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Looking Toward Renaissance Festival

Habibi DancersTomorrow, Sunday, I am going with some Habibi Dancers to dance (with another troupe) at the Michigan Renaissance Festival. It is supposed to be a good-weather day, partly cloudy with high around 76F. I’m grateful, although I think I’ll probably need legwarmers under my harem pants in the morning, and a wool wrap. I get cold so very easily, and today it stayed in the 60s until past noon.

Last April I bought parts to make a coin-covered purple bra to go with my purple coin-covered hip wrap, so that I could wear them together to Ren Fest next time I danced there. Well, I haven’t touched those coins at all and I am dancing tomorrow. I may not end up getting it done, we will see. Most of my costume pieces just won’t work at Ren Fest, either because they are wrong for the weather, they aren’t comfortable for wearing an entire day, they are not “authentic” enough for the venue. I have never looked right, to me, when I’ve danced there… but I’m not the star of the show and as long as I don’t offend anyone I’ll be OK. Who knows, maybe I’ll feel like handsewing coins on a bra tonight.

I have to meet my troupe friends at 8am tomorrow morning to car pool. I usually wake up at 9:30 or so… these all-day outdoor gigs are just plain grueling to me. I have only gone twice before, but as I recall we have three stage performances and one parade. The parade will wipe this woman out, let me tell you! Try to be “on” for 15 minutes or so, dancing the whole time as you walk at a pretty fast clip! Tiring. Absolutely exhausting. We’ll start first thing in the morning and won’t end until around late dinnertime. I must say, for some of the girls it is no big deal. I must be a bit of a wimp, but that is how it is for me.

We are not supposed to be seen in costume eating or drinking from non-authentic cups and plates, so I’m going to be packing a whole lot of food to take with me. Thank goodness we have a “backstage” area, the treetop stage, where we can eat and drink out of disposable items without anyone noticing. I guess I would rather eat my own food for the most part, but I do remember with fondness the apple dumpling (apples covered in pie crust and baked, then served with ice cream and cinnamon sauce) that I ate the first time I went to the festival. It was delicious. My great-aunt Ingeborg, the one who used to knit for me, used to make apple dumplings for us and I always think of her when I eat one.

Some of the girls in the troupe really love this venue more than any other performance we do. For me, I am very busy in the summer anyway (Habibis usually dance 3 or 4 times at Ren Fest and I often can go only once or not at all) but I don’t look forward to this particular venue. I have a hard enough time being outdoors all day if I’m sitting still… but dancing on top of that is a bit of a challenge. I’m hoping that since my breathing allergies have been really good to me lately (the exception was after being at the farm last weekend) I’ll do better this year than I have the other times I’ve been there.

I do enjoy dancing and socializing with my troupe friends, so I’m going to focus on that. We’re all going in one van, so I can knit on the way there and back (I think it’s over an hour to get there). I am quite appreciative of the bonus knitting time!

Perhaps folks in Michigan who read this, are looking for something to do this weekend. If so, perhaps I’ll see you there. I will be answering to the name “Eudora” while in costume! You can find us between the treetop stage (our home base) and performances on the ship stage in the far back (left?) corner of the festival.

The photo is me standing, and someone I can’t recognize with her face covered…kneeling, in a jug dance (yes, on our heads are glass jugs wrapped in fabric). Picture was taken by Brian at the Habibi Dancers’ big spring show earlier this year. Tomorrow I’ll be balancing a cane and a basket on my head, but no jug.

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