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Setsucon 2013: Video, Newspapers, and Podcasts- OH MY!

3 Feb

This past weekend the Ladies of Antipode & our guest dancers performed at Setsucon 2013! The main stage show theme this year was “The Great Race”; our take on Chinese New Years! Currently the video and photos are being processed (will be posted this week!), as well as media from our meet and greet (including a group sword piece to Red XIII’s Theme). It was a blast!

Our new PR rep & new member of Antipode, Darling Stewie, worked overtime this con! She helped organize video, newspaper, and podcast interviews for the Troupe! Before in the past, we never set one girl aside to do media relations. We always focused on make-up, music, or stage setup: of course making the show look good is the number one priority, but we rarely got to see any footage or photos after the show! We’d be so busy with tear down of the stage, we’d never even get business cards of photographers! With having one lady in charged, it really streamlined the process- as well as gave us a set a schedule for PR that weekend. While performing, you never get to see what the whole show really looks like; video and photos are not the same as a live show, but it’s the closest you can get to the audience’s view. You put so much hard work into the show, you should make sure you can enjoy it too! Nothing feels like watching the show you created, and listening to the audience laugh, cheer, and gasp.

Check out our interviews, after the Jump!

IMG_4032 copy

The main ladies of Antipode were featured in an article by the Collegian!

The Collegian also mentioned Antipode in their main Setsucon Article

The Hilarious Comedian, Uncle Yo also did a podcast with Antipode about the importance of Strong Female Figures in geek culture. The podcast will be posted once I receive a link!

Nathan Raupach did a Flickr photo set for us, you can check out more of his work a


Thanks for reading!



ANTIPODE to Perform at Setsucon!

17 Jan


New year, New look, New website!

10 Jan
Howdy all! Ayla here, back from a busy dance season… Ready to start a new year & season! is getting a facelift this month as the new year is here! Well, Gregorian calendar new year. The lunar new year will be Febuary 10th, so expect a special report on that to follow soon.

What’s new? Well for the past months the girls of Antipode have been blessed with a busy and extended dance season: including shows for conventions, LARPs, and classy night clubs in Manhattan! It’s been a fun year.

I, Ayla, will be writing reviews on the events we have attended (for dancing and for spectating) and of course posting videos and pictures! Don’t worry, I’ll also be posting soon about current events in play. Hope to see you here!

What else is new? Darling Stewie is making a new website for my Cosplay & Bellydance troupe, Antipode!

Thanks for reading,

PSSSST! I tried out a new Makeup technique, like it? If you like the shot, it was taken by

Antipode News Feature

5 Dec

The Citizens` Voice
4 Oct 2012

RECAP! Rakkasah Spring Caravan 2012 (Accio Belly Dance: Harry Potter and the Bothering of Snape)

17 May

WHERE DID APRIL GO?! Eh, I’ve been a bad kid with some internet issues for the past month… so let’s post “ALL THE ARTICLES”  I’ve wrote for the past month in one day! Huzzah!


Two weekends ago was Rakkasah Spring Caravan near NYC.


As mentioned in previous posts, there are 4 Rakkasah events, each unique and different on their own.

Rakkasah West” in California in March.

Rakkasah East” in Somerset NJ in October.

Rakkasah Winter Moon” in California in Jan/Feb.

Rakkasah Spring Caravan” in Somerset NJ in April/May.

Rakkasah Spring Caravan is a belly dance fusion festival/convention in Somerset NJ (Rak East is more for the “traditional” style Bdance). Last year we performed a 7 min version of “Super Mario Belly Dance World”. This year we performed “Accio Belly Dance! Harry Potter and the Bothering of Snape”.

It was so much fun! We set up the dance to be in a “double potions class” with Slytherin & Gryffindor students with Snape as the professor. When class is over, Snape was supposed to touch his dark mark while Harry’s Scar is reacting, all for Moldy-Voldy to come out and battle Harry. Snape was supposed to come in at the end and do the spin sequence with two fanveils in the middle of the battle… but sadly 2 weekends before Termariel broke her foot! Eep! I had to step in and do Termariel part, and rewrite the story a bit. I think it still turned out great! In the video you can’t tell, but when we came out for the 1st song everyone was SUPER confused and muttering- “Are they witches? Are those wands? Is that Harry Potter?” wondering what was going on. During the 2nd song when the theme for HP came on, it was hilarious that quite a few people started to laugh or scream out as they realized we were doing Harry Potter (one of those light bulb/ “Ah-ha!” moments). For the 3rd song, “The Mysterious Ticking Noise” I was a bit nervous and trying hard to suppress a laugh- especially when a woman shouted “I LOVE SNAPE”, my beat was definitely thrown off. Totally worth it.

