Bend and Snap

A dancer and a diva meet.

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The Diamond of Kalea is located on Kalea's extreme west coast and called as such because its completely made of a crystalline substance called Skyglass. Home of the Alvina of the Stars, cultural mecca of knowledge seekers, and rife with Ethaefal, this remote city shimmers with its own unique light.

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Bend and Snap

Postby Amelia on January 9th, 2019, 9:29 pm

22nd Winter 518av.

Gods, I wished they would stop moving.

Amelia, quite aggrieved with the dancers’ inability to be still for even a tick, watched as a tall dark-haired woman glided across the floor, turning and turning with impressive, liquid-like elegance. The seamstress glanced back on her sketchpad, and with a dramatic groan, she yanked at the paper, scrunched it into a ball and let it fall on the floor beside her feet. The graveyard of the other dozen other half-started sketches would indicate to any observer how poorly Amelia’s progress was going.

The issue was not a lack inspiration; quite the opposite! It was the overwhelming speed at which Amelia would feel obliged to sketch an outfit for one dancer, before another would enter the stage and steal the limelight. Or, rather, the designer’s attention.

There was just so much to consider! When Amelia had agreed to design the costumes for the next performance held at the Ethereal Opera House, she had not expected to be as overcome as she now was. And yet with every pirouette, plier and sauter, Amelia’s mind became full of costumes and outfits that rivalled the talent and beauty of the performers.

“How are your designs coming along, Amelia?”

Lili Arealia; the owner of the opera house and, for this job, Amelia’s employer. She was the personification of professionalism, and Amelia found her own spine straightening up as she took in the imposing appearance of the slightly older woman. Few people managed to intimidate Amelia, but Lili always had. Perhaps it was the very stern, almost distant, persona of the other woman, or the fact that she successfully ran a business when she only a few years older than the seamstress.

Despite all of this, Amelia was not the type to lie, even to the very person paying her wages: “Not too good, to be honest. I think I’m struggling to really know what direction to go in. I haven’t a great deal of experience designing clothes for this purpose.”

If Lili was unimpressed or irked by this statement, she didn’t show it. With a slight purse of her lips, and glanced down at the pile of discarded designs that lay at Amelia’s feet. “Sometimes it takes a while to settle on an idea, I agree. But remember, The Dance of Storms is an homage to Zulrav’s background and His story. It’s important that the costumes compliment that. We want our audience to be taken into the eye of the storm, to truly feel His wind and rain, even if they’re actually indoors.” With that safe, taut piece of advice, Lili resumed her slow walk around backstage.

Amelia considered what the manageress had said. She disliked the wind – or more accurately, how it would mess her hair – and so Zulrav was not exactly Amelia’s favoured deity. The young woman generally struggled to identify with any of the Gods and Goddesses she knew of, but few others ruled over a domain that annoyed Amelia as much as the God of Storms did.

But she had to admit there was a sense of power in Zulrav’s province. She had marvelled at the speed with which a gust of wind could capture an object – a hat, a tree branch, even a small dog – and bluster it miles and miles away. She had observed birds battling against the God as they tried to seek shelter and safety during a storm, noting how they had suddenly seemed incapable of gliding back to the ground whilst the God pushed and blew them about.

It would be fair to say that Amelia respected Zulrav, as would be expected of a young woman who was not a complete fool. Perhaps she could bring this reverence somehow into her designs?

She looked back to the stage, where the dancers continued to rehearse and stretch. She focused on a particular individual – this time an auburn-haired dancer who was currently being lifted above the head of her partner – and Amelia tried to imagine what their movements would look like if they were in performing in the middle of a storm.

Her dress would look almost ragged, like it was torn. As if it was made of many layers of different lengths

The seamstress started to sketch, drawing the gentle outlines of a full-length skirted dress. Then she stopped, tilted her head and glanced from the dancer to the design and back again, lips pursed in deep concentration. No, not a dress. But a two-piece costume. A full-length skirt, made of a light material that would blow and twist as the dancers moved, and a top that was more fitted. Perhaps cropped?

