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June 30, 2013
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Bottle Dancer by Baron-Engel Bottle Dancer by Baron-Engel
Another scene from my Andur dreamscape. This is Shahree and she was a professional bottle dancer when I first arrived in the Sultan's city. She has since married and now is the mother of three children. Now instead bottle dancing she trains the next generation boys and girls who will entertain audiences from within these glass stages.

Historians and scholars in the modern world have debated the exact origin of bottle dancing. However if Andur did not invent it then it was at least one of the first places where took hold. Even back when the city was known as Malakakar the dread city of the mice wizards there are historical records of bottle dancing. However Andur became of center for the art when in the 12th century AD. when the then ruling Sultan succeeded in convincing some glass blowers to move from Anatolia to Andur. Once there they began producing some of the finest blown glassware in the entire Muslim world. Now in the 14th Century Andurian glassware is coveted from the Empire of the East to the courts of French Kings, and bottle dancers eagerly seek out Andurian bottles to perform in.

Dancing bottles are particularly tricky since they needed to be as optically clear as possible and relatively distortion free. The bottles need to be strong but with as walls that are as thin as they can be. Also the bottle will usually have a series of holes carefully drilled on the bottom to increase airflow and help combat condensation forming on the walls of the bottle. The stopper on the bottle will also have holes to add in air circulation. The dancers often own the bottles they dance it and a fine bottle can represent years wages. Bottles are even put into wills or can be used as collateral for securing a loan.

This is very early color piece of mine, and I have improved my skills since doing, but there are still parts of this piece that really like.
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:iconshewolf1937:
SheWolf1937 Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Epicness! O.O
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:iconthanos-san:
Thanos-san Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Say, where exactly is Andur compared to the rest of the world? Until now, I had no idea it was set on Earth at all 0.o
Reply
:iconbaron-engel:
Baron-Engel Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Andur is located on Northeast coast of Africa roughly about where Mogadishu is. However it obvious that were some changes to the local geography quite some time ago.

There is a mountain range that does not exist in our that runs down to almost coastline. Also Andur's bay appears to have been caused by some a sizable asteroid impact. There is a rebound peak in center of the bay that lighthouse is located on.
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:iconthanos-san:
Thanos-san Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Aah, I see! Thanks! :P
Reply
:iconk4nk4n:
K4nK4n Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2013
Before I read your description I thought she was a genie in a bottle, not an Andurian bottle dancer. Shahree is very cute.
Reply
:iconcolonelyeo:
ColonelYeo Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Now there's an interesting idea for dancers. :)

Early piece or not, I really have to say I love how you did the bottle and the satin (and of course Shahree). The reflections and the subtle distortion look excellent.
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:iconuchihaninja:
Uchihaninja Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2013
Man, whoever married her sure is a very fortunate mouse. Of course, as beautifull as she is, she was in a position to choose a high quality spouse.
Reply
:icondgs-krieger:
Dgs-Krieger Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2013
Bottle dancing, huh? Weird concept, yet...if these creatures actually existed, I can honestly believe it could have happened.

Again, kudos for the drawing itself. Specially that crimsom cloth.
Reply
:icontcpolecat7:
TCPolecat7 Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
YAY! I always thought your bottle dancers were absolutely adorable.

- Polecat
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:icona3kitsune:
A3Kitsune Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2013
Nice.
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:iconrubbervixen:
rubbervixen Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2013
One of my favorites. Though I can't help but imagine combining bottle dancing and mermice for some reason.
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:iconbaron-engel:
Baron-Engel Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Well I have done some sketches of Petina in effectively a Beta fish suit floating in a water filled bottle, does that count?
Reply
:iconrubbervixen:
rubbervixen Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2013
I don't know, but it sounds like a splendid alternative.
Reply
:iconognimod:
Ognimod Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2013
Oooh, she's a beautiful one! I love the tiny tuft of fur on the tip of her tail.
Reply
:iconbaron-engel:
Baron-Engel Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Yeah tuft tailed mice are adorable.
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:iconbelvarius:
Belvarius Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2013
Looking back at the description you mention Shahree now trains the next generation of bottle dancers. This has me wondering just how one trains to dance inside such a confined space. Looking at the picture I imagine Shahree doesn't do a lot of standing up for her routine because it looks to me that her head would hit the bottom of that stopper and maybe push it up a bit were she to stand upright. Hmm, one thought that occurs to me is that maybe initial students start their training by practicing their moves within a circle that they cannot pass any part of their body over or it's start over. This could maybe be enhanced by hanging hoops of varied diameter at the proper heights to mimic the shape of a bottle and again gotta stay within the hoops. That's just for beginner students though. I imagine the more advanced students would actually practice within a bottle (perhaps one that's braced to prevent tip overs) and would learn to use the glass sides of the bottle for their performance. That's just what I can think of off the top of my head. Am I close or way off target with my speculation?
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:iconbaron-engel:
Baron-Engel Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Ah, Grasshopper. One could write a book on the topic of bottle dancing, and in fact people have. Here is what I give you in a quick run down.

