Panels Available by Kali's Hourglass

Panels Currently Being Offered or Presented are Listed Below

We routinely come to events with 3 to 6 people.  We offer 8 different types of panels, but prefer to limit panels to one event per day unless we are able to bring more than 3 members to cover the event's needs.  In the past we have also presented short comedic plays, but would need more lead time for rehearsal and stage blocking if those are requested.

Panel Title:  Multicultural Steampunk Ensembles

We will lead a panel on both the current trends in "Steampunk Fashion" that are based on non-British aesthetics, and teach how members of the community can experiment with looks from around the world as either the basis of new Steampunk Ensembles or to add to and vary their current wardrobe with only reasonable outlays of time or money on their part. 

For years the controversy has raged in our community namely: to be or not to be "Victorian".  the truth is that the term "Steampunk Fashion" should indeed have something to do with fashion that at least derives a basic fashion aesthetic from the "Age of Steam", but as the first steam engine was invented around 250 bc, and Steampunk is about the "fictional history that never was", this is clearly not limited to the Victorian Era alone.  More importantly even during the Victorian Era, or more properly the "Age of Steam", even within the British Empire, which as they liked to remind everyone, spanned the globe, clothing styles, fabrics, colors, and aesthetics varied more wildly than most modern people are aware of.  Even within the British military machine, much less among it's people and their servants, fashion varied so wildly that it would be difficult to imagine a costume that was impossible to find within the realm of Queen Victoria.  Add to this the fact that British Steampunk fiction is not merely about members of the British Empire, but also about every culture they interacted with, and add the fact that some of the most important Steampunk Fiction ever written, such as everything ever written by the Frenchman Jules Verne, was decidedly not British or in any way pro-British and we are faced with a bewildering array of possibilities for Steampunk Fashion even if we limit it to the historical 19th century.  Given the vast array of post-apocalyptic Steampunk fashion looks among the most popular Steampunk Performance Art groups in this part of the country, and it becomes obvious that Victorian Attire is becoming less dominant, albeit still very common in the Steampunk fashion world.

The presenters expertise in this area is based on the following:  Formal training and experience in fashion design and fabrication, Formal training and degrees in anthropology and Social Sciences, experience as Steampunk fashion designers, and decades of familiarity with ethnic cultures and ethnic attire from around the world.  In addition they are just completing a year long project in which they set out to assemble and wear ensembles that were clearly Steampunk, yet sturdy and free flowing enough to dance in for hours and were distinctly non-Victorian styles.  they have been attending a local Steampunk friendly nightclub about 3 to 4 times per month for the last year in this manner with the goal of never wearing the exact same ensemble twice.  As they have not even begun to experiment much with Wild West or any North American, Southern American, or Central American Native Designs, they are considering extending this project for another year.

Presenters: Kali's Hourglass members:  Ray and Radha Fagan  (aka Ramon Leon del Mar and Radha Narasimhan) sometimes supported by Pennie Nevin, Charity Notchwood, and/or Cannonball Joe


Panel Title:  "Steampunk Music and Dance:  Current and Future Trends"

The very idea of "Steampunk" as a musical style has sparked controversy, but also great interest in recent years.  As a direct result of this new genre of music a new genre of dance is evolving along with it that is independent enough to still be recognizable even when dancing to other forms of music.  this is what we will explore, with our audience, discuss, and finally demonstrate for them.

We will discuss the views of major Steampunk bands about what they consider to be or not be "Steampunk" in music and what is currently available in terms of online magazine articles and controversies in this new area of Steampunk Expression.  We will then lead a group discussion about what components of music and dance cause most members of the community to identify an artist of either type with the steampunk movement.  
If the venue is suitable, we can also demonstrate a few well known and less known tunes that we consider to be Steampunk related while demonstrating the local styles of dance becoming common in the Texas Steampunk Community by dancing to the songs while they play.  This is not a choreographed performance, but rather a much simpler demonstration of what we often see used by steampunks as a dance style in our local Steampunk/Goth night events at local nightclubs.  We would actually prefer to show a film clip from that venue instead as it is impossible to totally recreate the atmosphere or show the level of variety of individual styles with only 3 dancers on a brightly lit stage, but we just don't have good enough video equipment to film well in the extremely low light of this type of club, so we dance to 2 or 3 of our favorite songs to give them a taste of what this new form of ecstatic dance in the clubs looks like.  (Click the link below to see how that was done at Allcon 2011)

(Radha was a professional dancer for years and we have both done semi-professional dance for years with this blend of ballroom and trance dance as our current favorite dance style.)

