belly dancing

Dark Imaginations

September, 2009

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Anaar.  Photograph by Jim Ferreira

I am a long time practicing witch in the Feri Tradition and bring to my performances a large body of dark lore and ritual.  My body of work focuses on sensual ecstasy and expressionistic storytelling.  In my work, I walk between the worlds, dancing between technique and passion.  Every performance is an homage to my Triple Muse; Mystery, Power and Ritual.

My journey on this strange and twisted path began as an art student when I somehow got it into my head that witchcraft is a religion.  I then came across Margot Adler’s “Drawing Down The Moon.”  It was there that I first read the account of Victor Anderson.

As I was reading, I felt an odd sensation in what I imagine my medulla oblongata to be.  It felt like there was a balloon blowing open in my mind.  That physical sensation led into a certainty that I found my passion.  After a few adventures, I was able to meet and study with Victor Anderson himself, who initiated me into the Feri Tradition.

I never imagined I would even be remotely interested in belly dance. My initial training is in the visual arts, first earning my BFA having an intense interest in becoming a craftsman.  After graduating, I spent about a year making no art at all.  I began to question art and the reasons we make art.

Having a firm rooting in the techniques necessary for artmaking, I began to explore what I call the intersection between art and Feri.  I explored the religious traditions, myths and practices of ecstatic and ritualistic traditions.  This process led into earning an MA in s and Consciousness.

Using my training in the arts, I began a small design business.  My traveling boutique, Tombo Studio was established in 1995. At a very early age while living in Japan, a dragonfly, or tombo, flew past my ear. A voice opened itself to me and taught me to sign all my art with a tombo, hence Tombo Studio.

The aesthetic of Tombo Studio centers on the darkly luminous feminine figures of our deep consciousness.  The exotic, rare and sometimes disturbing facets of women are my inspiration.  I do not fear Her dark persona. I find Her comforting.  Victor Anderson teaches that in Feri, we say She is “The power of Darkness, The Womb of Light.”

As a designer I strive toward two quests. The first quest is for great design, the second, superb craftsmanship.  Great care is taken to make a quality product, one that befits a goddess as well as one that is practical and works!  Most of my work is custom designs for the dancer.  I love to work with a dancer to make a costume that fits her vision.  And I do work very closely with my clients, down to the minute details.

If you should get a chance to visit my booth at some fair, look for my hand made exotic costumes and custom designed jewelry.  Among the many others items on the table, you will also find amazing vintage tribal accessories in silver and high carat gold.  Tempest, well known gothic belly dancer, frequent dance partner and herself a great designer, says I am an “archivalist of artists and treasures from many cultures around the world.”

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Tempest and Anaar wearing Tombo Studio desgings.  Photo by Michael Baxter.

At an early stage of Tombo Studio, I had decided that perhaps belly dancers would be interested, so I rented a booth at the Desert Dance Festival.  It was there that I saw Fat Chance Belly Dance perform.  I had all of the stereotypical preconceptions about belly dance.  Fat Chance blew all of my preconceptions away!  I found their performance powerful and empowering and began to study dance with them.

My dance adventure began late in life, much too late to enter a career in dance.  When I felt ready to perform I suffered an injury that led to back surgery.  After finding a great consuming passion it was devastating to believe that I may never be able to dance again.  But dance I did, and dance I will, with enormous determination and will, with fierce passion and an almost total disregard to outside opinion.

Last year, I filmed my first dance dvd, “Dark Imaginations.”  “Dark Imaginations” is a passionate experiment into ritual and dance.  It was created with full honesty and great intent.  This is another continuation of my exploration into that intersection of Feri and the s.  Great care has been taken to make this dvd accessible to both the beginning dancer and the advanced practitioner.

Dark Imaginations-Chalice backbend

Anaar.  Photograph by Paul Nordin

My artist statement:

Dark Imaginations…

Intense Pleasures…

Sacred Emotions…

Fierce Beauty.

Fear not to step into the circle,

Fear not to dance with the Fey.

To contact Anaar:

Anaar’s designs: www.tombostudio.com

Anaar’s dance:  www.anaar.info

Anaar’s Feri site:  www.whitewand.com