In somewhat relation to the “respect” thread, regarding basis in tradition and the emergence/development GBD as it’s own entity, I reflected upon the timeline of GBD *as I know it*. A lot has happened in a relatively short amount of time, which one doesn’t realize until you take a look at the dates.
I started performing in 2001 (in Rhode Island), generally creating pieces that had a dark ritual feel to them and my pieces were being promoted/associated by others as Gothic by 2003 (in California).
The Gothic Belly Dance Resource came online in 2003.
I started teaching workshops specializing in GBD in Spring 2005 (starting at Convergence 11, and shortly followed by Tribal Fest 5).
The first Gothla was held in NYC by Zan in December 2005, during the shooting of WDNY’s “GBD: The Darker Side of Fusion”, which featured my intro-to-GBD workshop, and performances by area performers, Ariellah, and myself.
“Gothic Bellydance: The Darker Side of Fusion” is released in March 2006 by World Dance New York. (performance DVD)
“Bellydance for Beautiful Freaks” is filmed in July 2006, released September 2006 by World Dance New York. (instructional DVD
“The Durga Tour” – featuring Sashi, myself, and Ariellah, brings GBD instruction and performances to 25 states over 40 days, September-October 2006.
“Bellydance Underworld” is filmed October 2006, released March 2007. (performance DVD)
“Mischief Tour” – May 2007.
“Gothla UK” occurs June 2007.
“Gothic Bellydance: Revelations” from WDNY to be released September 2007.
There’s a lot more that could be added to the list, like articles, groups, product releases, and other events. I think that the biggest surge of activity happened in 2006 in conjunction with release of the first GBD DVD…with a definite build-up of action happening toward the end of the 2005, and a continuation and build-up through this year as the artform is discovered, expanded, and built upon. There are more classes and workshops being offered all over, and I’m definitely seeing codifying development – meaning specific movements/combinations specific to GBD with their own names. And I don’t think we’re anywhere near done and finished.
We’re at a structural and conceptual crossroads of developing a recognized system, while simultaneously embracing individuality and creativeness. And there’s so much within the realm of Gothdom itself, that even that feeds into diversity and different strains. And while we’ve gained some acceptance/tolerance in the larger BD community (which was no easy task), there’s still a lot of disdain and resistance.
So, we’re at a very interesting time in our artform. We need to continue to develop structure and guidelines, but also not stifle the flame of creativity. We need to foster our own community while keeping in balance with the larger BD world, in a relationship of mutual respect. It’s not easy, but it’s definitely exciting.
There’s much more I’d like to say, but I think I’ll leave it at this for now…