Thursday, September 25, 2008

Catch up

I have been away for sometime. Sort of a forced writing break. I have been really busy with rehearsals and practices. I have also been busy preparing for the upcoming hafla next Friday.
Today we all ladies meet to do some sewing work on our costumes. Mainly closing the leg-slit that agapes from the El-Salem costume and also embellishing the El-Salem costume.

Yesterday was the only day I DID NOT dance in about a week. I have been dancing everyday of the past week. It feels really good to do that. I hope that I am able to keep dancing as much once this performance season starts winding down.

More at night.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Mid-south Fair performance thoughts

Yesterday night the J-Jewels performed at the mid-south fair. We were all ready in time and ready to go at 8 pm, however the band before us started their performance late, so went on stage at 8:30. Also, the band before us sang gospeal, GOSPEL and then we were on. We were doign dances from egypt, turkey and iran.; like Jasmine said from Terrorist
I felt completely disconnected from the audience (whichever 1 or 2 face I could see) today. During turkish delight, while doing the hip hit step, I realised that I was completely disconnected. I have not missed that step ever, and I missed it on Friday.
That is when I realised that I was disconnected. I had warmed up, talked to everyone in the dresssing room. I did have an awkward moment with Lucie, but that was it, just a moment. Everything else was going fine; just that I felt disconnected.
I think I probably need to work on something that can help me get into the dance groove before the performance. I think for that it is streching and listening to music. So for the next performance, that is what I am going to do. Stretch, listen to music and BE ON TIME.
I have not watched the video or the photos from the performance, hope to do that tonite.
More when I have some time to think about the performance.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Mid-South Fair

I am really excited about our performance today at mid-south fair. I have so much to do before the show though. But I am still ready to get out there and perform. Looking back at the past 3 months I realise that I have not really shimmied in front of an audience since April 2008, when was the GPAC performance.
My ankle is still bothering me though especially when I am on relavet ( I hope this is the correct spelling). And everytime I turn on relavet, I am reminded that I should strech more. So, here a TODO for today's show. Strech and warm-up. I remember several classes where I have danced much better when I am warm and sweaty, it just helps connect to body to the music and bring out the movements better.
So Strech Baby, strech!!

Shimme- Shopping

We have several events coming up in the next 4 weeks. Today, we are performing at the Mid-South Fair. Next week we perform at a Bartlett festival. The week after that is the BIG week for DWJ, becuase we have our annual hafla. This year the hafla is being planned on a grand level. We are charging people to come and watch us! So knowing Jasmine, she wants us to put up a great show. I am so proud of her for that. Her standards and expectations make all us work harder, push harder and dance better. Love her for that. She recognises the potential in all of us and pushes us to always reach the full potential.

Anyways, so for these performances I have been doing a little shopping. The yellow mesh scraf that I would use with my gypsy ensemble had started to fall to pieces. So I had been looking a good yellow mesh hip scraf. Low and Behold, I found exactly what I wanted on Ebay.
I bid and WON!!! and the scraf is now mine. The dealer I bought the scraf from is from Hongkong. His business and shipment were prompt and quick. He even sent me a post-card from HK.

So here is the scraf I bought:

Here is his store on ebay: Shanghai-Tailor

In addition I have been eye-ing the one below. I simply love lotuses and this is just right.
I just cannot decide on which colour to get, he has these in all colours I can think of. DAMN you, why do you have to be so creative and confuse me!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Dance and rehearsal Log

For the past several months Jasmine's been asking me to keep a dance and rehearsal log. She mentioned that it will help me assess my performance as a dancer and will help me work on my short-comings. I have been just plain lazy and not done that. But this this thing started, I think it is a good opportunity to start keeping track of my dance rehearsals and practices.
I hope to be diligent about it and keep a log.
So here is my calender.

Koli Dance- India Fest 2008

This is the Koli dance I choreographed and performed at the India Fest 2008 in Memphis.
My fellow dancers are Neelima Chopra and Neha Tyagi. It was a lot of fun rehearsing, teaching and dancing with them. All in all a great experience.
Although my saree was come loose, I still continued dancing, but could not put all my effort into the dance. Also, I remember that the stage was so dark and also the there were not lights on the spectators, so could not really connect with the people watching..Neeway, still totally marathi and totally mumbai-kar dance!!!
NOTE: We got a spontaneous "once-more" at the end of the dance. So that made all the sweat and blood spent totally worth the steps.

