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  1. #11
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    What's a bellygram?

    Congrats though. Sounds fun.

  2. #12
    V.I.P. Yasmine Bint Al Nubia's Avatar
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    Hi Suhad, sounds like you have a great line-up. The attention span of most Amerian audiences are about 5 minutes long but each of your selections offer diferent views of your dance. Personally, I think the Habibi ya Einy song is to fast for a veil, besides give yourself time to regroup with a slower number(and keep interest). Do you know any debkes? Those are a lot of fun. My experience with bellygrams are that are great fun for me and the audience, even if you flub turn it into a humorous situation and keep moving. I'm so proud of you, have fun and good luck!!!
    Yasmine

  3. #13
    Member Suhad's Avatar
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    Thanks to all of you for your input and support!

    Yeah, I'll just ditch the drum solo and exit piece, and put a pop number in there instead. I've been wanting to use the Alf Leila We Leila techno version for something, and it at least lets me get actual ME classic type music into it!

  4. #14
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    Congratulations Suhad! Very awesome.

  5. #15
    Member Ariella's Avatar
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    Hey,
    Just a fun teensy tip. Once you are done/finishing with the veil piece, wrap the veil around the guest of honor. Bellygram audiences seem to love this!

  6. #16
    Member Suhad's Avatar
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    Thanks again to all of you for your support, advice and encouragement!

    In case you were wondering, my instructor does *not* do these sorts of performances, so I don't really have a local resource to ask. Helena has been very supportive and has given me advice regarding rates/length and such for venues such as restaurants and actual private party performances, but the idea of a bellygram I think just makes her wrinkle her brow a little.

    For me, I think this is a good, low stress way to get some performance experience other than student nights under my belt and get my name into the local community as a dancer; sometimes I believe the only way to get knowledge is to get experience in order to find what works for me personally. Plus, this is a great way for me to infuse my personality, which basically is a goofball, into my dance.

    Helena often speaks of making our veil (and our dance) reflect our personality and I always tell her I don't think veil and goofy go well together.... At least doing bellygrams they do!

  7. #17
    Administrator Salome's Avatar
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    Hi Suhad,

    Habibi ya aini is a good opener for a belly gram. Jemilleh is a beautiful song, one of my favorites and 2.5 minutes is a good length. Keep in mind that veil work can be a trickly prop for a bellygram because often the performance space is not accomodating for veil work. Bring a circular with you, if you have one, and the space is tight. Or be ready to work with your veil more on the body and as a frame. And as Rebecca said, after your veil song is over, draping the veil on the guest of honor always gets a big hoot. In lieu of a veil song you could do a slow chifti - this music can keep the mood light and fun while still allowing you to slow down the tempo and moves. I would do either your additional song OR a short drum solo. In any case after that you need to have a song for audience participation. This song I would choose to be much longer than your other pieces plus an exit song. If the group is having a great time you can use all of that song and still have exit music. Or if the crowd isn't so enthusiastic about participating you can just exit on this third piece of music.

    I would either put the sultans hat on the guest of honor at this time or right away at the beginning of the gram. Depending on how well behaved he is - perhaps take the veil off of him/her and tye it around his/her hips. Then do the whole spiel where you teach him some moves and he dances, to the loud laughter, of his/her friends and family. Shoulder shimmies, hip circles, hip lifts... Sometimes you'll get a guest of honor that will not get up to dance, find someone else in the audience who is willing.

    The thing about bellygrams is that the focus is about entertaining and facilitating a fun time and interacting with the guests and guest of honor. Go into it with that focus and attitude and you'll do fine.

  8. #18
    Member Suhad's Avatar
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    Hi all, and thank you again for all the advice!

    I did my bellygram last night...birthday boy was surprised all right!! I changed my routine to sword because the hostess said she wanted me to do it in her back yard near their fire pit. I had visions of my veil catching fire so I did sword instead--when I took it up, one of the guys sitting next to the birthday boy actually ran away! (and Gia, I think 60 times without dropping it is the new bare minimum )

    It went really well, I had lots of fun, we stayed a little while afterward and got to do some education on ME culture and the history of the dance, especially for those in the crowd who were wondering if I also did stripping so it was a good night.

    Dress rehearsals are a goooood thing. I found out that my 3/4 wig does NOT work with sword because when I bounce it from my head onto my stomach the weight pulls the wig over my eyes; I found out that I have to tuck my skirt into my belt on the sides or I step on it when I do certain moves; bellycovers and swords don't mix...all those little things.

    And you all were right about the entertainment factor. I have done performances playing guitar and singing with my husband so that made it a little easier to get up there. That and Jeff singing the ESPN Sports Center theme song for me before we went -- I began laughing picturing John Madden highlighting the bellydance bloopers of the day!
    Last edited by Suhad; 03-11-2007 at 09:46 PM. Reason: add something

  9. #19
    Member Ariella's Avatar
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    I'm glad to hear that it went so well! Congrats. May you book many bellygrams in the future!

  10. #20
    V.I.P. da Sage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Suhad View Post
    Dress rehearsals are a goooood thing. I found out that my 3/4 wig does NOT work with sword because when I bounce it from my head onto my stomach the weight pulls the wig over my eyes; I found out that I have to tuck my skirt into my belt on the sides or I step on it when I do certain moves; bellycovers and swords don't mix...all those little things.
    Congratulations! Now I want you to bellygram for me, so that I can see your wicked sword move. I promise I won't run away.

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