Friday, June 29, 2012

Feeling Pretty

Well, the bra may still need work, and I may still have complicated feelings about the whole issue of bras as costuming, but over all I am pretty happy with how I looked last night! Thank you to my friend Cynthia for snapping this picture. And also for coming to the Open Stage and cheering the dancers.

I have to admit that a big part of me did not want to go out and dance last night. It was a hot, humid day and it seemed like way too much effort to put on a costume and makeup and do my hair. As it is, I took some short-cuts -- I kept my makeup a little more simple than I had planned, and I went for a headband from The Gypsy Kiss as a really quick and easy way to do my hair. What a lifesaver! That reminds me, I'm really overdue to do a post gushing about my collection of Amy's work.

And speaking of awesome things that I am wearing, my necklace is really amazing! It was custom made as a holiday present from one of my Etsy friends, Gypsy Moon Art Studio. The team that we're both part of does an annual secret swap for the holidays and Shannon made me this amazing necklace which is the perfect match for the bra!

Where was I before I started waxing poetic about wonderful, creative people? Oh yes! Open Stage! It was a great time and I'm glad I went. We had a really small crowd, but everyone had a very good time. It was a very intimate vibe, with a couple of dancers spontaneously deciding to perform in their street clothes to fill out the roster, borrowing coin scarves and veils from fellow dancers.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The problem with bras

Belly dancers wear bras. Everyone knows that. It was decided way back in the day, when someone decided to paint a dancer in a bra, or cast a dancer in a movie and had her wear a bra. I could probably do some research and track it back to the exact time when someone decided that this was what belly dancers cover their chests with, but I'm writing a blog post, not an academic article, so I'm going to be lazy.

So. Bras. We wear them. It's a thing now.

I have a love-hate relationship with the whole bra thing. I love choosing adornments to put on my bras, layering this and that, dangling baubles here and there. I even enjoy the stitching, except when I stab myself in the fingers (which admittedly, happens pretty often). I love draping embellished chains across my belly to emphasize my rolls and flutters. But... I hate bras.

Bras are underwear. We do not want our costumes to look like underwear, however, because that is tacky. So we buy a bra and we cover it with fabric (even though bras are available in lots of beautiful fabrics, the bra Must Be Covered otherwise you are Cheapening Bellydance or something). Then there's the whole strap issue. You can't just use the existing straps and fasteners because then people can tell you're wearing lingerie. Because for some reason, we've decided to base one of our main costuming items on a piece of lingerie.

I LOVE the bra above. I've been working on it off and on since Decemberish, when I wore it for the holiday show. It's covered with a beautiful embroidered brown fabric, accented with lovely green trim which I purchased in NYC, which is in turn embellished with Swarovski crystals and dangles from a necklace I cut apart. There's a vintage chandelier crystal, a vintage winding key, chain, real coins, the straps are velveteen ribbon embellished with a silver and citrine necklace. It's luxurious.

I HATE the bra above. Ever since I decided that I wanted to be able to wear it without a tie-top or vest over it, I've been in a battle to properly cover the straps and back. The fabric and ribbon are not stretchy, which means carefully trying to tailor things to fit perfectly. Last night I finally got the back to fit without sagging... Now it's uncomfortable. Forget lifting with my diaphragm, I'm pretty sure that will pop some stitches.

I've been planning a bra adorned with beetle elytra, but now I'm second-guessing myself after the struggles of making this bra. Maybe it's time to try an embellished halter top or choli.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Get in your Glom

Glom is totally the technical name for the formation we're doing in our new choreography.

Fun times! We are working on a choreo that we will actually do the majority of the work on, with Jolie guiding us to help us make the best decisions. I have never choreographed anything before, so I am a little intimidated.

We have a couple up-and-coming members of the troupe, too. We're growing!

More gigs are lined up, too. I'll add them to the list on the side as I get more details.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Troupe Love!

I love this picture from our Mijana's show! I think it's a beautiful illustration of how dancing with Fire & Gold makes me feel. I've danced with a lot of great ladies, but this is definitely the troupe where I've felt the most at home.

At Monday night's practice, we talked about what the future holds -- more choreos, more performances, more costumes, a photo shoot. It's all very exciting! I'm glad that we're not really slowing down for the Summer, because honestly, there's nothing non-dance-related to do during these hot months, I might as well keep busy with my troupe!