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Archive for April 8th, 2009

ColorJoy LynnH in Brown (!!!)

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009

It finally happened. I have always said to the women in our dance troupe, that I will wear whatever I am told to wear on stage, if: 1) I don’t have to make it myself, and 2) it is not my turn to dance solo.

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Honestly, I only solo when I dance at New Aladdin’s restaurant. For those times, I have many happy possibilities available from my own dance closet.

However, I do what I’m told when dressing similarly will be in tune with the culture of the dance we are performing. Or for that matter, when dressing alike is just plain less distracting to the audience… one wildly-colored dress in the midst of ten neutral dresses can take the attention away from the choreography.

So: two days before the dress rehearsal, somehow I did not have my “sari” fabric to wrap around me for our Tunisian group number. And neither did Marie. Now, Marie works for JoAnn Fabric and was going to be there anyway… she offered to get us both fabric that would be in concert with what the other women were going to wear. I was all for that!

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My standard line has always been “I’ll even wear brown.” And that was what I got, and what I wore. Not turquoise, fuschia, purple. Not anything remotely bright and joyful, which are the colors that flatter me best. Some girls look good in brown… yet I felt good, knowing it was taken care of with no fuss.

Nobody was quite fond of these costumes, as they defy western ideas of beauty. Perhaps this time I wouldn’t have loved the costume, even if it had been turquoise!

My under-dress was silver, my wrap was brown, and we all had matching yarn belts (this is standard for this sort of dance) which were acrylic but looked the color of unbleached wool.

(For the record, Sally made my belt and I’m making socks for her toddler in exchange. I can knit socks waiting in line at the bank, it’s a great trade. In Marie’s case, I made her some Road-Tested Legwarmers this year to test-size the curvy-leg instructions in my pattern. She’s well taken care of, too.)

Don’t blink, you won’t see me looking like this again for a while. I think the last time I remember wearing something brown was when I was a waitress in 1980.

You do notice that I was able to at least wear a purple head scarf??? I took what I could get, and that was A-OK with me.

Now, here is the last photo I have of me performing in last Saturday’s show. This one was a cane dance, one of my favorite types of dance. I’m the far right in the photo.

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Notice that we are not standing still. In order to dance with anything balanced on one’s head, one must learn to move anything but one’s head. You can see that our smiles and our canes are not blurry in the photo, but our hips definitely are in motion.

See that fringe defying gravity? It is SO much fun!!! There is perhaps nothing I have ever done that is more celebratory of being female, than this sort of dance. It’s the best.

This second costume I also did not have to sew. Our troupe has enough of these dresses for about 20 of the 30 women in the troupe, and we share between women of similar height (they are very stretchy). These dresses seem to flatter all sizes and shapes, and that is really wonderful.

This year, the hardest part of show preparation was just learning my two dances. I was thankful to the other women for making things that easy for me.