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  1. #81
    Moderator Yshka's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by A'isha Azar:
    I stand by my statement as written; no compromise. If that makes me a belly dance Nazi, so be it. I think we need more people who are willing to put their reputations on the line instead of letting people walk all over the dance. I have never said that there was no room for fusion or other styles of Middle Eastern influenced dance, only that there should be clarity in definition. Why is that so scary to so many people? I have a friend who says its because people are afraid that their style will have no provenance or legitimacy if they do not have a ready-made label. Myself, I would hope for a more honorable reason of some sort.
    I acknowledge our differences in philosophy. What I do not acknowledge is the idea that we can call anything we want by the name of "belly dance", which in reality is a very specific ethnic dance form. If it is narrow minded to want people to just say what they are doing, then gosh, I guess I am!!
    *applauds*

    Dear A'isha, I couldn't agree more with your mission statement. I think your thoughts on labelling are absolutely right. If one proclaims to be doing bellydance, ME, fusion or whatsoever, let it be "authentic" bellydance, MED, or fusion.
    I think the labeling issue at hand is merely about the fact that we don't want any style that is connected with MED to be labeled in the wrong way. I don't see why this should be a problem. I think we do agree that if it's bellydance, it is! If it is not, we just don't want it to be labeled bellydance, for the simple fact that it is not, or it is a fusion/spin-off style that is a style on it's own, which might have a connection with bellydance, but is not entirely bellydance.
    (does this make sense?)
    Thus, on the labeling issue, I think every BOB knows for his/herself, whichever style they dance, what the different dance styles are and which form in that style is the true form that they want to protect and represent in the correct way (so like, by being a BOB). I'm not talking about bellydance alone, but any style connected to it. We should call it what it is, instead of saying it's all bellydance.

    Bellydance might be the westernized name used as a name for the entire collection of dances from the middle east, and it might be the term that we use in our acronym of BOB, but among "bellydance" as it is called in the west, are a lot of different, authentic and beautiful styles that do not deserve to be misrepresented or degraded in any way. That is IMO what BOB stands for.
    I'm just saying we may use the word Bellydance as a collection-name, but not as a solid label for all dance styles collected under this name.

    Sincerely hoping my comments make sense in the way I've stated them here, and working on a mission statement,
    Iris

    By the way I totally agree we should put a short, strong and explanatory mission statement on the back of our shirts. Damn, in my mind these shirts look better and better every moment lol
    Last edited by Yshka; 08-05-2006 at 04:58 PM.

  2. #82
    Member Suhad's Avatar
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    My only comment is that if we're going to have a mission statement it should maybe be a little shorter; if you can't remember it at 3 am it's too long. Why 3 am you ask? Well, that's from my years as a firefighter and paramedic -- the 3 am rule: something so vital to one's career should be so easy to remember and so ingrained in one's soul that it comes without thinking consciously about it.

    My favorite mission statement of all the ones I've ever read or studied: Survive, Prevent Harm, and BE NICE. This is the mission statement of the Phoenix Fire Department and I find that it works in most situations in life, actually.

    Anyway -- a mission statement is good, but concise is better. People really don't want to stand around to hear the whole thing most of the time. And yes, I know it will be on the back of the T but the same thing applies -- if they have to follow us around to read it, we'll all be giving them very suspicious looks or else they won't read it all the way through anyway.

  3. #83
    V.I.P. chryssanthi sahar's Avatar
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    Hello everybody.

    After reading all the arguments about the "mission statement" and "label" of the BOB, Ive started thinking, that maybe it is not good to have such a statement and label. One of the characteristics of a bitch (in the sense we use the term) is that she is free and doesn't submit herself to any categories and patterns. A bitch is a bitch because she has her own opinion, even if nobody else agrees with her and she is not afraid of expressing this opinion. So how can we find a common "mission" or "label" for a bunch of individuals, who have strong own opinions and are non conformists. If we make too many compromises, we cannot call ourselves BOBs anymore. A BOB who swims with the stream is not a real BOB. Maybe I'm too radical, but this is how I see it.

    Bitchy greetings

  4. #84
    V.I.P. Aisha Azar's Avatar
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    Dear Yshka,
    Thank you!!

    Dear Suhad,
    A slogan is usually short and to the point. For example, my dance company has a trademarked slogan: "Quality entertainment spiced with the flavors of the Middle East". However, our mission statement is longer and it needs to be inclusive.

    Here is the mission statement of AT&T: "We aspire to be the most admired and valuable company in the world. Out goal is to enrich our customer's personal lives and to make their businesses more successful by bringing to market exciting and useful communications services, building shareowner value in the process". ( Solomon and Stuart, "Marketing: Real People, Real Choices" , 2000, Prentice/Hall Inc. ISBN 0-13-013248-9)

    Other companies' mission statement examples in the book are even longer.... Solomon and Stuart define a mission statement as "A formal statement in an organization's strategic plan that describes the overall purpose of the organization and what it intends to achieve in terms of itsw customers, products and resources (p. 31).

    I have been told, however, that a mission statement should be only a run-on sentance or two.
    Regards,
    A'isha

  5. #85
    Moderator Safran's Avatar
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    Well, here is how I see the mission/vision/slogan thing... (actually, this is more or less what I got my degree in, so I should be able to quote business study books by heart :P)

    A mission is something for internal use. It is defined in consensus between the group members, and it should be understood and remembered at all time by them as this shows them the group's relations with the rest of the world. So yes, it can be more longer and detailed, but way too often it gets too complex and/or cliche. How many people do you actually know who can remember and explain the mission statement of their organization, for example?

