Friday, 24 October 2014

Puttin' On the Ritz - The Glamour of Stage Shows!

Helen and Cherie
So it's been rather quiet on the blog front recently, and with good reason! This Wednesday just gone (22nd October) was the Sheikh It! Bellydance Show! Organised and put together by myself and Natasha with the idea in mind that we wanted to get together as many professional dancers as possible and put on a theatre show to the general public to really showcase the talent and skill of the dancers, as well as showing what a remarkable and versatile dance form bellydance is!

So What's it like to put on a stage show?

Left to Right: Cherie, Kassandra, Amy,
Mim, Sabrynah, Natasha

Well - it's definitely different to doing a normal showcase that's for sure! There is so much to think about! I think the biggest challenge for me was the technical aspect of the show, lighting, timings, rehearsals... It's all a lot to take in if you are just used to being able to rock up, do a bit of decoration, and then have the dancers do their thing!
But despite all the stress that comes with organising a big show, the best thing about doing a theatre show is the magic when it all comes together, and the audience comes in, everything goes quiet, and the first performance begins. It really is an incredible experience, and is worth every sleepless night!
One of the most awesome things about doing this show was being able to collaborate with so many different dancers, to form new bonds, learn from each other, and really create a spectacular show!

Is performing in a stage show different to performing in a showcase?
 Oh yes! The lights are brighter, the stage is (usually) bigger, and there is a lot more to think about! It's often harder to interact with the audience like you would do in a restaurant or a smaller more intimate hafla or showcase, and you really have to make sure you look out into the room, despite the fact that it looks pitch black because of the bright lights shining up at you! Plus, you can really go to town with make-up and costuming, as the lights will really pick up crystals, sparkles and glitter and more elaborate costumes look incredible on stage.

The backstage area is often more crowded as well in the theatre, and full of hustle and bustle, girls putting on makeup, practicing pieces, helping each other into costumes, swapping jewellery and sharing cosmetics. There is such a sense of camaraderie before a big show, and it creates a real "back stage family" feeling. There is definitely nothing like it!
Left To Right: Kassandra, Natasha, Mim, Me!, Cherie

What should I do if I want to put on my own show?

Research venues to start off with, think about how much it would cost to hire and how much you would need to charge for tickets and minimum ticket sales to make the show viable. Once you are happy with all this, then invite dancers to perform! Everyone loves to be invited to perform at a show, so send out some feelers and make some connections! Make this a chance to network with dancers in your local area and to make new friends. Also, think about if you want your show to have a theme or a story running through it, lots of showcases have themes that the dancers stick to which can work really well to build a show around!

Final Note for the Day:
Bellydance is a great way to meet people! In your next dance class, or the next event you go to, try and have a chat with a dancer you haven't met yet! It's a good way to make new connections, and you never know, you might just find a bellydance soulmate!

Want to catch up on my 100 day Belly Dance Challenge? Don't forget to check out my YouTube playlist here.

If you want to use this post in your e-zine, blog or newsletter, please go ahead! But make sure that you credit Louise Brooks -

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