Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 18
  1. #1
    Senior Member Eshta's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    London, England
    Posts
    705
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Organisers or performers - With whom does the buck stop?

    Hi everyone,

    As a bit of a spin-off from the etiquette thread, I was wondering who people view are responsible for the integrity of the performance.

    In the etiquette thread, Reen.bloom hit on a very interesting point: when a dancer is costumed in a way that does not promote a positive image for the dance, should the event organiser bear the responsibility for ensuring standards are adhered to, or do you blame the dancer, or both, and if so to what degree?

    The bellydance superstars show has received mixed and passionate response from the BD community. Most would agree the ladies are good dancers. Opinions are divided as to whether they make good belly dancers. And all appear united in their contempt for Miles Copeland, who is often portrayed as the profiteering evil ignorant who is cheapening our beloved art form! So in this case, it feels like the organiser, ie Miles Copeland, is bearing the responsibility.

    If you go to a restaurant or club and the dancer is a bit too sexy, do you think "shame on her" or do you blame the restaurant for allowing/encouraging it?

    Ai'sha mentions that for her shows, she thinks of people she feels are dancers who are upholding the integrity of the dance, and then invites them to perform. This is a completely inspired way of organising an event, but one that seems to run contrary to the standard. Most haflas I have performed at or been to have basically been friends inviting each other to perform, the odd random attempt to network, and requests from dancers to the organiser if they can perform.

    Being a week away from organising our first hafla, I don't want to commit a BD 'sin' although fear at this stage it may be too late!

    I am looking forward to your thoughts!

  2. #2
    V.I.P.
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Europe - London
    Posts
    1,227
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    In the case of Planet Egypt, where you wouldn't know in advance what a dancer was going to wear (but would assume that 'professional' performers would understand standards of decency in costuming), what *would* you do when someone bursts on-stage with no skirt on? Scream and push them backstage? Unlikely. If you were actually staging the show yourself, like Miles Copeland, then *you* would definitely be responsible for the costuming of the performers.

    I've seen some really embarrassing costuming in the UK in the past year - far too much on display, bras several sizes too small, underwear clearly visible, *lack* of underwear blatantly apparent...does anyone ever have a quiet word with these 'ladies'? I doubt it. Really, if you are calling yourself a professional, aren't you responsible for ensuring you *look* professional and not like a brothel inmate? As an audience member, I don't like being made to feel uncomfortable and embarrassed both for myself and the performer and have to sit through performances at which the audience are whispering and giggling and clasping their hands to their mouths because they're so shocked.

    Maybe it's a Brit problem - being notoriously prim and proper, perhaps some of us can't distinguish between sensual and sleazy!

  3. #3
    V.I.P. janaki's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    hong kong
    Posts
    1,217
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    A PROFESSIONAL ARTIST SHOULD KNOW TO DRESS APPROPRIATELY.
    It is dancer's responsibilty or would I say DUTY to clad properly!!!
    Last edited by janaki; 08-08-2007 at 05:16 AM.

  4. #4
    Moderator Yshka's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    's-Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands
    Posts
    2,028
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I agree, it is the responsibility of the dancer in the end. Dressing like that seems to me as an unprofessional thing to do for sure.

    But then again, if, as in the case with Planet Egypt, the organisers didn't know what would happen, I think they could make an effort to show afterwards that this was out of their hands or that they are not looking to put sleazy performances on stage. IMhO I think something like that will affect their reputation as well and they could at least try to clear things up.

    And that quiet word with the dancers or at least a correct note to the dancers in question about why they felt their performances were out of place would be a good idea I guess.

  5. #5
    V.I.P. Kharmine's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Foot of the Rocky Mountains
    Posts
    1,970
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    In any theatrical event, the management has a responsibility for the overall presentation so it should make it clear what is expected.

    Leaving it up to the performers is a crapshoot. In a word: Dina.

    Even with a hafla, if the organizers are dealing with any unknown or unreliable dancers, the word needs to go out: "If you can't figure out what is appropriate for a family audience, call us and we'll advise you. If you show up in an outfit we determine is inappropriate, we will present you with the loan of a nice caftan."

