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  1. #1
    V.I.P. Aisha Azar's Avatar
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    Default How do you all deal with this problem?

    Dear Gang,
    My dance company holds two events a year that are geared toward putting on an excellent performance that showcases many different dances from the Middle East and North Africa, as well as fusion, skits, and other such entertainments.
    In planning the performances, I am very careful as to how the show is put together, what I am presenting, etc. I generally figure out how to balance what I put on the stage so that each dance is in a place where it can be best appreciated in correlation with what happens around it. It is difficult because costuming, musical choice, the dance style, the strength of the dancers on either side of a piece, etc all have to be taken into consideration, along with costume changes and other things that require timing. I also pay everyone on stage.
    In other words, I plan my show and then figure out WHO can do what I want to see done. Occasionally changes must be made when a show is planned for content first.
    My question is this. How do you all handle it when someone asks if they can be in a performance that is very carefully planned? It happens every now and then that a dancer will ask to be in a show..... and first of all it always surprises me because I would NEVER presume to ask if I can perform. I would assume that a show is planned carefully and that the director has the people she needs, or that she is not presenting what I do, so does not need my services.
    I generally handle the situation by responding I have reached the time allotted for the performance, but thanks so much for offering. I do not want to make any promises about further engagements or anything, but I have been wondering how other people handle this situation.
    Regards,
    A'isha
    Last edited by Aisha Azar; 02-23-2009 at 05:50 PM.

  2. #2
    V.I.P. PracticalDancer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aisha Azar View Post
    How do you all handle it when someone asks if they can be in a performance that is very carefully panned?
    I know what you really meant.
    Maybe it's a freudian slip about how it could look if things aren't planned.


    I don't have a lot of experience with this. But, I have had enough to notice that not all dancers are aware of when they can invite themselves to dance (haflas and smaller events) versus when they should wait for the invitation (professional shows). I think anyone who teaches the dance should also teach both how to be a professional (see Salome's article for a good start) and the manners of being a professional dancer. (Could be my southern nature showing itself;but, my Momma made sure I went to manners class! I wasn't allowed to inherit the silver until I could tell the difference between the lemon fork and the olive fork. Same thing oughta apply to dancin' in public!)

    Now, when you are face to face with someone, my only response I can offer with any credibility is along the same vein: be polite, look pleasantly surprised and flattered that they asked, be clear that the event is full, and then try to change the subject in a way that benefits them. ("Oh, I had no idea you were working on a beleditechnoromanbhutofusion number! Sadly, we have a full show planned; but, do tell me what on earth inspired you to compose this interesting number! Did you study with someone new???")

    Southern accent optional.

    Regards,

    Anala

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

    Dear Anala,

    Quote Originally Posted by Anala View Post
    I know what you really meant.
    Maybe it's a freudian slip about how it could look if things aren't planned.
    Thanks, LOL. I fixed the slip!! I had a tiny stroke a few years ago and since then my typing has been atrocious, though think I am seeing some improvement!! ( I could be wrong, judging from this....)


    I don't have a lot of experience with this. But, I have had enough to notice that not all dancers are aware of when they can invite themselves to dance (haflas and smaller events) versus when they should wait for the invitation (professional shows). I think anyone who teaches the dance should also teach both how to be a professional (see Salome's article for a good start) and the manners of being a professional dancer. (Could be my southern nature showing itself;but, my Momma made sure I went to manners class! I wasn't allowed to inherit the silver until I could tell the difference between the lemon fork and the olive fork. Same thing oughta apply to dancin' in public!)
    I agree and I am often amazed at some of the things I see happen in the dance world as far as manners goes!! And, this lady is one of the nicest people.
    I have been told by another dancer that she thinks most people in our region do not have the kinds of performances that I have and they do not realize that a professional performance IS different from a hafla. It seems to be usually about inviting all of one's friends, or saying that if you take the workshop, you can dance in the show. I just don't feel right about that.


    Now, when you are face to face with someone, my only response I can offer with any credibility is along the same vein: be polite, look pleasantly surprised and flattered that they asked, be clear that the event is full, and then try to change the subject in a way that benefits them. ("Oh, I had no idea you were working on a beleditechnoromanbhutofusion number!
    THAT made me laugh right out loud!!!!

    Sadly, we have a full show planned; but, do tell me what on earth inspired you to compose this interesting number! Did you study with someone new???")
    Southern accent optional.
    Hahahahahaha!! Someone once told me one REALLY has to read between the lines if a Southern lady happens to respond, "Well, isn't that nice?" to anything that is said!!!!!

    Regards,
    A'isha

    Anala

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    V.I.P. PracticalDancer's Avatar
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    I am glad you enjoyed that! Mind you, there is ONE dancer I know who could pull off a "beleditechnoromanbhutofusion" -- but only one. And if anyone else told me they were working on this, you'd hear me say "Well, isn't that nice!"

