Maine has come and gone! I can’t believe it has already been three weeks in May. What happened to the year!
9 months ago I was walking out of my Suhaila Level 2 in California and considering Georgia Jamila Level 2 in January! I panicked and trained and panicked and trained and then suddenly it was January and I was in Georgia with a whole new dance family sweating and embracing all the dancing! And then it was gone! After I started laying out plans and all these amazing opportunities started popping up and I signed up to DANCE ALL THE DANCES.
The fabulous Rosa Noreen hosted Leila in Maine at her studio at Bright Star World Dance, with five workshops starting Friday going through Sunday. Despite all my efforts to try to plan and pack through the week , as usual Thursday night involved panicked packing and wrapping up blogs. Friday morning involved more shenanigans packing, trying to trim it down, then get all bags into the car. After years of doing this- I’m still confused about WHY I REQUIRE SO MANY BAGS! Seriously what is this?
Seen here: Dance/gym bag, clothing/costume bag and food bag- shout out to my man Fit Chef Kev for hooking me up with delicious meals to keep me on track for the weekend!
I obviously brought Bob with me because makes the best travel companion ever. And a great necklace from Shimmy Sista because one does not travel without great accessories!
Bob and I hit the road around 0930 and encountered only a little bit of traffic thankfully on the way up, we rolled passed CT, Boston and the fifteen minute drive through New Hampshire all with relative ease!
Upon arrival we hit up the Little Tap House and met up with my soon to be flatmates and a long time Bhuz Internet friend who I did a quick interview with for costuming details! (Stay tuned for that!)
Then we rolled into the Studio for the Leila’s Q & A regarding working in Cairo and the difficulties with the regime change and government issues you have working as a foreign artist. It was really fantastic to hear all about the about the life of long term working performer in Egypt. After that we went to a little jazzy spot called Blue to watch Rosa’s boyfriend playing in his show- very jazzy blues speakeasy kind of pace where I had a delicious beer (Kettle Sour) and the absolute hottest plate of meat balls I had ever had (meaning- took me 25 min to get to them because they were SCALDING- I approved!) The music was really fun and unique, something I had never seen before so, really a nice treat for me and I’m really glad I went.
Saturday was Egyptian stylization followed by structured improve with some really wonderful movements and concepts and then we just really played around. The stylization was definitely different for me, stretched my mental muscles about moving through space -which was awesome. The improve work and concepts followed closely to the work I have done at DDLC with the structured frame work of contrasts- which was a really good space to explore the new concepts we’d been using in the stylization class.
Lunch was a prepared meal of grilled chicken, couscous and asparagus followed up by a large dirty chai with an extra shot- SO.GOOD. Master of Evil pants are by Lift Evil Great little local artist here in NJ. Very VERY talented guy.
Then took our post workshop sweaty pictures and rushed back to the flat to get ready – we squeezed three showers and almost our all our make up into about an hour and a half time frame. #bellydancerproblems plus food- and wine- because that is indeed how you roll when you’re prepping for a show!
Also- make up- SO- on point. Loved it. also- if you want an empire- you need to check DWebb for the scarf you see here! It’s a god send, I love them- wear them almost every day when travelling!
We wrapped it up and rushed back to do our run through with the band Dark Follies. Some parts were a bit bumpy- but that’s the way live music goes! All in all we had 10 performers that night and a few first time shows with the band folks- and they all did tremendous job.
We kicked off the show with a great two song set from Leila off her new cd and then got right into the band performances! So many good performances and lovely ladies just really sharing their art. I was honored and humbled to again share the floor and space with so many beautiful new friends! Big bonus for me was to get to work with the the band for one of my favorites: Rompe Rompe and really just rock out with the 9/8 and be comfortable owning it for sure. I felt REALLY good about it and the costume did a wonderful job, not going to lie, SO HOT
I’m really looking forward to doing my photo shoot end of the month with Stereo Vision in this baby! She looks SO GOOD. I need to do some adjusting on the padding on the right and either bolster it or just adjust the strap because its gapping a little more than I would prefer but all in all really pleased and it was a great fit for the piece. Thank you all for sticking with me through the process of of this baby and watching her fly! I will update this post with the video from the show when I have it.
Please enjoy the following shenanigan pictures from Saturday night! Sorry Rosa- it was to fun to pass up on these! I LOVE YOU!
I schelped my stuff back, heated up dinner, opened the wine- and had a good chat with my flat mate while I started typing up some thoughts.
Sunday morning was bittersweet- Bob, Kathryn, Erica and I packed up and lugged all the stuff out to our respective vehicles then trucked on back to the studio obviously taking pictures for fun on the way!
Sundays AM workshop was all about classic music and the PM session -baladi progression. Classic music we spent talking about lyrics and the structure of the songs and how they repeat and how the singer and band would frequently not move on with a section until the audience was ready to move on with her. They would repeat the entire phrasing (so multiple sections might be repeated). What was so great was really sitting and listening to the multiple sections and hearing the nuance of them choosing to move on or stay- AND watching some older videos of them singing and being able to watch the crowd react- and see WHY they were reacting. It was just a great 2 hours- and I would highly recommend it to anyone!
Balady progression was wonderful really exploring the texture of different taqsims and how important it is to not skip them- melting and owning the moment the really intimate moment of the taqsim. Leila had such a fantastic selection of music- it was really awesome to spend so much time playing with so many different sounds- something we frequently don’t allow ourselves to do on our own time.
Then 4 pm rolled around and as soon as it began- it felt like it was all over! I was so sad I had to leave- my heart was so full with joy, love and everything I love about being a dancer. Followed that up with days of dancing and of course I was starving, so Leila and Rosa and I hit the dim sum place up the street and I had the most delicious teriyaki chicken with even more delicious garlic green beans And then Bob and I hit the road for the long six hours back home.
Wrapping this post up is definitely bitter sweet- I am so grateful I was able to attend and learn and just soak up a new space and new friends and my dear friend Rosa- but coming home back to Marge was shit. Like a slap in the face. But I read a great article today about trying to change your focus and perspective and really honed in on not expecting the negative outcome and really focusing on the positives- so as sad as I am that it’s over- I’m going to bask in the wealth of the experiences and marvel at how rich I am with new friends!
Thank you Rosa for having me- and I can’t wait to come back and visit!
Till next time fearless costumers!!!
quick addendum- my video from the trip has come in- so I’m going to add that in here as well! please enjoy!
Rompe Rompe Music by the Dark Follies Band http://darkfollies.com/
Stephen Carpenter, Percussion & Ney
Joie Grandbois, Percussion
Barb Truex, Strings
Carson Lynch, Violin
Jonathan Waldo, Oud
Dorothy Barker, Percussion