We will of course encourage the audience to get up and join us, but not get pushy with anyone that does not wish to do so

Panelist Expertise:  Admiral Ramon writes a blog that focuses on this and related subjects including new trends with steampunk in the arts, and he has articles being published in "Steamed", "Gatehouse Gazette", "Steampunk Chronicle", "Steampunk Tribune", "Cogs 'n Gears", and the "Lovelace Reader".  His article Is Steampunk Music Really Victorian Influenced?  was recently selected by the editor of the Steampunk Tribune to explore and discuss in depth the various sources and influences in music sometimes referred to as "Steampunk" today.  We also present panels on Steampunk films, Character Acting, Steampunk Comedy, and Steampunk fashion and design, but dance is our highest area of expertise.  As for the music component, I read, write, and conduct interviews with Steampunk Bands and ask the exact questions I will be discussing, so opinions from groups like Abney Park, Sunday Driver, Blaming Grace, Saraswati Bodhisatva, and Marquis of Vaudville will be presented and discussed.

As for room size, larger is better as it would give more room for dancing if we are able to convince the audience to try dancing with us.  Otherwise, we need a room big enough for the audience and with an open area for us to perform dances at the end. This would ideally have a raised stage or else stadium seating (without any sort of tables in front of the audience seats) as dance can't really be observed well if the audience can't see the feet of the dancers.

Presenters: please list it as simply "Kali's Hourglass" (but the actual members will be: Adm. Ramon Leon del Ma. V.Adm. Radha Narasimhan, (and Quartermaster's Mate/Cook Pennie Nevin if available)

Panel Title:  Steampunk Alchemy:  Turning Unwanted Clothing Into Steampunk Gold

Do it yourself is a major hallmark of the Steampunk Movement and culture, but we keep meeting people who say they like the look, but can’t afford to put together a good Steampunk ensemble or to adapt their current ones to meet the need.  While we agree with the general rule of thumb that people generally have to decide between good, cheap, or fast, or at least which of those three they can do without as making something good and cheap always takes time and effort, we have some ideas about how to do this with far less time, skill, and effort than most would believe using any sewing machine and a simple straight stitch.  Much of it can even be done with only a little hand sewing, and some with no sewing at all.  What it takes is imagination and some knowledge which we are happy to share!

Do it yourself is far too large a topic for one panel, so as Steampunk Clothier designers, we will focus in on the basic outfits as adding jewelry, hats, goggles, and weapons are already covered well by other groups and panels in most venues.  The first thing is to expand one’s horizon about what constitutes a “Steampunk Ensemble”, so as to greatly expand what you can use as a basis for the outfit.  The Victorian Era encompassed most types of clothing ever known through history up to things actually invented after 1900.  As such we are often using ethnic clothing from parts of the world we favor, that would be available to our fictional character and make sense for their story line.  Alternatively, many people put together the most interesting outfit they can get their hands on easily or inexpensively and adjust their character’s story line to explain why their fashion aesthetic is built upon let’s say Traditional East Indian clothing such as a Kurta or Salwar Kameez or even a 16th century pirate or privateer outfit they use for other purposes that needs modification to both the outfit and their story line to explain their clothing choices.

While we will touch on the need to expand horizons, (especially for women since men’s Victorian attire is much easier and cheaper to obtain) the focus of this panel will be on ways to use less expensive or less difficult options to produce very interesting ensembles that are attractive, durable (we test things by dancing in them for 4 hours or more to test for “wardrobe malfunctions”), and are very definitely “Steampunk.  Options include altering the method of wearing collars and ties on standard long sleeve shirts to make them appear more Victorian, modifying said collars with a machine or hand stitching, locating used attire cheaply that really is Victorian from places like Tuxedo rental companies, looking in thrift stores and your own closet and attic for clothing that no longer fits or hasn’t been worn for years, but can be modified into unique and beautiful Steampunk uniforms, adventurer’s attire, or classy clothing from the “past that never was”.  This may be accomplished by adding panels with a simple straight stich machine, adding extensions at the buttons to make a more open jacket that is a much older style with straps across the chest (and also allowing it to fit someone with greater size than they had in days gone by) and a great variety of other ways to hide zippers with false button panels, extend this, alter that, add rank and shoulder boards, etc as needed.

Room size and sound system are not important, so this can be done in any panel room at any time of the day.
Panel expertise:  Formal and informal training in clothing design, manufacture, and alteration plus twenty years of experience making and adapting costumes for various types of performance arts.  We also currently design, create, and model Steampunk attire in a variety of venues and shows.  Ramon also writes a blog and publishes articles about Steampunk fashion on several current Steampunk online magazines.