Dancer's list

I am moving a post from my older blog to this blog. This is an item-list to check before a performance. This is consolidated from experience at performances, disasters at performances :) and catastrophes during a show :-)
But all was learnt in a good spirit and the SHOW NEVER STOPPED; even if the music did :-)
So here we go:
  1. Costume -- Important to check all the components of the costume. Also make sure you iron the thing. Wrinkles donot look good on anything except jeans and crinkle tops.
  2. Cover-Up. -- Don't want to give everyone a peak at the costume :-). Always SHOCK them!!
  3. Props -- If dancing with one, check it the night before the performance. Pay attention to the condition and look if the prop has any details or decoration on it. This is crucial especially if you have been practicing with it. Props will often gather the signs of practice and rehearsals. When a jewel dances, the jewel mesmerizes the spectators with the spectacles of shimmies and mayas and never lets the imperfections of the prop distract from her glow .
  4. Safety pins - I usually keep a compartmentalized box that contains all the safety pins in different sizes. makes pins easy to find in a hurry between costume changes.
  5. Double-sided tape. A garment tape will also do as long as it can hold.
  6. Needle and thread. Keep a white, black and one thread in the costume colour.
  7. Bobby pins.
  8. U-pins.
  9. Stapler. for those times when safety pins fail.
  10. Deodorant or Solid perfume....becuz you want to look and smell HOT, despite being hot and sweaty.
  11. Tissues. Wet and dry.
  12. Make up wipes
  13. Spare elastic.
  14. Diaper pins. This is for all you shimmie-llicous babes, to keep the belt from sliding down your booty.
  15. Dental floss/ breath mints/ mouth freshener.
  16. First aid kit -- Sprain Spray, Neosporin, Band-aid
  17. Makeup -- Refer to things in the makeup kit.
  18. Nail polish -- same colour as you are wearing. In case you dance your toes off.
  19. Manicure corrector. If you have a small chip.
  20. Spare shoes or sandals. To be prepared when you might be asked to mingle with the crowd
  21. Water
  22. A snack that can give instant energy. Something sugary like apricots and almonds. Preferably, nothing spicy or greasy.


This is my first post. I have loved dance in all in forms since I can remember. I can hardly recall a time when the sound of rain plattring on the windows in the Mumbai monsoon, the sound of tabla playing on the radio, the loudspeaker during ganapati, the songs in the rickshaw and the sound of the drummers fingers on the dhoombek have NOT made me want to forget everything else and DANCE. Yes, dance is my passion, it is my first love. To me dance expresses all things beautiful and alive. The very first time I remember being a proud dancer was at family function, where I sang and and most importantly danced to the EVER-GREEN and always fun HAWA-HAWAI song of Sridevifrom Mr. India. I remember being called miss. Hawa Hawai for a long time after that. I learnt Bharat-natyam from Age 7 to at a dance school close to my home. Although the experience was not deep enough for me to continue with Barath-naytam, it did however open up the world of DANCE to me. I was taught mudras and gestures. I was taught how to be angry, happy, shy, in love, be sad; all just using your body; no need to even say a word. It was simply wonderful.
While studies took precedence, dance was over-looked. Still there were always school parties, college rose-days, birthdays where there was always an opportunity to dance. I really recongised my passion for dance when I came to do my masters to the NCSU. I met a bunch of people there as passionate about dance as I am. We formed a troupe and I had loads of fun rehearsing and performing with them.
When life brought me to Memphis, I met Jasmine, and I am happy to say that my life CHANGED!!! I discovered BELLY DANCE. I finally found a dance teacher. A teacher who is caring, knowledgable, fun and most importantly one who really respects DANCE. I have been performing with her for the last 1 year.
Being from India, I love all things dance; and dance is such a part of my culture and life. I love Hindi movie songs, folk dances and often perform at local indian cultural events.
So this is an attempt to keep a track of my Thumkas and my Shimmies, of sore-ness in my arms holding a skirt and pain in my fingers playing the cymbals; of costumes I wore for lavani and bhangra and my choreography blues from thinking about koli and hindi movie song steps.