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  1. #41
    V.I.P. Aisha Azar's Avatar
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    Default Males, etc.

    Dear Tarik,
    I think that it does not even matter in an Arab country whether a dancer is a prostitute or not. The appearance is what counts a lot of times. And I have heardt hat kind of thing does go on. I think there are often legitimate perforamnce opportunties where people end up hooking as well. (There is also certainly a lot of the other kind of opportunity in any performance situation, from what I can tell. )
    I hope some day that I can persuade a certain Egyptian friend of mine to get up and dance at one of my shows. I also want to talk to him in depth about the dance, because he is an amazing dancer. He gests up at parties if it is the right music, but I have not gotten the courage to approach him about actually dancing in public...
    I am really happy that the captian of your boat in his own way did watch out for the kids!!
    Hugs to you,
    A'isha

    Dear Rico,
    I define "essence" as that elusive combination of cultural feeling and spirit, the dancer's own emotional input, the ethnic approach to the music and movements, and a depth of meaning and provenance in the whole picture. Each dance form in the world has its own "essence", and it is important because it makes the dance what it is. Without its essence, it is no longer that dance form, but something else, regardless of movement vocabulary.

    Regards,
    A'isha

  2. #42
    Junior Member Sharif's Avatar
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    Default Ethereal essence

    I think the point has been made now that men in the ME are unwilling to dance in public for fear of being associated with male entertainers at private parties who are known to dance well, but also render additional services.

    I think we are digressing again on an admittedly titillating side topic. I see the specter of Rico looming over this thread already... I'd be interested to hear to what extent this reluctance is a male-dancer-only issue in the ME, though.

    To get back on topic: from A'isha's description I understand that the essence of dance is like the Aether that carries radio waves: intangible but required to transmit the right energy between audience and performer. I looks to me that for an innocent bystander it could be hard to detect the presence of this essence, and that a decently set up fake could pass for the real thing. So how can we distinguish the two?
    Last edited by Sharif; 09-08-2006 at 09:47 PM. Reason: Clarification, Anglo-American spelling

  3. #43
    Member Recnadocir's Avatar
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    "Specter of Rico?!" Sharif you make me sound like some malevolent force! LOL

  4. #44
    V.I.P. Aisha Azar's Avatar
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    Default Males, etc.

    Dear Sharif,
    For me, it came as a slowish learning process. At first, it was all just "belly dance" and I loved it. then, as I got more education I began to see that dancers from Egypt, Lebanon and Turkey each had a certain flavor and feeling and somehow were just "different": from what I was generally seeing in America. ( I LOVE the radio waves analogy, BTW!!)
    I think the key is to look at vidoes and dancers in person and see and feel the differences in the approach to the music, how movement is executed, how the dancer responds emotionally, etc. Compare, say, what Suhaila Salimpour does with what Mouna Said, or compare Fifi ABdou from Egypt with what Amani from Lebanon does, etc. I think exposure and experience is one key to this elusive recognition of "essence".
    I am not trying to start anything here, but I think an audience can and often does sense a difference between what is western innovation and what is ethnic belly dance. I have had general audience members comment on it to me before. ( Stuff like, "Why do you look so different from evenryone else who danced in the show?" )They may not know what the difference is, but they sense it on some level.
    This is not to say that one form is better than another, but that there is enough of a difference so that even people who are not educated in the dance can have some awareness of it.
    Regards,
    A'isha

  5. #45
    V.I.P. Tarik Sultan's Avatar
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    Default Feminine essenced dance

    Greetings from Omaha Nebraska! Rocky and I are here to do a workshop. The Hotel is so beautiful! IF you're ever in Omaha, you have to check out the Embasy Suites.

    Quote Originally Posted by A'isha Azar View Post
    Dear Tarik,
    I think that it does not even matter in an Arab country whether a dancer is a prostitute or not. The appearance is what counts a lot of times.
    Very true. Guilty till proven innocent does not apply. There you're guilty till proven innocent and just the mere suspicion is just as bad as the crime in a lot of instances.

