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  1. #21
    V.I.P. Caroline_afifi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kharis View Post
    I'm presuming it's meant that spark equals energy? A dance lacking energy is a dull one indeed, but I personally feel that this energy comes in many forms and not just in the 'emoting' department. Some folks think that face pulling equates to dancing with feeling. Wrong. So much can be expressed using the body alone. But it must have energy.
    Spark is emotional energy as opposed to Physical.

    Where does face pulling come into it? that is another issue as false expression is as bad as non.

    Some dancers just wear an expression that makes them look like they just smelt sh*t, the other is a 'gin queen' smile but all have these have nothing to do with 'spark'.

  2. #22
    V.I.P. lizaj's Avatar
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    It's important for a dancer to be herself. Some people are very animated in their everyday life, some less expressive. What sometimes comes across is when a dancer rehearses their facial expressions as well as their moves and boy does it show.
    I do watch some dancers who don't evenseem to be enjoying themselves and I'm not sure why they actually do the dance. And it's like they begrudge their auidence any joy.It's not enough to do it well ( this dance in particular) you have to enjoy it and share it. And that goes for an "energetic" dance physically or one that demands emotional intensity.
    I do think wether the dance is more restrained or "bouncy, there is energy required, control as we all know is hard work.

  3. #23
    V.I.P. Ariadne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kashmir View Post
    No, I don't think it is "energy". I think it is a full engagement with the music and a connection with their body, their emotions and the audience.
    Agreed. Another word for it is charisma, you have to engage the audience in the performance. Draw them in if you will.

    Recently I was watching a competition (*cough* American Idol *cough*) and one of the contestants was given a hard time by the judges because he wasn't engaging the audience. His background was musical theater and they criticized him because, according to them, there was a wall between him and the audience (as there usually is in theater performances). Even though his performance was technically amazing it still fell short without that connection.

    To me the difference between professional and everyone else in any performance is that spark. Even if someone goes "pro" if they are missing it they can only get so far.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by lizaj View Post
    It's important for a dancer to be herself. .
    I so agree. I know a dancer who was told she did not emote enough facially and that because of this she wasn't very 'egyptian'....whatever that means. She was quite concerned and this knocked her confidence. I told her to just be herself. Some folks can muster up some kind of persona when they dance, but it doesn't work for others. So if in doubt, just be yourself.

  5. #25
    V.I.P. lizaj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kharis View Post
    I so agree. I know a dancer who was told she did not emote enough facially and that because of this she wasn't very 'egyptian'....whatever that means. She was quite concerned and this knocked her confidence. I told her to just be herself. Some folks can muster up some kind of persona when they dance, but it doesn't work for others. So if in doubt, just be yourself.
    It is very difficult for any of us Westerners "to be Egyptian". I am not saying impossible. I think back to what Caroline said about Lorna - a longish sojorn in Cairo has done wonders for her style.
    I think we can be taught the mechanics of Egyptian style belly dance and execute them and still "miss it" in performance.
    Sometimes if we are too polished, too sharp,too cool, too haaartt,too self conscious, too confident, too set in our ways to change,too open minded to other influences or maybe just not that interested in doing other than pleasing ourselves. there's a myriad of reasons as to why we fail and why we fail to entertain
    There is also that mile of difference between being a brilliant technician and being a satisfactory entertainer ( I prefer that to performer because I've seen too many dancers who forget that's what they are). It's a matter of humanity and humility towards your audience.
    We've all been to the big festiivals and been in awe of skill but especilaly with the stage- the warmth of the performer either isn't there or doesn't reach us and we are left feeling empty. I do regret saying it but that's the problem with BDSS. Compare what some of us felt after seeing them and what we felt after seeing Dandesh on the Farha tour. And Western dancers can achieve that. I'll add a photo of Lorna Gow that somehow captured her joy and her ability to capture an "essense " of the dance ( Ek am I sounding like Aisha..I still miss you, lady)

    [IMG][/IMG]


    Lorna at JoY this April
    Last edited by lizaj; 04-23-2009 at 09:37 PM.

  6. #26
    Premium Member Aniseteph's Avatar
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    GORGEOUS picture!

  7. #27
    V.I.P. Caroline_afifi's Avatar
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    Well I am not so sure that everyone can rely on 'being themselves' for a performance.

    What does that mean exactly?

    Artists have to draw on some acting... if the have stormed out of the house after a big bust up... or they went to the hairdressers and they messed up their hair do, or they are just the permanently depressed types, or they dont generally smile alot.

    If people naturally have dead pan expressions then it just aint gonna work.

    Look at that photo of Lorna.. she wasnt like that before going to Cairo, she had to learn a 'new self' and develop her expression in her dance and it certainly has worked for her.