Panelist Expertise:  Decades of experience as costumers and current involvement as Steampunk Ensemble Designers, models, tailors, and fabricators as well as performance artists in the Texas Area.  Please take a look at our photo gallery or at any of our various web sites for photos of our work.  

Presenters: please list it as simply "Kali's Hourglass" (but the actual members will be: Adm. Ramon Leon del Ma. V.Adm. Radha Narasimhan, sometimes supported by Pennie Nevin, Charity Notchwood, and/or Cannonball Joe
Panel title:  Increasing Realism in Character Acting

Description:  We will teach the basics of spontaneous method character acting starting with careful consideration and development of
character traits and back story (assuming the character is not already well known) adjusting costume to the episode or situation desired.  We will then teach attendees, using participative exercises, including Yogic science, how to get into any character and portray them believably using facial expression, body language, voice intonation, syntax, dramatic pauses, breath, as well as the use of direct eye contact to pour out appropriate emotion on a deeper level to the audience of choice.  What is intended is to give a better appreciation of these possibilities and bring attendees up to a higher level of performance while giving them guidance on how to continue their own development as character actors.

Audio/visual requirements:  None really, unless the room is large enough to require a microphone.  We can project fairly well without it for rooms around 500 sq feet or so.

Room size: Larger is better, so that people are not too crowded to see well or to perform some of the simple
relaxation exercises intended to clear the mind (for a clear slate to write the new character on) without actually having their personal space (about 24 inches in all directions pressed in on too much by strangers during that part of the exercise.

Panel expertise comes from decades of professional, semi-professional, and amateur work in various areas of performance arts as well as professional training, licensure, and experience in the psychology field reading and teaching others to read fine details of human expression. 

Presenters: Kali's Hourglass(Adm. Ramon Leon del Ma. V.Adm. Radha Narasimhan, sometimes supported by Pennie Nevin, Charity Notchwood, and/or Cannonball Joe


3 New Panels now available are:   

Clockpunk: What Is It and How Can It Bring People Together

This panel explores a sub genre of Steampnuk that uses fashions from the Renaissance era through the end of the 1700's, including pirate clothing, as the basis for a more clockwork oriented Steampunk ensemble and fictional backstory.  This panel will also explore how this subgenre can be used to help to bridge the gap between the Renfair and Pirate Fair communities with the Steampunk subculture.

(We organize the Dallas Clockpunk and Renpunk Group dedicated to further development of Steampunk and Clockpunk fashion and performance Arts using pre-victorian fashions as a base to ensembles and to encouraging involvement and inclusion of the Renfair and Pirate Fair Communities more fully into the Steampunk Sub-culture.)

Presenters: please list it as simply "Kali's Hourglass" (but the actual members will be: Adm. Ramon Leon del Ma. V.Adm. Radha Narasimhan, sometimes supported by Pennie Nevin, Charity Notchwood, and/or Cannonball Joe


Real Pirates and Privateers

This panel would discuss their real history, society standards, internal politics, lifestyle, psychology, and why this archetype still appeals so much to people today.  (We have done substantial anthropological and sociological research on this topic and written published reviews of historical presentations on the topic.  I am using my social sciences and psychology training as well as my wife's professional training as an anthropologist to help put this panel together in a professional format.

Presenters: please list it as simply "Kali's Hourglass" (but the actual members will be: Adm. Ramon Leon del Ma. V.Adm. Radha Narasimhan, and sometimes supported by Pennie Nevin, Charity Notchwood, and/or Cannonball Joe


What It's Like to Be in Front of an Audience In Dance, Stage, and Film 

Radha has substantial professional experience in ballet and Aztec Dance and some professional level stage acting as well.  

Ramon has professional experience in Aztec Dance and professional level experience on stage and in front of a camera in a variety of forms and venues.  He is currently the host of a comic horror TV serial called "Night Class" where he portrays a Mortuary sciences professor called "Aliester Graves" that has been described as a cross between "Professor Snape" and an eccentric Dr. Frankenstein.

Charity Rose has extensive training and experience in both acting and dance.

We would share experiences including the real differences between stage versus film and answer questions about those experiences.
Presenters: please list it as simply "Kali's Hourglass" (but the actual members will be: Adm. Ramon Leon del Ma. V.Adm. Radha Narasimhan, sometimes supported by Pennie Nevin, Charity Notchwood, and/or Cannonball Joe

Feel free to contact us if you any of the above panels, presentations, or classes would be an asset to your convention or event.


Ramon Fagan  (aka Ramon Leon del Mar)