I wanted to write a bit about the belly dance journey and to let you all know that every once in awhile the rose colored glasses come off and reality starts to set in even for us belly dancers. Sometimes women think that self fulfillment will happen magically with this dance and to be honest with you it takes work. But it’s the kind of work that feels more like an entrepreneurial quest. We make the journey what it is, a success or a spiraling drama. At times they kind of go hand in hand but how much really depends on you. Read more
Just wanted to let all of you know that my daughter and I are heading out to New York and we will be spending this weekend with costume designer and renowned belly dancer Noora – owner of Decotach. Noora is making my Marilyn Monroe dress for a workshop in April so I can’t wait to get fitted and see my dress. But our main goal is to spend the weekend with dancers from the east coast and get a better idea of their community ethics and ideals along with comments on today’s issues.
My daughter Savanah will be behind the camera while I will be conversing in the dancers round table of discussions. It will be her first time to New York and behind the camera so for a 15 year old, I am pretty proud of her for stepping up to the plate!
Daniel won’t be going with us this time, he will be taking care of the home-front plus our 3 legged dog Zipperino and Booboo our 15 year old cat. He is definitely apart of this trip though because he is not only supportive of the documentary but he believes we need more. Not only is he the best business partner in the world but I couldn’t ask for a better husband! I must have earned kudos in a past life because I wouldn’t be where I am today without him!
So next time I write I will have more to talk about so stay tuned for my return trip meanderings, tales and tidbits!! I’m sure it will be a journey worth talking about!
Nothing prepared my daughter and me for our amazing trip to New York. Just the trip alone was exciting but once we arrived in New York I must say our journey really had just begun. Our taxi cab driver was the first of our “We’ve arrived” moments when he literally took me at my word when I said it should take no longer then 12 minutes to get to our destination. And let me tell you it was a white knuckle ride the whole way!
Our destination was the apartment of Noora, dancer extraordinaire and costume designer and owner of Decotach; Creative mix and match costumes. As we entered her apartment we were greeted by 4 of her 6 cats. Since my daughter and I are animal lovers, we definitely were in heaven! Our day ended with an evening out at a local restaurant not far from Noora’s house. But that evening the rain started and it kept coming down the whole time we were there.
We walked the streets the next few days and I literally saw umbrellas scattered on the sidewalks in every direction. I asked Noora about this and she said, “In a few minutes you’ll understand.” Just five minutes after she said that the wind took my umbrella and swept it up and tore it to shreds. Nothing like laughing in the rain and getting wet! At one point I was wet from my tippy toes up to my waist. This was because I wore my New Mexico style clothing and it just didn’t work for the New York winds, rain and busy life style. And just so you all know, we went through 4 umbrellas in one day!
There where many high lights of the trip, one was going to Serena Wilsons’s studio and videotaping a class in session. Our main goal was to videotape Noora and her dance friends in a group along with solo discussions on belly dance issues and we had a wonderful evening of just straight belly dance talk. I will start to edit this week and I am looking forward to viewing what we were able to get on film.
Another highlight was watching videos of Noora performing at different venues such as a wedding and a major dance project that she collaborated with Tamalyn Dallal. I was awe struck at her dance ability and truley believe Noora is one of the best dancers we have here in the United States today. I cannot recommend her highly enough to any dance teachers who want to bring in a highly talented, educated master dance teacher and performer. Noora is the definition of everything you would expect from a dance master and I feel so honored and fortunate to have spent time with her.
Noora is also an amazing costume designer and I was able to be fitted for a new costume that she is making for me. It is the red dress that Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell wore in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. I can’t wait until it is finished and I will be wearing it at the Floralia workshop and show I will be teaching and performing at April 29th-May 2nd 2010. There is nothing like a sexy, classy red dress to lift a dancer’s spirits and this one is definitely going to help me make an entrance.
Unfortunately after we arrived back to N.M. safely I battled the flu and for a while there thought I had brought back the bubonic plague. Plus I shared it with Savanah and Daniel (which they didn’t appreciate) so we are all just now getting back to good health again. But all in all it was a great trip and I highly recommend New York to any dancer who is serious about her dancing. New York should be a rite of passage for all dancers and once you experience the dancers back there you will totally understand why. They are of the highest caliber of integrity, talent, friendliness and some of the most educated dancers of today. New York was everything I expected and more!
