mekyria: (2013 indonesie 2)

The festival was called 'At the Circus' and we were booked to perform two sets plus a mini workshop.

We planned on filling the sets with duo performances from Joyce and Yennie, a solo performance from me and two of our oriental repertoire pieces with the three of us.

What really happened is that we showed up at four 'o clock and they cancelled our first set. Laudie was livid on account of the amount of preparation going into our sets. We decied to skip one and instead do our oriental set plus the workshop at 4.45.

For the record, this was a paid performance and we billed the event for the amount we agreed upon for two sets. We'll see how this ends.

It was rainy and cold (ah, Dutch summer!) and we opted for wearing our black and silver outfits. Since I had outgrown mine, I wore my silver skirt with a single layer black chiffon circle skirt. Laudie had a stretchy black top with black sequins on the front that matched, and three hipscarves with holographic silver sequins.

We looked good together, oriental but suited to the chilly air and looming rainclouds. We all brought our blinged out coer-ups and wrapped our silk veils around our neck for extra warmth. We looked rather stylish, if I may say so.

moar pictures behind the cut )
mekyria: (2013 indonesie 2)
Since I've moved all the costuming posts to, I haven't posted much on lj. But I want to, because here I can tell you about all the personal stuff that doesn't fit into the public blog.

I have unearthed the bra and just finished beading the bra. It is a modern, sparse design but chunky beading still eats up a lot of time. I also remade the skirt so it’s back is mostly made of the patterned lycra, and the front is mainly blue. I wanted to take the patterned fabric to the front and ended up appliqueing a couple of flowers on top of the blue for a light, creative effect. Depending on my mood it looks fun and flirty, or like I have two pockets on my hips.

Another change is that I made the skirt in a larger size, by adding an extra panel in the middle back. The original plan was made with my pre-pregnancy, pre-married weight, which is roughly three sizes down. The extra panel adds another 4”/10 cm to the overall size of the skirt, and I’m glad I went that route. I am also glad that I have a lot of pictures from that time: it’s hard to believe I actually was that slender and toned.

My big plan is to wear this costume this Friday at the Raks Ava hafla (Ava Fleming, that is). I’ll be travelling to Leuven tomorrow for four days of workshops and dance fun. I am a little sad because some of the dancers I know from previous years are not coming this year. Artemisia made an evening program and she’s great at creating a safe learning environment that makes her events always a pleasure to be part of so I am very excited to do this intensive. It’s also a bit of a goodbye gift to my ‘old self’. I love dance, I will continue dancing, but it will be different with a little one in our lives. I don’t see myself going away for a week here and there because it wouldn’t be fair to E. to run off and leave him with our daughter. I also emotionally don’t want to: this nesting things is powerful stuff. And I’ll miss my baby, my husband and my home far more compared to the past.

Today during lunch break I went to the Big Bazar (the Dutch equivalent of the dollar store) and I bought matching green feathered earrings and blue bangles. With all this focus on the costume, I should not forget to actually prepare and practice my song. It’s a four minute version of Lamma Bada, from Nesma’s album. It’s absolutely stunning and I like playing around with the 10/8 rhythm. I also like the dreamy mood, because I notice how I am no longer into strong pops and locks. It’s flowing moves all the way!

Back to the costume: I’ve been working hard all evenings past week and I need to do a bit more tonight and tomorrow morning and then it’ll be ready for its debut. My frantic costuming is also a parting gift to my old life. I am making as much costumes and dance clothes now, because I don’t expect to have the energy or the time next year. I want to have something to wear in the next year that is adjustable to whatever figure/size I’ll be post pregnancy. Just because I’ll be a mum doesn’t mean I shouldn’t have nice things to wear.

A third big project is that I need to declutter in the next three months, in order to make room for family stuff. Looking at the huge amount of clothing, furniture and toys we already gathered for our little one, our house will be in constant state of chaos for the next two decades. I look forward to it as out little one is so welcome, and at the same time I need to consciously say goodbye to the way things were in order to fully embrace this new life phase.