The waist of the skirt would need to be fitted, as well, to save the performers (and Amelia) the unfortunate and embarrassing situation where a dancer might be caught with her skirt falling down mid-twirl. ”And the skirt would need to have at least two layers, to bring even more movement.” She murmured, noting down these details. Amelia thought best when she did so aloud, where her ingenious could be noted and appreciated by whatever audience she may have at the time.
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Bend and Snap

Postby Haneht on January 23rd, 2019, 4:39 pm

22nd, Winter 518AV

Amongst the dancers on the stage, a tall male lingered at the very back. Not quite out of his own volition, what with his apparent love of attention, but for the very fact that his height would otherwise interrupt the entire stage formation. In all his years, Haneht was only ever denied his way once he left Ahnatehp. And it was refreshing, to be like everyone else, but woefully hard as well. He'd never known the privileges afforded to him until his departure from home, and there were days where he mourned the convenience of it all. Even with all the time that's passed, it seemed as though he'd yet to fully adjust to the reality of it all.

He was plenty eyecatching, or so they had reasoned with him. Tall, glistening, six-armed, exotic.

All the more reasons he should be put in front, weren't they? Yet here he was, shifting from one position to another dutifully in spite of his sullen mood. Regardless of his own disagreements, Haneht knew better than to allow himself an excuse to perform poorly. He consoled himself with happier thoughts, the focus with which he rehearsed with gradually dividing itself between his body and mind. As the Eypharian cycled through the steps of their routine, the molten pits of his eyes glazed, mind preoccupied with various passing thoughts. 'I suppose they're right. I'd be stealing all the attention up front,' he sighed begrudgingly at the thought, gliding out onto a foot. 'If I go a little heavier on the mica dust when we perform...' The Glissade transitioned seamlessly into an Emboité, followed by an Arabesque. As his foot brushed backwards and lifted high up behind him, Haneht looked out into the empty seats of the audience, gaze lit by a sudden idea.

The costume designer was present that day, was she not? The boy had heard of a recently recruited seamstress, young, hot-blooded and talented as she was stunning. Or so the rumours went. Was she somewhere backstage?

"You must be the Haneht I've been hearing about." A mature voice sounded from behind him. Halting mid-transition, the brunet glanced over from the corner of his eye, only to follow swiftly with the rest of him and give a slight bow, hands clasped in front of him. The others barely stole so much as a glance over at them, and instead further invested themselves in their practices.

"Ma'am," he smiled as his raised his head, only to have to lower it once more to meet her intimidating gaze. "You're as commanding as they say," he blurted, unable to bring himself to offer anything but honesty. If she was angered or amused, she did not show it. "How about it? Am I as handsome and brilliant as the rumours tell?" It was a light attempt at humour, but a part of it had come from his ego as well.

"Your ego seems to have been underestimated." His smile fell, hands placed in mock hurt over his heart. "Impatient. Proud. Dreamy-" she corrected herself immediately the moment his features lit up and his chest puffed out, "in the sense that your head's always stuck way up through the roof. You listen to criticism but you don't heed it well. You think you deserve more than the Corps when you've only given half what others have." She eyed him cooly as the boy's androgynous expression grew stiff, then unreadable. "You lack discipline, Haneht. Best work more on that, if you want to progress." Lili's gaze swept across him, and her throat moved as if there was more she wanted to say, but she turned on her heel and left just like that.

Discipline. He'd grown up disciplined. Always obeyed well, listened well, amended himself with accordance to the expectations placed on him. And still it was never enough. What did they want from him? What did she want?

Behave yourself, her words had seemed to imply.

'I'm not a puppet,' and just like that, his mood soured once more, excitement fading with his adrenaline. Picking up where he'd left off, his limbs eventually grew heavier and his movements unprecise, and Haneht figured it was as good a time as any to have his break - now was a perfect opportunity to look about, see if he might find their designer and have a peek at his costume. Maybe even have a say in it all. Sweeping his canteen off the floor, he dove backstage in search of the seamstress.

Locating her proved easy enough, once he caught sight of the tail end of a growing, crumpled paper trail. Creative as well, then, or so it seemed with the numerous designs she could afford to discard. Muttering to herself in a trance, a heavy veil of ideas and scenarios obscuring her awareness from her surroundings. Silent and graceful as a feline, the Eypharian glided over to his newfound interest, peering over the top of her head like an overly-curious child. And in doing so, unintentionally cast a shadow over the blonde.
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