Sunday, September 09, 2007

So, Just How Exclusive is "Exclusive"?

According to Webster's dictionary, the word exclusive has many meanings, among them:

  • fashionable; stylish: to patronize only the most exclusive designers
  • admitting only members of a socially restricted or very carefully selected group: an exclusive club
  • shutting out all others from a part or share: an exclusive right to film the novel
  • disposed to resist the admission of outsiders to association, intimacy, etc.: an exclusive circle of intimate friends

Now, I admit that I do think you have to be in a very special group to know about Mirage shows, and the entire Mirage experience...but really all we want is for everyone to share in this part of Austin's belly dance tradition. If you didn't know, this is the longest running venue in Austin, in Texas and I the nation, and we want to keep it that way! Now I know belly dancers (their fans, and significant others) were a little worn out after the "Year and a Day" show but next time, pace yourselves, rest up, pack snacks and make sure you work in time for a Mirage show.

Why you ask? Well, you missed (with the exception of our exclusive audience last week) a really fun and exciting show, and the debut of our beautiful new stage back drop. Now, I may be a little biased because I had the chance to work on this beatiful stage, the reality is that women always want to show off something new in our wardrobe...and to everyone we can find. Now, if it include pretty colors and out! The ooohs and ahhs are always appreciated, and we just needed to hear more of them!

The idea behind the colors came from Katarina who liked the idea of blending spice colors and indian influences for our new website. Although many dancers choose a traditional cabaret or raks sharqi style, the truth is we have an equal number of dancers who perform on our stage that prefer tribal, fusion or just plain 'ole American (or is it Austin?) style belly dance. So, when I was shopping for ideas this summer, and consulting with Sherry and her 'secret stash of saris'...blending the colors and using saris to create a "harem-like" effect seemed to be the perfect solution.

We're thrilled by the new look, and how extra-beautiful (and stunning) everyone looks on stage. And like most women, we have plans to make some additions to the new 'wardrobe'. So, mark your calendars for our September 20 show, come see for yourself...and help us redefine the word "exclusive"!

(P.S. You can see more photos from the show on our website and our Myspace pages.)

Ready to shimmy again soon,


Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Are You a Socialist or a Belly Dancer?

Okay, if you believe that this question requires each of you to think about your own philosophical or ontological perspective of the world think again. If you know anything about the Mirage experience, it simply is a way to determine where you’re sitting at Ruby’s BBQ after the show. I know, belly dancing and barbeque seem like an odd combination and quite honestly I don’t know how it all got started, but its part of the tradition of our Thursday night shows.

My memories of Ruby’s BBQ actually date to before it was Ruby’s, and was a little place called Fajita Flats. If you look carefully at the sign out front, the original name still remains. This was where I had my first real college experience of “hanging out” on campus. I was a senior in high school but had the opportunity to come visit UT for a weekend to get a feel for the dorm and university experience. I stayed at Kinsolving Dorm (which I later lived in) with a drill team friend name Kendra. She was the one who took me up the street (it seemed like such a long distance away) to a place that really did look like a hole in the wall (a little scary for such a suburban girl like myself) and introduced me to fajitas (no, they haven’t been around forever!). I really felt like I had the inside scoop on the college experience and while attending UT, I frequently visited the place, even after it became a BBQ joint.

The beauty of Ruby’s is that it hasn’t changed much over the last 20 years. And, unless you’re in the “cool’ crowd of belly dancers you wouldn’t know that every other Thursday in the fall and spring, groups of belly dancers and socialists gather together to share a bite of food, some stories and many laughs. Now, granted we do sit at separate tables…and you can usually tell us apart (the sparkles and glitter are a dead give away)…but nonetheless it feels like a group experience to me! For those of you who haven’t joined in the fun, just come to a show and come join us afterwards (they even have great vegetarian entrees) and see for yourself.

I'll see you soon

Najla (I can smell the brisket from here!)