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  1. #21
    Member deelybopper's Avatar
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    Hi Caroline!

    Merry-go-round describes it exactly!!! I spend probably waaaay too much time thinking about this sort of thing

    I also agree with Suheir that all entertainment is art...perhaps we need a Venn diagram...entertainment as a subset of art...

    It's great that the Arabic Arts Festival gets supported by the ACE! And of course, dance is a part of that...so that's a step on the road. And you're right - validating what we do as an art would bring funding to those who can't currently afford the cost of developing themselves as an artist (training, costumes, etc). I struggle sometimes to see how we can do this though as we always seem to be struggling against pre-conceptions about what we do - it's social function, it's value in it's original cultures, oh don't get me started

  2. #22
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    Some excellent points from Deelybopper and others!

    Caroline, if you have the chance at Raks Brittania I definitely suggest your trying to have a conversation with Morocco about all this, which she has been engaged with for a very long time. I think you will find she will not only say yes to all of the points below quite passionately, but also tell you how she has worked long and hard to make it so:

    Oriental dance is a form of cultural entertainment but is not "random tail twitching" or designed to sexually entice, it is an art form as well. (I *think* she would say that the more formal "art" part takes more work to appreciate in some way but feel less sure here)
    Oriental dance should be respected on a par with other ethnic dances
    Dance in general should be respected on a par with other art forms
    Dancers be judged on the basis of their skill vs. their national or cultural origin
    Middle Eastern dance teachers should be accorded respect based on their knowledge and skill, instead of their cultural/national origins, gender, or looks
    Art grants money should be distributed more equitably

    (and she would add use of the misnomer "belly dance" does no favors to getting acceptance for the art)

    There is also the issue of how it is looked (often down) upon in the culture of origin, and the class/religion/sexism aspects of that both in east and west, but that's another separate thread or thousand.

    Cathy
    Last edited by cathy; 05-16-2008 at 01:11 PM.

  3. #23
    V.I.P. Caroline_afifi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cathy View Post
    Some excellent points from Deelybopper and others!

    Caroline, if you have the chance at Raks Brittania I definitely suggest your trying to have a conversation with Morocco about all this, which she has been engaged with for a very long time. I think you will find she will not only say yes to all of the points below quite passionately, but also tell you how she has worked long and hard to make it so:

    Oriental dance is a form of cultural entertainment but is not "random tail twitching" or designed to sexually entice, it is an art form as well. (I *think* she would say that the more formal "art" part takes more work to appreciate in some way but feel less sure here)
    Oriental dance should be respected on a par with other ethnic dances
    Dance in general should be respected on a par with other art forms
    Dancers be judged on the basis of their skill vs. their national or cultural origin
    Middle Eastern dance teachers should be accorded respect based on their knowledge and skill, instead of their cultural/national origins, gender, or looks
    Art grants money should be distributed more equitably

    (and she would add use of the misnomer "belly dance" does no favors to getting acceptance for the art)

    There is also the issue of how it is looked (often down) upon in the culture of origin, and the class/religion/sexism aspects of that both in east and west, but that's another separate thread or thousand.

    Cathy
    Thanks for this!
    I actually already agree and had come to those conclusions myself. It is more about backing it up with evidence and perhaps contrasting situations and experience of others.
    It is more about the question why?
    I have some answers already, and covered some in play I wrote two years ago, but, the more the merrier from everyone and I shall certainly try and talk to Morocco at Raqs.
    I am very interested to know how other international art institutions view/accept this dance and on what basis.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caroline_afifi View Post
    Thanks for this!
    I actually already agree and had come to those conclusions myself. It is more about backing it up with evidence and perhaps contrasting situations and experience of others.
    It is more about the question why?
    I have some answers already, and covered some in play I wrote two years ago, but, the more the merrier from everyone and I shall certainly try and talk to Morocco at Raqs.
    I am very interested to know how other international art institutions view/accept this dance and on what basis.
    Do you mean why is Oriental dance not yet on a par with other dance forms?
    Why isn't dance on a par with other art forms (though a case could be made otherwise)
    Or why are some things labeled art vs. entertainment, and is it the case that things labeled entertainment are considered less worthy of focussed study and grants money?
    Or something else?
    I am interested in all this as well, the arts institutions and how and why they make decisions about how they give grants, the issue of being from the culture, etc. I think part of it is that these institutions are often not qualified to assess the field in so many art forms, and so they use rules of thumb. Maybe they should hire experts to advise them in the various fields. But they might not know even how to choose the experts!

