Saturday, April 21, 2007

What to wear....

I have a gig tonight, and I'm trying to decide what to wear. I'm leaning towards my red lycra number (see picture) because it only made it's debut at the show the other day, and it's super comfortable. I have a long drive to Brooklyn for this job, and I'd prefer to sit in the car in a strechy skirt than in a tight and uncomfortable bra and belt combo.

But, my costume conundrum has got me thinking - do we, as bellydancers, become so caught up in what is trendy and cool in "our world" that we forget that the general public doesn't know the latest fashions of bellydance? If I show up in a sexy and sleek lycra costume, is my audience going to wonder why I'm not wearing a flowing skirt and tons of beaded fringe?

When the general public hears the word "bellydancer", what comes to mind? I think it's the image of the dancer in a fringe laden bra and belt, layered over a flowy chiffon skirt. I think that's what they expect, because it's the typical "harem" costume from hollywood sultan fantasies. And those hollywood fantasies are probably the only exposure to a bellydancer most people have ever had.

Do you think audiences appreciate that bellydance fashion, like all fashion, changes over time? Or do you think they expect us to be stuck in a fashion rutt, wearing the same costumes for all of eternity, because that's what they wear in the movies?

Are fashionable lycra costumes better saved for haflas and other bellydancer-friendly events? Or is the general public ready for a change?


Anonymous said...

I say give them change...change is good. Seriously, I doubt the average person would know the difference btwn costumes. I think their focus will be more on YOU and the beautiful art of bellydance you bring to them.

kara :) said...

I agree with Ciara 100%!!!!!

Robin said...

I hope u wore the red one. New York is the fashion capital they can handle it.

Anonymous said...

I am sorry to hear about your dad Teresa. During last's year performance I was going through similar adversities. My son,Jerry, who had just finished a harsh treatment came to the show to watch me perform. That night, I was very happy and tried to dance my best to entertain him. When I came down the stage, he hugged me and said "I am so proud of you Mom". Teresa,I admire your love and respect towards your dad's memories that inspired you to deliver brilliant performances. I am sure your dad applauded you from above. I agree with you Belly Dance goes beyond a dress color or style. It's more about a state of mind. It's attitude. God Bless you.