Sunday, October 19, 2014

Zeina Step-by-Step Gift Pack 7: Costuming

If you'd like to perform the Zeina choreography or a similar piece of theatrical Oriental dance, the costume that I recommend is a classically styled bra and belt with a lot of ornamentation. By “classic styling,” I mean something that doesn't look too specifically trendy. I also mean something that doesn't look cheap--a costume that fits you really well, looks elaborate, and has finished details.

Photo by StereoVision:

Personally, I almost always prefer minimalist costuming, but for Zeina I think a really fancy costume helps to set the mood and communicate that you're doing something that has a very high level of refinement. You're looking for the belly dance equivalent of “white tie” attire. If you prefer more modest costuming, I think a body stocking--either transparent or opaque--would be fine, but I probably wouldn't go with a dress unless you have some personal reason for preferring to wear one. I think the iconic nature of the bra and belt set is more in line with the kind of romantic fantasy in which Zeina is anchored.

Another thing I recommend for this piece is jewelry, and, if it's an option for you, wearing your hair down. Again, usually I prefer to go very clean and very minimal, but for this project I specifically choreographed and rehearsed with hair and with jewelry taken into account. When you rehearse, make sure you try out any jewelry you're going to wear. This is always a good idea anyway, but especially for Zeina you should make sure that you can run the dance with the jewelry you want to wear. For me, bracelets in particular were problematic.  If you plan to wear bracelets, you may find that they fly off during some of the faster arm gestures, or that when you are working with your hair you get snagged. If these are issues, either tweak the choreography, or tweak the jewelry.

I want to show you one jewelry trick in particular that I use to manage necklaces.

You'll see here on this top I've sewed little elastic loops. These are to thread the necklace through, to keep it anchored down so that it won't whack me in the face or get untidy. I just used elastic cord, but you can also use covered hair rubber bands. Just select a band of the right size in a non-clashing color, slip it over the strap, and then put a few stitches around the band to hold it at the right place.

One other thing: everybody always asks me about my gold shoes. The shoes I'm wearing for the Zeina Step-by-Step video were made by Miguelito, but the company is no longer manufacturing this style. I don't know of any other source for metallic leather ballet shoes – if you have a source, please let me know. 

No comments:

Post a Comment