|My babies! 😭|
As well, my troupe and I performed at an outdoor artisan's market this past weekend, our last outdoor event of the year, which provided lovely distraction fodder. I love performing, I really do, but if I'm honest I have to admit that I do not love dancing outside. The surface is always unknown ahead of time, and generally questionable for the duration, it's usually sweltering hot, there is no shade, etc. Just not the funnest thing to perform with this set of circumstances.
And Saturday was no exception. :0 We arrive and it's one of the hottest days of the year, despite it being September 1st.
The band ahead of us finished up a tad early, and so we got right on it, anxious to perform our set and clear out before the afternoon heat got any worse. By the end of our first group piece, I was sweating, but it wasn't too epic. Next up, I danced a solo, and ordinarily, I *never* start on the stage. I let the music start, and then I dance out at some point. Usually, this fits with the music, and plus it gives me time to gather myself before I go out. Plus, I just think it looks more dramatic. ;-)
Well, on Saturday, I had chosen a baladi to dance to. A baladi is a specific type of arrangement in Middle Eastern music wherein the song begins with a very slow sequence called a taqsim. After the taqsim, the music picks up with a specific rhythm that builds in speed throughout the song up to a crescendo at the end. Given the taqsim at the beginning of a baladi, it may be a better choice to start on stage. Depending upon the specific song, it might not be too easy to travel onto the stage, the music just doesn't support that movement. So when Claire asked me which I preferred, I made the decision to begin out on our "stage" area.
I swirl out, strike a pose, and wait for my music to start. Let's just say that I had a bit of a long wait. 😂There was a glitch with the sound system, and all the while, I'm still in my dramatic pose. Then, hark! Music starts, but it is not my music. Now, I'm an improvisational dancer, I do not plan out choreographies, so I can dance to anything on a moment's notice, but this was a Saidi song, meaning a folkloric piece that my troupe costume wasn't appropriate for, nor was it the style of dancing that I was planning on. I waited for several beats, hoping that the music would stop, but it didn't. :0 Everyone is watching me expectantly. All the while, I'm thinking:
"This is why I like to start offstage!" 😂
And this is also why, although nerve wracking, my life is a heck of a lot more interesting than it was in my teens and twenties.
Life doesn't always go the way we plan, yes? Well, neither do our dance events. So, I raise my posed and lowered gaze and start to dance. Then the music dramatically cuts out. I stop dancing, strike another pose, and beam out at the audience. They beam back. Shortly thereafter, my baladi begins and I dance to that with much relief. It goes very well.
We had three more group pieces, and by the second one, my hair was indeed epic. It was glued to my back and became the consistency of the mop that you use on your kitchen floor. During one particularly memorable moment, a rivulet of sunscreen and sweat poured into my eyes, and I had to blink uncontrollably for the remainder of the song. When we got to our final drum solo, in which we have several head movements wherein we toss our hair...let's just say that my hair didn't move a muscle. :0
I had a lot of fun, but I was glad when that one was over. We have more performances coming up, but thankfully, all indoors!
How are you doing this week, dear reader?