If you follow my various social media accounts, you may have seen these photos already, but for those of you who don’t, here are some pics I took while I performed/vended at the Art of the Belly bellydance festival in Ocean City, MD. It’s a truly wonderful four-day festival of workshops, performance blocks, shiny things for sale, and pretty views of the ocean. It’s incredibly well-run by Naimah and her Amandari crew, and the overwhelming feeling is one of cooperation and support. I’m pretty blessed to have this festival within driving distance, and I enjoy going every year.
I arrived on Thursday to set up my booth. I was vending my Sihaya Designs handmade shinies– fairy wings, wirework, resin, assorted glittery things.
On Friday, the festival started in earnest. Workshops were in full swing, the first performers took the stage, and earlybird shoppers descended for the cream of the crop. For day one, I clipped in a pair of my I Kick Shins rainbow hairpieces for extra color.
I also modeled my current favorite pair of wings, which I kept for myself:
On Friday, I also helped my troupe-mate, Lyra, teach her improv tribal class, by being a demo person for lead and follow. Then it was time to get in costume for Transcendence Tribal‘s prime-time performance slot. (There was much whining on my part. My costuming is pretty, but a pain to put on after you’ve had a long day already.) Transcendence is comprised of dancers and soloists from several troupes who come together to perform using ATS cues. Aside from a few pre-planned things like group switches or formations, our performances are entirely improv– we never know what combination of movements we’re gonna perform until we do them. We rely on watching each other to create something that looks choreographed to the audience. And I personally love to watch ATS troupes to see that process of negotiating. For me, to see a missed cue here and there isn’t a sign of ill-preparedness, but rather it reinforces for me just how magical it is to have an improv performance be so well put together that a missed cue is the rarity and not the norm. Anywho, our performance should be up on YouTube by the end of the week, and you can check in on our Facebook page for it.
This was my headsuit for the performance. I was wearing a headband that I’d made myself using coins and shisha mirrors, as well as a few clip-in flowers. For my eye makeup, I used the deep teal from my Bare Minerals palette to deepen it (which didn’t show up on camera phone + weird lighting), added cat-eye eyeliner using a Stila Stay All Day pencil in black, and swiped on some Urban Decay Revolution lipstick in Jilted. I kept my wings on, as well as my labradorite pendant, which flipped backwards in this pic, oops. Usually I wear more elaborate jewelry from either the Middle East or India, but like I said: long day, didn’t feel like putting on all the heavy things.
I did put on some fancy bracelets, though. Some I made, some are from Pakistan and India. I’m wearing approximately 35 yards of skirt here– a 20 yard pink skirt from Tribe Nawaar, and a 15 yard teal Aishwarya skirt from Magical Fashions. I think my pink embroidered vest came from Tribe Nawaar, as well. The purple hip scarf that you can’t see very well in the front is full of sparkly paillettes. And then there are big floofy pantaloons under it all that you should only see when I’m spinning. (SO glad we opted against our heavy coin bras for this performance.)
Day two dawned, and I had truly excellent sales. Two of my favorite of the day were sales to people who were clearly MEANT for the pieces they selected. My troupe-mate, Jenn, has a thing for door/portal imagery, and so this Art Nouveau & peacock titanium druzy piece was perfect for her.
Then there was this lady, who gave me the most warm fuzzy compliments. She herself makes jewelry, and as such rarely purchases jewelry. She was so complimentary, and she bought these long dangly Jem earrings (named after Jen Bem, the bellydancer who commissioned the first pair in this style), among other pieces. They were so perfect for her Autumnal coloring– copper bedazzled with hessonite, garnet, citrine, and carnelian.
Saturday was also the day I bartered with my next-door vendor, Diva Dreads. She makes some of the most realistic fake hairpieces I’ve ever seen, and they’re so affordable. Plus she had a dreadfall pair that matched my hair SO perfectly.
How cool are they? Anyhow, I wore them long to advertise the awesomeness of her wares. In general, though, I think I will be using them as stage buns. My natural hair is very long, but also quite fine. It can be painful to clip in flowers or adornments, so if I use the faux-dreads for bulky buns, it should take care of that, AND I don’t have to clip things to my real hair. Double win.
Sunday was the final day, and folks were winding down. I vended until the afternoon, packed up my booth, and headed out. I was eager to get back to my husband and fuzzy children.
Goodbye, Ocean City. Goodbye, AOTB. See you next year.