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  1. #41
    V.I.P. Aisha Azar's Avatar
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    Dear Shanazel and Gang,
    Actually, there really are "rules" that make belly dance what it is. They are not so much rules about movement as such, but the way in which movement is executed. They are not rules about what to wear so much as about how to wear it. They are not rules about what to feel, but much more about how feelings are in a cultural context. These make the "rules" much harder to understand and learn than if it was merely a matter of doing a hip articulation, or wearing shoes, or expressing ourselves for our own benefit and enjoyment.
    Regards,
    A'isha

  2. #42
    V.I.P. janaki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by A'isha Azar View Post
    Dear Shanazel and Gang,
    Actually, there really are "rules" that make belly dance what it is. They are not so much rules about movement as such, but the way in which movement is executed. They are not rules about what to wear so much as about how to wear it. They are not rules about what to feel, but much more about how feelings are in a cultural context. These make the "rules" much harder to understand and learn than if it was merely a matter of doing a hip articulation, or wearing shoes, or expressing ourselves for our own benefit and enjoyment.
    Regards,
    A'isha
    Very well said dearest A'isha!!!

  3. #43
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    Ah, but herein lies the rub: who makes the rules? And why should everyone accept and follow one set of rules over another?

    People are always hauling tablets of rules off mountains or copying rules off gold tablets with the use of special glasses or making rules in houses of government, or rewriting the rules of baseball, table tennis and table manners.
    Rules are nothing more than social customs, and social customs vary. If one wishes to follow the social customs of one style of belly dance over those of another style of belly dance, that's okay with me. But one set of rules fits all? That's not social custom, that's oppression.

  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shanazel View Post
    Ah, but herein lies the rub: who makes the rules? And why should everyone accept and follow one set of rules over another?

    People are always hauling tablets of rules off mountains or copying rules off gold tablets with the use of special glasses or making rules in houses of government, or rewriting the rules of baseball, table tennis and table manners.
    Rules are nothing more than social customs, and social customs vary. If one wishes to follow the social customs of one style of belly dance over those of another style of belly dance, that's okay with me. But one set of rules fits all? That's not social custom, that's oppression.
    WOW... yes moses would of liked you.... oh wait... didn't he make some rules?!?!
    eeeeeeKKKKKKK!!!!!! (foot in mouth!) cannot add to your huge rep.... but soooo well said! thank you!

  5. #45
    V.I.P. Aisha Azar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shanazel View Post
    Ah, but herein lies the rub: who makes the rules? And why should everyone accept and follow one set of rules over another?

    People are always hauling tablets of rules off mountains or copying rules off gold tablets with the use of special glasses or making rules in houses of government, or rewriting the rules of baseball, table tennis and table manners.
    Rules are nothing more than social customs, and social customs vary. If one wishes to follow the social customs of one style of belly dance over those of another style of belly dance, that's okay with me. But one set of rules fits all? That's not social custom, that's oppression.

    Dear Shanazel,
    The universe itself has rules by which it functions. All creatures, even those who claim to be anarchists, live by rules. Each person has rules by which they live and most are self imposed. Rules, I believe, are more than social customs. They are also something that allows people to define what they are doing and what something is or is not. Even nature has its rules, not just humans. Hence, a poppy flower never gives birth to a hippopotamus.
    As far as dance goes, there are rules for different kinds of dances, including each authentic kind of belly dance, and the fusion off-shoots as well, I hear. For example, Sharon Moore has been known to say that such and such thing is "Not Tribal". If there were no rules to the styles, we would not have people attempting to say what defines a style. It is precisely because there are rules that there is any difference.
    If we care enough to pay attention, we watch and listen and learn from the people who know best what the dance is in whatever the style. In the case of authentic ethnic belly dance, we listen to the best of the Egyptians, the Lebanese and the Turks. In some cases, a few non-natives have learned to do the dances with the right set of rules. In the case of Tribal and other off-shoots, I am not sure who one listens to, but there are those here who can tell us at least in some cases. I know that I would not go to Gelsey Kirkland to learn the rules of Hula, for sure!
    Regards,
    A'isha

  6. #46
    V.I.P. adiemus's Avatar
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    The thought of going to Gelsey Kirkland for hula makes me laugh!!!!

    The problem with 'unwritten' rules is that they shift over time (hey even written rules shift!!)...
    So while some people are trying to remain true to what they know as 'authentic', the people who originated 'the rules' are probably shifting...
    Isn't it true that bellydance didn't have 'ballet arms' originally?

    Nevertheless, I do agree with A'isha that there are traditions that are helpful in identifying a specific style, and yes, they will probably change the rules on us, but perhaps we can learn the more flexible 'spirit' than the rather rigid 'do not wear X and Y', 'do not use this step or that step'. Reminds me a bit of the difference between old testament and new testament really...

  7. #47
    V.I.P. Aisha Azar's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=adiemus;52870]

    The problem with 'unwritten' rules is that they shift over time (hey even written rules shift!!)...
    So while some people are trying to remain true to what they know as 'authentic', the people who originated 'the rules' are probably shifting...

    Dear Adiemus,
    This constant change is what makes the difference between "traditional" and "authentic". In the end, in this dance, it does not come down to all of the trappings of the dance, but the spirit and essence of it, which tends to stay pretty much the same over time.
    Regards,
    A'isha

  8. #48
    V.I.P. Aziyade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sedoniaraqs View Post
    When Dr. Mo says there are no hand circles in Eygptian dance, he probably means that either 1) *he* doesn't like hand circles, or 2) he saw terrible frantic butter-churning hands or flamenco flores on a belly dancer and didn't like that.
    Oh this is SOOOO true!!! The word of one Egyptian dancer or instructor does not somehow become law, and we tend to forget that their have their own prejudices and expectations based on their own life experiences.

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