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  1. #1
    V.I.P. Ariadne's Avatar
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    Default What have I missed?

    Alright, so I keep wondering and now I'm going to ask. I have been out of touch with the BD scene for a good three or so years (thanks to health issues). So what have I missed?

    Who are the major performers now?

    Who is doing the teaching workshop circuit?

    What is new in each of the styles?

    I keep hearing about "Tribal Fusion" performances going off the deep end, how so?

    And can anyone post some examples of good performances in various styles I've missed?
    (Though that should probably go in the Performances section.)

  2. #2
    Member Roshanna's Avatar
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    Oh goodness, that's a big set of questions! I don't know where to start at the moment...

  3. #3
    Premium Member Aniseteph's Avatar
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    I'm not sure that I know what's going on in the big wide belly dance world any more either! I've not been to any big name events for a while: not sure there are many any more (or hmmm, maybe there are and they are just advertised in places that pass me by...). The nearest one went a bit big name megaworkshop £££ and felt too much about being for pros and wannabe pros for me. Having decided that things Tribal and TF are not my bag I don't get involved with that side at all.

    There's been a lot of shaabi about, although people's take on it seems to be pretty varied, so a shaabi workshop or performance could be anything... Burlesque workshops don't seem to be so high profile though bollywood keeps on and hula has appeared. Fan veils are no longer the latest thing, dunno about poi as that seems to be more on the TF scene. Now we have the technology there's LED lights in wings and stuff, but that's kinda gimmicky. Wings is wings and pretty boring once you've done a big entrance IMHO - what are they going to do in a workshop, teach you how to flash your LEDs in time with Egyptian rhythms? (Please, no).

    Competitions got higher profile, though I don't know whether that's a good thing. I suppose it attracts competitors to your event, but I get very bored watching the type of technical hit-every-accent stuff that happens. If that's belly dance I don't like it much.

  4. #4
    Moderator Daimona's Avatar
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    On the global scene, I don't know.

    Locally bd interest seems to be in a through as there are less activity both in weekly classes and festivals, although some more advanced dancers are still keeping it up and some use competitions to build a name. Technically fluent, slim and elegant dancers dancers and teachers from Eastern Europe seems to be the thing at the moment.


    Very locally some of the dancers* finally dear to think outside the pure Egyptian box (i.e. oriental, balady, saiidi, drum solo and the occasional shaabi) and some of the advanced amateur dancers have finally starting performing with their own choreographies as well. When at least 2/3rd of the choreographies performed in the local haflas are usually choreographed by the same teacher for years it gets slightly predictable (nothing wrong about the dancer, she makes a lot of great choreos for herself and her students and she is a magnificent dancer and teacher, but I kind of like variation). For the next hafla in April, there will even be one dancer doing double silk veil (I've been the only one doing this the past decade, so it is nice to see others as well).

    *) i.e. other than me and my dance group which have had a mantra of doing things differently with our performances ranging from Vintage Egyptian and drum solos via flamenco fusion, tribal fusion and bollywood to theatrical shaabi and pure fantasy.



    The absolutely latest thing is that a lot of my local fellow dancers are being harassed on fb and are closing down their fb profiles.
    --
    Daim.

  5. #5
    V.I.P. Ariadne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aniseteph View Post
    Having decided that things Tribal and TF are not my bag I don't get involved with that side at all.
    I've been thinking that the divide between Traditional/Cab styles and Tribal/Fusion styles has grown even wider in the last few years or is it my imagination?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aniseteph View Post
    There's been a lot of shaabi about, although people's take on it seems to be pretty varied, so a shaabi workshop or performance could be anything... Burlesque workshops don't seem to be so high profile though bollywood keeps on and hula has appeared. Fan veils are no longer the latest thing, dunno about poi as that seems to be more on the TF scene. Now we have the technology there's LED lights in wings and stuff, but that's kinda gimmicky. Wings is wings and pretty boring once you've done a big entrance IMHO - what are they going to do in a workshop, teach you how to flash your LEDs in time with Egyptian rhythms? (Please, no).
    lol Ok no, I would rather not see that either. I do wonder though how the extra weight in the veils from the lights affects their loft. Do they make enough difference to affect how you use them?

    I can't cry over Burlesque waning mind you. I never really felt it belonged with BD in the first place.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aniseteph View Post
    Competitions got higher profile, though I don't know whether that's a good thing.
    Really? I thought several had closed. Have they been replaced with new ones or am I just mistaken?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aniseteph View Post
    I suppose it attracts competitors to your event, but I get very bored watching the type of technical hit-every-accent stuff that happens. If that's belly dance I don't like it much.
    Yeah... the taste of everything and look how awesome I am in a few short minutes style. It kinda misses the point. I know there isn't time in a short competitive piece to show your artistry but still... When I started with learning BD I looked at all the different pieces from floorwork to drum solo's to veil and I wanted to learn it all. My goal was to be able to pull off an old style vintage show with 6 or more types of performances. Even if I never did (since there doesn't seem to be much call for that anymore) just knowing I could would have been enough.

    Can you still find that kind of variety anywhere anymore?

    Quote Originally Posted by Daimona View Post
    Technically fluent, slim and elegant dancers dancers and teachers from Eastern Europe seems to be the thing at the moment.
    Can you give me some names?

