Monday, 18 July 2011

A Little Bit of Goth and a Whole Lot of Thinking

I had been looking forward to Gothla 2011 since the end of Gothla 2010, but due to the gross inconvenience of my father-in-law electing to celebrate his 60th birthday, I had only the smallest taste of what is usually a hedonistic and hilarious weekend.

Gothla kicked off on Friday afternoon with a series of three hour masterclasses run by Morgana from Spain, Sera Solstice, and the inimitable, indomitable Sashi of Ascend Tribal fame and that wings performance. Guess who I was learning with?

The class was called 'The Awakening: Captivating Stage Expression', but could just as easily been called 'How the fuck did she make me spend three hours interpreting emotion through dance for the edification of complete strangers and why aren't I curled up in a ball of horror at the memory of it?'

Sashi freely admits to her ability to get people to do 'fucked up things', and in my book, convincing twenty uptight English chicks to throw phantom energy balls to each other, writhe around on the floor, and perform said interpretative dance is far more noteworthy than sticking bits of metal through your shoulders!

The course was light on actual dance content (some warm up shimmies and a short combo over which we had to layer the expressions of emotion), but by the end of the three hours I felt like I'd learned so much my head was going to explode, and moreover, learnt it by thinking and exploring and analysing, rather than having it broken down into bitesize chunks and spoonfed to me.

During the workshop we had to say what we wanted from the class, and then paired up with people who we felt shared a similar goal in dancing. I ended up working with a very talented lady who said she felt attuned to what I'd said about being a bundle of nerves and not being able to enjoy the experience of performance.

You may imagine my surprise when I connected the various bits of info I picked up (her first name, the fact she was teaching that weekend), and realised she was the creative director of a very theatrical troupe whose style I loathe, and whom I've been extremely rude about in the past!

A few lessons learnt then; firstly that this scene is too small for you not to bump into those you've been merrily slagging off; secondly that not all goths have facial piercings and tattoos; thirdly that just because someone likes to dress like Lady Gaga and throw fake blood on stage does not mean they can't dance; and finally it's Gothla, and if there's room for a fat cabaret chick, there's room for everyone else too!


  1. A few of my dancer friends tried one of these workshops a while back. I've been curious myself about what one would involve.

    That's unfortunate with the teacher. I work in a very tight-knit group of non-profits & have the same problem when I'm volunteering with kids in the off season (i.e. summer). I always end up bumping into the people I really could go without seeing for three months.

  2. It was very weird. I'd convinced myself based on her performances that she was an awful dancer and ergo a horrible person, but the workshop proved just how big and erroneous an assumption I'd made!

    Fortunately there are very few people in the BD scene that I really can't stand.