And with that note I'll finish my post with this vieo of me dancing the moongoddess performance at 20 weeks pregnant.

mekyria: (2013 indonesie 2)
Not my students, but the students from Roos. We did the mermaid storyline in April for the hafla of Hadyr/Gerie, and we thought it would be fun to show it during the recital. It's the story where I play the role of the moon. The original idea behind metaphorically dancing a full moon dance (huh huh) was that I would be visible pregnant. I just got the pictures and back and depending on the angle, it's pretty obvious now. During the three day intensive with Suhaila she was kind enough to say 'you don't look like you're four and a half months pregnant'. That was probably her being polite and not having seen the full angle.

I am getting slighlty envious off people with waistlines nowadays and I console myself that after the birth I will get back into shape. Probably. I fear that the last couple of months will be hard on my bones.  It is nice to have pictures of this stage, as E. and I both forgot to take month by month pictures of my belly. We could start now, but an overview in bellydance performance pics is probably more my style anyway.

From the back: not as much.

But from the front/side...

And this one is pretty obvious
mekyria: (2013 indonesie 2)
woooohooo, living on a prayer!

It occured to me last night that I do an awful lot of things for this prduction. Some of the girls are not being cooperative and I hate it. I hate that I am preparing and working and doing stuff for our show and they expect to show up an hour late, dance and leave.

This happened during the part where I had to make an on-the-go playlist because the schedule that I made wasn't going to work because two ladies were late. Thus me selecting the wrong versions of songs on my ipod on the playlist, thus chaos entailed. We fixed it but I was a bit bummed about it.

The first show on Wednesday was a bit of a bummer. The organisation made a mistake, causing most of the audience to go to the first floor shows and leaving no audience for the ground floor. Performing for a half empty room and people walking away midperformance sucks big time.
We kept going though and survived day one. Though we officially have a technician, he is spread across the whole ground floor (four performance groups) so I am basically DJ-ing for our group. As I am adamant that I will get some good video footage out of it, I am also the videographer (thank you, company that made the gorillapod, for making my life so much easier), the stage manager, the creative director and I participate in some of the performances. I had to edit and adjust some of the music so the sound level is right, and so we have a 22 second song between performances to smoothen the transition (I used the start of Enter the RakkassaH). All that and being pregnant too.

Wednesday was much better. I adjusted the times, the audience was better spread across all locations so we had a fair crowd and the overal vibe was better. No suprise that the ladies who arrive later also arrived late for their solo performance. *sigh* As all participants paid to be in this production and I am the one who is getting paid, I am going to suck it up. I am a bit worried about my health, this is obviously asking much of my reduced energy levels. Also, I had to adjust my costume because it didn't fit anymore meaning that I am starting to show.

Here I am, behind my computer, planning the performances for tonight. One of the other girls offered to print the timetables at work and I am now creating the matching playlists in iTunes. Itunes playlists are a great system if you don't have to swap performances at the fly. I brought an extra cable so I could connect my iphone, making it easier to swithch between ambient music and the performance music.

Tomorrow we are joined by my dance sisters Y. and J. and we'll do our shammadan and saaidi performance for the first and second time (two shows tomorrow). I will be vast asleep all Sunday.

I am crazy

Sep. 22nd, 2014 09:29 am
mekyria: (2013 indonesie 2)
...because I signed up for the Dutch bellydance championships, which is held on october 5th. In TWO WEEKS. On the bright side, performance is dictated to be a 2.15 minute max. I signed up for oriental solo and folkloric solo because melaya and saaidi are my thang. The next three weeks are dedicated to practicing 4 two minute performances (one for quarter final, one for semi final) and two 3 minute performances in case I make it to the final round.

