Page 10 of 12 FirstFirst ... 456789101112 LastLast
Results 91 to 100 of 114
  1. #91
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Brooklyn, New York
    Posts
    653
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default UCSB Ethnomusicology program

    For those serious about pursuing a college-type course of study in this subject:

    University of California at Santa Barbara has BA, MA, and PhD degrees in Ethnomusicology with an emphasis in Middle Eastern Music. Alexandra King has been the Dance Director there since 1995 for the UCSB Middle East Ensemble Dancers and has a professional dance company, Seher. I haven't dug too much further but here is the web link:

    UCSB Middle East Ensemble (MEE) is an official “Ethnomusicology Performance Ensemble” in the UCSB Music Department

    If you click on the "Dancers" link there you get this:

    "The troupe is led by Alexandra King, an award-winning performer and instructor of Middle Eastern dance and one of the founding members of the ensemble. The dance ensemble number eight dancers, all of whom are highly trained and skilled professional-level artists. The dance repertoire includes the broadest range of Middle Eastern dance in any ensemble. Styles include folk dances from Lebanon (dabki), Armenian, Greek and Turkish line dances, Saudi women’s dances, a variety of Upper Egyptian dances, classical Persian and Central Asian dances as well as cabaret-style "belly dance".

    Besides teaching the Advanced and Beginning groups, Alexandra King is also the Ensemble's main choreographer and principal soloist. She can be reached by writing c/o the Music Dept., UCSB."

    Then when you click through to her website I see two evening classes listed at UCSB. I don't know whether a degree in Ethnomusicology would encourage or require dance classes or actually learning to play an instrument.

    Cathy
    Last edited by cathy; 02-02-2008 at 12:40 AM.

  2. #92
    V.I.P. Aisha Azar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Pacific Northwest USA
    Posts
    5,313
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Dance

    Quote Originally Posted by cathy View Post
    For those serious about pursuing a college-type course of study in this subject:

    University of California at Santa Barbara has BA, MA, and PhD degrees in Ethnomusicology with an emphasis in Middle Eastern Music. Alexandra King has been the Dance Director there since 1995 for the UCSB Middle East Ensemble Dancers and has a professional dance company, Seher. I haven't dug too much further but here is the web link:

    UCSB Middle East Ensemble (MEE) is an official “Ethnomusicology Performance Ensemble” in the UCSB Music Department

    If you click on the "Dancers" link there you get this:

    "The troupe is led by Alexandra King, an award-winning performer and instructor of Middle Eastern dance and one of the founding members of the ensemble. The dance ensemble number eight dancers, all of whom are highly trained and skilled professional-level artists. The dance repertoire includes the broadest range of Middle Eastern dance in any ensemble. Styles include folk dances from Lebanon (dabki), Armenian, Greek and Turkish line dances, Saudi women’s dances, a variety of Upper Egyptian dances, classical Persian and Central Asian dances as well as cabaret-style "belly dance".

    Besides teaching the Advanced and Beginning groups, Alexandra King is also the Ensemble's main choreographer and principal soloist. She can be reached by writing c/o the Music Dept., UCSB."

    Then when you click through to her website I see two evening classes listed at UCSB. I don't know whether a degree in Ethnomusicology would encourage or require dance classes or actually learning to play an instrument.

    Cathy
    Dear Cathy,
    This is part of the problem. Alexandra King is a westernized dancer. In fact, I once took a class from her in which she stated, very clearly, that we are Americans and we can do anything we want. I like her dancing very much, but at least in some cases, it does not reflect some of the Middle Eastern cultures that are listed above. I have seen her dance what she says is Egyptian and Turkish belly dance.... they looked the same. I remember seeing her perform the first time in Salt Lake City, Utah and I was very taken with her as an American Oriental dancer. I thought she was the most wonderful dancer I saw that night. I loved what she did. However, there is no way I would consider her to be an ethnic belly dancer.
    You may note that there is nothing in the description above that qualifies or clarifies what she is doing in terms of authenticity. But then.... the people who have hired her probably do not know the difference. This is exactly the kind of thing I am afraid of in the academic setting.
    Regards,
    A'isha

  3. #93
    V.I.P.
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    1,253
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    To A'isha and Cathy:

    But if this sort of thing could be done with not one, but several dancers, from different disciplines, do you think that this would help? Would that make it more acceptable? That's what I was thinking of.

  4. #94
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Brooklyn, New York
    Posts
    653
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Hi Brea,

    I think the closest thing to what you are describing is what we now find in seminars or weeklong workshops featuring multiple teachers. Like Ahlan Wa Sahlan in Cairo or Rakkasah. A lot of teachers sponsor workshops with visiting guest stars too. I imagine it would be difficult to organize a college-type program like this because it wouldn't be practical to get say ten top teachers of various styles in one place at one time for a whole year or probably even a semester. That's just my guess.

