Tuesday, December 28, 2010

It's dark in the desert....(part 1?)

This is probably going to be an ongoing series and exploration....

I have a confession to make.  I am absolutely obsessed with North African dance and music.  I cannot get enough of it.  When I'm doing it, I feel like YES! THIS IS WHAT IT IS ALL ABOUT! (And while I had been introduced to bits and pieces of it over the years from many different instructors, it was Amel who really helped me come to this realization, but that will be for another post...)

But inquiring minds ask, what does that have to do with Gothic or Dark Bellydance?  I think the inquiring are often so busy looking at the labels and the surface conditions that they rarely look below the surface and the stereotypes.  I don't work from the outside in, I work from the inside out. In all things.  Nor am I one to play the who's the darkest, ookiest, spookiest biatch on the block, because I just don't own that much make-up (nor do I give a rat's patootie).  ;)

But sometimes I forget that I'm weird - as in, I'm a bit odd, especially in how I think.  Recent case in point: I was selling my wares at the alumni holiday sale for RISD (Rhode Island School of Design), and we all know that art students are pretty weird/out there kind of people. (And if you don't know this, you should.)  And I'm looking at my fellow alums' work, and I'm gauging customers' reactions, and I sort of slipped out of my head for a moment to see how other people view what was in my booth.

In between an "upcycle" clothing booth and raku pottery is a rack of corseted items, a pile of darkly-colored lush ruffle things, dramatic looking hooded scarves on 20's looking heads, an array of jewelry featuring animal skulls and imagery, and flowers with eyeballs in them.  And owls.  Folks, this is some seriously weird shit going on.  MY seriously weird shit.  In a room full of artsy crazy people, I was still pretty far out there.  But I'm so immersed in what I consider normal for me, I never even think about "pushing buttons", "shock factor", or "edgey" - cause weird IS my mundane.  It's THAT intrinsic for me. 

So, what does that say?  That pretty much everything I do, comes through my own weird filter.  Whether that makes it "dark", "Gothic" or any other adjective, isn't really the point.  The point is, it comes sincerely from my heart and soul.  As it should!

So, there's the first (part 1) factor to consider.  What's going on inside the individual.  Part 2, I'd like to talk about culture and dark tendencies.


  1. There is an awful lot that can be talked about here and probably should be.
    This is something I have been contemplating lately.. How my own creativity is inside out, not outside in.
    I think that some of the "gothic" dance community has lost touch with the culture and has gone all for who is the darkest, scariest... blah, blah. Missing the emotional/theatrical/cultural ties.

    Then again.. It could be a rant on my part. Can't wait to read more.

  2. I happen to love your "seriously weird shit"! I think your quirkiness is what attracts me to your art, dance, etc. A kindred spirit attraction I think. :)

  3. I think what it comes down to is that "artsy" and "gothis" are in the eye of the beholder. What do they really mean? Am I a gothic dancer when I dance a dramatic, theatrical piece - even if it isn't all darkness and vampires? Or is it just artsy? Who knows? You are an artist - there is no debate about that. You have a vision that includes a variety of styles and imagery. I think the whole name "Gothic" is really misleading - and limiting in its scope. You are so very, very much more than that.

  4. I have noticed that what is going on inside me changes, but the ways I express that seem to be within the same basic framework.I am always trying to expand my forms of expression, but I do tend to gravitate towards one "form".
    And I LOVE Hamza Al Din.

  5. Every time I hear someone trying to be the "darkest ookiest spookiest" it makes me think of that Roman Dirge T-shirt that says "I'm so spooky I pee darkness" and I have to laugh out loud.

    "we all know that art students are pretty weird/out there kind of people. (And if you don't know this, you should.)
    This put a big smile on my face because it is SO true. My people, the freaks, gods love 'em.