I know all three judges. Arya is a long time dance friend (I organized en event with her a couple of years ago, she is a Suhaila acolite), Nephele and Johanna I know from the Belgium dance scene, specifically RAKS and Aziza's Dream Camp. We'll see where it'll get me, I don't expect to win but I need soemthing to kick my butt into action and work on solo material. And with that in mind, I'll watch the episodes of Dina's talent show tonight.
mekyria: (2013 indonesie 2)
What I love about the place where I teach is that they have the opportunity to do a student recital at the end of the semester. And let's face it, recitals illicit a response in people: some get very excited, others get very quiet and withdraw. Ever since I started teaching, I decided that every semester we would have a student recital for those who wish to participate. The goal of the classes is to learn bellydance. But I find that in my students (female, academic, between 18-26) the performance opportunity inspires to actually attend all the classes, practice and evaluate their own capabilities.

Also, my current focus in my own dancing is on bellydance as a performance dance (as opposed to bellydance as a social dance, which is also a great focus). Working with my students helps me to develop my own skills as a choreographer, troupe director and organizer. We had a small group of beginners and a failry large group of intermediates last sunday.Read more... )
I am extremely proud of my intermediates for doing this (very short) drum solo with zills choreography:

I am going to pat myself on the back for managing the whole thing. Light could have been better but the light engineer did what she could. I brought a toi toi toi (nailpolish), all the extra costume stuff, the videocamera and one of the students brought her photocamera so we have decent group shots. Having recent and good quality footage and pictures is good for attracting potential students and God know I need at least eight students per class to continue and things are tight.
mekyria: (red veil standing)
Inbetween wedding planning and house searching, FaKyMa made two public appearances in the Hague. The first one was for a cultural sunday in The Hague. Joyce had an injury with her knee so Yennie and me turned it into a duet. We were dancing in the city hall of The Hague, scheduled with other world dance performances of local teachers and performers. It was a lot of fun, never had a stage this big!! We messed up some parts of the choreography but other parts went smoothly. We are slowely becoming more and more of a group that moves as one.

We did a performance at The Regentes Theater last Sunday, because it was Open Monuments Day and the theater (former swimming pool) is a monument. We did three sets, two oriental and one folcloric (Tunesian and Melaya Leff). Here are some rather blurry iphone pictures:
Read more... )
Tunesian is a lot of fun, with the extra costume items around the hips making us look like those ancient goddess statues. Big white wool belt, milya tucked in and a hipscarf underneath. It much resembles the European style of dress whith the bumroll, except that Tunesian dancers don't wear corsets and doing lots of twisting with the hips.
mekyria: (Saaidi gold dress)
Life has been good in these past couple of days. Warm fuzzy feelings shared with Mr.R, for example when we huddled up on the couch and I read some highlights from the book ‘Geese, eating the whole thing’ while running my fingers through his hair. I am now capable of discerning different types of geese and judge based on their feathers and bone structure if they are young or old. I mentioned that Mr.R. wants to start hunting, right? I have no interest in hunting but no objection to it either, the people I met that are hunters are all very concerned with nature, keeping the balance and killing animals with a minimum of pain. Eating chickens bred in the bio industry causes more harm to animals than hunting does.  Walking around in The Hague on Saturday, the classic music festival was a bit of a downer because it was raining and cold. The sax quartet was pretty good and braved the weather, they played three extensive pieces that were very well played..
Read more... )
mekyria: (2004 rood kostuum)

Brwosing back through my journal I noticed that I haven't written about belly dance for a while. Being a bellydancer is like having a lifelong partner: at times I remember the first time we met and how I madly fell in love with belly dance. At other times, we don't get to spend quality time together, or I wonder if I am still interested and in love after thirteen years. In the past couple of weeks, I was having a resurging feeling of love for the dance, which is good!

here's a longish update, with pictures and video material.

Read more... )

They did well and had fun! I am very proud of them and I look forward to teaching next semester. I wonder how long the cultural center will continue to hire their teachers: I suspect somewhere in the next two years they might change their business model to teachers hiring roms insted, in which case I am screwed. I'll worry about it when I get there.

mekyria: (Kyria met theepot)
I packed everything I could possibly need for the fashion show and headed over to the store a half hour early. Because today I wanted to be early instead of 5 minutes late!!

