Last weekend, the Rising Sirens returned to the stage at the Ukranian Cultural Center for Rakkasah East 2010! After rehearsing most of the summer, the Sirens debut a new choreography to Djinn’s “Şaşkin.” Kaeshi had originally choreographed the dance, and Irina re-worked it for our BAM performance in June. Kaeshi’s latest version included finger cymbals, and the Sirens clacked their hearts out during the performance.
For our “Şaşkin” performance at BAM, the Sirens wore a top from L.Rose Designs, matching copper sash, a gold hip scarf, and pants custom made for us by the talented Diana Susanto. For the Rakkasah East performance, we opted for the “Caterpillar” costume – an outfit a group of us wore for a dance choreographed by Irina back in June. A copper-sequined tube top replaced the original L.Rose top, and a medley of gold coins and sequined black material took over for the original copper sash. A necklace of gold squares, gold earrings and snake arm bands sparkled under the stage’s lightning. A smokey eye and pale lips finished off the warm and inviting Sirens look.
Bellyqueen was celebrating their 12th Anniversary at this performance and we were excited to share the stage with both Bellyqueen and the new advance beginner student troupe, the Fire Blossoms. Bellyqueen opened with a new dance about the Taklamakan Desert on the Silk Road. Dressed in all black, their faces covered, and beige veils cascading across the floor, the Bellyqueen dancers floated on the stage. The dance was inspired by Elena Lentini and choreographed by Kaeshi. Our fellow Siren, Ayano, took part in the Bellyqueen performance!
Next up were the Fire Blossoms, performing to Djinn’s “Locked.” Decked out in cabaret costumes in hues of pink, lavender, and blue, the Fire Blossoms took the stage for the very first time! Sandralis directed the Blossoms in a challenging choreography, and they rose to the occasion with smiles and an undeniable enthusiasm. Our fellow Siren, Divira, also performed with the Fire Blossoms.
Kaeshi was up next, performing a solo. During her performance, Divira ran backstage to change into the “Şaşkin” costume. Laurel, Mikat, Maria Vaz and I quickly dressed Divira and somehow managed a costume change in less than two minutes!
The Sirens were next. We walked on stage as Kaeshi finished her solo, and were greeted with a revved-up and enthusiastic audience. Half of the Sirens were entering stage left; the other half, from stage right. We met at the center, with a trio of Sirens planted in the middle of the stage and groups of four on each side. The ladies in the trio then joined the larger groups, and each group circled around one Siren. The circle became a line as a string of Sirens moved up towards the front of the stage, while the others circled through the back. The groups again became two lines, and traded moving forward and back on stage. At one point, the Sirens glided towards the front of the stage in a clump, and as they unwound into two lines, the green curtains closed, creating a rich emerald background to finish the dance. The dance finished with shimmies, and poses in all directions. As the audience clapped, the Sirens walked off stage, and the curtains opened, revealing the final Bellyqueen performance.
The performance was amazing! We were ecstatic to have performed once again at Rakkasah and this version of “Şaşkin,” which was arguably one of the most challenging choreographies because of the formations and cymbals. Not to mention the curtain closing – it was the first time in Rakkasah history that curtains had closed in the middle of a performance! But it went off without a hitch and we were pumped!
After the performance, many of the Sirens joined Kaeshi at the hotel nearby to celebrate Bellyqueen’s 12th anniversary. Cake and drinks were exactly what the Sirens needed!
Written by Melissa.