There are many forms of bottle dancing.

Some performances are done entirely within the bottle.

Some involve the dancer getting into the bottle as part of the performance.

Some involve the dancer getting out of the bottle as part of the performance.

Some performances involve more than one dancer, and performances can range from mild to terribly erotic and explicit.

Some performances are done entirely in bottles that are frosted or only translucent in nature. These performances are viewed in dim lit rooms with candle back lighting so one can only see the silhouette of the dancer.

Some performances are more contortist acts where the dancer attempts to get into smallest bottle possible. These break down into own type of performances.

Performances where the dancer is able to get in and back out of the bottle by themselves.

Performances where the dancer can only get into and back out of with assistance of another dancer who is part of the performance.

In modern times these performances have evolved to the point where some cases bottle must be broken to get the dancer back out again. Not for the claustrophobic.

Hope that is not too much of a data dump.
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:iconbelvarius:
Belvarius Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2013
Certainly not too much of a data dump! Guess I shouldn't be surprised by the variety of different bottle dance styles. I do like that frosted glass candle light style though. It would allow the viewer to use their own imagination a lot more. That last one though wouldn't be for me. Bad enough on the claustrophobia aspect but then there's safely wiggling out of broken glass as well.
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:iconbaron-engel:
Baron-Engel Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Well with last case it bottle is usually not glass but plastic that has pre-stressed score marks on its surface so it fracture in a predictable pattern.
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:iconognimod:
Ognimod Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2013
The more I learn about bottle dancing, the more I wish I could see it in person!
Reply
:iconardashir:
ardashir Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2013
That's a lovely outfit she has on. And I imagine bottle dancing must be an amazing thing to see in Andur.
Reply
:iconbelvarius:
Belvarius Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2013
It's a lovely piece! Producing such bottles in a time period you described would certainly take a master so I find the price of them quite believable.
Reply
:iconbaron-engel:
Baron-Engel Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
It is not unusual for bottle dancers to store their bottles in the vaults of the money houses,period banks, if they know they will not using them for a while. There is even a very primitive form insurance that can be obtained to guarantee swift replacement of a broken bottle, but it is not cheap.
Reply
:iconearlmcclaw:
EarlMcClaw Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2013
Oh to have such a bottle -- and the services of such a dancer!
Reply
:iconbaron-engel:
Baron-Engel Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Yeah Petina has gotten rather interested in it since arriving in Andur. I mean they still bottle dance in the 24th Century Solar Confederacy but living in what maybe the birthplace of the art just adds a certain spice to the whole thing.
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:iconaramis-dagaz:
Aramis-Dagaz Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2013
Then again, there are certain things that can only be done with 24th century technology. I don't know what material technology is like in that era, but I'm imagining "smart glass" that can warp and move according to programmed instructions or even dynamically. Imagine a bottle that, once the dancer is inside, changes its shape to accompany an ever-increasingly complex series of dance moves and movements. "Swimming through glass" might be the appropriately poetic term for it.
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:iconbaron-engel:
Baron-Engel Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Yes but Petina admits that there is something refreshingly simple about just simple some glass walls.

And yes they have all kinds of fascinating materials in the Solar Confederacy and both Petina and Jackie have found all kinds uses for them. Some them are even uses that engineers originally intended!
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:iconcalculatorbomb:
CalculatorBomb Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Best bottle club, EVA.
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:iconbaron-engel:
Baron-Engel Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Just a two drink minimum as cover charge. Welcome to the club.
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:iconcalculatorbomb:
CalculatorBomb Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
:D Perfect.
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:iconbaron-engel:
Baron-Engel Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Enjoy your evening. May I take your coat?
Reply
:iconcalculatorbomb:
CalculatorBomb Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yeah, put my coat in the bottle. You know what, why don't you just throw all my clothes in the bottle.
Reply
:iconbaron-engel:
Baron-Engel Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Ah then you'll be wanting a private room. Right this way please.
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:iconcalculatorbomb:
CalculatorBomb Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
No. I want to be in the bottle.
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:iconognimod:
Ognimod Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2013
Just what kind of dance are you looking forward to? :iconeyebrowplz:
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(1 Reply)
:iconbaron-engel:
Baron-Engel Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Are you seeking employment?
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(1 Reply)
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