Disclaimer; I am 2 levels away from earning a solo dress. I am also coming off a month's sabbatical from class, and will be moving to another state in an other three months - all things delaying me getting to a solo dress anytime soon. But I write this blog post anyway, cause I can, cause it's my blog. So ha-ha, deal with it..
I don't get these new dresses. I really don't. Call my old school, call me narrow minded, but if I had wanted to wear a tutu, I would have joined ballet. And ruffles? Really? Are we going to a feis or to a barn dance?
Now, don't get me wrong, I have seen some super modern, ruffled/cupcake/plisse/ra-ra skirted, asymmetrical dresses that are rather pretty. And I am not entirely against the whole soft skirt movement. But here is what is holding me up. I fell in love with Irish dance dresses, when I fell in love with the dance itself. The gorgeous Celtic knotwork, the elegant pleats and panels that seem to flow with the dance. You just don't get the same movement ascetic with a puffball as you do with a panel.
But I will be the first to admit, the drab dark velvets had to go. But did the whole Irish Dance world have to go from one extreme to another. Neon? Really? This isn't the early 1990's anymore, day-glo is no longer in . . .
In some ways, I envy highland dancers. A dancer cannot be looked down upon because her dress is 'outdated' cause, well, they are all wearing the same style, give or take. And this isn't about "tradition" cause I know as well as anyone else, that the style of dresses I prefer isn't that historical and that ID dresses have been ever-evolving. But when did they start evolving into these eyesores, that we sit by and call pretty?
I am convinced, now, more then ever that the world of Irish dance dresses needs me. I have a notebook full of drawings that I would live to be able to make come to life. There has to be a happy compromise. Modern fabrics and bright colours, with out loosing touch with the roots. Keep something IRISH looking about the dresses. Maybe with all this free time I have on my hands with my new-found unemployment, I could start experimenting. Now if only I could find somebody interested in being a test subject, since I am not ready to have a dress of my own yet.
All I know is when I get the okay to have a solo, the drawing is ready, waiting to come to life. And when I get up on stage I KNOW my dress will stand out - not because it's a brighter shade of orange then the next girls, not because it is covered in rhinestones, not because the skirt is fluffier - but because it will be simple and elegant, and flattering and there won't be anything even possibly close to animal print or stretch velvet near it! And God forbid! There will be knotwork on it. Traditional Irish art that has meaning for me and represents who I am. And who I am is not represented by a butt-bow and tulle.