Revisiting

This post rambles a bit, but it’s more about documenting my process. I’ve been absent from blogging of late because I’ve been working on other projects. And in the melée of working through those projects, I’ve found my creative juices flowing once again. Deadlines help, but so does devouring voluminous source material. I’ve spent the last couple of months creating 2 new pieces, and reading a large pile of books as research.

Lately, I’ve been finding myself revisiting previous interests and discovering new sources of inspiration. On a personal level, I’ve been coloring in ways that explore the relationship of colors with each other and explore the medium of markers. A small thing perhaps, but I’ve enjoyed the experimentation.  I’ve also joined a Chinese language and culture meet-up and started dusting off my extremely rusty language skills and meeting new people. Both of these ventures represent interests that were strong enough to spawn a college major, but have barely been used in recent years. I’ve also restarted my tarot studies, a long-term interest in my adult life.

On an artistic level, I’m finding a continued interest in the topic of Orientalism and the history of bellydance. Recently, I was fortunate enough to present the first in a 3-series workshop entitled Dancing through History to a very eager audience. It was a combination of lecture and dance. This lecture focuses on the era of the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago, and the resulting dance (mostly Orientalist in nature) found in the West. In the workshop, we then strolled to both the Fair’s Street in Cairo and Algerian Village exhibits to try on the folkloric movement presented there. This research, in turn, has spurred an idea for a 15-minute long piece called Unveiled that looks at the topic of Orientalism on a more personal level. My dance partner and I are proposing the piece for an upcoming showcase. Let’s see if it gets accepted. This would likely be the most ambitious work I’ve undertaken for someone else’s show. Wish us luck.

Orientalist movie poster from 1924