Where's Naima in the sea of dressing room mirrors.
I had this really nice long post typed up about the past 2 months of dance and then I deleted it by accident. I have no clue how I did it and I was so upset at loosing all of my work that I haven't worked on the blog in weeks. I've decided to split the post in two in case I delete it again. That way I'll only loose half the work. Also, I am recovering from the plague. Anything could happen.
Anyway, I had the opportunity to dance at the Multicultural Festival with the Malaika Dancers back in January. It is hosted at Jaunita K Hammons Hall of Performing Arts every year on Martin Luther King Day. I had danced there as a baby dancer with Troupe Sarrab around 2001-ish. I thought it would be nice, after a decade, to revisit the largest stage I've ever danced on. This is also the stage I first saw Gita perform.
Malaika was given 2 sets, 1 on the "balcony stage" and 1 on the main stage. The balcony stage is intended for musical performances, not so much dance. It is crammed in the corner of the main atrium above the first floor but below the auditorium balconies. Only the patrons above us could see the performance and even then it was far and detached. I will say it was an interesting feeling to look up at the audience throughout the entire performance. It was also vibrantly sunny in our little corner and got quite warm dancing.
Despite the less than desirable stage placement, we chalked the balcony performance up as a practice run for the performance on the big stage. The main stage is seems huge in comparison and easily makes you feel quite tiny in its vastness. The professional lighting also means you cannot see the audience very well and makes emoting into the blinding light feel a little silly. The super cool thing about the day was the HUGE dressing room we were treated to. It had long rows of mirrors, lounge chairs, and even a private bathroom with a shower. The audio from the stage was also piped in through speakers so we could hear the performances live. All it needed was 4 dozen pink and yellow roses and a bowl of green M&M's.
Video from the closest "audience" location. Looks like I'm dancing for team America with that big flag displayed in front of me.
Dancer's view off the Balcony Stage at JKH.
Malaika Dancers on the Balcony Stage at JKH.
Malaika Dancers on the JKH stage that made me break my rule of never dance without sandals.
Baby Bellydancer Naima in a borrowed palette dress on JKH stage 2001.
This is what happens when you take video instead of a picture. Doh. (I bought that dress for $7 at a garage sale!)