (though it would have been hilarious if I hadn't). Team Darkstar provided group pieces, and Darkstar, Kathy and I did solo pieces plus a cool little trio together. It's a really cute little theatre, you can see all the audience, which I like, though the sound system is definitely not used to the amount of bass and dubstep we Tribal Fusioners like to crank up.
It was really amazing to be dancing alongside such freaking stellar dancers - Darkstar is ridiculously awesome and cool and Kathy is just absolutely magical - I'm still pretty amazed I was asked to dance alongside those guys.
The show was a SELL OUT, every single night baby! It was received really well by the general public (and we definitely had a strong non-bellydance audience!) and by the reviewers who came along to watch and write stuff about us. Hell yes!
Big respect to Darkstar for pulling this off! And you know you want to do a dark fairy-tale one with a story at the fringe next year, you know you do.....
Here are the reviews - Check em out!
Views from the Gods Review of The Bellydancer
Female Arts Review of The Bellydancer
I had an utterly, utterly wonderful time dancing at my favourite night in Cambridge, the Neon Moon Caberet and Burlesque Night, last month, and just recently the photos came in so I can show you!
The night was prequeled with a week of frantically sewing costumes for performers - I made stuff for three performers, including myself - and I have had a wonderful time not sewing a thing since then.
I ran a tribal hareem installation on one of the fancy pants bedrooms - we bedecked it in Morroccan glory to turn it into a beautiful performance space, and I danced to wonderful live drumming. There was also a performance on the teeniest stage and an extra sword performance, followed by a parade up to our installation room, throwing rose petals everywhere we went! Here we are dancing downstairs in the library
It was an amazing night and I had so much fun! Make sure you come to the next one, it's at Halloween! Links are here for the Neon Moon Burlesque and Cabaret Club. And a massive thanks to the awesome Andy Starwarz for all the great photos - you can check out his flicker stream, and all the awesome costumes everyone was wearing, here.
Here is a video of me performing Silver Poetry at Majma Bellydance Festival earlier this year. I have a love/hate relationship with my own videos, but having realised that the only stuff of me on YouTube is more than a year old (and out of date!) it's time to woman up and put some stuff into the internets.
Silver Poetry is a song by Digitonal, a glorious band my boyfriend introduced me to. I wanted to choreograph something to this song a year before this was filmed, however, it's such a touching and emotional piece of music I wussed out. I'm not a very touching or emotional person, and any touching- or emotional-ness is pretty hush-hush and ssssshhh so creating a choreography to this song was pretty scary for me.
I saw Anasma perform her tear-jerkingly beautiful piece A Life of Love five months before this performance, just after I had begun choreographing this piece, and her dance chased away all my wussy demons. My new mission was to make people cry with my dancing too.
I performed this piece three times over that winter, though I got no actual tears (dammit!!) I got a whole bunch of people close-to-tears, which I think is more than good enough for my first attempt.