After our performance Anasma (left) went on  she did a cat themed belly dance, I can’t explain how amazing her style of dance is! She bring comedy to the dance world, and we love to help out!

We were also invited to dance in the Penn State Belly Dance Club time slot that night. Merika & I did a Poi & Double veil duet (respectfully). It was a bit of a stressful weekend jammed with workshops everyday, practice, amazing shows, shopping, and 2 performances… but it was fun.

I’ll have to post the Professional Photos when I get them! 😀

Thanks for reading!



P.S. We got our photo in another blog! ..and now that I put up the 4th post that I’ve been slacking on- it’s time to read Nara’s posts! Huzzah!

Penn State Raqs: PSU BDC Hafla Spring ’12

17 May

WHERE DID APRIL GO?! Eh, I’ve been a bad kid with some internet issues for the past month… so let’s post “ALL THE ARTICLES”  I’ve wrote for the past month in one day! Huzzah!


So a few weekends ago I went back to my Alma mater,PennState, to perform at the Penn State Belly Dance Club annual Hafla.


Antipode performed “Harry Potter and the Belly Dance” (Harry BOTHER! And the Belly Dance). It’s still a working title. ^_~ Sadly, Termariel broke her other foot at LARP the weekend before (Note: AFTER the event was over. Sigh, poor girl). I had to step in last min for this show. (You’ll get more details in the next post!)

***Alumni SOLO:

From some issues that I had to take care of, sadly I didn’t really have enough time to work on my solo (which originally was supposed to be an Alumni Group Piece). I decided to impromptu quite a bit of it- since I love the music. I have practiced zilling to the base beat; it’s stead and not too fast for my novice zill hands. I sometimes switch it up to the melody, or certain rythms I’m learning.

Maybe if I have a set choreography, I could even take it to a competition! There might need to be a few more musicality changes though, and I am pretty rough in the video (my posture!)… hum.


Here is a version of a Cane Piece NARA and I choreographed, as our first duet. We were flat mates in college (lived in a few dorms down). She has an AMAZING BLOG, and runs Tiger Claw Belly Dance Studio about how to improve yourself as a dancer (and she’s also who got me into Doctor Who).

***Zombie Nation

Here is a beginner piece I wrote to Zombie Nation, since ZN is one ofPennState’s Foose ball tailgating songs. They used it as the closing piece, and had Sesquhenna dance it with us. (Technical difficulties in the beginning, sad panda.)

*** Over all there were many wonderful dances that I got to watch, especially “Just One Thing“! Such a lovely Trio.

The other guests, Susquehanna Belly Dance Club, were such a wonderful group of girls (and good dancers too!).

It was fun, and entertaining… and really nice we had live drumming as our curtain call.  I got to spoon!

Thanks for Reading!



LARPy-LARP: Belly Dancing & Merry Making

17 May

WHERE DID APRIL GO?! Eh, I’ve been a bad kid with some internet issues for the past month… so let’s post all of the articles I’ve wrote for the past month in one day! Huzzah!


In the last post I talked about my first event & the Photos of LARP; how about I talk about the dancing at the last event I attended in April!

The village Wyvern Rising usually takes place in a town called “Corsotha”. It recently has been taken under the rule of an Empress. In order to “aid” the economy an NPC (non-playable-character), a Lord actually, has come in offering “jobs or quests”. You can “buy” a task for a small sum, (wrote on a piece of parchment). Once you have completed the task at hand, you will be rewarded a larger amount (also on the parchment).

Coincidentally one of the “jobs” was “to provide singing, music, dancing, and merry-making for the b-day of a 12 year old boy”.

Termariel and I snatched up the quest, and decided this would be the perfect opportunity to showcase our “Merry Making” skills. Luckily Termariel had a brown choli for me to use over my snake skin costume.

I told Termariel I had a few “items” we could use in my car. A joke in the belly dance community says “A real belly dancer always has a Costume, Makeup, Music Player, and Zills (as well as other props) in her trunk in case she has to do a last minute show”. Well I had 2 swords, 3 isis wings, 2 pairs of fan veils, 2 dozen veils, 2 drums, 2 sets of Turkish spoons, a CD player, and an iPOD player… hahahaha- but no zills.

They also have the joke, “How many costumes does a dancer need? …Just one more!

