The longest night has come and gone. Happy solstice people, here’s to the return of the sun. But until that time may we all have comfort in a winter cocoon –whatever that means to you.
Since my last blog, dance life continues to be as expansive, therapeutic and challenging as ever. September brought the final days of Pedestrian Sundays in Kensington Market where Serpentina enjoyed dancing alongside other local talents for an appreciative crowd in the streets.
In these photos, I’m wearing my new Medina Maitraya headpiece..a beauty I had been awaiting in the mail. I have been lusting over her designs for some time now. Its beautifully made and a minimally glitzy flapper/gladiator look which goes so well with my costumes. Definitely my favourite costume piece of the year!
October brought the annual Moonlight Tribe celebration, held by Orkideh of Serpentina, for the all night art festival Nuit Blanche. Once again held in Habeeba’s bellydance studio, this year was the best turnout ever with people packed in throughout the night to see some of Toronto’s best dancers. Bellydance, classical Indian, contact dance, Arabic singing (lililili! to Roula Said), and of course all of the amazing fusion that runs in between and across the genres. I had more than a few performances over the course of the night…first Sugar Shakers flapper numbers, a vintage/charleston/bellydance solo and last but never least a group improv with the ladies of Serpentina North Ensemble. It was a wonderful long night being both dancer and audience.
Then the whirlwind of October continued with the Halloween Bazaar of the Bizarre, where Strange Dames set up to sell our creations. Here is one happy customer wearing one of my cowl’s. She also makes really awesome sock monkeys!
October also brought a trip to Detroit for the Theatre Bizarre event –a grandiose costume party and freakshow in a giant masonic temple. I enjoyed this elaborate carnivalesque party with a great crew of new and old friends. We also checked out the Museum of Modern Art in Detroit, and a weekend marketplace…where i realized recently I had never been into that market area during the day (only warehouse parties over a decade ago!)
November brought with it less showtime but still the continuation of ongoing practice. To my delight, Roula Said is once again holding classes in movement and sound like no one else does so I have a weekly dose of that medicinal movement in her new coach house studio space. My appetite for zill-playing has gone unsatiated for some time and having a weekly place to play again has been divine! I had the absolute pleasure of dancing to live music played by Nomadica at the festive party early December. It’s actually the first time I have danced solo to this band and in such an intimate space (the Handlebar in Kensington Market) surrounded by some of my closest and longest dance friends, this was a much needed celebration to ring in the dark season of winter.
In November I had an opportunity to be a part of a Day of the Dead photo shoot with local photographer Paul Devisser. And what happens when you put a group of performers together for a shoot? We take our own pics during the breaks! Good times with some of my favourite dancing ladies…
And now with December come and nearly gone, reflections abound. I don’t really do new year resolutions, but the list-maker in me jumps at the chance for a new list as each year wraps up. So now that I reflect on my dancers wish list –or should I say work-my-ass-off-for-it list, here are some of my 2013 highlights:
- traveling to Seattle with some troupe mates for Cues & Tattoos, where I took 3 workshops with Rachel Brice, 2 with Mira Betz and a Fat Chance floor work workshop with Carolena Nericcio all in one weekend! Immediately following was my first visit to Portland Oregon, where I checked out classes at Datura and Gypsy Caravan
- working with a skilled physiotherapist on alignment, strength and posture that did incredible things for my dance and overall everyday movement
- increased flexibility (see backbend pic above…I couldn’t do that last year!)
- maintained a consistent home yoga practice
- completed Basic Black certification at Darkside Studio
- developed a vintage jazz/charleston/bellydance fusion choreography to ‘Charleston Butterfly’ and got to debut it at Darkside’s gala show for the Kami Liddle intensive.
- danced to Nomadica live
- I continue to have the honour of dancing with the amazing ladies of Sugar Shakers and Serpentina North Ensemble. The synergy of all the dedication to and passion for dance is definitely a highlight of my year!
- and the award for 2013’s most carnivalesque and exhilarating gig goes to: Fedora Upside Down Masquerade 2! with this longstanding but yet-to-be-defined trio
HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU ALL! MAY YOUR 2014 BE FILLED WITH HEALTH, LOVE AND MOVEMENT.