I will be writing an official review for a magazine so I won't cover all aspects of 3rd Coast Tribal but I can talk about details that my friends would be interested in but that a magazine reader would. ;) And the language will be more convivial here, of course! :p
We got to TX on Wednesday night. We were actually afraid of not being able to fly out as planned given the snow but our travels ended up not having any issues, except for a delay at the Kansas City airport. We made it to the hotel and crashed.
I had one workshop on Thursday, which was Ariellah's The Artists Workshop - A primer for the well-rounded dancer. It was cool. We talked about artistry and emotions and learned a few combos and then needed to emote. Interesting stuff.
I did a bunch of shopping on Thursday, buying what I knew I wanted to buy before it would disappear. :p I'll make a collated list of the shopping stuff further in the blog. lol
Thursday night, Kat and I ended up having dinner at the Tex Mex (more Tex than Mex) that was next to our hotel with Ariellah, Obsidia and Steph, Tara and Carol, and I forget the name of the other lady (sorry). Great times! Great times!
Friday, I took the workshop with Rose Harden on creating character costumes. What was especially interesting about this workshop was seeing Rose's costume pieces up close and then I got to see them on stage later that night. It thoroughly helped me get the difference in look. There was one skirt in particular that I actually thought that it was a totally different skirt. Some strips of fabric looked, well, just like strips of fabric on a skirt, but they ended up looking like trims on stage. Her belts are extremely ornate. Anyway, I was in heaven to be able to fondle the pieces. Gave me lots of ideas. As if I needed more! lol One advice that she had was to keep clippings of things that we love. Doesn't have to be belly dance related at all. She showed us how some of those clippings were the inspiration for a certain costume. Super cool!
Friday afternoon, I had my private with Ariellah. We didn't dance much but that's fine b/c that wasn't what I needed. She gave me feedback on 2 videos. Funny thing is that I submitted just 'Snake' to her (the performance captured at Middle Eastern Mayhem) but she saw 'Zeina' in the bar on the right and looked at it too. So she gave me feedback on both. lol I was bummed that she only got to see those two as I've done much better work since then but, hey, the feedback that she told me still applies. ;) Anyway, I got lots of valuable info.
Kat and I had dinner at the restaurant next to our hotel yet again to make sure that we would be at the venue in time for the show.
The Friday night show was off the hook! Very high level of talent! Wow!
As part of the show, Onça from Merzmer Society did a piece without any music. It made some people uncomfortable, as it was bound to happen. The piece moved Kat and I tremendously. If you want to know what fine art belly dance is, that was it. She came in, all dressed in white, with a white scarf over her hair. She was walking with heavy steps. Then she picked up a rose from the stage and looked at it, smelled it, caressed her face with it. At one point she made us clap our hands for her and she did some belly dance movements. At one point, the clapping had ended and she was on the left of the stage and pulling some red strips of fabric from her bosom. She was seriously ill, coughing, great sadness. I think that she destroyed the rose after that, picking at the petals. But it's a little fuzzy now in my memory. And then she walked away.
Saturday morning, Kat and I took the workshop on pirate belly dance by Samantha Riggs titled Why is the Rum Always Gone? It was hilarious. We got to do non-proper, oh so improper, stuff. The combos were a great start for me. Some elements repeated in each of the combos and I understand that it greatly helped teaching the combos for Sam but I'm probably going to keep only like 1 or 2 of the combos... more importantly, it gave me the flavor for what it can be and gave me tons of ideas. :D
Kat and I had lunch at Esperanza, which was further away from the venue. The smell outside was exquisite and it's a bakery so we decided to try it. Well, the food was as exquisite as the smell. That place was more Mex than Tex. :p They made their own tortilla fresh there. Wow!
Saturday afternoon, I had a 30-minute massage. That was so wonderful!
Kat and I took Onça's Narrative Belly Dance class. OMG! That was so amazing! I gotta say that Kat and I think that Onça may be one of belly dance's best kept secret. She teaches so well! She made us do some silly exercises and a lot of not so silly ones. She made us work with some theather exercises that thoroughly helped. She also gave us some character archetypes to work on and gave us info on what types of things will help convey the character better both in terms of movement and attitude on stage. One thing that I really appreciated is that she kept reminding us through the exercises (particularly the archetypes) that we were belly dancers so that we needed to belly dance. I've taken other workshops on the topic and, generally, they say not to worry if it's belly dance and there are times when they said not to do belly dance at all. While it's a useful way of practicing and not get bugged down with the complexity of belly dance with the complexity of emoting, it's important to acknowledge our dance form at least at one point. ;) August graciously played music for us while we were dancing. I think that he had a blast watching us.