We grabbed the fire fan veils, two rectangular veils, a gold set ofISISwings, the drums, the spoons, and a sword. Termariel went and retrieved her large flute (Maki Junior). By the time we got back, we realized most of the town was part way through “the feast”. And we had no time to practice. Whoops. Termariel was quick on her feet, and came up with a set list. After grabbing some food to eat later, we searched for the “Birthday boy”. He wasn’t anywhere to be seen. Ut-oh. We were worried staff had forgot about our arrangement. After moving some tables around though, the “boy” appeared and we were able to start.

I was super surprised that most of the town (all the players) had stuck around in their seats to watch the performance. O_O;;

The performance was made up of quite a few short songs: We played drums together to start off. Then Termariel played the flute & Drummed as I did fan veils, veil, spoons/drum solo type dancing, and of course sword dancing (poorisiswings were left out!). We had a pause in our dancing as two Elves told a wonderful translated story (Wyvern has a lexicon for one of the Races of Elves!).

We ended the performance asking the crowd what prop they’d like to see us use again and dance to, together. We let some of our friends play drums, and we entertained the crowd. Termariel character plays an Elf that has an interesting way to dance, doing such moves as “The Leaf” or “The Twig”. I got one of the guys, who’s character had never seen a woman, to mimic my moves- I won’t lie, his facial expressions slayed the room. I wish someone had taken photos of video, it was priceless.

Even though we did get the crowd at one point to clap along with us, the most outrageous/ intense reactions were to the “traditional” birthday boy spankings for every year. With a Ductape/foam ax.  Win.

Interestingly enough we did have many characters tip us (all in game coins, that look like arcade tokens) & I finally got to do the stereotypical turban head wrap with my veil on the B-day boys head. Hahahaha. Cheesy to the max.

I wonder if this means my character will be invited to dancing more often… I know Termariel , Merika, and I will be performing as NPCs  in a special “Combat lite” event; it should be a festival atmosphere! Huzzah! A bard at last!

Even though my favorite bard song is about “Brave Brave Brave, Brave Sir Robin… when danger reared it’s ugly head, sir Robin tucked his tail and fled…” ❤ Monty Python

Thanks for Reading!



LARPy-LARP: Acting Lessons & Photography Play

17 May

WHERE DID APRIL GO?! Eh, I’ve been a bad kid with some internet issues for the past month… so let’s post “ALL THE ARTICLES”  I’ve wrote for the past month in one day! Huzzah!


It is an understatement to say Termariel is a pretty enthusiastic LARPer in the NEPA region (North East PA).

She used to LARP when she was younger, but in the past year and a half she really started to pick up this hobby.

She’s asked all of her friends, family, and any stranger that she comes across if they’d join her. After her brother told her he’d go for Christmas as an Elf… a Christmas elf… she stopped asking him (though his second choice was Indiana Jones-hahahahaha).  I don’t understand why Termariel didn’t enjoy these ideas 😉

I know she really enjoyed LARPing, especially since her forte is acting in character (and of course hot glue costuming), so I told her I’d take her LARPing to one of her events for her Birthday.

“SO WHAT IS LARP?”, I asked myself. I jumped to Wikipedia to find it defined as…

live action role-playing game (LARP) is a form of role-playing game where the participants physically act out their characters’ actions. The players pursue goals within a fictional setting represented by the real world, while interacting with each other in character. The outcome of player actions may be mediated by game rules, or determined by consensus among players. Event arrangers called gamemasters decide the setting and rules to be used and facilitate play.

The first LARPs were run in the late 1970s, inspired by tabletop role-playing games and genre fiction. The activity spread internationally during the 1980s, and has diversified into a wide variety of styles. Play may be very game-like, or may be more concerned with dramatic or artistic expression. Events can also be designed to achieve educational or political goals. The fictional genres used vary greatly, from realistic modern or historical settings to fantastic or futuristic eras. Production values are sometimes minimal, but can involve elaborate venues and costumes. LARPs range in size from small private events lasting a few hours to large public events with thousands of players lasting for days.


(Termariel (top Left) and two other “Wild Elves”. Bottom photo is Termariel and a Ratkin. All photos are from the Nov 2011 Event, except for the slide show which is April 2012. Photos are Copyright of Wyvren Rising, The Players, and I)

I didn’t know what to expect, the Wikipedia article only gave a general overview of what COULD happen. Termariel told me it would be like when I cosplayed in character or acted/performed at Ren Faires, except with more fantasy & fighting. Her character doesn’t fight much, but is heavy on Role Play- getting drunk at the tavern, telling stories by the firelight, playing a song on her flute to cheer up the town folk.