When I got there, I walked in to a stunning girl with porcelain skin, raven black hair and impeccable fifties make-up. She introduced herself as Lilly Mae Lovett, a burlesque performer. We were both early and she offered to help me with my hair. The theme for the fashion show was pin-up style and I had been practicing my victory roll skill with this awesome book, but it still turned out wrong somehow. She worked miracles with my hair and when I get the video/pictures I'll show you. I brought tons of stuff to put in my hair, which also helped. She made two victory rolls on the top of my head, rolled a rat (the hair do-type rat, not a real one) to create a bun in the back, and then added red roses and the red feather hair clip that I got from my the Bhuz Secret Santa last year.  My lesson for today: I should keep up the practice so I can do this myself too. It looked awesome!

We started getting dressed as more and more people dropped in, and there was a general air of cheeriness all around. [ profile] ikaiya  was picking out outfits for the people who didn't have an outfit yet, I stitched red lace down to a PVC parasol, and there was the general sharing of safety-pins, make-up items and people lacing each other up. I wore a white satin corset with lace overlay and a red leather skirt. The general idea was that I would do a dance performance, so I also brought my fire veil  and did a quick practice in the hallway.

We all walked over to the stage (around the corner) with various people leaning on each other because of the stripper shoes. I brought my own black high heels as I needed to do a lot of turns, but my knee started hurting and I changed into my flat sandals. Which didn't reduce the pain, but it didn't make it worse either. I really need summer shoes so I can wear my inlay soles. It was rather chilly btw, despite it being the end of July. We were all grateful that it wasn't raining and tried to keep warm backstage. 

The show was presented by Cutie, a delightful and sweet girl who started out by handing out lollipops. Jeanette, a tall lady with a purple leather coat walked on the stage and I got ready to get on stage myself. Except that my music didn't play. Sarah ran over to me and told me that the file wasn't opening, and what should we do? I asked her to put anything on with a beat and I'll improvise. So yeah, my well-thought out performance went out of the window. 

I walked onstage holding red roses and wrapped in my akai fire veil. The music was 'The devil in disguise' or something similar, and I started throwing the roses into the audience. I then did a slow unwrapping of the veil with a bit of wink wink nudge nudge stuff thrown in, and that was it. The Dom Square was packed by the way, people everywhere and lots of camera's so I'm sure that there will be pictures/video soon. I helped Lilly change into her second outfit and we did a grand finale with all the models.

I went outside to talk to the people who came for me, couldn't find them all as the crowd dispersed. Talked with a lot of people, had guys ask me if they could take my picture, then went back to the store to change into street clothes. The hair and make-up received a lot of positive comments, even after changing into less obvious clothes.

Now I'm back to doing mundane stuff like going to the hardware store for supplies and shopping for groceries. I have removed the fake lashes and flowers/feather but I'm keeping my hair up for a while longer. It feels good. Overall, a tiring but really fun experience! Muchos gracias to [ profile] ikaiya , Sarah, Poohbear, Lilly Mae and all the other volunteers :)

mekyria: (Default)
 Saturday was a gig in Bergschenhoek, a tiny village near Zoetermeer, or a 0 minute drive frm The Hague. See, I had to be in The Hague for the Oum Kolthoum project: we were working on our Alf lila we lila refrain with Isandria and Joyce so we had to be there at 11.00.Stuff started going wrong when I tried to buy a train ticket and the machine refused my debet card. Had to go to the main all to get a ticket and missed the train, mking me late. But not as late as Isandria, who was held up because of road work on the A12. Alarmbells should have been ringing in my head, because I had to drive down the A12 to get to my gig.

