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  1. #31
    V.I.P. lizaj's Avatar
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    Yes looking pleased is a look you can effect and I don't understand why dancers don't make the effort.
    (I do understand nerves and "regretting teacher twisted my arm to do this "but I am not meaning this.)
    I wonder if they mistakedly believe they are better "looking cool".

    A dancer in another city said she had witnessed one talented dancer who managed not to convey the warmth of Egyptian style because what came across to her was a superiority and condescention. Maybe she didn't mean it but that the whole point of developing that stage presence/ personaity/ attitude that makes someone a professional. Even if you really don't want to be at an event once committed you do indeed "fake" it!

    yes even at "amateur "events, I have danced feeling like sh£te because I was comitted to perform/organise etc. I've danced with a badly sprained ankle..luckily it was a comedic turn..why? Because I would have let my dancing partner down and I "enjoyed" myself.
    You can be as smart as paint in your technique but go out there with the wrong attitude/approach and your audience will stiffen up and switch off.
    You have train in that, be prepared to listen to advice from those who have been on the stage, in the restaurant. It doesn't matter how old we are, how long we have been at it..you have to take it all on board.

    I am always so impressed by dancers like Lorna, Lulu, Meissoun,Wendy et al at JoY who got up on the stage and "sparkled" after days of travelling, teaching etc.
    But then they can not only dance beautifully but are "pros" with a pro attitude. Not only that these ladies great on stage but pleasant when meeting their audience.
    It takes me back (oh old woman reminices on a tale told before) to meeting Dame Margaret Rutherford. fabulous actress and kind hearted lady who took 2 teenagers out of the rain at the stage door and talked to us like we were important to her. Star!

  2. #32
    Member Freddie'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?
    I disagree - I hardly ever "act" when I perform. I am pretty much always myself, but the difference is that the "self" that is being projected is one that matches the music, the mood of the environment I'm in and the mood I want to take that environment to.

    I certainly wouldn't let the "bad hair day" or other difficulties get in the way of that.

    In 2004 I danced for a wedding - the groom was Egyptian, the bride was Spanish. I was booked for a 40 min show and wasn't feeling very well. My shoulder was killing me and I was having difficulty breathing. I really felt like lying down in a corner, but I had been booked, I was there, and I was as ready as I was ever going to be. So I did the show, and the audience and clients were happy. I did my cane number even though my shoulder was really hurting.

    I went straight home to bed afterwards, and the next day was rushed to hospital with pleurisy and pneumonia and was stuck there for two weeks, with a further six weeks of recuperation.

    Being yourself does not necessarily mean showing any discomfort or difficulties that you may be facing that day or that week. That's just being unprofessional.

  3. #33
    Member Freddie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lizaj View Post
    Yes looking pleased is a look you can effect and I don't understand why dancers don't make the effort.
    But when you start to "effect" looks, then there is no "spark". It has to come from within and not be artificial.

    Quote Originally Posted by lizaj View Post
    I am always so impressed by dancers like Lorna, Lulu, Meissoun,Wendy et al at JoY who got up on the stage and "sparkled" after days of travelling, teaching etc.
    But then they can not only dance beautifully but are "pros" with a pro attitude. Not only that these ladies great on stage but pleasant when meeting their audience.
    Now that's what I call being professional. I admire these folks so much.

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by lizaj View Post
    Yes looking pleased is a look you can effect and I don't understand why dancers don't make the effort.
    (I do understand nerves and "regretting teacher twisted my arm to do this "but I am not meaning this.)
    I wonder if they mistakedly believe they are better "looking cool".

    A dancer in another city said she had witnessed one talented dancer who managed not to convey the warmth of Egyptian style because what came across to her was a superiority and condescention. Maybe she didn't mean it but that the whole point of developing that stage presence/ personaity/ attitude that makes someone a professional. Even if you really don't want to be at an event once committed you do indeed "fake" it!

    yes even at "amateur "events, I have danced feeling like sh£te because I was comitted to perform/organise etc. I've danced with a badly sprained ankle..luckily it was a comedic turn..why? Because I would have let my dancing partner down and I "enjoyed" myself.
    You can be as smart as paint in your technique but go out there with the wrong attitude/approach and your audience will stiffen up and switch off.
    You have train in that, be prepared to listen to advice from those who have been on the stage, in the restaurant. It doesn't matter how old we are, how long we have been at it..you have to take it all on board.
    Most of us have most likely been in the position where we have to perform under duress. I know I have. And yes, I put on a face, but I don't put on someone else's face, I draw on what I have inside myself. Pulling out some energy or spark can be torture when you've had to dance in the face of extreme grief or stress. My point was that the dancer in question was advised to emote in a way that felt wrong and alien to her and made her feel uncomfortable. Some folks who are outgoing find it easy to 'act' and their own natural confidence makes this easy for them. For others it's not so easy, and to try to project in the way someone else does may go against the grain and therefore can tend to look phony. So, even if a dancer is shy or less outgoing they can still come across as charming and watcheable, though of course, they must learn to exude confidence and connect with the audience.

