Saturday, 29 January 2011

The Orange Peril

I have an orange addiction, I acknowledge this. The 'You've been Tangoed' monstrosity seen in my last post is just the latest manifestation of a habit that began with a couple of t-shirts, progressed through a new winter coat and a pair of glasses, and wound up with a 25 yard skirt, a tribal bra and an as yet unfinished cabaret set.

It's got to the stage now where i'm not allowed to suggest costuming themes to my troupe mates, because they're sick of looking like adverts for Easyjet. And yet I still can't stop.

I'm not even sure why I like it so much. Maybe it's because it's a compromise? It's extrovert and eye-catching, but it doesn't have the immediate connotations that red has (and besides, no one who blushes as much as i do can get away with wearing red near their face). It's a warm, feminine colour, but not as stereotypical as pink. I've never been a girly girl, and the only pink I wear is hot, spiced with pvc and leather and worn with dreadlocks. Orange can be deep and grounded, or bright and eye-catching. I can blend it with earthy naturals, or make it pop with vibrant greens and deep blues. The one thing I can't do, though, is buy an orange veil.

So I had to make one.

It started with this ravishing silk veil from one of my favourite sellers, Kookie Kaftan, which was intended to go with my gold/bronze bedlah. Unfortunately the gold turned out to be too yellow for my costume, but having spent fifteen quid on it, I was less than inclined to send it back, especially as it's a dream to dance with, light and airy, and forgiving of my rough handling.

So I dyed it. I used Dylon's 'Goldfish' orange, and spent a happy evening stirring a witches brew of dye, salt, water, veil and and a charity shop top that desperately needed a revamp (white clothes never stay that way for long around me).

I hoicked it out of its mix about half an hour ago, and strung it out over the shower rail to dry. By the way, isn't wet silk a bitch to handle? I thought I was going to rip it to shreds trying to get it to unstick from itself and lie flat.

And now I wait, to see whether I have a new fix for my addiction or new fuel for the rag bag!

Saturday, 15 January 2011

New Year, New Solo?

We're well launched into 2011 now, and already the hafla invitations are coming in, and the year is beginning to fill up
I've been dancing with my troupe for over three years now, and in that period I have attempted a solo precisely once. It was a feather fan fusion piece to a Fall Out Boy song (don't judge me) and was wholly choreographed by my good self, on the basis of two years of belly dancing and, um, viewing some fan videos on Youtube.

It wasn't the exercise in pain and misery that it could have been, and the select and supportive audience were very enthusiastic, however having seen the footage of it (which has mysteriously disappeared off my camera, harddrive and memory stick, Strange...) it's clear that I was by no means ready to go out there on my own. Since then, I think I have quashed the demons of chicken wing arms, mouthing along to the song (do not do this ladies, it looks very very stupid), and forgetting the moves halfway through and spending an eternity on Turkish step until the brain reboots. But I guess I won't really know until I go back out there.

So tell me, when did you start soloing, and when did you actually feel ready to start soloing. And if you aren't ready yet, when will you be? What was your first solo like?

Most importantly, what did you wear? I wore a home-made bedlah that would not be out of place on What Were They Thinking?, which featured, besides the uncovered bra with droopy fabric fringe seen below, a matching
lace-up belt, also covered in sad fringe, a mesh knit tunic with a very conspicuous seam down the front of the belly, a pair of black work trousers and a silver overskirt. Seen at a distance, it's not as bad as it sounds- I even use a (small) picture of it as an avatar, but it looks what it is; home-made. I still love it though- my first foray into tribal!

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Happy New Year!

I hope your year is full of sparkles, shimmies and sequins, or cowries, camels and coins according to taste.

We celebrated the New Year by letting off sky lanterns and making wishes and resolutions. I'm not usually one for resolutions as they're usually forgotten by the time the hangover's worn off, but I did make a couple of belly dance resolutions:

At least two completed costumes of professional quality in my wardrobe by the end of the year, complete right down to accessories and props. I'm already almost there with my gold bedleh, but I'd like a really cool tribaret costume too.

Learn to play zills to at least beyond the gallop, and be able to dance with them.

Brush up my veil work and start learning sword.

FIRE DANCE :D (palm candles for now, but one day I will do fire fans. One day!)

Convince my troupe to do a cabaret piece. I crave the shiny!

Do my first (decent) solo. I 've danced solo once before, at a very small hafla. It wasn't disastrous, but i definitely wasn't ready for a wider audience. I think I am now, so i just have to work the nerve.

What about you guys? Any resolutions?