    Quote Originally Posted by A'isha Azar View Post
    And I have heardt hat kind of thing does go on. I think there are often legitimate perforamnce opportunties where people end up hooking as well. (There is also certainly a lot of the other kind of opportunity in any performance situation, from what I can tell. )
    Just like over here. We call it the casting couch.

    Quote Originally Posted by A'isha Azar View Post
    I hope some day that I can persuade a certain Egyptian friend of mine to get up and dance at one of my shows. I also want to talk to him in depth about the dance, because he is an amazing dancer. He gests up at parties if it is the right music, but I have not gotten the courage to approach him about actually dancing in public...
    Tell him that the women will really love it! It might also help if you tell him he doesn't have to wear a costume, just dress really nice, or wear a gallabeya.

    Quote Originally Posted by A'isha Azar View Post
    I am really happy that the captian of your boat in his own way did watch out for the kids!!
    Hugs to you,
    A'isha
    Not that they really need protecting when it comes to that, its their own business what they do after work I suppose. However, the one time a hash head tried to beat up one of the young kids, (because he said he hated gays), not only the captin, but all the customers o9n the boat, men and women, wisked the kid away and prevented him from being attacked. They were all yelling at the hash head and asking what the hell was HIS problem!

    [/QUOTE]
    I think the point has been made now that men in the ME are unwilling to dance in public for fear of being associated with male entertainers at private parties who are known to dance well, but also render additional services.
    [/QUOTE]

    Not quite. It really has more to do with the fact that professional dancing in public is seen as firstly, a low prestige profession, secondly, a profession for poor uneducated women, (who els would want to do something so worthless) and just like in the rest of the world, a man who does "women's work", is disgraced. I'll go more into detail about this later, but just keep in mind that this attitude of taboo is based on a cultural world view that affects all aspects of life. The question of dance as a profession is just one small manifestation of a much larger societal issue.

    [/QUOTE]
    To get back on topic: from A'isha's description I understand that the essence of dance is like the Aether that carries radio waves: intangible but required to transmit the right energy between audience and performer. I looks to me that for an innocent bystander it could be hard to detect the presence of this essence, and that a decently set up fake could pass for the real thing. So how can we distinguish the two?
    __________________
    SHARIF
    www.bellydancersharif.com
    [/QUOTE]

    It takes familiarity and exposure. Its just like with experience, you can tell where a person is from just by listening to their accent. An untrained ear might not be able to distinguish the difference between an Irish and a Scottish accent, but a person who has spent time around these people will. All it requires is really paying attention to what you are looking at. Take a look at the difference between the Egyptian, Lebanese and Turkish dancers on Youtude as well as my clips of the guys and you will see it. You have to look at the feeling they put behind the movements, the way they carry their bodies, not just the movements. Its this emotional quality that A'isha often referrs to as essence. It's what gives it its flavor, or perticular accent. [/QUOTE]

    [/QUOTE] Today, 01:07 PM #44
    A'isha Azar
    Males, etc.
    Dear Sharif,
    For me, it came as a slowish learning process. At first, it was all just "belly dance" and I loved it. then, as I got more education I began to see that dancers from Egypt, Lebanon and Turkey each had a certain flavor and feeling and somehow were just "different": from what I was generally seeing in America. ( I LOVE the radio waves analogy, BTW!!)
    I think the key is to look at vidoes and dancers in person and see and feel the differences in the approach to the music, how movement is executed, how the dancer responds emotionally, etc. Compare, say, what Suhaila Salimpour does with what Mouna Said, or compare Fifi ABdou from Egypt with what Amani from Lebanon does, etc. I think exposure and experience is one key to this elusive recognition of "essence".
    [/QUOTE]

    Exactly!

    [/QUOTE]
    I am not trying to start anything here, but I think an audience can and often does sense a difference between what is western innovation and what is ethnic belly dance. I have had general audience members comment on it to me before. ( Stuff like, "Why do you look so different from evenryone else who danced in the show?" )They may not know what the difference is, but they sense it on some level.
    Regards,
    A'isha
    [/QUOTE]

    Exactly, they pick up on the "accent", even though they might not be able to articulate it, they know there is a difference.

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