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  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aisha Azar View Post
    Dear Kayshier,


    We have to start somewhere, but I do not like it when people act like the cultural take on the dance does not count, can be shoved aside because it does not fit into what we want, etc. There are reasons that people think the way they do about their cultural offerings and when we discount them, we also are discounting something of value to the dance itself.

    Regards,
    A'isha

    I agree with you A'isha, there must be some datum from which we begin, in this case i think that datum starts with an understanding of the cultural context in which ME dance exists.(choosing the type of dance you want to focus on etc etc)

    I also agree that some dancing from men are overrated, partially because of the novelty that it is a man, but i can tell you that the show i witnessed, watching tarik and the other dancers, was like looking at champagne and kool aid respectively.

  2. #12
    V.I.P. Aisha Azar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kayshier View Post
    I agree with you A'isha, there must be some datum from which we begin, in this case i think that datum starts with an understanding of the cultural context in which ME dance exists.(choosing the type of dance you want to focus on etc etc)

    I also agree that some dancing from men are overrated, partially because of the novelty that it is a man, but i can tell you that the show i witnessed, watching tarik and the other dancers, was like looking at champagne and kool aid respectively.

    Dear Kayshier,
    You have stated often that there are many inferior dancers in your neck of the woods, so it stands to reason that you would feel the way you do and I respect that. Still, I find that there are so many women being left out of rhe equation because people are so very much overating many male dancers. That is very sad, in my mind.
    Regards,
    A'isha
    Regards,
    A'isha
    Last edited by Aisha Azar; 01-28-2009 at 08:53 PM.

  3. #13
    V.I.P. Tarik Sultan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kayshier View Post
    I agree, i think in reading the other thread i got lost in some of the points.
    it might be more instructive to have a separate discussion about this particular issue.

    what i find particularly interesting is his point about the acknowledgement of the inherently female moves in ME dance, and making it look 'male' for want of a better explanation...
    i think he tries as much to make it 'masculine' by the costume choice, as well as more athletic moves...or maybe more dramatic moves that require some more athleticism.

    for me, (and i'm no expert) i think he does oriental dance..
    I suspect A'isha (sorry for pointing you out but you are one of the more vocal ones on this topic ) may feel it is not belly dance/raks sharki, because he has taken something feminine and tried to make it as masculine as possible.
    but i have a question on that, If a man decides to dance professionaly, and has to acknowledge this 'feminine essence' then doesn't it set him up for some serious difficulty? in a society that may not be accepting of this?
    while i agree you have to be true to what you are dancing, and in a sense get into a whole character on stage, because it is a performing art, you also have to acknowlegde that it is a man dancing on stage, and as such should also be a man. (as to what that is, i think it is intrinsic)
    this to my mind, could be reflected in the costume choice, as in the case of Tito, it could be reflected in how he dances.


    The moves are not really male or female. Its the spirit of the dancer that is female. However, because most people see women in the media dancing, of course its considered a woman's profession.

    The problem is not the moves he does. There's nothing that Tito does by way of movement that you don't see guys doing when they party. The issue is a man being involved in something that is considered so low class, only poor and desperate women would do it for pay.

    Look at it this way, everyone in Trinidad can whine. What would people think of a woman whose only way to make a living was to whine pan stage? You would feel that she's a lowlife, but you can understand a woman being desperate and having to do it. Why would a man HAVE to do it when he has so many better options to make a living? It raises all kinds of questions. Can men whine? Like fire! Of course, but to do it for pay???? See what I mean?

    Of course from the perspective of the performer, dancing is art. Even though there are many who just do it in a vulgar way to earn cash. So from the artists point of view, it is an artistic expression and that is one of the main reasons to do it. Just like men whine in Trinidad and the entire Caribbean for that fact, men do all the same moves women do in Egypt. Seeing a man dance is nothing unusual and in fact, in public places men have more freedom to dance than women. But the stage for pay? Most men are like, I'm too good to do that.

    So Tito knows, when he's on stage, he has to show himself as a man, even if he's operating in what is a female context, which is the stage. But look at these guys.

    Look at how sensual this guy is moving. Its not just the physical move, but there is a certain sensual passion fueling it. Now look at the way he's carrying himself. Even though he's being sensual, he's still got a very masculine rude boy attitude. We see the same thing with our guys back home. We don't think consciously of "being manly", we just are. We are comfortable in our bodies and ourselves and thats what comes out.

    Look at his body language and you can see that Tito's dancing is a very close reflection of the way Egyptian guys in the street dance. Its that attitude that he brings to the stage. This guy is from the same area that Tito is from. So Tito has grown up all his life seeing men doing all these movements but keeping that spirit that is natural to a man. Believe me, you go to the ghettos in Shubra where he is from, you're going to find some grandpas that will make Tito look like a school boy.