    Quote Originally Posted by Daimona View Post
    Very locally some of the dancers* finally dear to think outside the pure Egyptian box (i.e. oriental, balady, saiidi, drum solo and the occasional shaabi) and some of the advanced amateur dancers have finally starting performing with their own choreographies as well.
    That's pretty cool. Even if it's not as active it sounds like you have a good group there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Daimona View Post
    For the next hafla in April, there will even be one dancer doing double silk veil (I've been the only one doing this the past decade, so it is nice to see others as well).
    I'm not sure I've ever seen that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Daimona View Post
    The absolutely latest thing is that a lot of my local fellow dancers are being harassed on fb and are closing down their fb profiles.
    Seriously? Why are they being harassed? Do you know who is doing it?

  6. #6
    Moderator Daimona's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ariadne View Post
    Can you give me some names?
    Marta Korzun, Katerina Shereen and Dana Sahar comes to mind.
    Of course they aren't the only ones and there are other great dancers from other countries as well, but I'm not really updated on the latest, hottest dancers at the moment.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ariadne View Post
    That's pretty cool. Even if it's not as active it sounds like you have a good group there.
    Previously, only the local teachers performed their own choreographies at the annual hafla so it is good to see that there are new faces coming up doing their own things too.


    Quote Originally Posted by Ariadne View Post
    I'm not sure I've ever seen that.
    Re: double veil, just to emphasize that I've been the only one in my very local dance club so far, not in the rest of the world of course.
    But I've made a point out of introducing new things locally.



    Quote Originally Posted by Ariadne View Post
    Seriously? Why are they being harassed? Do you know who is doing it?
    It is one man with several profiles.

    And all the dancers have done is post beautiful dance pictures of themselves on fb as well as announce that they are interested in belly dance. Dancers who haven't posted dance pics online have not been contacted, so I'm guessing the visual part is important when he is choosing his victims and who to stalk and harass.
    --
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  7. #7
    Premium Member Aniseteph's Avatar
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    Ugh. There's been an item on our national news today about bringing in laws to make it illegal to have fake social media profiles for trolling, perving or other evil purposes.

    LED props - not been up close but I imagine they are better on wings than on a fine silk veil! I'd expect it to be a bit like casting a fishing net. Proptasticality for the next event I'm going to is fan veils, balancing trays and shemadan - nothing terribly WTH? or cutting edge there. I'd like to have a crack at shemadan for the lols but don't see myself investing. Also the balancing niche at our local hafla is pretty well covered by someone who can actually do it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ariadne
    I've been thinking that the divide between Traditional/Cab styles and Tribal/Fusion styles has grown even wider in the last few years or is it my imagination?
    It feels like that to me, although maybe that's just my POV in that I know what I'm not interested in and take a lot less notice of it. It makes sense that if both branches develop, people will recognise that some sort of generic middle ground is a bit nothingy. Several dancers I know have feet in both camps, but the teachers I know tend to be one or the other.

    Competitions-wise I can think of three biggish festivals here that have had them in the last few years, plus a stand alone competiton. I don't remember competitions being around when I was a newbie. I was in no position to take part of course, but I would have noticed they were there.

    We've had a few theatrical belly dance shows in the last few years. I'm not sure whether this is an ongoing thing where it's what you might do when you have enough decent dancers /resources to put on a full length show, or a trend that people will put a company together for. I think one of the ideas is to appeal to a general audience beyond the BD scene, but I don't know how well that works, and do you have to play the exotic harem card to sell it? . I've seen some awesome theatrical fusion done by amazing performers, and some right old self indulgent codswallop that is best saved for private haflas IMHO.

  8. #8
    V.I.P. Ariadne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daimona View Post
    It is one man with several profiles.

    And all the dancers have done is post beautiful dance pictures of themselves on fb as well as announce that they are interested in belly dance. Dancers who haven't posted dance pics online have not been contacted, so I'm guessing the visual part is important when he is choosing his victims and who to stalk and harass.
    ... This is why I think that keeping performance arts and personal identities seperate is a good idea even if you're an amateur. There are some sick people out there.

    is there any chance of finding out who it is and doing something about it?

  9. #9
    V.I.P. Ariadne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aniseteph View Post
    Proptasticality for the next event I'm going to is fan veils, balancing trays and shemadan - nothing terribly WTH? or cutting edge there. I'd like to have a crack at shemadan for the lols but don't see myself investing. Also the balancing niche at our local hafla is pretty well covered by someone who can actually do it.
    That's sort of how I feel about swords. I would love to give it a try some day but I wonder if there is a point.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aniseteph View Post
    It feels like that to me, although maybe that's just my POV in that I know what I'm not interested in and take a lot less notice of it. It makes sense that if both branches develop, people will recognise that some sort of generic middle ground is a bit nothingy. Several dancers I know have feet in both camps, but the teachers I know tend to be one or the other.
    That makes sense.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aniseteph View Post
    We've had a few theatrical belly dance shows in the last few years. I'm not sure whether this is an ongoing thing where it's what you might do when you have enough decent dancers /resources to put on a full length show, or a trend that people will put a company together for. I think one of the ideas is to appeal to a general audience beyond the BD scene, but I don't know how well that works, and do you have to play the exotic harem card to sell it? . I've seen some awesome theatrical fusion done by amazing performers, and some right old self indulgent codswallop that is best saved for private haflas IMHO.
    As much as I wish otherwise I think theatricals may be the future of the art. I honestly wonder if club/diner performances are all but dead.

  10. #10
    Moderator Zorba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ariadne View Post
    ... This is why I think that keeping performance arts and personal identities separate is a good idea even if you're an amateur. There are some sick people out there.
    And I'll add one more: Do NOT use your "real" name in public areas of the Internet. So-called "social media" sites that insist on your real name are very bad for you. The only place anyone will find my legal name is behind a company's paywall - in other words, the GP never sees it.

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