Read more... )
mekyria: (coin costume frans)
 I\'m booked for an outdoor performance this sunday, close to my home and they requested Turkish belly dance. But I've watched their website and it seems that the day itself is mainly visited by Dutch people, meaning that I have to do something to please both. So my setlist for sunday is:

1. Window of the East wings intro. It's not Turkish, but it is flashy and it will go over well with the Dutch audience
2. Cadimirin üstune with zils.Nothing like a 9/8 to get the party started, and it will please both Dutch and Turkish audience.
3. Asena from the BDSS babelesque cd. This is the choreography I've been working on with my beginner students, but I'm adding fun stuff for my solo
4. drum solo. Using the music from Roos, but with a different choreography. It's fun and upbeat and fits the Turkish theme. Note to self: I should look into doing a Lebanese set sometime too.
5. If audience is in for dancing, we'll do a mini workshop/follow the bouncing butt to a Mezdeke song. Bom Bom is my current favorite. If they are not in for dancing, I'll leave the stage. And when I say stage, I mean the cobble stone street I'm dancing on.
I'm practicing 2 hours a day in the next couple of days to nail it. The songs that need the most attention are Cadimirin Üstune (want to try some new steps and combo's) and Asena (Solo versus group choreography: it needs extra juicy stuff). 
Things I cannot control that could make Sunday a bad day: 
-the weather, though weather predictions are good for the weekend
- the street. Ive visited the spot, but cobblestones and asphalt means fast turns and floorwork are out of the question
- the audience.
- the (lack of) sound. utdoor sound systems, you never know what will happen when you're there
The good news is that the party is open to all and some of my students voiced intention to be there. So if you live in the Utrecht area and want to enjoy the weather while watching belly dance, come to the Spinozaplein on Sunday, april 17th. I'm due to dance arond 17.00 :)
mekyria: (Default)
Video from RonDom  Buikdans isn't in yet and my own camera died on me last Saturday. Lili Abade posted this footage of our duet in Wageningen. It is a fun video and it really shows how much fun we had Saturday :) Thank you Lili!!

mekyria: (Default)

Overhead veil throw 

Greeting he audiencewith a couple of hipdrops
mekyria: (coin costume frans)
dressing rooms in all shapes and sizes )

But the most fun of the dressing room is how you can turn yourself into a belly dancer in a couple of minutes. After all, it's the result that counts!

What was the strangest place you changed clothes in?
mekyria: (coin costume)

 I was hired in june by the organisation of a neighbourhood party. I'm not sure of the correct translation, but some streets or neighbourhoods arganise an annual party where the kids can play games, the adults can drink and crawl discretely back to their own house afterwards. It's perfect, you don't need  ababysitter because you're right outside! You don't need a driver to get home because it's in your street!

read the extended edition of this post! )An offer of staying for dinner was made, but I declined. After being admired by thirty girls, it would be a let down if I joined them in my after-performance clothes.  

I got back home within half an hour, enjoying the feeling of doing well.


Ah, live is good!

mekyria: (blue dress with veil)
The hafla in Bussum wan;t a hafla, but a student showcase in a real theatre. Pictures/video will follow when I receive them!

It was a lot of fun to be part of a belly dance performance, to be around anxious housewifes who will be on stage for the first time. I enjoyed watching all the performances, beginners and professionals alike. Maybe I even liked the students better, because the professionals are my friends and I'm biased towards them. My own performance started as a good baladi, then somewhere I went all classic Egyptian. I felt it happen, but couldn't stop because it felt so good to be performing on stage! Have to work on that, later.

The blue dress rocked.
mekyria: (Default)
My performance on the 5th of november got cancelled today. It's not nice to be cancelled, but when I heard the reason why it made me smile.

The event is held in a small town where (apparently) people can get very upset about bellydancers. Or any other form of entertainment where people wear 'indecent clothes'. So the local politicians were alarmed and informed the town council. The event managers have an appointment with the mayor to talk about it. To be on the safe side, they cancelled all the entertainment acts that they booked (including a reiki instructor and a tarot reader) and hired a sax (?) player instead. They probably asked him to wear a cardigan :)

Despite this being a display of sad and narrow minded people, I can't help but laugh about it. I'm sending out a presskit with text and pictures of bellydance origin, that bellydance can be performed while being completely covered and that it's a social dance. Nothing more that I can do.

I might as well send them a calendar so they know what year we live in.
mekyria: (sword portrait)
A day later and I've put my notes into a long review (three pages and one page for the links). I contemplate sending it to the Navel, but will publish it on my own website anyway.

Read more... )

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