A note of importance; in the costume designing world Noora is known as Angela Lambru. She is world renowned by both names!
I decided to start the year off by looking back and seeing what last year taught me. It’s not so much that I feel I have to reflect on what last year was about because it was a year of recovery and rest from a stressful show the year before. What I really am doing is looking at why a creative idea turned into Hell on earth for a year. In talking to a few of my dance friends it became apparent that it is not that unusual for a great idea and creative sharing to turn into a Sci-Fi flick with a B rating. I mean if I knew in the beginning the experience was going to turn into a B rated flick then I would have written a better script instead of writing as I went along.
As human beings we are a very interesting species especially when it comes to accomplishments and life long goals. I say this only because it is very interesting working with actors and professional dancers who have been in their respective occupations for years. Little did I realize that a whole new group of problems would pop up, appear out of nowhere or manifested before my very eyes. The culprit was the longevity of our performer’s respective occupations. Accumulated experience can only go so far and as we found out as the recipients of this knowledge there was a price to pay everywhere we looked, walked, talked or ate. Case in point; I asked the coordinator from the theater where our show was performed at, to have lunch with us. The day of the lunch date he forgot the correct time and was angry, yelling at me on the phone exclaiming that he didn’t have all day to wait on us. Needless to say I had to calm him down and explain “HE” wrote down the wrong time and he at this point was keeping us waiting. Just so you all know it never got better with this person and I had to restrain myself from wanting to learn Voodoo and curse his sorry b*&t.
One of the performers in our show let us know that she would bring in her fans and would help out as needed. Long story short two rehearsals and various lunch meetings over a year’s time just didn’t cut it. And the worst part was dealing with someone who was constantly telling us what she could bring to the table in regards to experience. It was a case of not being able to walk her talk. She worked the nerves and emotions of the cast and crew to the point that they were indifferent to her comings and goings. In the end we found out that she caused one of our actors to leave the show and her fans obviously made a no show the night of our show. I have finally learned that experience does not the performer make?
Did I mention I was working for under a penny a day or was it I was paying dollars a day to produce the show? I think it was the latter only because my bank account was worse for the wear on this one.
Our first composer started out fantastic but ended up changing his music to suite his own needs. He was handsome, talented and arrogant but who cares about the arrogant part when they are talented and did I say good looking!
I ended up having to tell him his music wasn’t working for us and found out just how arrogant he was. As always in these kind of circumstances people want to jump on your bandwagon and then create their own band. This was evident when he was on stage and decided he needed half the stage for his own band. We were starting to look like his back up dancers performing in the background for “His” show. When I confronted him regarding some problems the core dancers and principal choreographer were having with his music he told me to replace them. I laughed because they were the producers of the show. It became apparent who we had to replace.
Our second composer unfortunately was immature and inexperienced. He spread rumors that we took the money from the show and pocketed it. Since our show was a fund raiser for a children’s hospital we didn’t find this amusing. But this illicit rumor coming from him was like a sad parody especially since he whined the entire show and threw tantrums it seemed every hour on the hour. In the end he took a good thing and turned it into his own vendetta. So I have to ask, “What is it about composers??”
As the show ended we all felt relieved almost like the feeling of the aftermath of a hurricane. You know you experienced Hell but you survived! About a week after the show was over as I was licking my perspective wounds; I quite by accident happened to come across a review of our show on a community website. The writer had come to the show and shook hands with the performers, patted people on the back and congratulated everyone on what a great show it was. Hum……this was not what I was reading and defiantly not what he wrote in the review. The interesting thing about this review was that he didn’t mention to anybody from the show as far as we could tell that he was going to do this review. I have thought with the comments he made that he had the viewpoint of someone who felt slighted in some way. There were certain key phrases that caught my attention and I believe to this day that he had help in writing it. This is a prime example of getting in the last word…..or at least he or whoever helped him may have thought. I wrote a comment back and a bit of a war started with our fans and loyal friends chiming in their opinions and thoughts. So to be honest I am not sure who got in the last word.
With sharing all of this with you it has become apparent to me that a good sense of humor is essential not just in dance but in life. As time goes by I do find myself laughing at some of the unexpected things that happened in the show. In the end it really is about looking in the mirror and knowing that the image looking back at you is not only someone you like but someone that has your back………..And I know I have my back.