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Freddie View Post
    But when you start to "effect" looks, then there is no "spark". It has to come from within and not be artificial.

    yes, this was my point also. Nothing is more cringeworthy than a dancer who tries too hard... be it with the over sexual bit or the Dina face pulling.

  6. #36
    Super Moderator gisela's Avatar
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    I think (kind of ironic though) that it takes A LOT of practice to be oneself on stage. And to be natural in the face. When I saw myself on video the first time I was amazed that what I had thought and felt was a natural, relaxed, pleasant smile was more like interchanging between a cringe and a huge underbite"smile". I don't believe that was truly me, even though that was my natural unpracticed expression at the time. I know some friends too have discovered they do weird faces when performing. I think it comes from nervousness, concentration, etc and not being aware of your face.
    Now I do practice my facial-expressions but not like "this looks good and this doesn't" but more being aware of what I feel in the different parts of the music and letting it change my face.
    Oh I just remembered, I have practiced my smile. It was not flattering with the underbite thing.
    immer glimmer

  7. #37
    V.I.P. lizaj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Freddie View Post
    But when you start to "effect" looks, then there is no "spark". It has to come from within and not be artificial.



    Now that's what I call being professional. I admire these folks so much.
    Ah well being able to "effect" and fool 'em all into thinking it all comes naturally is the real hard work. That to me is the fantastic thing about this dance. Good Egyptian style dancers- both Egyptian and Western- make it all look so natural and relaxed when it's all about hard work and control.
    Knowing you as a dancer, you always convey your joy in the dance, you're a warm dancer and not only does that come naturally but I know you've have to work hard as well.
    But there will be dancers who are talented technically and don't find that warmth comes as easily and they will need to "act" the part.
    This doesn't mean to say we become a carbon copy super-grin Barbie. there will always be a part of us in the performance.
    I think of some of the successful UK dancers I have seen - all professional in approach but all very different in stage persona- personally putting a stamp on what they do while "acting the part " from the minute they step on the stage to that disappearing nto the wings: Kharis and Caroline, Candi and Tracy, Maria and Anne.

  8. #38
    Member Freddie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lizaj View Post
    Ah well being able to "effect" and fool 'em all into thinking it all comes naturally is the real hard work. That to me is the fantastic thing about this dance. Good Egyptian style dancers- both Egyptian and Western- make it all look so natural and relaxed when it's all about hard work and control.
    Yes, but is it "acting"? Or is the dancer merely compartmentalising and just bringing out the parts of her inner self that she wishes to display or feels it appropriate to display at the time?

    I have always thought there are two types of "actor". Firstly, the type that is acting "through themselves", keeping their persona real whilst acting what the character would be feeling, through their own "personality filter". Sean Connery is a good example of this. Then there's the type who disregards their own persona completely to totally embody the fictitious character's persona.

    But when I dance I don't act at all. I am a very rubbish actor, always have been. But I can access different areas of my emotional, inner self and bring those forward, and pushing aside the crap that I don't want exhibiting to the world at large.

    Quote Originally Posted by lizaj View Post
    Knowing you as a dancer, you always convey your joy in the dance, you're a warm dancer and not only does that come naturally but I know you've have to work hard as well.
    Well it's a long time since you've seen me do a full set and I hope I'm not just doing "joy" all the time these days. I do love dancing, and generallly it makes me feel joyous, but there are some pieces of music that just don't shout "joy" to me and so I don't express joyfulness when I dance to those tracks.

    As to working hard, yes re. technique, but no, not when it comes to self-expression. I was a presenter and public speaker long before I was a dancer and I use exactly the same techniques when it comes to expressing feelings. So yes that side of it comes naturally. Acting doesn't come at all naturally to me - I envy those for whom it does.

