Tags: dance



Oh, Cleopatra. Where exactly do I start?

My bellydance teacher, Nicola, teamed up with the director of the local Spanish dance troupe, to put together a lavish dance production that told the story of Cleopatra's life. When trying to explain it to people, I told them it told a story using dance, like when you go to the ballet, only we used Spanish and Egyptian dance movements.

They flew in internationally sought after Spanish dancer and instructor Beatriz Barcelo to play the title role, and as you'd expect, she was wonderful. As you might not expect, she was also a lovely person to work with.

We started rehearsals in January, every Sunday evening until the show opened in July. The last couple of weeks, I started to think we all just lived in the studio. Fortunately, we lucked out with our cast, and everyone got on really well.

The first act details Cleopatra's rise to power, her relationship with Caesar, and ends with his death. Act 2 involved her love affair with Antony, the big sea battle with Rome, and Cleopatra's suicide. We did 7 performances at the fringe festival (a live theatre festival that goes on for about two weeks; there are a ton of live shows to see, and 7 is about the average number of shows), and reviews were... kind of hilarious, actually. People appreciated the gorgeous theatricality of it and that we were different from everything else that was playing, but weren't quite sure what to expect from a dance show. You got the feeling a few of the reviewers had never been to the ballet, let alone seen anything like the type of dancing we were doing. Everyone who came for the dancing enjoyed it, though.

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Oods can dance

I've returned! With dance photos!

Like half of my posts here, I feel like I should be opening with apologies and excuses for not having posted in months, but I think I'm just gonna skip all that and move to the good parts.

There has, of course, been a lot that's happened since the last time I posted. We just got back the pictures from our student recital last May, so I'm gonna start with that, I think.

By the end of the year, I wound up in both my teacher's intermediate classes. I kind of...stealthed into the second one unexpectedly. At the beginning of the year, I signed up for the earlier class, partly because it promised me zills and veil (both of which I love), and partly because I didn't meet the pre-requisites for the later class. It wanted, I think, 3 years of study and 5 performances or something, and well, I still don't meet either requirement. It was the offered make-up option if we needed to miss one of our classes, though, and it was pretty comfortable to attend the once or twice I did need to make up a class, since I knew all the others from rehearsals for Cleopatra (more on that later). I also wound up attending once due to a ridiculously generous offer from my teacher, who suggested if I wanted feedback on the piece I was working on for the CCCAC show, she could stick around after the second class. I am not stupid enough to pass up an offer for something I know full well she should have charged me for, so of course I took her up on it. And after attending 3 or 4 classes, I started to become an accepted part of the class instead of just someone visiting, so by the last term I was attending both full-time. Because if you can, why wouldn't you?

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Oods can dance

Hey, it's actual footage!

The video from the CCCAC Showcase is slowly trickling in. Basically they're putting everything up in segments, but mine was early enough in the show it's up already. I put it up on bhuz (the bellydance forums, for those not in the know) requesting critique and feedback because I was still afraid the audience commentary of "you were so beautiful" secretly translated to "I feel the need to find something positive to say about your unfortunate performance." I figured the folks at bhuz would be kind enough to tell me I needed a lot more study before taking the stage again if that were the case, and they'd even be able to give me some pointers on how to suck less. (I sent it to my teacher, too, but she's out of town right now, so I don't expect to hear from her until she gets back in another couple of days.)

At any rate, the general consensus at bhuz is that there are things I could refine, but it's not painful to watch.* So I guess I can put it up here without fear of accidentally torturing anyone who passes through.

*I'm exaggerating. Actually, the folks at bhuz were very positive.
book 1

CCCAC Showcase 2013

So last weekend was the big show. No, no this past weekend, the one before that. Yes, that's right, we had our big show on St Patrick's day. Look, I didn't make the arrangements, I just showed up to do the work. And yes, I'm far behind on keeping my lj up to date, but I come bearing excuses. For one thing, the photos from the show are just starting to pop up now. Also, I woke up the next day rather sick. But I'm getting ahead of myself!

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book 1

Middle Eastern Rhythms Workshop

Hey, it's only been a month since I updated! For some reason I thought it had been longer. Part of that reason is probably because I'm not exactly the most reliable person in the world when it comes to personal blogging. I can talk about something like books every day of the year, but when it's about myself and my life, I never feel like I have anything interesting to say.

But enough about my bloggy failings! I went to a fabulous dance workshop yesterday, and I wanted to write all about it while it's still fresh in my mind. So due warning that this post will be really boring to anyone who isn't a dancer, and probably still boring if you are but weren't there.

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