The Dancers of DUST
Many of my peers, in the Tribal Fusion Bellydance community, ask me how I pulled such an amazing cast for this film. All I can say is that I asked Kami Liddle to dance in it (which she accepted) and the rest of the dancers asked me if they could be in the film. I nearly fell to the floor when Amy Sigil and Sharon Kihara asked to be in MY film…these were/are my idols and mentors! This was the moment when I knew the Universe was telling me this project was something special and something I needed to do.
I asked Kendra Katz to be my co-choreographer and we made amazing dance fusion together. I would show her ballet/contemporary moves and then ask her for a belly dance lock combination. It was really a choreographic match made in heaven. I had known Kendra since she was a teenager at the Suhaila Dance Company, and I knew how she and I had worked together before.
One of the most special moments, for me, was when Zoe Jakes agreed to be in DUST. I couldn’t believe it! So many of my idols-really the pioneers of the Tribal Fusion I have come to love today, were in MY film. How did this happen?
Choreographies were disbursed to all of the dancers, via video, to learn and love prior to filming. Costumes were incredibly made by Rose Harden!!! Another pioneer and idol of mine, it was a pleasure working with Rose. Rose is my favorite costumer as I believe she and I think a lot alike when it comes to the vision of this project. I showed her a picture of a bathing suit/fashion photo that I thought we could change into a prototype for the films, and voila…the Triptych costume look was born! I couldn’t be more pleased! I did shy away from the traditional Tribal Fusion Bellydance costuming, as I went very contemporary in my pieces and wanted to be different.
Rehearsals for Dust were held at Zoe’s studio at Coven, and also at the Yard Dog’s studio in West Oakland. I got chills when Amy Sigil did her solo and was so amazed at how these dancers picked up the contemporary moves I had coined for them. I knew, no matter what, they were all going to look beautiful on film, and I can’t even describe the feeling I got to have all of these amazing women donating their time towards the cause…to help those affected by cancer.
Many people ask me how we achieved the DUST look. Frank Hernandez and I literally went to Target, bought every powder like substance we could afford and tested them. Luckily baby powder was far superior to anything else, as flour is combustible when it meets fire. Due to the fact that we were shooting the film at NIMBY where much welding takes place, this was a very important aspect of the shoot!
DUST! It was so fun to play with! I believe we went through 30 bottles of baby powder. It was amazing.