She said it was somewhat like D&D (Dungeons and Dragons). I’ve never played D&D before, but I’m guessing it’s not like 8bit D&D. ^_^

I won’t lie, I was a bit worried how this whole thing would go. I was really stepping out of my comfort zone, but I knew it would make Termariel happy; so I went all in. Actually, what really scared me most though, was how I would react to the woods with all of my allergies. I had a pretty rough summer when I went camping, and I wasn’t sure about how it would be in the fall.

Termariel suggested I be a Reptilian-Human race as they are more middle eastern & East Asian influenced, as well as I had an excuse to cover myself head to toe in reptile print cloth (They suggest green face/body paint, but I would break out if I wore it). The species/races they also have include humans, Human-Birds, Orcs, (two types of) Elves, Dwarves, and primitive humans as playable character races.

(One Female Dwarf, and a HUNGRY Barbarian)

Termariel invited me to Wyvren Rising,  I’m not sure what the term/type of LARP it is (I know it’s not a “war LARP”, but it does have combat. I heard it called a “Boffer LARP” before). I found out in the world of LARP, there are tons of classification with intricate systems! Yeesh! It’s much more popular in Europe, but is gaining in popularity in the States!

Before I went, I spent a couple hours for a couple days reading rules for my “trade/skill path” (you could be Rouge, Cleric, Fighter, Mage, or Craftsmen), what happens when you “die” or “faint”, armor evaluation, etc etc etc. I won’t lie, that part was very fun. It reminded me of preparing to schedule for high school and college classes seeing what classes I could take to fill up the time slots perfectly.

(Traditional “Healing” Cleric (Left), “Fighting” Cleric (Right))

When I actually got there, I was not prepared for how interesting and complex the fighting world Wyvren has: all of the spells, prayers, & skills on top of knowing what to “swing for” (how much damage you can hit someone with, depends on the weapon type). I had spent more time on the RPing part, since it was Termariel forte. Luckily the older characters and staff were SUPER friendly and patient with me- even though I had to stop and ask questions “Out of Game” (OoG) all the time.

After the first event I attended I noticed very few people took photos, and uploaded them to the website. I thought, “I have a nice camera… I want to practice taking photos…

These people have cool costumes… They seem patient enough…” and -poof!- I found out Termariel was actually in charge of the flickr page (Thought it just got downgraded a few days ago, and they’re looking into upgrading or moving to photo bucket).

The next event I got to attend (mid-November, season finale) I dragged many people out to get their photos taken. I was super happy the way they turned out ^_^ The photos you see above are all from the Nov 2011 event!  I even had some chosen to be on Wyvern Rising’s Front Page 😀 huzzah!

Those photos gave me the courage to take my camera again to this past event; In early April I went for my 3rd time! It was fun to see all the friends I had made 6 months prior. I still ask a ton of questions, but I have started to get the understanding of how the world of Wyvern Rising works and how my character works. It was nice to meet new characters, and take new photos!

Sadly, since I didn’t want to seem like a “chicken” and step “Out of Game” (OoG) every time a fight happened, I got just a few “action shots”. I did get some cool poses. Below is a sneak peak of the photos I took, I have about 450 photos to go through (I never said I wasn’t trigger happy); but here are my “TOP 20 of APRIL 2012” (or at least some that caught my eye).

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12 Apr

Star Wars Eggs? Yes Please.

My cousin from Australia/Hong Kong is studying abroad at my mum & father’s house. I went home for the weekend to see her, Merika, and the rents (slang for parent).

I ended up doing the stereotypical things when most “children” go home: had my dad look at my car with me, went shopping for a spring dress with my mum, helped my younger cousing study for the SATs and ACTs (mmm, math)… and went to Jo-ann’s with Merika to buy some cloth & flowers for the upcoming Penn State Belly Dance Club’s Hafla.

The best part though, was buying all the materials to dye eggs; a fun activity “meant for my younger cousin” (really Merika and me). Sadly, by the time we finished all the errands Saturday night, we were too tired to make the eggs! Haha! But I did end up making this one instead on Friday (a bit of Saturday).

Photo Credits Here

In high school my friend Angie showed us seed bead eggs. They were so pretty, my other two friends Booboo, Lolo, decided to hop on the train. Booboo’s mom, Lisa, was excited that her daughter & friends were about to take on a tedious craft- meaning no more running around screaming. I think she actually drove us to the store, and paid for some of the materials! Haha! It’s actually quite simple to make, all you need is:

*A hollow Egg


*Paper plate

*Seed beads

*Tooth pick


First, you need a hallow egg. You can either make two small holes on each end and blow out the yoke, or you can use a syringe to hollow it out. You can buy one on Amazon for 6$- well worth it (I’d pay 25$ for this little tool, it’s so useful in making a single egg or dozens!).