    More tea, darling?

  5. #5
    V.I.P. Aisha Azar's Avatar
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    Default Dance etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by Anala View Post
    I am glad you enjoyed that! Mind you, there is ONE dancer I know who could pull off a "beleditechnoromanbhutofusion" -- but only one. And if anyone else told me they were working on this, you'd hear me say "Well, isn't that nice!"

    More tea, darling?

    Dear Anala,
    LOL!! Helene Erikson was once heard to remark, "I love good fusion. I've seen it three times."
    Regards,
    A.

  6. #6
    Premium Member Aniseteph's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anala View Post
    ..."... but, do tell me what on earth inspired you to compose this interesting number! Did you study with someone new???")

    Southern accent optional.
    Perfect! Southern Manners absolutely ROCK!

  7. #7
    Senior Member nightdancer's Avatar
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    Don't forget the "Well, bless your heart..." One of the great things about living in the south is that you can say anything you want about someone as long as you preface it with "bless your heart".

    "Well, bless your heart, we have a full show planned; I am just so sorry that I didnt know you were working on beleditechnoromanbhutofusion. Do tell me what on earth inspired you to compose this interesting number! Did you study with someone new???"

  8. #8
    Administrator Salome's Avatar
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    I am one of the co-ordinators of an annual event where this sort of thing happens every year. It is a juried stage, that has an established group of principle dancers. But we do allow for several guest spots but those are auditioned well ahead of time. Even so, every year, there are people who just show up and say 'I know so and so' and expect to perform and also those who ask... The stage manager invaribly answers that the show is auditioned ahead of time and that they can apply to audition for next year. That system has more or less worked pretty well.

  9. #9
    V.I.P. Aisha Azar's Avatar
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    Default Shows, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by Salome View Post
    I am one of the co-ordinators of an annual event where this sort of thing happens every year. It is a juried stage, that has an established group of principle dancers. But we do allow for several guest spots but those are auditioned well ahead of time. Even so, every year, there are people who just show up and say 'I know so and so' and expect to perform and also those who ask... The stage manager invaribly answers that the show is auditioned ahead of time and that they can apply to audition for next year. That system has more or less worked pretty well.

    Dear Salome,
    We have seldom held auditions, usually pretty well knowing who has what to offer through haflas, etc. Butwe did hold auditions last fall and got enough dancers to add to our fall show last year and this one in March. They all to agreed dance in the Company's choreographies where needed, and one of our members is needed to dance in a choreography that one of our guests is presenting, and that exchange is working out well. The Company needs to decide if we want to do it that way again, or follow our usual course of action and see who is offering what at haflas. Both methods have seemed pretty successful for us! Good to have another way of handling the situation when we do auditions!!
    Regards,
    A'isha

  10. #10
    V.I.P. da Sage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aisha Azar View Post
    My question is this. How do you all handle it when someone asks if they can be in a performance that is very carefully planned? It happens every now and then that a dancer will ask to be in a show..... and first of all it always surprises me because I would NEVER presume to ask if I can perform. I would assume that a show is planned carefully and that the director has the people she needs, or that she is not presenting what I do, so does not need my services.
    I generally handle the situation by responding I have reached the time allotted for the performance, but thanks so much for offering. I do not want to make any promises about further engagements or anything, but I have been wondering how other people handle this situation.
    Regards,
    A'isha
    I think that many people have learned that the squeaky wheel gets the grease...or at least has a possibility of getting the grease! I don't know how the dancers are phrasing their requests, but I'm sure they want you to know that they are interested and available.

    If they are polite and not overbearing, it might be a little awkward, but shouldn't be a problem. If you state that you already have plans for who will be in this show, but you are glad she told you she was interested in your productions, that should cover the bases without any lies.

    Many people have waited silently to be chosen (for artistic collaboration, a promotion at work, etc), only to be told later, "Oh! I had no idea you were interested!", which puts the blame for a missed opportunity back on them. Such people would rather put themselves forward a little bit, even risking being considered presumptuous, instead of wondering later, "What if I had said something?"

    When I was organizing a Renaissance singing group, I was in the uncomfortable position of telling a friend that I would be thrilled to have her in the group, but not her (equally talented) husband. I told her up front that I wouldn't be able to work with him, because I could already tell he would always be correcting and persistently advising me (the way that he did with her), and that my vision of the group was with me as the director, not him! Excluding people is one of the worst parts of organizing for me, but sometimes it has to be done, and I think it is best to be as honest as possible about it.
    Last edited by da Sage; 02-24-2009 at 04:04 AM. Reason: last paragraph

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