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  1. #1
    V.I.P. Greek Bonfire's Avatar
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    Default Stage Name Mystique

    Stage names: many of us have them. Most dancers take on Arabic names while others take on Gypsy, Turkish, Greek, Hungarian, etc. What do you say to people when they ask you if you really are that nationality? You want to keep the mystique without downright lying, so how do you answer?

  2. #2
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    "I am tonight."

  3. #3
    Moderator Safran's Avatar
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    I have only gotten the nationality question once, in Egypt (apparently a family in the audience had made a bet who can guess where I'm from. Options were Russian, English or Egyptian. I was sad to tell them that they all lost ). However, when being asked if Safran is my "civil" name, I always tell the truth. Besides, the studio/agency where I am working in now, we have a tendency to present the stage name and "civil" name together.

  4. #4
    V.I.P. Greek Bonfire's Avatar
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    I have noticed that if a dancer has an Arab stage name, no one will ask her if she's Middle Eastern, but if they use a Greek, Turkish, Russian, etc. name, they get questions about that nationality left and right. I am not just one nationality, so I say "I am everything" and even something similar to Shanazal where I say "When I'm onstage, I am Fotia 100%" and then they look at me like what??? But I really don't want to get into all that; I'd rather just like to keep it simple.

  5. #5
    Moderator Zorba's Avatar
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    "I'm a FAKE Greek." is what I tell people. I love Greece and all things Greek, but I'm a Euro-mutt. Anything/everything EXCEPT Greek. I kinda adopted the whole thing, if that makes any sense...

    It helps that I can speak enough Greek to be dangerous.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Duvet's Avatar
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    I've never claimed to be anything other than an Englishman.

    My stagename does not conjure up images of mystique or excoticism, but I have still been asked if I'm Arabic/Egyptian. I think that is fueled by curiosity - the quest to understand or accept why a bloke would be bellydancing; one answer being, "Well, he must come from that country, so it must be part of his culture". As it isn't part of my culture, and I'm aware of the surprise that a male bellydancer can be met with, I'm happy to spread the word that Middle Eastern dance is not the exclusive preserve of Middle Eastern women (whether those women are really Middle Eastern, or pretend).

    But then I'm not a professional, so destroying that mystique won't loose me any gigs or fans!

  7. #7
    Member Roshanna's Avatar
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    I have been asked where I'm from quite a few times lately whilst 'on the job' - I always just answer truthfully. I'm originally from the southwest of England and still have a bit of a pirate/farmer accent, so nobody is likely to believe I'm Arabic once I open my mouth in any case

    A while ago one of the staff at a Lebanese restaurant asked where I was from, and was then quite impressed that I'd taken the time & effort to learn Arabic dance when I wasn't an Arab. So I don't see it as something to hide.

  8. #8
    V.I.P. khanjar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roshanna View Post
    I have been asked where I'm from quite a few times lately whilst 'on the job' - I always just answer truthfully. I'm originally from the southwest of England and still have a bit of a pirate/farmer accent, so nobody is likely to believe I'm Arabic once I open my mouth in any case

    A while ago one of the staff at a Lebanese restaurant asked where I was from, and was then quite impressed that I'd taken the time & effort to learn Arabic dance when I wasn't an Arab. So I don't see it as something to hide.
    Ah from the South West eh, but that would figure, those born here as soon as they can move up country as the rest of the country comes down here to live.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Duvet's Avatar
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    So thats three bellydancers in a row with a strong South-West connection. Can't think of a suitable catch line to that, but its interesting.

  10. #10
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    There has to be a limerick in there somewhere.

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