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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Look out, Project Runway...

Well, as usual, I'm late... but in the spirit of my blog (and my life, really), better late than never!

First, the dance scoop... So as some of you might recall, I had some serious creative block at the beginning of the fall semester. I began choreographing a dance piece for the Student Dance Concert, and I had a general theme, found a couple songs to use and had an idea in my head what the finished result looked like... that is sort of how I roll with my choreography, as a side note. I get inspired by a song or an idea/theme, then I start seeing the final production in my head, onstage with lighting and costumes and everything, and then I start putting it together step by step. Well, I got as far as seeing it all in my head, but kept getting stuck with coming up with movement. I know every artist goes through this, myself being no exception, but it was worse than usual this semester.

Well of course I finally finished it. The theme of my piece is anti-racism... I used the song "Anne Braden" by The Flobots and an old spiritual called "Oh Freedom" (this version is cut short and more dramatic than how it was performed in my piece). Three of my dancers sang this song a Capella while the rest of us danced.

After I finished choreographing, I wasn't in love with it at first. I think I felt insecure about it since I struggled with it so much, plus I felt so much pressure to come up with movement that would match the significance of the songs' lyrics. But then during tech and dress rehearsals, I started getting positive feedback from peers and faculty. I stood out in the audience and watched during some rehearsals (I danced in this piece, which I won't repeat, for future reference... trying to choreograph a piece that you also dance in is hella difficult...) to check spacing, formations, etc., and was pleasantly surprised with how it had all come together. And I started to feel excited about it.

Then, a couple cool things happened... first, my piece was one of the student pieces selected to be featured in the Fall Dance Concert. Sweet! Then my roommate tells me that she knows a girl who is on the planning committee for Martin Luther King, Jr., events at CSU in January, and she wanted to talk to me about my piece potentially being included in the event lineup. I was very flattered by that! That didn't end up working out because they couldn't squeeze my dance into the schedule this late in the game, but now I'm talking with a guy who is planning a variety show in February for Black History Month and really wants my piece included. Again, I'm quite flattered! And to think that I was just going to write my piece off as a failure...

And now the costume scoop... I took Costume Design this semester, and for the final project I had to design and make a dance costume. It was to be for "Romeo and Juliet", but we could pick any time period, past, present or future. I decided to go with a Greco-Roman-inspired design, thinking that a tunic, or something like it, would be the easiest thing to sew. I was hella worried about this project, as I discussed in this post, since the most sewing I do are buttons that fall off my clothes or ribbons and elastics on my ballet shoes.

As some of you may recall, this is the picture that inspired my design...

I didn't have a pattern, and never found one that was close to what I had in mind, so my teacher actually helped me draw my own. It wasn't too hard, surprisingly. Then I got to cutting and sewing and oila! I have a costume!

Here are the pics... now, I'm no Project Runway contestant or DIY goddess like the lovely Maegan, but I'm pretty proud of myself on this little number. I surged a hem, I sewed bias tape at the neckline and arm hole, and I put a zipper in, y'all... boo-ya!

(the front)

(the side)

(the back)

Oh, and I got an A on the project... yay!!

So, yeah... if anyone needs any costume designing, I'm pretty much an expert now. You know who to call... ha!



  1. You should be very proud of yourself lady. So many majah accomplishments! I wouldn't even know where to start making a costume. Way to be!

  2. That's awesome, way to go! I am stupid when it comes to sewing anything, that includes a freaking button! Ha!

  3. WOW!!! i'm impressed! you did an awesome job. is that a zipper i see? yea...i could never do that.

    wish i could've seen your dance too. sounds amazing!

  4. that's amazing that your dance got picked for the fall concert!! I love that costume too. THanks for the advice earlier too!! =)

    Happy Holidays!!

  5. That is awesome!! I am proud of you...and you should totally be of yourself as well!! Its beautiful...and even more so...zippers aren't easypease ;)

  6. oooh I totally love you! So glad i FOUND YOU
    ps thanks for commenting on my guest post at bonbonrose! Following now!

  7. I love it - you are so talented darling!! WOW

    Hope your holiday was beautiful - have an award for you too ;-)

  8. Ooh, that is fabulous! You are supremely talented, darling - I'm lucky if I can cut a straight line with child-proof scisssors myself!!

    Happy, Happy New Year my love!! :)

  9. oh it's fabulous! Congrats on your A! ...well deserved!