    And BTW I had not heard of the UCSB program or Alexandra King before I happened upon that link today so I was neither recommending nor criticizing that or any program or teacher.

    Cathy
    Last edited by cathy; 02-02-2008 at 02:16 AM.

  5. #95
    V.I.P.
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    1,253
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Cathy,

    In some ways I think that's great that something like that even exists right now. It may not be perfect, but it is a start, yes?

  6. #96
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    central coast, California
    Posts
    569
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by A'isha Azar View Post
    Dear Cathy,
    This is part of the problem. Alexandra King is a westernized dancer. In fact, I once took a class from her in which she stated, very clearly, that we are Americans and we can do anything we want. I like her dancing very much, but at least in some cases, it does not reflect some of the Middle Eastern cultures that are listed above. I have seen her dance what she says is Egyptian and Turkish belly dance.... they looked the same. I remember seeing her perform the first time in Salt Lake City, Utah and I was very taken with her as an American Oriental dancer. I thought she was the most wonderful dancer I saw that night. I loved what she did. However, there is no way I would consider her to be an ethnic belly dancer.
    You may note that there is nothing in the description above that qualifies or clarifies what she is doing in terms of authenticity. But then.... the people who have hired her probably do not know the difference. This is exactly the kind of thing I am afraid of in the academic setting.
    Regards,
    A'isha

    Hi A'isha... I am curious, what was the content/subject of the class you took from Alexandra, & what was the context of her comment??

  7. #97
    V.I.P. Aisha Azar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Pacific Northwest USA
    Posts
    5,313
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Dance etc

    Quote Originally Posted by belly_dancer View Post
    Hi A'isha... I am curious, what was the content/subject of the class you took from Alexandra, & what was the context of her comment??
    Dear Belly_Dancer,
    She was teaching movements for Turkish belly dance at the time, and she was adding some distinctly western kinds of movements into the mix. She, herself said that they were western types of movement, and that we, as Americans, could do whatever we wanted. She studied in Turkey, if I remember correctly, so that added to my discomfort. In other peoples' classes, I do not voice my opinion. I am there to learn from them and also do not want to be rude and disturb others who are there to do the same. I did make sure, however, to tell my students who had attended, that I do not feel the same way that Alexandra does. I guess I was terribly surprised by what she said. I totally did not expect it.
    .... You know, I wish I was as smart as Socrates, because often I feel just like he must have, being outspoken and often at odds with those among his own kind. If I had his brains I might be able to better understand this chasm between what I see and what others must see. I also might be able figure out a way to say things in some more politically correct way.
    We as belly dancers are often afraid to voice our opinions, unfortunately to the detriment of the authentic dances. I am past that and can only call it as I see it. It is not the best thing to do politically, but somehow, I can not do less. I am well aware how it appears to some of you. I know it pisses people off when they feel I am somehow smashing those they hold up as their dance heroes and icons. In most cases, to disrespect those dancers is not my intention at all. I happen to love some of them myself. My hope is that people will see the differences that I am trying to point out. It is not a criticism of their dancing, or of them as people, but a way of helping to preserve and define authentic ethnicity. That is part of my job as an instructor and a dancer.
    Regards,
    A'isha

  8. #98
    Member Miranda Phoenix's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    157
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by A'isha Azar View Post
    Dear Cathy,
    This is part of the problem. Alexandra King is a westernized dancer....A'isha
    I understand what you are saying about trying to preserve the ethnic, authentic oriental dance, A'isha; I do not, however, consider a "westernized dancer" to be a "problem".

    You've said that the only way to "get" the authentic ethnic dance is to immerse oneself in the culture of that dance. For the vast majority of folks not already living in that culture, the ability to do so is severely limited.

    I am an American. It is unlikely I will ever have the opportunity to live in Egypt or Turkey or anywhere else outside of my home country. Lacking that (admittedly coveted) possibility, I'll take instruction from a home-grown dancer over no instruction at all anytime and twice on Sunday.

    Might it not be more effective to promote recognition of the authentic style ALONG with newer styles (leaving aside the labeling issue), rather than try to stop the education altogether?

    I'm very, very new to belly dance, but from what I've seen and learned, I'd say recognition and acceptance of the dance as an art form is growing. Slowly, to be sure, but perceptibly. Let's encourage it and guide it, protecting it's history and promoting awareness of where it was and how it's changed, rather than try to stifle it in fear the original form will be diluted beyond recognition.

    If we control the growth, we can protect the history and guide the future. If we try to repress it or ignore it, we lose all ability to influence its direction.

    Make sense?

    Miranda

  9. #99
    V.I.P. Aisha Azar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Pacific Northwest USA
    Posts
    5,313
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Westernized dance

    Quote Originally Posted by Auntie Crazy View Post
    I understand what you are saying about trying to preserve the ethnic, authentic oriental dance, A'isha; I do not, however, consider a "westernized dancer" to be a "problem".