  6. #6
    Member Nat242's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Brisbane, Australia
    Posts
    111
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    It's tricky. We all know dancers should be responsible for attiring themselves appropriately, but we also know some dancers just don't, for whatever reason.

    My first instructor told me a story - she had organised a hafla (which normally includes student performers, beginners in troupes, intermediate and advanced in the occasional solo, and maybe a couple of professional dancers). These haflas were family friendly - people bought along kids, etc. A professional dancer from interstate - with a good rep - was asked by my teacher to participate. She did, and halfway through the performance she flopped a breast out!!!

    My teacher assumed it was intentional, for the woman made no attempt to put it back where it belonged, and when my teacher approached her as she came off stage with "Your BREAST is out!!" the woman was quite nonchalant about it.

    All I can say is it's a good idea to know the calibre of the performers - because as an organiser, you do have a responsibility to the audience.

    In an ideal world, you wouldn't have to worry, dancers would be responsible and respect what is appropriate for the venue.

    Maybe you should e-mail guidelines to those wishing to perform at the event?

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    811
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    i would say as an organizer you outline certain criteria. the performers abide or they dont get to participate or they just dont get paid.

  8. #8
    Moderator Safran's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Dubai, UAE
    Posts
    2,297
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Hmm, the way I see it is that organizer sets down its rules/norms and does its best to make sure the performers know about them. It is absurd to go to every dressing room before the show to check if everything is decent (even though you can dress it up as "wishing good luck" to dancers ), especially as often it will be too late then. I like Natalie's idea of e-mailing the guidlines when you're inviting someone to participate. After all, the organizer should consider that he/she also has a reputation to preserve.

    I find it the responsibility of the dancer to take the organizer's norms and rules into account and to be decent at all times. Because you are not only responsible for your own reputation, but also of the organizer's, the show's and the dance's!!!

    Yshka also makes a good point - if a dancer does fail to live up to norms, the organizer could have a little chat with them. It would be nice, and maybe it would actually help put some sense into the dancer's head, but we can't expect that to happen all the time. The organizer has a lot of other things to do besides that. It is so much easier to never ever invite that dancer again!

  9. #9
    V.I.P. Aisha Azar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Pacific Northwest USA
    Posts
    5,313
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Dance, etc.

    Dear Eshta,
    Responses below in context so I don't get confused.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eshta View Post
    Hi everyone,

    As a bit of a spin-off from the etiquette thread, I was wondering who people view are responsible for the integrity of the performance.

    In the etiquette thread, Reen.bloom hit on a very interesting point: when a dancer is costumed in a way that does not promote a positive image for the dance, should the event organiser bear the responsibility for ensuring standards are adhered to, or do you blame the dancer, or both, and if so to what degree?

    A. writes- A performance/production is a 50-50 deal. Everyone on stage and the producer/director/ costumer, lighting person, etc. all take responsibility for doing their jobs. This means that while the director may oversee everything, the actor/singer/dancer takes responsibility for doing the best job she/he can, and if one does not have a costumer, then this means taking responsibility for appropriate costuming as well as doing the physical part of the job. ( Not knowing the Planet Egypt set-up, perhaps the costuming there is more risque than many people on this forum are comfortable with. I have withheld a really strong opinion about that because I really do not know the situation.)

    The bellydance superstars show has received mixed and passionate response from the BD community. Most would agree the ladies are good dancers. Opinions are divided as to whether they make good belly dancers. And all appear united in their contempt for Miles Copeland, who is often portrayed as the profiteering evil ignorant who is cheapening our beloved art form! So in this case, it feels like the organiser, ie Miles Copeland, is bearing the responsibility.

