Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Moonlight and Fire, the Debut of Mamo-chan

"It’s in my dreams I find the right moment.
It is the night that brings me the moonlight." - "Sailor Moon" by Platina Jazz feat. Douglas Unger.  Translated from the original japanese lyrics by Douglas Unger.
What happens when you attain one of your dream cosplays?  You come up with a new costume to fill that spot, of course!  Thanks to Black Mariah, I had done Sailor Mars, the first cosplay I ever wanted to do.  I was perfectly satisfied with portraying the character until I saw the 2013 live-action musical Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon - La Reconquista.  It differed from previous productions in having a woman play Tuxedo Mask, a.k.a. Mamoru Chiba or "Mamo-chan".  Yuuga Yamato came from the all-female Takarazuka Revue so she had lots of experience playing the dashing male lead.  I was smitten.  I wanted to have a fraction of her coolness, and by extension, I found myself wanting to be Tuxedo Mask.  The idea was further encouraged by discussions of a Sailor Moon cosplay group, which already had a Mars.
Yuuga Yamato in La Reconquista
Around the same time, I discovered a cover of the anime's theme by Platina Jazz featuring Douglas Unger, "Moonlight Serenade".  They added a tango touch while adapting the translated lyrics to Tuxedo Mask's point of view.  The song just asked to be part of a burlesque number.  Since I was working on my solo debut at the time, I filed that away in my brain.

By Mr. Photopix
I started to put a routine together at the end of last year with hopes of reaching out to shows with more classical themes.  Although I initially included the character's signature mask, I realized that I could make the outfit more generalized to appeal to a wider audience.  Yamato's Tuxedo Mask didn't really wear a mask either.  I could just save that for cosplay, which I did for All-con out of eagerness to be the character (sadly I was never at a con where the Sailor Moon group was happening).

No Mija Productions presents: Fuego Noche Tropicana might have been an unexpected show for the act, but I learned that you should always submit if you have an inkling of being a good fit.  This being a Latin-themed production meant that I did have to properly incorporate tango into the choreography.  Thankfully Youtube had a lot of helpful tutorials, and I mastered the basic 8-step for both the leader and follower, along with embellishments that could work in a solo routine.

By Mr. Photopix
Although the audience was not expecting the Sailor Moon theme, they seemed to love the act.  It's tricky business combining cultures but also a lot of fun when it comes together.  I definitely had a blast because everything had finally come together and I was living out another dream.  Since I was also in the closing group number by Fuego Danza Company, I couldn't hang into my tuxedo.  That was probably the evening's biggest challenge: going from anime bishounen (pretty boy) to a sparkly, feathery samba dancer.  Even with the feminine elements of my routine, I still aimed for a more androgynous look.

The group number was a fun way to close a great first show for No Mija Productions, and while I wound up having a very tired Friday morning in lab, it was worth every bit of my energy.  I came away ready to both do more with Fuego Danza Company (catch us at the San Antonio Burlesque Festival) and with "Moonlight Serenade".

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