With Ashar's *ahem* "hiatus", I have decided to face performing primarily as a soloist again by selling a great deal of the costuming I designed and created while with Ashar Dance Company. I was the primary costumer for the troupe, so many of our costumes reflect a great deal of hard work designing and sewing on my part. As a troupe, we designed many things together collaboratively, but I always felt that I put a lot of myself into the designs and the aesthetic outcome. Because each member worked on her own costume and purchased the individual components, each member owns her own costuming. In my mind, although our costumes were certainly of the caliber of professional soloist costumes, they were still "troupe costumes" and I don't want to be linked visually as a soloist to a troupe that I'm not working with anymore.
All in all, I am hoping to sell 3 complete costumes, a belt, and a couple of headbands/fascinators. I have used my etsy.com store to help with the process, but I acknowledge that it is just easier to sell costuming in-person at events where people can actually try it on. AND I want to sell a few things that I purchased and altered, but didn't really hand craft or recycle enough to list on etsy. I am very purist about that sort of thing.
So, with that in mind, I just paid my fees to vend at Shimmy in the Grain here in Madison during the first week of August, and I've also been posting pictures graciously taken by Bill Tricomi, my #1 best top favoritest photographer and superfan.
Although I'm selling this costuming, I don't want to create hard feelings or any awkwardness between myself and the other members of Ashar. ...But I haven't discussed it with them. In a way, it is my reclaimation of power over this costuming that was created to display visual, aesthetic harmony and togetherness. There is the loophole that we've left the window open for collaboration, which means that someday we might want to wear this costuming together again, but I don't feel like keeping or wearing costuming that represented our former unity as a troupe. I feel like as independent artists collaborating, we would need to forge something new to represent that change in identity.
*sigh* Such big changes all made official. Of course I heard the ending of the troupe coming a long way in advance, but that doesn't mean I like the end result. :(