    Cathy

  5. #25
    V.I.P. Caroline_afifi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cathy View Post
    Do you mean why is Oriental dance not yet on a par with other dance forms?
    Why isn't dance on a par with other art forms (though a case could be made otherwise)
    Or why are some things labeled art vs. entertainment, and is it the case that things labeled entertainment are considered less worthy of focussed study and grants money?
    Or something else?
    I am interested in all this as well, the arts institutions and how and why they make decisions about how they give grants, the issue of being from the culture, etc. I think part of it is that these institutions are often not qualified to assess the field in so many art forms, and so they use rules of thumb. Maybe they should hire experts to advise them in the various fields. But they might not know even how to choose the experts!

    Cathy
    And what you get is artists who know nothing about Arabs and Arabs who know nothing about art, I have been in these meetings believe me! ha ha

    LAAF (Lpool Arab Arts Festival) is fine and we are a great team ,it is other people we often come up against.

    all the statements you made in your other post, 'why?' and validating this.

    Why should woman of non Arab culture get funding? why is it an art and not cabaret etc etc, why why why?

    Bear in mind, it is often Arabs in organisation asking these questions, not just ACE.
    I also attended training with ACE called 'The Arts and Islam'.
    According to this, non of us should be dancing.
    For the sake of Art and what we do (meaning dance), we have to seperate religon and culture to keep the peace. The whole thing is hugely complex and it has been part of my work for almost nine years now.

  6. #26
    V.I.P. Reen.Blom's Avatar
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    To me Art is about expressing emotions, as an artist through creation process or as part of the 'audience'. I believe that's the greatest power of it to break the borders, language and even culture barriers.

    Enterntainment? Well I do go to a museum, because it would make me feel good, by appealing to some deeper layers of my soul, almost like going to church. Same goes for theatre or concert or any other show including belly dance. I think art is like a separate language conveys emotions and ideas through symbols.

    Art trying to make a living? Here you get your entertainment. When artist creates something to express something- that's art. When he tries to sell it- entertainment.

  7. #27
    V.I.P. Caroline_afifi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reen.Blom View Post
    To me Art is about expressing emotions, as an artist through creation process or as part of the 'audience'. I believe that's the greatest power of it to break the borders, language and even culture barriers
    .

    yes, many aspects of art challenge us.

    Quote Originally Posted by Reen.Blom View Post
    Art trying to make a living? Here you get your entertainment. When artist creates something to express something- that's art. When he tries to sell it- entertainment.
    Well some definately feel that trying to make a living often affects artistic content as it is is perhaps driven by other needs etc. but people who become very successful at what they do eventually get to pick and choose what they partcipate in. It happens in all aspects of performance.

    Artists can often make a good living from what they do but its good business that makes them millionaires perhaps? I dont know.
    Last edited by Viv; 05-17-2008 at 01:15 AM. Reason: fixed quote coding

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caroline_afifi View Post
    yes, many aspects of art challenge us.
    .



    Quote Originally Posted by Reen.Blom View Post
    Art trying to make a living? Here you get your entertainment. When artist creates something to express something- that's art. When he tries to sell it- entertainment.
    Quote Originally Posted by Caroline_afifi View Post
    Well some definately feel that trying to make a living often affects artistic content as it is is perhaps driven by other needs etc. but people who become very successful at what they do eventually get to pick and choose what they partcipate in. It happens in all aspects of performance.

    Artists can often make a good living from what they do but its good business that makes them millionaires perhaps? I dont know.
    of course lots of "artists" are not "rich" til they're dead!!!!
    Last edited by Viv; 05-17-2008 at 01:20 AM. Reason: fixed quote coding

  9. #29
    V.I.P. Caroline_afifi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caroline_afifi View Post
    yes, many aspects of art challenge us.
    .





    Quote Originally Posted by belly_dancer View Post
    of course lots of "artists" are not "rich" til they're dead!!!!
    Bad news for all of us then!!
    Last edited by Viv; 05-17-2008 at 01:19 AM. Reason: fixed quote coding...I hope...lol

  10. #30
    V.I.P. adiemus's Avatar
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    I paint and take photographs - oh and used to dance ballet, play classical piano, clarinet, write poetry and novels. All of these - oh! and bellydance also - communicate concepts and emotions. THAT is what these 'art'forms are supposed to do. Perhaps that is one of the main differences between 'art' and 'culture' - bellydance? well it has developed from something we do to have fun, into something we do to entertain and all the time communicating emotions. Can't think why it wouldn't receive arts funding, apart from it being a minority artform, oh and mainly women are involved in it...

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