Monday, 11 June 2012

Headdresses and Hades

It's been a busy few weeks. The Chester Roman Festival took place last weekend, and Ya Raqs were heavily involved on both days. As well as our usual rehearsals, I had plenty to do on the costume front.

Last year we added a new Nubian headdress to our costumes. This consisted of a long veil worn over the head, and held in place with red and black scarves twisted together. It  looked very effective, but there was a problem. It was tricky to put on, especially in our usual changing facilities of very little space and no decent mirrors.

Just how tricky became obvious when I saw the photographs of some of the girls at Liverpool Museum in March. To make matters worse, the whole thing was prone to slipping off mid-dance. Clearly something had to be done.

Headdress disaster on the steps of Liverpool Museum

I had already cheated a bit, by sewing the red and black fabric together into a single long scarf. Now I decided to take the same approach as I'd used for our Ghawazee headdresses, and attached the complete headdress onto a rigid hairband. First I sewed the veil onto the band. Then I cut the red and black scarf in half, attached one half on each side, twisted them over the top, and then sewed the twists in place. There was enough of the scarf loose at each end to tie under our hair and this, along with the teeth on the hairband, kept the whole thing secure.

Nubian headdresses fixed, plus two of the Ghawazee headdresses

This year's festival included live performances by Manike, and three of the girls performed the 'Dance of Hades' with the group. As time was short by this stage, the costume was made from a purchased top and skirt. The skirt was left untouched, but for the tops I had to remove the sleeves, remake the neckline, and add ribbon trim. Finally I made yet more headdresses, this time in suitable flame-like colours.
Hades dance costumes

No comments:

Post a Comment