    The slogan is something for the outside. It should reflect the values, be short, conscise and flashy. And intriguing - so that the viewer would get curious to learn more about it

    Ah, gotta stop before this post gets too boring :eek:

    Maariku

    PS: I love the 3am rule, Suhad! I am so going to use your example at the next training course I am going to give (with full references, of course)

    PPS: Chryssanti, you are such a philosopher...

  6. #86
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    Dear A'isha,

    Essentially we agree that some things are belly dance and some are so far from the original intent of the dance that they can't be considered part of the genre any more. The difference seems to be in how wide an interpretation we allow ourselves. Unless I misunderstand you (and it is very possible that I do) you wish to limit the term belly dance to only those forms that are performed with what you consider middle eastern essence, and that any off shoots such as American Cabaret or American Tribal should not be considered belly dance at all, but something with a different name and different category all together. I see AmCab and Tribal as different branches that shoot off from the original middle eastern trunk, and would call them belly dance as well. My own personal prejudices come into strong play when I see the dancer with the punctured back and the dancers who confuse sexual reenactment with belly dance. If those forms were ever even leaves on the main tree, they have fallen off and blown into some country I don't care to traverse.

    I don't find your mind narrow at all. I enjoy your mind and your comments. I do find your view point of what constitutes belly dance unnecessarily exclusive. By the same token, to open the interpretation of belly dance to include simulated sex acts and self expression via body piercing seems to me to be too broad. Compromise does not mean taking the most liberal interpretation any more than it means taking the most restrictive interpretation.

    Chryssanthi made the point much better than I am able to do: we probably cannot and perhaps should not establish a mission statement and label to cover such a wide ranging bunch of individuals.
    "Well, now that we have seen each other," said the unicorn " if you'll believe in me, I'll believe in you."

  7. #87
    V.I.P. Aisha Azar's Avatar
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    Dear Shanazel,
    Yes... I do consider those dances that are called belly dance to be those that come from the Middle East. Though the average American sometimes does not know exactly where the dance came from, they do know that the dance is not a western creation.
    There is not something that "I" consider Middle Eastern essence. This element exists. Dancers who are exposed to the people and the culture on a consistent basis recognize it and accept it as an actuality. It is not something we make up. It is real.
    I do not consider tribal and fusion to be belly dance, but instead sort of off-shoots of the dance, with usually very little of essence or feeling connecting them to the Middle East. It would be sort of like me claiming to be Armenian French, though I have never been anywhere near France... just because some of my ancestors happen to be from there. I am not Armenian French, any more than fusion or tribal dance is belly dance, just because of a few bits and pieces garnered from belly dance. Belly dance is a wholistic ethnic experience that is more than just the costuming and a few movements.
    I have the feeling that the spike girl, the girls in the bone costumes, etc, would feel about your position the way that you feel about mine. They would consider your views to be "unnecessarily exclusive".
    Thank you for saying that you do not consider me to be narrow minded. But, there are areas where compromise hase hurt the dance very much so that today, many people, including a lot dancers, do not know authentic dance when it is staring them right in the face. Some people think Shakira the singer is a belly dancer, for goodness sakes!! This is extremely sad, and due to people not being clear about what they are presenting. It's all a terrible mish mosh.
    Regards,
    A'isha

  8. #88
    V.I.P. Moon's Avatar
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    I still don't really like the word "bitch". I believe a bitch is a very stupid, mean and irritating woman, not a person with a strong opinion.
    What about SOB (strong opinioned bellydancer) or SOOD (strong opinioned oriantel dancer) instead of BOB?
    (Guess it's too late to change it, right?)

  9. #89
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    Dear A'isha,

    It's true that when one stands on middle ground that one tends to get smacked by adherents of both extremes. I think you are tilting at windmills in trying to limit the meaning of the term "belly dance" to include only authentic middle eastern dances. It makes more sense to me to denote authentic middle eastern dances by their middle eastern names (Raks fill-in-the-blank, for example), and not try to de-generalize the term belly dance. However, tilt away- I admire your passion and determination, even when I don't agree with your conclusions.
    Last edited by Shanazel; 08-07-2006 at 06:49 PM.
    "Well, now that we have seen each other," said the unicorn " if you'll believe in me, I'll believe in you."

  10. #90
    V.I.P. Aisha Azar's Avatar
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    Dear Moom,
    Well...er... SOB in English is the acronym for "Son of a bitch".... Personally I have no issues with the word "Bitch", but I do understand that some people are offended, etc.

    Dear Shanazel,
    Many people have told me through the years that I am tilting at windmills, as it were, but lately, I am noticing that there are a lot more people in their Don Quijote costumes than there were when I first began to bring this to the public attention. These days I am actually much encouraged as more and more people are wanting clarity and defintion in the different dance styles. There is also the fact, that just because one is doing something that is not politically correct,does not mean they are doing the wrong thing. No matter if there are few or no, or many people who see things as I do, I still have a firm belief in my stance. ( I also notice that a lot of well known dancers will agree with me on this in private, but not in public, because they don't want to alienate people and lose business. MY stance is that the dance will disappear if we do not do anything to preserve it, as has happened to most of the dances of the Pacific Islands once westerners got hold of them. My reputation comes second, and this is not from some displaced nobility on my part, but because I really do fear for the dance, with good cause, as we can see by the Kayas and the Rajiputis)
    I, too admire you and I think you have a very wonderful spirit.
    Regards,
    A'isha

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