Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Getting into the Mood... Pre-Performance Rituals, and Make-up Must Haves! Part 2

I have been very lucky to be able to interview two gorgeous Tribal and Tribal Fusion Bellydance Stars about their performance rituals and how they prepare for the stage! Both Hilde and Charlotte are big inspirations for me, and to be able to chat to them about how they prepare to perform, it's a real treat!

Hilde Canoodt

Hi Hilde! Really great to chat to you. Your performances are so varied, and I know you are working a lot with Contemporary Dance and Fusing that with your Bellydance. How do you prepare for these performances and do you have any rituals to help ground you before a performance?
I'm in a weird transitional fase at the moment as a dancer. I used to wear a lot of stage make up, headdresses,... to add to the theatricality of my performance. But in the last few years a lot has shifted: I've been 'digging deep' and been trying to find my voice as a dancer. This goes together with lots of travelling and not having a home for about 2 years now. I feel quite nomadic. So I haven't got access to many of my costumes at the moment, and I've noticed that I started to 'shed' the layers of theatricality like make up, hair and costuming and when for more simple, natural look. Sometimes I hardly wear any make up, as I'm trying to find ways to dance from the inside out, wearing thick layers of make up seems to be contradicting that idea. I have a feeling once I have a home again and stop travelling so much, my pretty dresses will come out of the storage cupboard and I will bring more focus to my make up/hair/costuming rituals. I find it interesting how you can see dancers whole life on the stage, following their development as a dancer usually goes hand in hand with their personal life. For me: I feel I used to be much more of an entertainer and felt my performance was to please the crowd. Now, I want to dance from the inside out: more bare, and I think it shows in my aesthetic.
Wow, that is a really powerful idea. I love how you are really expressing yourself now as a performer. If you do wear make-up during performances, what is your cosmetic bag must have? I really do like my MAC eye liner: it's this little pot of black paint with the consistency of shoe polish it doesn't smudge and gives clear lines with a mat look. Even if I wear nothing else, I like to enhance the eyes as the eyes are so expressive in a dancer, I think it's important to enhance them.

Definately - The eyes are the window to the soul! Where do you get your inspiration from for costuming and makeup?
My inspiration comes from a number of sources: I will see someone's look on stage and go: oh that's beautiful and often have a chat with them to ask about their aesthetic choices. I like a more natural look often, but I do enjoy a bold lip colour too.

Where can dancers find out more about you and your performing?
I run a festival every year: Tribal Remix in Brighton, UK - I teach and perform in the UK and abroad - please visit my website or find me on facebook (Hilde Cannoodt)

Charlotte Wassell

Hi Charlotte! You are such a Tribal Rockstar - how do you like to prepare for your performances?
Ideally the day of a performance I like to have a good workout of some kind, even if it is much earlier in the day, so I feel warmed-up to be able to perform my best. If I have time, I really like to go to town with my make-up – plenty of shading and lots of glitter and stick-on Swarovski accents in addition to the obligatory bindi. Usually I’m listening to my performance music in order to “brainwash” myself and get in the zone.

That's a great idea! Listening to your music before performing really helps ground you and get you in the "zone". What cosmetic item can you not live without in your gig bag?
Ok so this is not a make-up item, but I totally panic if I don’t have tictacs in my gig bag! I got this tip from the stunning Kathleen Pearlson (look her up) and as I really suffer from dry mouth when performing it totally changed things for me. Stick one or two under your tongue just before you go on and it stimulates your saliva so voilĂ ! No dry mouth and a beautiful smile! 

Awesome tip! Who inspires you when it comes to your own personal bellydance look?
At the moment I don’t have a particular person who inspires me, but I really like the dark heavy eyes common in Tribal belly dance. I rarely wear much make-up on a day-to-day basis so it’s fun to go to the other end of the spectrum when I perform!

Where can dancers find out more about you and your performing?

Images courtesy of J. Christos Photography

Final Note for the Day:
Explore different styles of dance. Bellydance is a fantastic and diverse dance form, but don't be afraid to peek out of the box and have a look into Odissi, Russian Folk Dances, Ballet, Contemporary, Jazz... You may find it benefits your Bellydance in ways you never imagined! Take a leap of faith and see what you can discover!

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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