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  1. #1
    V.I.P. Caroline_afifi's Avatar
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    Default Got all the moves..

    But has not got the 'spark' ....

    As a teacher, would you put forward a student for pro dancing if they have all the moves but dont have any spark?

    I am seeing increasing numbers of technically good dancers but they are deviod of emotion and expression.

    Do you think as teachers we should be encouraging pro dancing in people who are expressionless but technically brilliant?

    Are we as teachers objective enough to recognise when we are doing this?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Caroline_afifi View Post
    But has not got the 'spark' ....

    As a teacher, would you put forward a student for pro dancing if they have all the moves but dont have any spark?

    I am seeing increasing numbers of technically good dancers but they are deviod of emotion and expression.

    Do you think as teachers we should be encouraging pro dancing in people who are expressionless but technically brilliant?

    Are we as teachers objective enough to recognise when we are doing this?

    AHHH.....good question.
    this 'spark' as you want to put it, comes from within, it is part of your personality. any expression of art is imo, not truly legitimate until that expression comes...you can tell it even with singers for example. some may be technically sound, but because they are not portraying themselves in their voices, or their personality comes shining through singing, it becomes just a not of nice notes being heard.

    but i have a question..

    if you are technically sound as a dancer, but given the general consensus here that for the dance to be legitimate, it must be sensitive to the culture to which it represents, how then do you present that personality, that cultural sensibility if it is alien, (for want of a better term to you)...what personality or charm then are you to project to make your dance as authentic as possible?
    is it then that if you are unable (due to whatever reason) project the egyptian, or turkish sensibility in the dance (through emotional response to the music) but just letting yourself shine are you doing the dance justice?

    I mean the only way really imo is by interfacing with the culture on a consistent basis..can that be learnt in a class setting really?

    does it require you to understand the culture outside of dance? so that culture can be translated thorough dance? is it a learned thing, can it be learned or is it inherent?

    yuh know..so many questions..

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    V.I.P. Mya's Avatar
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    Dear Caro - i think for some people, the spark only comes with experience. I myself am still a baby dancer in many many respects and am still only occasionally able to get that spark in performances - and never when i really really want it to show. The more i perform though the more it comes out....that of course could also be because as i spend more time here i grow as a dancer and that's evolving my performances too.

    I also go through some of Kayshier's questions in my mind when it comes to this topic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Caroline_afifi View Post
    But has not got the 'spark' ....

    As a teacher, would you put forward a student for pro dancing if they have all the moves but dont have any spark?

    I am seeing increasing numbers of technically good dancers but they are deviod of emotion and expression.

    Do you think as teachers we should be encouraging pro dancing in people who are expressionless but technically brilliant?

    Are we as teachers objective enough to recognise when we are doing this?
    Extremely interesting topic! As I'm not a teacher, I can only say that I would hope that any prospective pros have a bit of both. Maybe when those teachers have a technically brilliant student, they should help them work on finding their connection to the music's emotion and and learn to express this if said student is lacking in that department. I'm sure there's various ways to go about this, depending on the student. But I too get a bit tired watching dancers who do amazing things but show no personality there. However, I can watch an expressive dancer for ages, even if their technique is a bit 'softer' because it's the energy and the feelings they're projecting that draws me in. If there is no energy moving between dancer and audience, then in my humble personal opinion, I just don't see the point.

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    V.I.P. Caroline_afifi's Avatar
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    I always say, you need a bit of 'fire in your belly' when you dance.

    I agree with Oona that less technique and more expression is far nicer and probably closer to the 'real thing'.

    If you enjoy the movement and the music and the movement, then basically you are expressing the culture. If you are expressing your joy at being in the limelight, then you are not.

    A load of props and fancy footwork does not express that much too me, and neither does aloof and disengaged whilst trying to be perfect.

    A good teacher should work on both in tandem.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Caroline_afifi View Post
    I always say, you need a bit of 'fire in your belly' when you dance.

    I agree with Oona that less technique and more expression is far nicer and probably closer to the 'real thing'.

    If you enjoy the movement and the music and the movement, then basically you are expressing the culture. If you are expressing your joy at being in the limelight, then you are not.

    A load of props and fancy footwork does not express that much too me, and neither does aloof and disengaged whilst trying to be perfect.

    A good teacher should work on both in tandem.
    but suppose this 'fire' is a trinidadian fire, an american fire, some other place fire, but not an egyptian fire or a turkish fire...then what is expressed at the end of the day?
    is it really raks?

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    V.I.P. Mya's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kayshier View Post
    but suppose this 'fire' is a trinidadian fire, an american fire, some other place fire, but not an egyptian fire or a turkish fire...then what is expressed at the end of the day?
    is it really raks?
    It's like learning a foreign language - you have to learn to channel your american/trinidadian/Swedish self in an Egyptian/Turkish/Lebanese way.

    You (generic) can't expect to want to speak Spanish with a German accent and grammar constructs and have the Spanish speakers be thrilled about it. Similarly you can't want to channel trini or american in MED and expect it to be thought wonderful.

    It's a process - a process of learning and practising and adjusting probably for the rest of your life how to see things through the ME eyes and letting that come through in your dance. It may not be raqs now, but it might get closer to it as you grow in the dance. No one walks into ballet class today and expects to be a prima ballerina tomorrow or next year or ever even - it's no different for raqs.

    You (generic) may never be absolutely fluent in this dance, but to let that deter you would be as silly as abandoning a foreign language because most people will never be as fluent as a native speaker even after decades of study and living there.

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    V.I.P. Mya's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caroline_afifi View Post
    A good teacher should work on both in tandem.
    I totally agree with this! It seems though that one tends to develop faster than the other for most people outside of the culture of origin and also that many people are far more comfortable to express when they feel like they're doing the movements "right" - maybe because in the west, the GP often (seem to) judge the dance on the quality of the movement first and everything else after?

    I don't know - i'm just trying to make sense of it.

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    V.I.P. Yasmine Bint Al Nubia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caroline_afifi View Post
    I always say, you need a bit of 'fire in your belly' when you dance.

    I agree with Oona that less technique and more expression is far nicer and probably closer to the 'real thing'.

    If you enjoy the movement and the music and the movement, then basically you are expressing the culture. If you are expressing your joy at being in the limelight, then you are not.

    A load of props and fancy footwork does not express that much too me, and neither does aloof and disengaged whilst trying to be perfect.

    A good teacher should work on both in tandem.
    Great topic, as I agree with your basic assessment, but please allow me to tag a few more lines to your last statement. I think a good teacher MUST introduce those concepts and then provide opportunities to allow these expressions to occur. As it has been said many times before on this forum...one cannot separate the dance from the music and therefore the culture. So even technically sound dancers still need to undestand the cultural context of the music... This, it seems to be our collective opinion, is what makes expressive dancers so enjoyable to watch.

    The 'fire in the belly' is an apt term for the dynamic forms of western style dances, personally I prefer 'passions in the heart' to describe the subtle and dynamic energy that's found in bellydance.
    Yasmine

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    Premium Member Aniseteph's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mya View Post
    You (generic) may never be absolutely fluent in this dance, but to let that deter you would be as silly as abandoning a foreign language because most people will never be as fluent as a native speaker even after decades of study and living there.
    rep for this! (sorry it's just virtual rep )

    The fire, spark, passion - whatever you call it - is having something to say in this language you are learning. I don't think it matters what nationality you are.

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