Saturday, July 10, 2010

So long, farewell, good 'ole stage fright! - Originally posted on 18 September 2009

Last night was Hafla Luna. And it was probably one of my best public performances... if not THE best... b/c the 'show and tell' at the Mira Betz workshop was not very public... although there were about as many people in the audience...

Anyway, I disgress...

It seems that I've finally managed to conquer my stage fright. Woohoo! I decided to do a set of 4 songs. I was asked to do something that people could look at and say 'this is tribal.' Given that, when I do Dark Fusion, I tend to mix in too much of the cab and tribal together, I didn't want to do just Dark Fusion... but I still wanted to do it b/c it is my preferred style for my solo work... and also to make the audience see both aspects. So I did a progression from more traditional tribal towards the Dark Fusion.

Since it had worked so well for me in the Mira Betz workshop (partly thanks to Melany/Nari who made a comment about it), I decided to create different characters for each of the pieces. It wasn't too schizophrenic or bipolar... there was a progression that made sense. ;) And, yes, it totally helped. It may be a crutch but that's one that I'm definitely willing to use at least for a while... and even if I need to keep it for a long time, who cares?

Anyway, after I got off the stage, the first thing that Lynn said was "The many different sides of Celeste." That was EXACTLY what I was striving for. She also said: "You may still have height fright but you definitely don't have stage fright." Saweet! She did see a difference in mood between the different songs. I got great compliments and the wording of them told me that I executed what I wanted to execute.

I was a bit unsettled at the beginning of the event. I was supposed to be able to use my iPod but then the material for the evening had been stolen and, while a lot of it had been recovered, the iPod cord had not. Bummer! But, yes, I could dance with iT. I was flustered over it but more b/c I needed to quickly figure out in my head what I was going to do (which songs to request, what mood to apply, etc.). Then, it turns out that Jamila very kindly went to get an iPod cord so we were back on track for the original program... which meant re-shifting my focus to what the original plan was. So my first piece was not exactly as I wanted it to be. It wasn't bad. It's just that I didn't exactly have the intensity that I wanted... and I had forgotten some of the moves that I had uploaded to my brain for that. Oh yeah... forgot to mention that the first 2 pieces were improv (in good tribal fashion :p) and the last 2 were loosely choreographed.

There was also a moment when I flinched... when that evil voice crept in my head. Ana Lucia and her friends were in the front row and, given that she's very traditional cabaret, the voice honed on that and made me wonder what they're thinking. And then I thought "Who cares?" and went on with my dancing.

I wasn't too much in my head for the performance... only a few spots... and those are obviously the spots that I am not as happy with. But, for the most part, I was just 'flocking' with the music. ;) (Those from the Mira Betz intensive know what I'm talking about here)

Interestingly, I've seen one pic of me so far and that pic looks more dynamic than my usual ones. Really interesting result. lol Now, of course, being a human being, I did notice a thing that I didn't like about the pic (yes, Tempest, I need to lift my head... you're right... still working on it). But, overall, I am VERY pleased with my performance last night. And especially with the elimination of the stage fright... hopefully for good.

Comments I had received:
From Angela Robinson: BRAVO!!! That is fabulous! Thank you so much for sharing your succes.

From Danielle: Opa! :)

From Maria: Good for you! Wish I could have been there to see it. Always glad to hear when someone's presenting tribal in a good light!

From Lori Baumgarten : Wonderful! and please do not think of the characters as crutches, but rather as tools which create part of your dance. What you portray emotionally and spiritually is just as important as having good technique, it's is what takes you to the next great level. xo

From Nari: Awesome! Congratulations to you, pretty lady!

From Helena: I think you did a beautiful job dancing and I enjoyed watching, sorry I didn't say hello because I was involved with a friend in tow... You are a very good dabcer...Hope to see you at PPD next week I still have pelenty of stage time and it is a great time.

From Laura Smith: Stage fright is something I still deal with. I have noticed when I do burlesque I "pretend" to be some other character and it really does help. Maybe I should do the same with my bellydancing? :)I really love hearing your insights on bellydancing and performing, thank you!!!! (((((HUGS)))

From Robert: It was an excellent performance and came off well all the way to the back of the room where Paul and I were plotting our next set. Of course we are always pleased when you dance to us as well and are fierce advocates of dancing to live. I have to say over the years I've watched you dance you started out well and have gotten beter.

From me: Lori,
Yeah, I didn't explain the 'crutch' well enough. lol I definitely agree with you that keeping the characters is a great tool to get a better dance focus. What I didn't explain well was that what I veiw as 'the crutch' is downright writing the character's story. I mean, in theory, I shoul be able to pull it off without doing the writing part. But, hey, if writing a story about the character in my dance get me to portray it better, I don't see the harm in it. ;)

From me: Helena,
Thanks for the compliments! I won't be able to do the PPD this weekend as I will be in Dayton for the Belly Boo Bash.

Yes, I think that you can leverage what you already do for burlesque to your belly dance: pretend to be another character. Well, at least it works well for me....

Thank you so much for the compliments! I'm damn glad that iT is there to witness my progress... not only that but help me through it. You know that I love dancing with you guys! And you have made me get up on my feet and dance even if I'm in a bad mood, too tired, or whatever other excuse. :D

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