    If a dancer has been told to work on expression by her teacher then whats the problem? why would that knock her confidence?

    We have to stop being fragile if we have a desire to go pro, listen to advice and learn how to take it.

    Only mothers love unconditionally!

    Ps that photo looks odd out of context, Lorna was about to blow a kiss!

  8. #28
    V.I.P. lizaj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caroline_afifi View Post
    Well I am not so sure that everyone can rely on 'being themselves' for a performance.

    What does that mean exactly?

    Artists have to draw on some acting... if the have stormed out of the house after a big bust up... or they went to the hairdressers and they messed up their hair do, or they are just the permanently depressed types, or they dont generally smile alot.

    If people naturally have dead pan expressions then it just aint gonna work.

    Look at that photo of Lorna.. she wasnt like that before going to Cairo, she had to learn a 'new self' and develop her expression in her dance and it certainly has worked for her.

    If a dancer has been told to work on expression by her teacher then whats the problem? why would that knock her confidence?

    We have to stop being fragile if we have a desire to go pro, listen to advice and learn how to take it.

    Only mothers love unconditionally!

    Ps that photo looks odd out of context, Lorna was about to blow a kiss!
    I agree about a stage persona but what I think is a mistake is if a dancer tries to move to far away from herself. A simplistic example trying to do uber-sexee when you just ain't like that. It's better just to look like you are pleased to be dancing!
    I am thinking of hafla dancing here. I see an awful lot of rueful looking dancers ..has teacher twisted their arm?
    I also see good dancers who look like they wish they were elsewhere. I suspect some think they are doing their fellow dancers a favour from the expression they can barely disguise
    If you don't have the "acting" talent that a dancer needs it is better that a dancer takes a personal approach.
    So you make it to the stage and paid employment.By this time you need to be an actressOf course the problems lies if she doesn't have a very dynamic personality or strength of character and then you might well say ..why perform?!

    Lorna could have had an itchy nose, be blowing a raspberry or just needed a rest
    But I think the photo showed that experiences had given her that assured but relaxed way you exect from a good Egyptian style dancer.

  9. #29
    V.I.P. Caroline_afifi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lizaj View Post
    I agree about a stage persona but what I think is a mistake is if a dancer tries to move to far away from herself. A simplistic example trying to do uber-sexee when you just ain't like that. It's better just to look like you are pleased to be dancing!
    Pleased to be dancing is an expression.

    I am thinking of hafla dancing here. I see an awful lot of rueful looking dancers ..has teacher twisted their arm?
    and ones who count...

    I also see good dancers who look like they wish they were elsewhere. I suspect some think they are doing their fellow dancers a favour from the expression they can barely disguise
    ?

    If you don't have the "acting" talent that a dancer needs it is better that a dancer takes a personal approach.
    faking your dance is like faking sex. Hopefully you wont have to do it but if you are a pro and you are feeling ill etc. then occasionally needs must.

    I am talking about 'peo' here and what it often takes. I have danced on a few occasions in the past, following the death of a famaily member etc. you cannot express your grief, you have to find something else within you and 'switch off' your dominant emotion. I have also danced with Flu and suffered every second. It is sheer fantasy to be 'true' to ourselves at all times. A paid performer has to offer something other than their emotions.

    So you make it to the stage and paid employment.By this time you need to be an actressOf course the problems lies if she doesn't have a very dynamic personality or strength of character and then you might well say ..why perform?!
    yep.

    Lorna could have had an itchy nose, be blowing a raspberry or just needed a rest
    But I think the photo showed that experiences had given her that assured but relaxed way you exect from a good Egyptian style dancer.
    Exactly and who knows what she felt underneath all of that. She was probably exhausted but she delivered and was fabulous.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caroline_afifi View Post
    Well I am not so sure that everyone can rely on 'being themselves' for a performance.

    What does that mean exactly?

    Artists have to draw on some acting... if the have stormed out of the house after a big bust up... or they went to the hairdressers and they messed up their hair do, or they are just the permanently depressed types, or they dont generally smile alot.

    If people naturally have dead pan expressions then it just aint gonna work.

    Look at that photo of Lorna.. she wasnt like that before going to Cairo, she had to learn a 'new self' and develop her expression in her dance and it certainly has worked for her.

    If a dancer has been told to work on expression by her teacher then whats the problem? why would that knock her confidence?

    We have to stop being fragile if we have a desire to go pro, listen to advice and learn how to take it.

    Only mothers love unconditionally!

    Ps that photo looks odd out of context, Lorna was about to blow a kiss!
    I agree caroline. I think dancing at the professional level or even as a serious hobbyist, would require that the person draws on something, whether it be some influence based on the dance style they are doing..

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