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  1. #21
    Super Moderator Mosaic's Avatar
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    I don't know about the early years in Australia, probably the dance was influenced to begin with by Am-Cab, but from what I see here now, the dance style is Egyptian, with so many dancers travelling to Egypt and taking classes with some of the well known dancers in Egypt, the travel is quite constant, and dancers go over & over again. Egyptian style has a very strong influence here maybe 85- 90%. There is also some Turkish & Lebanese influence as there is quite a large community in Australia of Turkish & Lebanese people.
    ~Mosaic
    Dance is like glitter, it not only colours your life, it makes you sparkle, you find it everywhere and in everything and it's near impossible to get rid of. (unknown)


  2. #22
    Member Pleasant dancer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aniseteph View Post
    Skipload of rep to you.

    I know far more about belly dance from forums than from going to workshops and festivals.

    That sounds completely backwards! The physical how-to's are mostly going to come from classes and workshops, but the background and context, and a way to read and evaluate what you are seeing (and hearing, with the music)... for me that comes mostly from forums.

    It'd take years to get the same info from just attending classes and workshops.
    Absolutely agree. My first teacher of Egyptian belly dance had never been to Egypt and told the class nothing about any cultural background. I learned more from the Internet (and from working a few seasons in Egypt as an archaeologist where all our Egyptian co-workers and their families danced) I knew more than she did about the cultural background (but didn't like to admit it!)

    Having sad all that, it is difficult in a one hour class to impart all that cultural stuff (but not entirely impossible I would venture). Thoughts anyone?

  3. #23
    V.I.P. Aniseteph's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pleasant dancer View Post
    Having sad all that, it is difficult in a one hour class to impart all that cultural stuff (but not entirely impossible I would venture). Thoughts anyone?
    I totally agree with this too - for me a one hour class is too short for the dancing, let alone anything else. IMO a teacher should explain something about the music, styles etc., just so you know what you are doing, but it's unreasonable to expect to be spoon fed an understaning of why beledi isn't tribal isn't raks sharki isn't.... etc etc. Go do some homework if you are interested!

    A lot of people are just not that interested beyond going to a class once a week and having a bit of fun. If they aren't going out performing or teaching, fair enough, IMO.

    What level of student jolly well OUGHT to be interested in the background is a whole 'nuther kettle of fish, or can of worms... <runs off to bury can opener in garden>

  4. #24
    V.I.P. Sita's Avatar
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    I've also wondered this. I don't think it can be called AmCab because as you said it appears more "watered down" than the American version, which appears to have a clearer structure and framework to performances. I also think that we have quite a restricted dance in term of style as there appears to be a lot less Turkish and Lebanese influence. I suppose "Oriental" is the best term I would use to describe it. Although recently there's been more awareness of different styles and more dancers going to Egypt and taking on certain elements of that. At the sametime there's an additional American influence in terms of BDSS and dvd tutorials that must have an effect on the style. What would we call Horatio and Beatriz Cifuentes? I also find those hard to place

    Sita

  5. #25
    Member Afrit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mosaic View Post
    I don't know about the early years in Australia, probably the dance was influenced to begin with by Am-Cab, but from what I see here now, the dance style is Egyptian, with so many dancers travelling to Egypt and taking classes with some of the well known dancers in Egypt, the travel is quite constant, and dancers go over & over again. Egyptian style has a very strong influence here maybe 85- 90%. There is also some Turkish & Lebanese influence as there is quite a large community in Australia of Turkish & Lebanese people.
    ~Mosaic
    Depends on where you are. I certainly have never seen a 5 or 7 part routine in a show in Sydney. Sydney was similar to the US in that dancers learnt their trade from immigrants (mostly Greeks I think). In Perth Belyssa was a student of Bobby Farah so would be of that style of AmCab - ie not Jamila/West Coast style.

  6. #26
    V.I.P. Aziyade's Avatar
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    I don't think many people would consider Sadie to be American Cabaret based off the definition of AmCab as specific music and the 5-part style presentation.

    She's high energy modern American Oriental. How's that? CWHATS, as has been suggested.


    Zum -- the very obvious "shimmy on the qanoun, dum on the down" Ramzy Rules weren't all that obvious in all areas of the US. But we really didn't have a lot of "classic" Egyptian music until the 80s, and it's that kind of music that dictates the rules, not the folky debke-y stuff.