Next, you can either look at a photo of the design you want, OR you can lightly sketch in pencil on the egg.

Afterwards, you put some glue on a paper plate. You then “paint” with the tooth pick a very light layer of glue on one end of the egg. You then can pick up some beads with the same tooth pick, and place them on top. Make sure they lay flat, ie that you can see all of the centers/holes of the beads.

TIP: You will want to make a “honey comb” pattern with the beads as this fills in the blanks best. This might skew lines a bit.

TIP: You will want to start on an end of the egg, as this will cause the whole chunk of beads to stop shifting as much.

Then, you just keep beading away! I like to pick up multiple beads at once with my tooth pick, put them on the egg, and then push them around into place. The glue dries clear, so why not? (other than you might add more glue than needed?). I used this technique and made my egg in prolly ½ the time Angie and Lolo did.

Booboo on the other hand used a different technique after a few hours- she just dumped a whole bunch of glue and beads into a bowl and rolled the egg around. Haha, done. She then made ballon/string/glue baskets with Merika- that was a hot mess.

The R2-D2 is the 3rd egg I have done (one was a PSU paw print, the other was a set of crosses). It took me about 6-8 hours(?), I’m sure with a simpler design I could get it down to less. My first egg, the paw print, I think took me 2-3 days since I was putting one bead on at a time for most of the time. It was also a simpler design.

The other eggs I made did look “more filled in” as we used “expensive” Japanese seed beads from a Hobby Lobby, they were all even in size. The ones that I used for R2-D2 were from walmart, and the sizes varied (why some shapes are skewed).

TIP: So instead of buying the $1.50 beads, go for the $3.00 beads and you’ll prolly like the look better- unless it’s just the backside anyways!

I was hopping of making a Totoro, the Triforce, Companion Cube, DOMO 😀 The list is endless.

Thanks for Reading!



P.S. Like Cute things? Check out THE EGG SONG. mmmmm, hot springs eggs! Just like Japan?

English version of the Original Korean Site:

WDC Highlights: The Cherry Blossoms Festival & Art Of Video Games Exhibit

7 Apr

MMMMMM… Cherry Blossom & Video Games

Irish-Domo likes Cherry Blossoms too

                This past weekend we had a little “Antipode” meeting in DC for the 100 year anniversary of the Cherry Blossoms & to see the new “Art of Video Games” exhibit in the American Art Museum Smithsonian.

Some friends, Merika Lo, Reni aka Cooking Mama 1, and I met up for Dim-sum Saturday morning at the 7 corners intersection. Next we hoped on the subway to downtown for the blooms first, but sadly “the peak” was a little less than 2 weeks ago- and it rained since then. There were a few here and there, but we did see tons of tourists next to the bright pink & white dog wood trees taking photos. (hehehehe) A few years ago when Termariel and I went to Japan, we did get to see some starting to bloom in Kyoto and Tokyo.

Termariel in Tokyo (left) and Kyoto (right)

Japan can still be super chilly in mid-March. Surprisingly in Akihabira (Tokyo) they were more in bloom than at Nijō Castle (二条城, Nijō-jō). One, if not the, favorite animal of  Termariel  is the elephant, and she was ESTATIC to see this guy. If I get to go back to Japan, I hope to go around the time of the Cherry Blossoms blooms again. I heard, if you plan it right, you can start in the south, and slowly work your way North to hit all the “peak days”. I’d love to photograph the blooms, as well as Cosplay in the blooms- Including Kimonos, Anime Costumes, Video Game Costumes, and maybe even a Sakura Belly Dance Costume. The gardens Yes, Ayla DID have blue hair ^_^                                         & cities in Japan all very picturesque.

We wanted to wear our Kimonos this past weekend, but the weather called for rain & we also were given heads up about the blooms being gone.

We did see many girls wearing fake sakura/cherry blossoms & pins. Turns out we go the last 3 pins from the ranger station- they had over 74,000 !_! Merika did find this little guy though 


The American Art Museum/Smithsonian in Chinatown is now holding the “The Art of Video Game” Exhibit. It’s an interesting take how the “art” is not just the game but also the story & interaction the player creates with the game.

It was SUPER busy there (it opened mid-March), but it’s running all the way to September (I’m going to go back). 😀 They had times lines displaying games from each era and how the games & concepts have evolved through out the years.

If you want to be part of the exhibit or support the museum, you can donate 10$ (or more) and get your name placed on their “Extra Credit!” list.

Of course I had to represent as soon as I heard about it last year.

Thanks for reading!