    Quote Originally Posted by lizaj View Post
    But there will be dancers who are talented technically and don't find that warmth comes as easily and they will need to "act" the part.
    This doesn't mean to say we become a carbon copy super-grin Barbie. there will always be a part of us in the performance.
    Indeed. But if youa re going to act, do it well. Otherwise it will be transparently insincere. And I see a heck of a lot of that, even by so-called "pros".

    Quote Originally Posted by lizaj View Post
    I think of some of the successful UK dancers I have seen - all professional in approach but all very different in stage persona- personally putting a stamp on what they do while "acting the part " from the minute they step on the stage to that disappearing nto the wings: Kharis and Caroline, Candi and Tracy, Maria and Anne.
    I've only ever seen Caroline acting, I have never seen any of the others doing a "theatrical" performance as such. I thought they were expressing themselves, not acting, when I saw them dance.

    Kharis, are you acting when you dance?

  9. #39
    V.I.P. Caroline_afifi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Freddie View Post
    Yes, but is it "acting"? Or is the dancer merely compartmentalising and just bringing out the parts of her inner self that she wishes to display or feels it appropriate to display at the time?
    When I was at Drama school, that is how we were taught to act.

    I have always thought there are two types of "actor". Firstly, the type that is acting "through themselves", keeping their persona real whilst acting what the character would be feeling, through their own "personality filter". Sean Connery is a good example of this. Then there's the type who disregards their own persona completely to totally embody the fictitious character's persona.
    I dont mean we literally act like an actress does, unless it is a role in a dance drama in theatre. I mean like you say, we just have different names for it.

    But when I dance I don't act at all. I am a very rubbish actor, always have been. But I can access different areas of my emotional, inner self and bring those forward, and pushing aside the crap that I don't want exhibiting to the world at large.
    That is exactly what I mean. For some, being themselves maywell ne what they feel in terms of fear, nerves, pissed off, insecure etc. those who havent master the other stuff maywell exhibit all of these things or be totally unaware of the expression on their faces and what it is saying to people.


    Well it's a long time since you've seen me do a full set and I hope I'm not just doing "joy" all the time these days. I do love dancing, and generallly it makes me feel joyous, but there are some pieces of music that just don't shout "joy" to me and so I don't express joyfulness when I dance to those tracks.

    As to working hard, yes re. technique, but no, not when it comes to self-expression. I was a presenter and public speaker long before I was a dancer and I use exactly the same techniques when it comes to expressing feelings. So yes that side of it comes naturally. Acting doesn't come at all naturally to me - I envy those for whom it does.
    Again, it all comes down to how you define acting.

    Indeed. But if youa re going to act, do it well. Otherwise it will be transparently insincere. And I see a heck of a lot of that, even by so-called "pros".
    Yes, this happens. Some people find it very difficult.

    I've only ever seen Caroline acting, I have never seen any of the others doing a "theatrical" performance as such. I thought they were expressing themselves, not acting, when I saw them dance.

    Kharis, are you acting when you dance?
    Have you only seen me perform in Dance Drama?

    Maybe you were back stage when we did the Unity Theatre showcase?

    But you have seen me dance informally and that is a different story if course.

    Like I said, acting is something I only do when under duress and need to... or on stage in an acting capacity.
    Last edited by Caroline_afifi; 04-24-2009 at 08:24 PM.

  10. #40
    V.I.P. Caroline_afifi's Avatar
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    [QUOTE]
    Quote Originally Posted by Kharis View Post
    Most of us have most likely been in the position where we have to perform under duress. I know I have. And yes, I put on a face, but I don't put on someone else's face, I draw on what I have inside myself. Pulling out some energy or spark can be torture when you've had to dance in the face of extreme grief or stress.
    Perhaps i should remove the word and 'acting' and replace it with...?

    I dunno, but the word acting seems to be confusing the issue.

    I would define the above as 'an act' meaning the same thing.

    http://www.bellydanceforums.net/pict...&pictureid=750

    Houda has sparks flying off every part of her being when she dances!

    With regards to 'Spark', I dont mean false expression or anything else like that.

    face pulling... well that can be part of natural expression as is talking with the hands. We tend to pull alot of funny faces during the act of sex and in most other things that bring us joy so why should dance be so different?


    'Spark' is perhaps a 'certain' something that shines through and sometimes needs teasing out of people.
    Last edited by Caroline_afifi; 04-24-2009 at 08:39 PM.

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