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  1. #31
    Member AndreaSTL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aniseteph View Post
    In that case - WTH?!!! and I guess she will get the quality of dancing she pays for.

    Aaand once again belly dance will be represented to the GP as something you do to electroacoustic/ experimental/ progressive/ classical/ folk rock/ other. For free of course.
    Yep. A few of us have been banging our heads against the wall over this for years. We are seen as BD police who don't want the art form to grow or evolve.

  2. #32
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    Are Rakkasah performers devalued performers? Are hafla performers devalued performers? Are competition performers devalued performers? Are performers at a workshop gala devalued performers?
    Devalue: To lower the exchange value of (a currency) by lowering its gold equivalency.

    Substitute "performance" for "currency". If a dancer's performance is worth $0, and everyone else's contributions are worth (fill in an appropriate positive $ amount), then the dancer's performance has been devalued and so, by association, has she.

    What does "hafla" mean to you? Here it is a performance of dancers using canned music or volunteer musicians in the spirit of "Hey, let's have a party and put on a show!" Not the same as a public performance where entrance fees are charged and everyone is paid but the dancers.

    Competitions? Oh, hell, yeah. Competitions are the epitome of systematic devaluation. Don't bother to flame me on this one- I am indifferent to the slings and arrows of outraged competition dancers and beauty contestants. To each her/his own. Let's just say I'm not a fan.

    The workshop gala performances I've attended featured financially compensated dancers, financially compensated musicians, and a fee was charged at the door to cover expenses. If everyone is paid but the dancers, then they are devalued.
    "Well, now that we have seen each other," said the unicorn " if you'll believe in me, I'll believe in you."

  3. #33
    Premium Member Aniseteph's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shanazel View Post
    What does "hafla" mean to you? Here it is a performance of dancers using canned music or volunteer musicians in the spirit of "Hey, let's have a party and put on a show!" Not the same as a public performance where entrance fees are charged and everyone is paid but the dancers.
    I agree with that concept of a hafla, but IMO it can get a bit blurry for some people once it is scaled up and advertising leaks out to the GP. In some cases it IS still hey lets get together and put on a show, and lets treat ourselves to a band or upgrade to a venue with a stage, but the ethos is the same - community event that we want, so we pay for. The hired band is not there for the same reason.

    There's an interesting comparison with amateur dramatics. Ours put on musicals a couple of times a year, advertise to the GP and get a pretty good audience for several performances (waaaay better than a BD show could dream of round here ). They have a few regulars playing main parts who are good enough, and a large chorus who are no better than you'd expect. No one is paid. They might even have amateurs doing the techie stuff. I don't know if the band do it for the fun of it too, or if they have to be hired - up to them really.

    IMO from their POV it is rather like a hafla, by them for them. They are just lucky enough to get the GP in in sufficient numbers to subsidise their hobby, and yay for that. Profits go into communal funds to cover expenses and fund the next production.

    The artistic difference for belly dance <puts on BD police hat> is that everyone knows exactly what they are watching at the amdram and knows pretty much what good singing and dancing and acting looks like, and that this, er, is what it is - fun in a community way, and it's nice to see live performance. Belly dance is a whole 'nuther thing, isn't it...

    The bottom line that an organiser should be asking herself IMO is less "am I charging for entry", and more "is this a professional-appropriate event, or amateur-appropriate?". And that decision comes from the context of the event, not self-serving woolly thinking about fun and experience and exposure and oh dear will you look at that my budget won't cover paying dancers.

    Professional-appropriate = standards, selection, and pay.
    Last edited by Aniseteph; 09-15-2012 at 09:42 AM. Reason: typo

  4. #34
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    Excellent comparison of hafla and amatuer theatrics, Aniseteph. I hadn't thought of it that way, but then what acting I've done in recent years has all been paid for. I wouldn't do it for free- it's too much work. And I don't do it any more because the increase in rehearsal time demanded by the director made it cost inefficient for me. She made a sneering remark about people who were "in it for the money" and I just laughed at her. This is the same woman who got angry if someone didn't treat their gigs like "a real job."
    "Well, now that we have seen each other," said the unicorn " if you'll believe in me, I'll believe in you."

  5. #35
    Senior Member Samira_dncr's Avatar
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    I'm late to the conversation, but I'd like to add just a thought or two.

    In my area, a hafla is much like a recital. It's mostly students dancing for friends and families. Occasionally, a pro shows up and dances, but it's generally donated. There are times a pro is hired (typically out of town visiting instructors).

    At recitals, performers don't get paid. In fact, more often than not, they pay to participate. I have zero problem with this. It's a hobby. We pay money to support our hobbies.

    A show; however, is different. It's professional dancers performing. They do deserve to get paid. At my event, I typically pay the headliners a fair amount of money to perform. The rest of the dancers do get some form of compensation, but it isn't always cash. Usually it's a set $$ amount that they can use for show tickets or workshops.

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