The Saturday night show was very good too! I think that the Friday show may have been a tad better but it's totally subjective. I may have been tired by that time too. lol Seriously, lots of talents in both shows.
On Sunday, I took the Ariellah workshop titled Drawing Down the Moon, which is about what makes us do what we do, how to understand how we function, where our emotions stem from, things like that. Very insightful. Probably the more insightful part was that I had been trying to pinpoint for a while what I really wanted to do with my art to give me focus and I got that answer in this workshop. There were yet more exercises to make us convey messages. Anyway, it's a good workshop.
I also had a private on hair styling with Rose Harden. That was money well spent! Now I need to go buy some stuff for my hair, though! lol
Overall, this weekend totally gave me what I came to get: workshops geared towards the artistry of belly dance (b/c that's where I'm at), great performances in the shows, meeting great people, and just plain having a good time.
Now, there were themes for the weekend:
- First off: 'squirrel.' That came from a movie where the dog is easily distracted by squirrels. Anyway, Kat and I kept saying that at each other. lol
- Secondly, 'Hello my baby! Hello my honey! Hello my ragtime gal!' I sometimes get stuck on one song and will sing it over and over again. Kat was subjected to this torture. Sorry, dear!
- Third, 'Opening your heart.' Both Ariellah and Onça said that in regards to being able to emote better on stage.
- Fourth, 'the idea stash.' Rose and Ariellah were talking about that: clipping magazine pics, noting down an idea of music, whatever, and putting that in a stash for future use when you need inspiration.
I thought that there was one more theme but I forget. Oh well.
One other thing that was great was meeting a ton of people. Some whom I had not seen in a long time (Tara, Nari, Trudi, Michelle), others that I had only known online (Obsidia, Kathleen Crowley, Rose Harden) and others that I had never met before! The list would be too long to write but it was great to hang with all of you! And, yes, Tempest, I'm still your people! :p I'll probably always be anyway. ;)
Oh and the last fabulous thing was the shopping. * swoon!* The vendors were Geisha Moth and Tempest (Owl Key Me [love the name and the play on words]), Ocean and his wife's fabulous idea of a top and skirt, Jeremiah and Rachel Soto, Salome's Suitcase, Five and Diamond, Akasha Wear, and Diva something (sorry I forgot the name). So, what did I purchase, eh? Well...
- A kick ass skirt by Christina (Black Lotus Clothing). It has some black beading and red roses. It's amazing!
- A burgundy leather belt with brass metal grommets and rings and stuff. It was 50% off from Five and Diamond. I've been wanting a belt in that style for like 2 years now. While I originally wanted black, the burgundy belt will be perfect to go over the top of the 'roses skirt.' :D
- Higher gauge earrings from Tawapa. I had been debating whether to stretch my ears further or not but they decided for me: they stretched already on their own and my current jewelry was too loose... so it was time.
- Barrettes from Rachel Soto/Blue Damsel. They're in an unusual color for me. I kept being drawn in by the red flower barrettes but wanted to get away from my usual color. Kat and Rachel helped me pick. So it's cream with a hint of red but, mostly, there's a blue button at the center that makes my eye color pop. :D
- Arm warmers by Christina/Black Lotus Clothing. I saw them and was attracted to the colors, although they're different for me... tried them on and fell in love with the comfort... and then I was smitten and needed to purchase them after Kat begged me to purchase them b/c I had been talking about them for a few hours (I'm only slightly exaggerating here).
- From Geisha Moth, I purchased a tube skirt with a lovely fleur de lys on the back and another design in the front (super duper cute) and a pair of cake capris that are grey strips of fabric over black. Hard to describe the capris...
As if that wasn't enough, I ended up winning in Geisha Moth's contest... TWICE!!!! The best part was that, the 2nd time, I won 100$ in merchandise!!!! Woohoo! So I ended up winning black and white snake armz with the first win and a black tube skirt with some ruffles (super duper cute), a black with white stripes tube skirt that matches one of my incognito tops, and a shruggie like this http://www.facebook.com/album.php?page=5&aid=115295&id=101129349421#/photo.php?pid=3158752&id=101129349421&fbid=190576659421
I would like to thank Tempest for being my stylist this weekend and helping me pick out stuff that fits me well. :D She has the eye and will tell you if it doesn't fit you well or if you don't look good in it. ;) I appreciate the honesty! She especially helped me pick out what to get with my fabulous 100$ win! Yeah!