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  1. #1
    V.I.P. Jane's Avatar
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    Question Stage/performance etiquette

    After saying all that, dancers need to be taught formal stage skills.

    Problems are legion. Going into the audience before/during/after a show in costume. Showing up late. Being on the stage when not performing. Not knowing how to use a stage to advantage, or where to enter/exit. Stay well behind the curtains so you can't be seen. Keep quiet backstage. Keep your stuff from being strewn all around the dressing room. What looks good on stage vs. what looks good in a close setting.

    It's a personal peeve, but I really dislike the hissing noise directed at dancers from other dancers in the audience. It sounds ridiculous. How did that start anyway? Yep, I'm havin' a hissy fit

    Sometimes it's common sense stuff that isn't being taught.

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    Junior Member RaggioDiLuce's Avatar
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    Default yeah, what you said!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jane View Post
    After saying all that, dancers need to be taught formal stage skills.

    Problems are legion. Going into the audience before/during/after a show in costume. Showing up late. Being on the stage when not performing. Not knowing how to use a stage to advantage, or where to enter/exit. Stay well behind the curtains so you can't be seen. Keep quiet backstage. Keep your stuff from being strewn all around the dressing room. What looks good on stage vs. what looks good in a close setting.

    It's a personal peeve, but I really dislike the hissing noise directed at dancers from other dancers in the audience. It sounds ridiculous. How did that start anyway? Yep, I'm havin' a hissy fit

    Sometimes it's common sense stuff that isn't being taught.
    I wouldn't call that a hissy fit. It was put very well, and if you're having one, then so am I, because I agree 100% with what you're saying. I trained with Boston Ballet for several years, and after being exposed to all that professionalism, it was strange for me to get used to the way things are usually run in the belly dance world (to be honest, I'm not quite used to it yet).

    Some of those pet peeves you listed above are exactly what's been secretly (until now) gnawing at me ever since I started classes. What seem like small things to many of my peers would have been huge issues in the ballet world. If you're late, you're done. You respect the dancer(s) on stage by being out of the way and quiet during the piece. We weren't allowed to even wear our stage make-up out of the theater when we were done, let alone costumes!

    That being said, I don't want to come across as snobby, because on the other hand I really do appreciate the more relaxed and friendly nature of the belly dance scene. And I've said it before, but I'll say it again: It seems to me that belly dancers are more supportive of each other and positive, and that's what I love about it. Your explanation was right on, thank you!
    (end huge essay)

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    V.I.P. adiemus's Avatar
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    Stage/performance ettiquette is a good conversation to have - I think many people haven't been used to 'performance' and if their teachers are similarly unaware it's no wonder the usual practices of people in theatre/dance aren't followed.

    I don't think it's being snobby, it's about providing an excellent, and 'fantasy' experience for the audience. For a while, at least, they're in another world where you're meant to be something finer and better than our everyday world.

    Wandering about in the audience with makeup and costuming on breaks that spell.
    And being on stage, or chattering in the wings, or making noises or throwing your costuming around is just disrespectful of the other dancers. So is not being aware of other dancers as they move to and from the stage or change for another performance (it's NOT ok to stand in the way when the person is trying to get changed - at the very least, help!!)

    Speaking from recent experience (Kashmir's student performances) I appreciated the opportunity to run through the timing and costuming a couple of days before the 'actual' performance. The 'technical' rehearsal on the actual stage the afternoon of the performance just brought the size/space issues home, and I personally wouldn't like to be without it. Until you've danced (or at least walked through) a venue it's pretty difficult to know how big the stage is, how much space is taken up with curtains, and how high the stage is.

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    Premium Member Aniseteph's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jane
    It's a personal peeve, but I really dislike the hissing noise directed at dancers from other dancers in the audience. It sounds ridiculous. How did that start anyway? Yep, I'm havin' a hissy fit
    I've heard two explanations. One that it's the Egyptian equivalent of a wolf whistle (as a shorter tsss! sound), which makes some kind of sense albeit out of context, the other that it's about appreciating how snakey the dancer is being, which sounds kinda like made up nonsense to me.

    Peeving with you on that one. Anyone in the audience who isn't in on the secret probably thinks you are hissing/booing the panto villain.

  5. #5
    Moderator Daimona's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by adiemus View Post
    Stage/performance ettiquette is a good conversation to have - I think many people haven't been used to 'performance' and if their teachers are similarly unaware it's no wonder the usual practices of people in theatre/dance aren't followed.

    I don't think it's being snobby, it's about providing an excellent, and 'fantasy' experience for the audience. For a while, at least, they're in another world where you're meant to be something finer and better than our everyday world.

    Wandering about in the audience with makeup and costuming on breaks that spell.
    And being on stage, or chattering in the wings, or making noises or throwing your costuming around is just disrespectful of the other dancers. So is not being aware of other dancers as they move to and from the stage or change for another performance (it's NOT ok to stand in the way when the person is trying to get changed - at the very least, help!!)
    I really agree with this and couldn't have said better myself.
    I would've given you rep points if I could, but I can't..

    I'm having some issues with a couple of my troupe members, as we don't agree on how to behave on/off stage;
    • Walking in the audience in costume before the performance without covering up, breaking "the superiority spell" and first impression when you enter the stage.
    • Use black underwear under costumes (whatever color the costume is) where the underwear WILL show, instead of using nude or matching colors (think of a black bra under the costume bra). The annoying thing is that we use the same argument for/against it.
    • Chatting in the wings. I can't remember how many times I've hushed on people in the wings (not only my girls, but others as well).

    Even though some of them have much experience with theatres (acting, not dancing), they still do this.

    *note from moderator- part of post moved to make sense after a thread split, See dress rehearsal thread*
    Last edited by gisela; 05-22-2010 at 11:57 PM.
    --
    Daim.

  6. #6
    Member Afrit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aniseteph View Post
    I've heard two explanations. One that it's the Egyptian equivalent of a wolf whistle (as a shorter tsss! sound), which makes some kind of sense albeit out of context, the other that it's about appreciating how snakey the dancer is being, which sounds kinda like made up nonsense to me.
    Actually the latter is the real answer - it is not Egyptian or any type of Middle Eastern. Rather it is western fantasy about slithery snakes. Please stop hissing at the dancers - it's really off putting - and plain silly!

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    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    Alas, poor hissing, such a small thing to have incurred the wrath of so many. It's done to show appreciation for execution of certain snakey movements. I don't know when or where it started, but I've heard it done in this country for damned near forty years, have done it myself, and will probably continue to do it in the future. Ssssssssso there!

    Everyone has their pet peeves. I promise not to hiss at your haflas if you'll promise to tolerate it at my haflas. Deal?

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    V.I.P. Jane's Avatar
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    Sounds like a deal to me

    It's just a peeve of mine, a small and unimportant one in the big scheme of things for certain!



    Is the practice of hissing American then?

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    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    No idea. I've heard it used in California, Colorado, and Wyoming. Can't speak for other places, though a friend from New Joisey says she is also familiar with the custom.

  10. #10
    V.I.P. Jane's Avatar
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    The Tribal dancers do it here in Montana, but the Egyptian and Turkish style dancers don't. The American Oriental dancers sometimes do, depending on who their teacher was I think.

    Apologies for going OT. New thread maybe?
    Last edited by Jane; 05-17-2010 at 04:05 AM. Reason: OT

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