    You've said that the only way to "get" the authentic ethnic dance is to immerse oneself in the culture of that dance. For the vast majority of folks not already living in that culture, the ability to do so is severely limited.

    I am an American. It is unlikely I will ever have the opportunity to live in Egypt or Turkey or anywhere else outside of my home country. Lacking that (admittedly coveted) possibility, I'll take instruction from a home-grown dancer over no instruction at all anytime and twice on Sunday.
    Might it not be more effective to promote recognition of the authentic style ALONG with newer styles (leaving aside the labeling issue), rather than try to stop the education altogether?

    I'm very, very new to belly dance, but from what I've seen and learned, I'd say recognition and acceptance of the dance as an art form is growing. Slowly, to be sure, but perceptibly. Let's encourage it and guide it, protecting it's history and promoting awareness of where it was and how it's changed, rather than try to stifle it in fear the original form will be diluted beyond recognition.

    If we control the growth, we can protect the history and guide the future. If we try to repress it or ignore it, we lose all ability to influence its direction.

    Make sense?

    Miranda
    Dear Miranda,
    As I have said repeatedly, all along, and for ever on this forum and others. I have no issue with westernized forms unless they are being passed off as authentic. Nowhere in Alexandra's syllabus did it say that what she was teaching was a westernized fusion form of the dances of the Middle East. THAT is the problem; not that it IS a westernized form, but that it is not defined as such.
    In doing what I do, I definitely AM trying to promote recognition of the authentic ethnic dances alongside the westernized forms. At this point in time, there are far too many people who do not know there is a difference. If you have ever read anything that I have said, this has been my premise all along.
    Who is trying to stop education? As far as guiding it, or controlling it so far that has not happened effectively for the authentic dances in the U.S. despite people teaching it to the very best of their ability. People prefer their own fantasy to the reality much of the time. Not to mention that one can get just a good an education on dance outside the academic environment as inside it.
    In academic circles, history has been just as abused as anywhere else, and is given a huge political spin, for that matter. In many cases, professors of history want parroted back to them their own take on it all. Why would professors of dance history be any different?
    As far is the dance being diluted beyond recognition, that is a very real possibility. Obviously it does not bother some people, but for me and others who believe that in order to BE the dance, it must have cultural essence, then it is a real problem. I have no issue with people teaching westernized fusion forms as long as they are honest and real about that, especially at the academic levels.

    Does THAT make sense?
    Regards,
    A'isha

    PS: I am going to try really hard to bow out now. I can see that my concerns are not even taken seriously here at all, so what is the point?
    Last edited by Aisha Azar; 02-03-2008 at 06:03 AM.

  10. #100
    Member Miranda Phoenix's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    157
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by A'isha Azar View Post
    Dear Miranda,
    As I have said repeatedly, all along, and for ever on this forum and others. I have no issue with westernized forms unless they are being passed off as authentic. Nowhere in Alexandra's syllabus did it say that what she was teaching was a westernized fusion form of the dances of the Middle East. THAT is the problem; not that it IS a westernized form, but that it is not defined as such.
    In doing what I do, I definitely AM trying to promote recognition of the authentic ethnic dances alongside the westernized forms. At this point in time, there are far too many people who do not know there is a difference. If you have ever read anything that I have said, this has been my premise all along.
    Who is trying to stop education? As far as guiding it, or controlling it so far that has not happened effectively for the authentic dances in the U.S. despite people teaching it to the very best of their ability. People prefer their own fantasy to the reality much of the time. Not to mention that one can get just a good an education on dance outside the academic environment as inside it.
    In academic circles, history has been just as abused as anywhere else, and is given a huge political spin, for that matter. In many cases, professors of history want parroted back to them their own take on it all. Why would professors of dance history be any different?
    As far is the dance being diluted beyond recognition, that is a very real possibility. Obviously it does not bother some people, but for me and others who believe that in order to BE the dance, it must have cultural essence, then it is a real problem. I have no issue with people teaching westernized fusion forms as long as they are honest and real about that, especially at the academic levels.

    Does THAT make sense?
    Regards,
    A'isha

    PS: I am going to try really hard to bow out now. I can see that my concerns are not even taken seriously here at all, so what is the point?
    I want to respond to your last quote first.

    I'm sorry you are offended and feel neglected. I don't know how to make you feel otherwise, except to point out that if your concerns weren't being taken seriously, we wouldn't be having this dialog.

    As for the dialog itself, no matter how hard I try, we are always at odds. I care about this dance, despite my short history with it. I also accept that change is a fact, in all things and especially in art. The only way to preserve the past is to work hand and hand with the future.

    The path forward may be a difficult one that can look impossible sometimes, but you shouldn't give up. I can't speak for others, but I have a clear understanding today about the differences between the old and the new, and a value of the old that I did NOT possess before I joined this forum and met you.

    For that, I thank you.

    Miranda

Page 10 of 12 FirstFirst ... 456789101112 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
  •