Friday, November 30, 2012
Very early on we started running the troupe like a band, with regular rehearsals twice a week, three times if we were working in new material and getting ready for a tour. It evolved to where we had a repertoire of a certain number of pieces that we did for the year and we mixed and matched for the various shows we had contracted. Some sets leaned toward the more educational, ethnic side and others were flat out belly dance designed for taverns, bars, rock 'n' roll. We rehearsed as a full group, musicians and dancers, because when the dancers weren't dancing they were part of the band, and eventually, the musicians danced too. About the middle of our 10 year active run, we added singing. John Zeretzke's incredible ability to play several instruments really added to our ability to explore different music from a wider variety of countries. Some of the experiments were more popular than others, some dances were favorites of the group and some that were audience winners were loosers in our minds. We had a whole set of troupe language and set phrases that meant nothing to anyone but us...I guess you could say we were tribal, but the intention to be a "tribal dance troupe" was never conscious. It just evolved. Below are some rehearsal pictures. However, the first one is called 'The boys in the hall". It is a companion piece to "The girls in the hall". Both were taken at the Western Washington State Fair in Puyallup. We played there 2 years in a row, parking our bus at the back with the other carnival caravans, which we thought was wonderful. One evening after the show we came back to the bus to find the aisle occupied by a life sized wooden cut out cow. Randy the Roadie just couldn't resist.