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Monday, May 9, 2011

Belly Dance Performance Jitters

Miss K sprang a surprise on us in class the other day.   She announced that in the near future we’ll be ready to practice our dances before a live audience, namely, at a local Greek restaurant.  This struck fear and dread into our hearts.  Miss K assured us that it will be good for us to do practice runs in front of a small and supportive audience.  The supportive part would be our fellow dancers, some of whom perform every Wednesday night at the restaurant.  The small part would be the regular dining customers.  I’ve heard that diners are usually more interested in eating than watching belly dancing.  This is a good thing.  We beginners would rather not have a rapt audience just yet, not until we get a little more experience under our coin belts. 

These practice sessions at the Greek restaurant are supposed to prepare us for the Big Night, the actual theater performance.  Miss K promised us this won’t be as scary as we imagine.  Why not?  Because the stage lights will be so blinding we won’t be able to see the beady eyes of audience members.  That’s it.  That's all she had.  Still, this is somewhat reassuring.  And, as so often happens with events we dread, the actual experience probably won’t be so bad.  It might even be fun.

My Egyptian costume
Now that we know we’ll be performing soon in front of a live, though perhaps inattentive, audience, there was a flurry of concern about costumes.  Who had one, who didn’t.  I was amazed that some of my classmates don’t even have a costume yet.  I bought one barely a month into my first classes.  One of my classmates sewed her own harem pants, but they are just for class.  (I won’t be doing any homemade costumes.  I used to sew a lot, but I got burnt out after making pinch pleat draperies for the entire house, when I lived in Bolivia.  After that I sold my sewing machine and haven’t had one since.  But I digress.)  
I already have not one, but two costumes.  My Egyptian costume is elaborate, not to mention quite heavy, with all the beadwork and such, and my other costume is much simpler.  Both need some alterations, however.  So Miss K gave me the name of a seamstress she has used, and I paid her a visit last week. 

I pictured a woman slaving away in the dim back room of a modest house.  Instead I walked into a beautiful custom home that Suzie designed herself.  She made the window treatments for a huge curved window that looks out over a greenbelt.  She designed and created the mosaic tile work in the kitchen.  She made the kitchen cabinets.  She did the oil paintings hanging all over the house.  She even made the living room furniture, woodwork, upholstery, and all.  This woman is talented.  So it's no surprise that she can whip up a complete Egyptian style belly dance costume from scratch.  I know I'm in good hands. 

Now I just need to work on the dance part of this thing. 

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