About Susan

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Jingle, Jingle

To those asking for videos, thank you for your patience! This spirited, joyful piece "Dancing Bells" or "鈴鐺少女" is a dance from Xinjiang, in western China. I believe the style is ethnically Tajik, which is of Iranian origin, rather than the Turkic that generally characterizes the Uighur culture of the region.

There are countless little bells sewn into my costume, everywhere; you can actually hear them even over the music as I move! I'd never be able to sneak up on anyone wearing that outfit; you could hear me from a mile away.

For the most part I am pleased with my performance; there's always areas to improve upon - therein lies the challenge, and the fun - but one thing that annoyed me was that I had a stomachache that evening and I felt I could barely fit into my costume; I was so bloated!

Learning this dance nearly frustrated me to tears in the beginning - those tiny, in-between movements, the placement of the wrists, the tilt of the head that goes with the shrug of the shoulder, just so - they are what transform movement into dance that is breathing and alive. I am proud of having learned this unique dance and am thrilled it's in my repertoire.
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