  7. #27
    V.I.P. Moon's Avatar
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    Personally, I think it can. There are some places in my country (Netherlands) where it's referred to as "American style".

    For example, I read this on a website explaining different styles of bellydance (translated): "...The American style is an assemblage of Turkish, Lebanese, Egyptian, a large dose of Orientalism (a romantic fantasy about what it would be like in the Orient) and American show elements..."

    Also, there is an advanced bellydance course in my country where, apart from the several Egyptian and Turkish styles, "Western/American style" is tought.

    And with American style here I mean what you would describe as AmCab, not ATS (thought that's being tought here as well, usually seperately, as "tribal" or "tribal fusion").

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mosaic View Post
    I don't know about the early years in Australia, probably the dance was influenced to begin with by Am-Cab, but from what I see here now, the dance style is Egyptian, with so many dancers travelling to Egypt and taking classes with some of the well known dancers in Egypt, the travel is quite constant, and dancers go over & over again. Egyptian style has a very strong influence here maybe 85- 90%. There is also some Turkish & Lebanese influence as there is quite a large community in Australia of Turkish & Lebanese people.
    ~Mosaic
    I know there was the odd dancer there back in the 60s and who knows what they were doing and where they learned it, but Amera told me that when she started there was no American influence, it was all "what the musicians told us to do." With such large communities of Lebanese, Turkish and Greek migrants it's no surprise that a more Levantine/Mediterranean influenced dance would have developed there.

    One of my great crusades is for people to start researching BD in their own countries, because I think we believe, because we have been told, that it *all* comes out of the US and while the US is obviously very influential, I'd love to know the story of BD in France, Germany and other countries where there are close relationships and migration from Arabic countries and Turkey. Going right back. France had a world exposition with Algerian dancers just like the US (the same ones in fact!) - what influence did that event have on entertainments and fashions in France? France got the Arabian Nights first and there was that whole Napoleon in Egypt thing, not to mention the rampant conquering of bits of north Africa.

  9. #29
    V.I.P. lizaj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zumarrad View Post
    I know there was the odd dancer there back in the 60s and who knows what they were doing and where they learned it, but Amera told me that when she started there was no American influence, it was all "what the musicians told us to do." With such large communities of Lebanese, Turkish and Greek migrants it's no surprise that a more Levantine/Mediterranean influenced dance would have developed there.

    One of my great crusades is for people to start researching BD in their own countries, because I think we believe, because we have been told, that it *all* comes out of the US and while the US is obviously very influential, I'd love to know the story of BD in France, Germany and other countries where there are close relationships and migration from Arabic countries and Turkey. Going right back. France had a world exposition with Algerian dancers just like the US (the same ones in fact!) - what influence did that event have on entertainments and fashions in France? France got the Arabian Nights first and there was that whole Napoleon in Egypt thing, not to mention the rampant conquering of bits of north Africa.
    As to research..I have on offer this very present moment...a modestly remunerated post for someone willing to research belly dance in the UK and share that in the way of 3 contributions a year to our association's magazine !

  10. #30
    V.I.P. Kashmir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zumarrad View Post
    I know there was the odd dancer there back in the 60s and who knows what they were doing and where they learned it, but Amera told me that when she started there was no American influence, it was all "what the musicians told us to do." With such large communities of Lebanese, Turkish and Greek migrants it's no surprise that a more Levantine/Mediterranean influenced dance would have developed there.
    I did some asking around for my lecture - but the Oz section was part that was cut for time constraints (next year we'll make it 4 2-hour lectures rather than 2 3-hour ones )

    Sydney was the earliest to have a "first generation" ie the dance being learnt by non-Middle Easterners. A young Greek woman, Rozeta Ahalyea, started teaching in the early 1960s. Amera and Terezka were two of her students.

    I think Perth came next. In this case via Belyssa who studied with Serena Wilson then Bobby Farrah. So quite different from NZ where our connection was west coast/Jamila style.

    Queensland waited until 1979 - with Elenie. A trained dancer who picked up belly dance to fill a performance need. Yasmini was quite a bit later. And Maria later still.

    No much luck so far with tracking down anyone in Melbourne who was in the scene way back when.

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