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  1. #51
    V.I.P. Aisha Azar's Avatar
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    Default Theatre

    [QUOTE=Caroline_afifi;99007]

    I will write the article... I am still thinking about how to present it really.

    Because I have always used theatre, I dont want it to look like I can do it but no one else can.
    It is more about how often people are for opting for theatre shows in the UK when they should be sticking to a church hall/community centre.

    The surroundings does not make it professional and niether does the fact that someone is paid to teach.

    As for the first part of your post, I prefer a dancer who may not be technically the best but has bags of personality, to someone who is a technically good cod fish.

    Dear CAroline,
    I spent 7 years working in theatre as costume designer and I agree that having some background in theatre helps immensely. However, I am no lighting or make-up artist. As with dance, in theatre, people tend to have areas of expertise and not know it all. I can put a costume on stage and tell you very much what certain kinds of lighting are going to do to it, but I could not create that lighting. I can tell you what kind of set might compliment a production of Tartuffe in period costume, but I could not build that set. The costumes, yes, the set, no. I have small general theatrical knowledge but only one area of expertise.
    I feel that when we put something on a theatrical stage, people are expecting an entirely different kind of production than they expect to see in the church hall. One psychologically says "professional" while the other says "amateur".
    By far my favorite setting for Middle Eastern dance productions are intimate club settings. For me, the theatre stage is just too out of touch with the warmth of the dances and the closeness of the audience.
    Regards,
    A'isha

  2. #52
    V.I.P. Caroline_afifi's Avatar
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    [QUOTE]
    Quote Originally Posted by Aisha Azar View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Caroline_afifi View Post


    Dear CAroline,
    I spent 7 years working in theatre as costume designer and I agree that having some background in theatre helps immensely. However, I am no lighting or make-up artist. As with dance, in theatre, people tend to have areas of expertise and not know it all. I can put a costume on stage and tell you very much what certain kinds of lighting are going to do to it, but I could not create that lighting.
    These days, most theatre in the Uk have their own lighting technician.
    The problem though depends on what they are used to..ie. somne do not know how to light dance and they do not consider the 'cosmetic' aspect of lighting.



    I can tell you what kind of set might compliment a production of Tartuffe in period costume, but I could not build that set.
    Set building I never get into unless it is some furniture etc. Black box is often the best as too much background and colours can seriously mess with moving images from afar.

    The costumes, yes, the set, no. I have small general theatrical knowledge but only one area of expertise.
    I think theatre background helps a great deal although it is it not rocket science.

    I was with a theatre group called Yellow House for years. My dance theatre experience started with Wendy Buonaventura and a learned the skills of this before moving onto my own work. Wendy by the way always emplyed stage managers and lighting designers.
    Realising this I made it my mission to learn the trade, I was actually more interested in these aspects than getting onto the stage itself.

    I feel that when we put something on a theatrical stage, people are expecting an entirely different kind of production than they expect to see in the church hall. One psychologically says "professional" while the other says "amateur".
    They are. This dance is not the best placed on a stage. I have worked with very good dancers who cannot deal with the stage and cannot deal with the isolation of the stage itself.
    Many do not understand this when they put people on a stage to dance.

    There is also the issue of space to be covered and projection. If you are a performer who absolutley depends on audience interaction then you are stuffed.

    You cannot force a theatre audience to clap.


    By far my favorite setting for Middle Eastern dance productions are intimate club settings. For me, the theatre stage is just too out of touch with the warmth of the dances and the closeness of the audience.
    Regards,
    A'isha
    Yes I agree but it depends on the aims.

    We use the 'performance space' at the Arab Arts festival and have a club night too.

    Many people opt for the theatre setting because the sightlines are much clearer and there are less people moving about. Changeing facilities tend to be better and so does lighting.
    Social clubs are a good setting but lighting is usually bad for costumes and seeing faces.

    Dancefloors are generally not lit for performance.

  3. #53
    V.I.P. Aisha Azar's Avatar
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    Default Venue, etc.

    [QUOTE=Caroline_afifi;99127]

    Yes I agree but it depends on the aims.

    We use the 'performance space' at the Arab Arts festival and have a club night too.

    Many people opt for the theatre setting because the sightlines are much clearer and there are less people moving about. Changeing facilities tend to be better and so does lighting.
    Social clubs are a good setting but lighting is usually bad for costumes and seeing faces.

    Dancefloors are generally not lit for performance.

    Dear Caroline,
    In theatre, it all seemed to be part of the whole. I conferred with lighting people, set people, directors, actors/dancer/orchestra, etc, in order for us all to build a cohesive show. I enjoyed working in theatre but after 7 years I discovered that I was just burned out on the politics, which are every bit as bad as dance, if not worse.
    In most clubs I have dance in. They do have some lighting for the dance floor, though as you say, not necessarily a spot that follows the dancer, etc. I find that a combination of yellow and pink light with a white or two thrown in and aimed at floor ceiling and midrange usually gives adequate and warm lighting for a club floor so that the dancers actually show up and colors remain warm and true. It isn't perfect but it is doable! I inherited the lighting from the 2nd dance company I belonged to and that was nice. I am not sure who ended up with the sound system, but I WISH it had been me!!
    Regards,
    A'isha

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