I've been dabbling in choreography a bit in my personal time. I consider myself at best an intermediate choreographer when it comes to belly dance. I've mostly been focusing on solo's; experimenting with what styles and flavors of the dance I like best, thinking about stage use, stage presence and entertainment value. Recently I finished my second solo piece. It's slow, short and sweet. I'd been going back and forth in my head of is it good enough to showcase? The other half of my brain told me to just throw it out there and see what happens... you can't progress if you keep all your musings and experiments to yourself. So I did... I took a chance and performed it at People's Fair; and I realized why it hadn't been feeling just right when I had practiced it at home. Taking the stage is always terrifying, you never know what's going to happen, but man I love it. I feel alive onstage; and doing solo work is so interesting... there are no boundaries as to what you can and can't do with your energy, the only fear is not doing enough.
But back to the choreography... I found that looking at a choreography you've created on paper is intimidating. Is it good enough? It looks so bland, it even feels bland whilst practicing it. What I was missing was the audience factor. Depending on who you are you may prefer dancing alone or if you're like me, you love dancing with others or at least for an audience. (Currently) I have a hard time putting my soul into a choreography unless there's someone watching... needless to say I believe the People's Fair solo went fantastically well. The audience adds another layer to the performance that you can't replicate in practice, you can do the steps, the hip, torso, arm and head layers but it's the hardest thing to pretend you have an audience. When you have an audience to practice for you can experiment with interactions, when it's appropriate to look them in the eye and when it's appropriate to be demure, savoring the movement and moment.
Enough of my ramblings for the day... I've got a new piece I'm mulling over, a drum solo this time... we'll see if I can finish it for my birthday (July 2).