    However, like all dancers, he has to be a strong character. A male dance has to be strong because he is defying the social role of what is considered an acceptable profession for a man. A female dancer has to be strong because she is defying the social role of what is considered acceptable public behavior for a woman. But one of the things that he knows from a cultural perspective, is that a man can't present himself in public acting all womanish. Just like in Trinidad and the Caribbean, all men know how to whine, but the way a regular guy does it and a gay guy does it are two different things and we can tell who is what when we see them by the body language, even if they are both doing the same moves.

    I have the pleasure of seeing Tarik perform on stage already...
    at first i never heard of a male belly dancer and figured it would be gay and i was very curious, but the way he presented himself it didn't look as if a man was trying to imitate a woman, it looked as though it was a man peforming a dance on stage using the appropriate dance vocabulary, and the way he danced, i could tell you his performance alone was the entire show for me. I didn't have to see any of the female dancers. as he said before..a good male dancer is 1 000 000 times better than a bad female dancer..(as was the case on that night)

    As i said before i'm no expert on these things but the way i see it, for something to be accepted we have to start somewhere.
    Thanks for the compliment. You know, there were quite a few people in the audience who thought that Nalini was trying to promote homosexuality in Trinidad by having me there. They were expecting a stereotype, but when they actually saw me, they left with a different opinion. This is often the case with me. I have to win the audience over every time, but thank god I do.

    As for N9 though, I don't think I can be compared to them. They are still very young and still in the process of learning. The dance isn't even a decade old in Trinidad yet. Believe me when I tell me when I tell you, at that stage, I still didn't really know what Egyptian dance was. All I knew was movement, but the spirit of the thing, it would still take me going back to Egypt and watching, analytically as versus for entertainment and also really watching the ordinary people, for it to sink in.

    To be very honest with you, even in the US, its very recent that people have begun to realize that there is more to real Egyptian dance than just movements. So for Nalini, looking out there she found Gothic and Tribal and Fusion and American style, so she figured, she had to do all of it. It really is confusing to people coming to the dance seeing all this stuff and trying to figure out what's what. But like I said, the biggest plus is that she's open and willing to learn, that's not the case with most people. When she heard me explaining the dance in a cultural context and read my articles, that's when she contacted me. So she is the first to bring it to Trinidad, but she continues to learn and research and that is a very good thing.

  4. #14
    V.I.P. jenc's Avatar
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    Interesting that until the last moments of that clip, the dancers were all men, and the woman hung on to her bf

  5. #15
    V.I.P. Tarik Sultan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jenc View Post
    Interesting that until the last moments of that clip, the dancers were all men, and the woman hung on to her bf
    Men have more freedom in public. When you go on these boats, you will see that the women dance too, but not as much and when they do, they are all on the other end of the boat in their own group which includes their parents.

  6. #16
    V.I.P. Mya's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tarik Sultan View Post
    So she is the first to bring it to Trinidad
    With all due respect Tarik,

    I believe that Karem Boudargham - a lovely lady from Argentina was here and teaching beautiful Egyptian style by the time you performed at Queen's Hall. I know I had done at least one of her classes by March 19th. Kayshier would know better as she was one of her students.

    I wouldn't expect that you would know this but perhaps you might ask around before making such statements. Not trying to be argumentative, just factual.

    take care!
    Mya

  7. #17
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    *please delete repeat post*

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mya View Post
    With all due respect Tarik,

    I believe that Karem Boudargham - a lovely lady from Argentina was here and teaching beautiful Egyptian style by the time you performed at Queen's Hall. I know I had done at least one of her classes by March 19th. Kayshier would know better as she was one of her students.

    I wouldn't expect that you would know this but perhaps you might ask around before making such statements. Not trying to be argumentative, just factual.

    take care!
    Mya

    Yes Mya and Tarik

    Karem Boudgarham, is a professional belly dancer who started off learning AmCab but studied egyptian style for about 10 years of her 15 year career. She teaches egyptian style, and has been teaching in argentina for about 6 years i think..

    When Tarik performed, Karem had been teaching for about 2 months during her stint in trinidad, so it wasn't that long anyway.
    my training so far has been exclusively with Karem.

  9. #19
    V.I.P. Tarik Sultan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mya View Post
    With all due respect Tarik,

    I believe that Karem Boudargham - a lovely lady from Argentina was here and teaching beautiful Egyptian style by the time you performed at Queen's Hall. I know I had done at least one of her classes by March 19th. Kayshier would know better as she was one of her students.

    I wouldn't expect that you would know this but perhaps you might ask around before making such statements. Not trying to be argumentative, just factual.

    take care!
    Mya
    I wasn't referring to myself. And by the way I am aware of the fact that Karem was teaching down there for a while..... Nalini as well as others told me.

  10. #20
    V.I.P. Mya's Avatar
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    My apologies for misreading your message.


    Mya

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