    A. writes- I am one who believes they are not good belly dancers, but I do not have the same general opinion as many people, of Miles Copeland, having met him and spent some time with him. I am not sure what motivates him. I AM sure that he knows nothing about belly dance and does not care about it. His concern is putting on the show. He considers it other people's job to understand the dance ( ie, Jillina).I think it has been a challenge for him to see if he can take an art that has not made the mainstream and take it there. Whether or not he is taking the actual art of belly dance itself seems to have been lost in his personal shuffle. He has listened to too few people about the dance and is under educated about it. Do I like him? Yes, really, really I do. Would I spend more time with him if the opportunity arose? Yes I would. He is not slimy, evil or profiteering, he is instead just ignorant about the depth of the dance.

    If you go to a restaurant or club and the dancer is a bit too sexy, do you think "shame on her" or do you blame the restaurant for allowing/encouraging it?

    A. writes- Sexy dancing is not in the nature of the costume. the dance IS sexy. I danced in a family restaurant for 12 years. I am a "sexy" dancer. The clientele did not find it offensive because I understand what "sexy" is. It has nothing whatsoever to do with costuming. Sleazy, on the other hand, does.

    Ai'sha mentions that for her shows, she thinks of people she feels are dancers who are upholding the integrity of the dance, and then invites them to perform. This is a completely inspired way of organising an event, but one that seems to run contrary to the standard. Most haflas I have performed at or been to have basically been friends inviting each other to perform, the odd random attempt to network, and requests from dancers to the organiser if they can perform.

    A. writes- I think there is a difference between a hafla, where anyone can dance, and a professional performance. Unfortunately you are right, my method of putting a performance together AND of actually paying every dancer on stage does seem to be contrary to what is going on in the dance arena. People just sort of let anyone dance on the professional stage, do not treat dancers as if there is any difference between good and bad on stage, and generally do not want to take very much responsibility for putting on a professional production. I am not one who plays the "I'll let you be in mine if I can be in your's" game, and yeah, that does make me somewhat unpopular, but people know when they come to one of Baharat!!'s shows that they will see quality dancing on the stage. Unfortunately again, many dancers only show up for shows they are in, so many of our audience members are often not dancers, but the general public.

    Being a week away from organising our first hafla, I don't want to commit a BD 'sin' although fear at this stage it may be too late!


    A. writes- I would say that you need to be sure to be very definitive for your audience about what is happening on stage, the level of the performer, have a stage manager..... and some spare skirts and other costume parts to have people dress in if their costuming is inappropriate for the venue!!! It will maybe piss them off, but it will preserve the integrity of what you are presenting on stage, and in the mix, the dance will not suffer. We HAVE tp start standing up for the dance itself.


    Regards,
    A'isha

    I am looking forward to your thoughts!

  10. #10
    Moderator Amulya's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    7,069
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Very interesting topic! We had the same discussion some time ago on Bhuz, because of Rakassah. There was a performance, I think last year, that was inappropriate. So dancers started up a discussion what should have been done.

    Quote Originally Posted by janaki View Post
    A PROFESSIONAL ARTIST SHOULD KNOW TO DRESS APPROPRIATELY.
    It is dancer's responsibilty or would I say DUTY to clad properly!!!
    I couldn't agree more! But obviously lots of dancers don't seem to know...

    I think the idea of letting dancers know in advance a few rules and regulations is handy. I once organized a festival and all dancers except one dressed perfectly, even though I didn't have rules. I knew most Dutch dancers at the time used to be decent. This one dancer, I name her dancer X, had transparant harem pants with big slits where her underwear (luckily proper panties in the same color) was visible. Dancer X was dressed too sexy. Later I saw her at a hafla and she was wearing a spaghetti skirt with just underwear underneath. She always dances like this, even in her restaurant.
    At that time it didn't come in my mind to say anything about it, as it was borderline and she wasn't dancing in a sleazy way.

    I think however that if a dancer does something really artrocious she should be dragged of stage . The story of the dancer showing her lower female body parts during a backbend some years ago that is a case where they should have stopped the music and taken her away.

    Some things are borderline, like the hafla where I saw a student who had a part of a boob hanging out underneath her choli. What to do with that?
    Or the student who was wearing a bra with a few sequins, but it was clearly still a normal bra (I think that's a far lesser offence, but her teacher should have told her).

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •