Two months ago I was chained to my office desk, writing my thesis and final research papers for my last classes in grad school. Today I am in a very different place.
All that work paid off and one month ago I collected my Masters degree in Culture and Performance and my BA in Dance from UCLA.
Immediately after graduating my husband and I vacated our beloved Los Angeles apartment and he drove to Texas with half of our earthly possessions and our two best feline friends Reyna and Butterbean.
I drove my car, loaded with the other half of our things, home to Sacramento to visit friends at Hot Pot and my family. I took off for a three week tour abroad, teaching dance and performing. I worked in Switzerland, Rome, and Moscow where I met amazing people and saw some of the most beautiful sights in the world.
Now I am back in Sac where I have rendezvoused with my husband and we are about to drive to Texas….again. We have a habit of doing this drive halfway across the country a lot. But this time we plan to see the sights: Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Painted Desert, White Sands…hopefully with another short dance film to show for it.
When I land in Houston I have a month or two to reset before my schedule sets into full gear again. There is a lot going on and I want to mention it here.
The LA bellydance community is the best and I will miss everyone so much. So many dance communities are divided and we are very lucky to be comprised of dancers who go out of their way to build a family. In my absence two great teachers have stepped up to keep up the Hot Pot ITS studies in LA. If you want to get started call Jenn or click here. If you have a few levels under your belt from classes with me or at Hot Pot, email Rodin (who also happens to be the photographer who took the first two photos in this blog).
In August I will be editing excerpts of my thesis on the disputed history of American bellydance and the identity and community-forming experience of improvisational tribal style for Gilded Serpent. Gilded Serpent is an amazing source for articles on bellydance history and discussions of relevant issues. (Here is a review of the 2012 IBCC conference in Toronto by Shelley Muzzy to get you started on an evening of endless reading). I’ll be submitting some work to academic journals in 2013 and I will be rolling out a plan of my own for sharing my research very soon. Many dancers have asked to hear about my research or read my thesis and I am working on an inventive and accessible way to share.
In October I hit the road with Bellydance Superstars again! We have a brand new show: The Magic of the Dance. We will be touring this new show in October and November. Check the dates on the calendar here (there is also info about auditions for those of you who may be interested). We start in San Francisco and make our way around the Coasts. This means a lot of work this summer –new costumes to make, new choreographies to learn. I love the challenge.
There is a two week break in the BDSS tour at the absolute perfect time and for this reason I am able to dance in the most epic Blood Moon Regale yet. The 10 year anniversary! I will be doing a very “controversial” dance –this being one of the words that describes the work of UNMATA. I have begun working on this performance and it will be even a little stranger than this one I did as a parasite for the disease-themed show a few years back. If you can be in Sacramento October 20, this show is not to be missed. Speaking of UNMATA, we are putting together a photography book of UNMATA-symbol tattoos (there are a lot of them). You can donate to the kickstarter campaign here.
I hope to upload some photos from our road trip as we drive into the desert.