Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Gothla Redux

Four weeks on, my bag is still not fully unpacked, my toes are still sporting red nail varnish and I'm still finding flecks of glitter in my undies. It can only be the post-Gothla comedown.

This year was a very social one for me. I'm getting to know a lot more people in the dance scene now, and there are lots of familiar faces (still can't remember anyone's names though!). A lot of people recognised me because of the buzzcut, and I got a lot of pettings over the weekend.

Friday night's showcase was a mixed bag. I loved some of the performers, and was left cold by others (not literally, it was hotter than balls in the theatre). Highlights for me were probably Ian Southwood's drummers, doing a Zaar-like piece that almost dragged me into a trance; Ida Mahin's creepy-as-fuck Dying Swan, and Sabrina's Ghawazee piece.

Deadbeats and their dancers (photo by Sue Hutton)

Dying Swan - a fusion of belly dance, ballet and just plain scary (photo by Sue Hutton)

Saturday was also a mixed bag. I loved my morning workshop with Elin K√•ven, whose Pep Dance workshop was fortunately nothing to do with high school cheerleaders, and everything to do with rediscovering joy and healing in dance. I came out of it really inspired for the rest of the weekend. My afternoon workshop was not so positive. It was meltingly hot in the studio, and I felt like we spent a very long time warming up and talking, and not much time dancing. I was very excited about learning with the teacher concerned, but it felt like a lot of style and not much substance.

Things picked up later on though as C and I transformed ourselves into a pair of post-apocalyptic swamp witches, prior to hitting the Open Stage. We had so. much. fun.
Photo by Dark Soul Photography, battling some dreadful lighting!
We closed the first act, which was pretty much the perfect spot to be, and we got a gratifyingly loud reception. It's nice to be liked! C and her husband saw the night out, and had good things to say about a lot of the other performers. I bowed out after the second act, staying just long enough to see Steffi Darkdancer and her awesome take on Marie Laveau.

I was in bed and asleep by midnight, and reaped the benefits by being disgustingly bright eyed and bushy-tailed on Sunday morning when the rest of the world was hungover and miserable.

This did not stop me from getting my arse comprehensively kicked by the heat in Sabrina's Ghoulish Ghawazee, to the extent that I sat out a lot of it and took notes. It was still awesome with knobs on though. Loads of cultural references and historical info as well as a choreography to learn. Sabrina is also an damn good saleswoman, as evidenced by the fact that C and I not only bought her CD so we could play with the choreography at home, but also went away with these beauties...

I'm living on beans on toast for a month now (genuine assuit is not cheap), but it's a great reminder of a great weekend!

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Costume Evolution Part 2

Now we're post Gothla I can actually show pictures of the finished costume without getting my knuckles rapped by C!

Yes, yes, it's wonky. But so are my boobs.
 So, finished top first. This was an amalgamam of a crocheted tankini top and two cheap vests, the brown layer being added when the dress rehearsal showed up a worrying tendency for my boobs to try and make a break for it out of the bottom of the original top. All hand embellished and beaded with bits of the bling from the last post. 

C, who likes her costuming effortless, bought a top off eBay and cut the hem off. Smart girl.

Next step? Hair. This was a little more complicated than originally thought, as I shaved mine off back in June for Macmillan, and am still rather follicularly challenged. I bought a a cheap wig, cut it, styled it, plaited it, put a headband on it, covered it in bling and generally spent about 6 hours working on it.

The face of a woman who's just been hit in the face by a cowry fall.
The day before Gothla we decided it didn't go with the rest of the costume and I was sticking with my buzz cut. Humph! Still, it made a nice contrast to C's epic dreadlocks, and at least one of us escaped the misery of brushing out half a can of hairspray the morning after the night before.

You can see the finished costumes (and the new haircut) below. We always aim for a cohesive look, but not neccessarily a matchy matchy one, especially as we have different body types and colouring.

The post-apocalyptic wasteland that is my back garden