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  1. #1
    V.I.P. Caroline_afifi's Avatar
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    Default Fantasy and ego in MED

    This is the thread which I have opened as an off shoot of 'Jamil male belly dancer'.

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    V.I.P. Caroline_afifi's Avatar
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    OK, so do we think that this dance in particular is more popular than other dance forms for acting out fantasy?
    I think I do.

    Does the nature of this dance allow it to be more ego driven than other dance forms?
    not sure. I would like to hear the debate on this. I sometimes think it is because it appears so image driven.

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    Super Moderator Mosaic's Avatar
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    As a dance that is achievable by the general population yes I think so. Ballet would have more fantasy attached to it in a more ethereal way, but of course not everyone can be a ballet dancer. ME is more grounded and the dance of "real people" - meaning all shapes sizes, ages, female, male.

    Ego driven, Maybe for some, but I don't think so overall, I think many take up the dance for fun and a way to express themselves, with many, many dancers never believing they will become professional or even part time performers.

    You can come into the bellydance arena without great expectations, just a way to achieve something joyful which is achievable. The love of the dance drives many to become professional, or to become the best they can be, and the costumes become a part of the 'fantasy' - We begin to think, I can get to the level where i can dance in public and in doing so, the day will come where I can justify buying the costume of my dreams. I don't see that as ego, just a part of the joyful fantasy. I think in everything ego can drive some people, but for me I don't really see it attached to BD to any great extent .. no more than anything else.
    ~Mosaic

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    V.I.P. karena's Avatar
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    I think fantasy is dependent on the 'exotic other', which bellydance has in ladelfuls due to it being from the 'mystical East'.

    What happens with ballet in the East - is that related to a fantasy of the West. I have no idea, but you often hear of afternoon tea in the ex-colonies being a fantasy version of Britishness. And the you've got new world fantasies of 'their roots', so versions of irish/scottish etc for the Americans as an eg.

    But as the 'East' has so much exoticism, in the West, I would imagine there is therefore more fantasy in BD. Possibly. We don't do chinese dance, but I could imagine that being similar, to me like Tai Chi has it a little, but as there no glittery costumes there's less room for fantasy maybe.

    Was that even the question?? I got bored of the slanging match on the Jamil thread, so I haven't see the source of this thread.

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    V.I.P. Caroline_afifi's Avatar
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    The thread moved away from the Jamil topic so I moved it to another place.
    The thread is based on what I raised a few posts up which is about exploring the issues around fanatsy and ego and how much it exsists within the MED community worldwide.

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    Moderator Safran's Avatar
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    Just a remark - Caroline or the mods of this thread, could you please also specify the topic in the title of the thread. It is just a tad difficult to keep track this way. Thanks, and now we return to our scheduled reading

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    V.I.P. Caroline_afifi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maariku View Post
    Just a remark - Caroline or the mods of this thread, could you please also specify the topic in the title of the thread. It is just a tad difficult to keep track this way. Thanks, and now we return to our scheduled reading
    Sorry, I just didnt know what to call it. How do I rewrite the thread title?
    thanks

  8. #8
    V.I.P. Aisha Azar's Avatar
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    Default Belly dance etc.

    Dear Caroline,
    I can not answer these questions for anyone else, but I can for myself.

    Quote Originally Posted by Caroline_afifi View Post
    OK, so do we think that this dance in particular is more popular than other dance forms for acting out fantasy?
    I think I do.
    Well.... ballet is most always about acting out a fantasy. In fact the stories told in ballet are often just that. I feel that I am a belly dancer and that I am not acting out a fantasy when I dance, but more like being more who I am than at any other time in my life. A belly dancer is who I am as well as what I do.

    Does the nature of this dance allow it to be more ego driven than other dance forms?
    not sure. I would like to hear the debate on this. I sometimes think it is because it appears so image driven.

    Well again.... have you ever hung around with a lot of dancers who are not Middle East inspired, or any actors? Having been in the position to do both, and also having spent some time with models, I would have to say that Middle Eastern dance as a genre is no more full of ego maniacs than acting, other forms of dance, or modeling. I have spoken with painters and sculptors and other visual artists that say the same thing happens in their fields of endeavor. My favorite theory on this is that it takes an ego to be able to put oneself in front of the public, but that some people develop healthy egos and other develop unhealthy ones. Sometimes people can even have healthy egos under one set of circumstances and unhealthy egos in another set. I don't think our dance is any more ego driven than any other form of art. It's just that THIS is the one where we are constantly dealing with it.
    Regards,
    A'isha

  9. #9
    V.I.P. Caroline_afifi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by A'isha Azar View Post
    Dear Caroline,
    I can not answer these questions for anyone else, but I can for myself.




    Well again.... have you ever hung around with a lot of dancers who are not Middle East inspired, or any actors? Having been in the position to do both, and also having spent some time with models, I would have to say that Middle Eastern dance as a genre is no more full of ego maniacs than acting, other forms of dance, or modeling. I have spoken with painters and sculptors and other visual artists that say the same thing happens in their fields of endeavor. My favorite theory on this is that it takes an ego to be able to put oneself in front of the public, but that some people develop healthy egos and other develop unhealthy ones. Sometimes people can even have healthy egos under one set of circumstances and unhealthy egos in another set. I don't think our dance is any more ego driven than any other form of art. It's just that THIS is the one where we are constantly dealing with it.
    Regards,
    A'isha
    Hi A'isha,
    I can understand what you are saying about ballet but they work on themes of fantasy and not personal fanatsy. Ballet isnt perfomed solo like we have haflahs etc. ballet appears to be more of a collective with others in charge.

    I have not hung around models but I have been around actors.
    Yes, ego is very present.

    I was in a political theatre group years ago but it didnt have a glamorous edge like MED. the guy who ran the company was an egotists but we were more like his puppets in retrospect.
    I think all performance is ego driven, its just a case of 'does the very nature of this dance more fantasy and ego (meaning the self) based than others?'

  10. #10
    V.I.P. Reen.Blom's Avatar
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    Fantasy? Yes! I also think it has to do with possibilities fo improvisation- this way expressing own vision of music, emotion, etc. Ballet on the other hand is 100% choreographed?????

    ANd I do agree that many dancers express their vision of "middle east" something like oriental fairy tale.... Therefore the Arabic stage names, etc, even if there is not enough access to learning the true culture but rather using Wstern Fantasy of the culture....

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