So we’re back from Tribal Fest. What an experience! It was much different than I expected, but delightful nonetheless. The drive down with Seraphina & Sibyl was craziness- we left sunny Seattle (yeah, it was actually sunny that day) for a sleety, snowy California (no joke, it was effing SNOWING as we entered into California). Our pilgrimage to Weed, California was denied because we couldn’t find the right exit (ironic, isn’t it?).
The hotel, as well as the festival itself, was different than I had imagined. The Sebastapol Inn is a small, quaint hotel. For some reason I had envisioned it as a swanky resort. I also had the impression that the workshops and performances happened AT the hotel- not so. The community center is about a 15 minute walk from the Inn. The surrounding area is totally cute. Apparently there’s a town or area nearby called Analy, so there’s stuff all over about the Analy Tigers, and we saw a kid wearing an Analy Intramural shirt (if I have to explain why this is noteworthy then you wouldn’t get it anyway).
I was gun-shy about spending any money at any of the vendors, despite (or as a result of?) having saved up some dough specifically to blow on new dance stuff. I ended up buying a couple of sets of arm-warmers (is that what you call them?) from Geisha Moth (ooh, look at me name-droppin’!) and a sweet reversible belt (goofy glittery skeletons on one side, red & black stripes on the other) with washers on it that I can clip shit onto.
The workshops positively KICKED MY ASS. Seriously, I was a whimpering little sissy girl by the end of each day. Getting into the hot tub after was more about physical therapy than it was about luxury. Seriously! KICKED MY ASS (in the best way possible). Like, I felt like a 90 year old getting out of bed each day.
As a reaction to our Seattleite sunlight deprivation, Seraphina and I called down the thunder by not wearing sunscreen the first couple of days. We looked to the sky and yelled “BRING IT ON, SUN!!!” …oh did the sun bring it. On top of being sore from ass-kicking workshops, we had sunburn. But, it burned *so good.* - I don’t know about Seraphina, but I totally don’t regret it.
While we were there, I didn’t watch many performances as a personal choice. While I’m totally aware I missed out on a TON of amazing performers, it was the right decision for me at the time. First of all, I’d never been to Tribal Fest, and was going to be performing. Not just a solo, but with a group. The pressure was IMMENSE. What if I forgot something? I’d ruin the whole thing for everyone! Watching the other performers intimidated the shit outta me, so I kept it to a minimum for that reason. Secondly, I was frickin’ exhausted by the time the performances started on Friday- between the sunburn and the thorough daily ass-kickings, going and standing in a crowded audience (there were no seats by the time I dragged my sorry ass to the performance hall) was really hard to pull myself together to go do. So, for those reasons, I opted to skip a lot of the performances. Next year I will definitely make it a point to go watch more, but I maintain that I made the right decision for me this year. I did catch Unmata (moved me to tears, literally) and Frank Farinaro (blew my frickin’ mind), though.
Sunday was the big day. HoK was going to perform at Tribal Fest, and I was going to be performing IN Hands of Kali. I started to get a bit nervous while we were waiting at the side of the stage to go on, but I really fought to keep in mind that it’s really just another show, we’ve done this routine many times, you got this shit, etc etc etc. I was pretty much OK throughout the 1st two songs of our set (http://youtu.be/55qGm6kLP9w). At the beginning of After Dark (the sword piece, at 6:50), I started to unravel. Seriously you guys, I was about to poop my pants. The reality of being up there set in, and I was a quivering mess of gut instinct and muscle memory. With Kendracula maintaining eye contact with me to keep me (as much as possible) centered & calm, I made it through, and doggone it, I think we all did a fucking splendiferous job, if I can toot my own HoK horn here for a moment.
The drive home was much more pleasant than the drive down- no snow, and we took a scenic route. Kendra, Seraphina, and I took 101 through the redwoods (which I’ve never seen), stopped to prance through the forest,
drove through a tree (http://www.panoramio.com/photo/2638102), stopped for some bad-ass Mexican food from the Riverwood Inn, saw a couple huge tribes of elk (what’s a group of elk called anyway?), saw the ocean, rented a “Kabin” from a KoA, grilled some dinner (some of which was sacrificed due to a grilling mishap), survived an attack from a vicious blood-sucking spider from Hell, and made it home safely.
So that was Tribal Fest. :)
Last weekend, we had the privilege of performing with Nae Regrets (check ‘em out! http://naeregrets.com/index.html), a bagpipe & drum band, at Folklife. Holy cow, what great energy! I’ve never performed (well, formally… you know what I mean…) to live music, and it was SO MUCH FUN! Apparently the bagpipe is Middle Eastern in origin- who knew? Turns out belly-dance and bagpipes is a marriage made in Heaven, and we had an amazing time.
I really hope we dance with them again.
So that’s what’s up with me and HoK these days. Watch out for more shenanigans- we’ve got Mechanismus and Pride Parade coming up.
TUNE IN NEXT TIME... SAME BAT-TIME, SAME BAT-CHANNEL.