w00t! I got the first blog post!
On Wednesday, July 26, I had the opportunity to dance a solo at the Martini Room, hosted by the amazing Christina King, who is also the mastermind behind Tribal Revolution. It’s a great show that brings a variety of bellydance to the stage, and the show features a great mix of troupes and soloists, cabaret, tribal, and fusion.
I went with The Inner Light by the Beatles because it’s a heavily-Indian influenced song with a 4/4 beat (i.e. easy to count) and I know it backwards and forwards, up and down, port to starboard. I have a moderate hearing impairment and tinnitus, so really learning my songs and understanding the music is key for me to be able to dance it. Some people are born with a good sense of music, but it’s something that I really have to work at to get to a point where I’m comfortable with improv. The Indian influences were important because I looooooove sari skirts and sequined dupattas, and those costuming elements don’t always mesh well with songs that are more North African, Balkan, or Spanish. You have to match your song, after all!
When I’m putting together a solo, I usually go with the concept first, then the costume, and THEN I find the song that fits the best with the overarching idea. Or… let’s be honest, sometimes it’s the costume, THEN the concept, but the song is usually the last of the three to join the party. I know a lot of dancers that need to be creatively inspired by the music to start, and that’s perfectly valid. To me, though, I find starting with either the idea of the piece (which can be as simple as this one, with “the Indian-inspired ATS moves”) or the costume (in this case, all the green stuff I own, plus glitter) helps keep those first two pieces consistent, and then informs the third (I wanted something that matched, and was under four minutes, and The Inner Light was perfect!), which results in a logical product. I strongly admire dancers that fall in love with music that might be far past their comfort zone and really meet the challenge, but in my case, soloing gives me enough performance anxiety that I like to know before I start working on it that I’m capable of executing it!
Yep… by the way, not only am I hard of hearing, I am also the WORST when it comes to stage fright.
Even though I am generally nervous enough to be questioning all of my life choices for at least the first five seconds of the music playing, I am committed to continuing to craft and perform solos. I believe wholeheartedly that everyone should make a regular practice of doing things that scare the sweet merciful crap out of them. I don’t necessarily mean knocking over a liquor store or BASE jumping, unless that’s something you really want to try*, but something that keeps life interesting. Plus, it’s something to strive for… being able to pull out a solo without sweating it (too much, at least) is hardly a negative when it comes to building a dance career.
Anyway! Please enjoy, and I’m looking forward to sharing more of my videos and seeing what my Delphinium Collective dance sisters post!
*Editor’s Note: The Delphinium Collective does not condone the rampant knocking over of liquor stores, and it should be noted that Kat is not an adult.