Male Dancer Costume

Darshiva

Moderator
On a related note I was trawling youtube tonight and came across this:

[video=youtube;3WOoTkB9P7U]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3WOoTkB9P7U[/video]
 

Shanazel

Super Moderator
Thanks for explaining, Dar.

I "get it", too, Zorba, but I also see Zumarrad's point. One doesn't have to agree with a situation or wide-held perception in order to admit that it exists and must be dealt with.

Sometimes the loudest statements are made by folks just going quietly about their own business. They don't intend to be leaders but one day they look behind them and see a long line of folks following them... clinging to their skirt tails, as it were. ;)
 

Zorba

"The Veiled Male"
...to admit that it exists and must be dealt with.

Sometimes the loudest statements are made by folks just going quietly about their own business. They don't intend to be leaders but one day they look behind them and see a long line of folks following them... clinging to their skirt tails, as it were. ;)
Sometimes the best way to "deal with" things is to simply ignore them. People are free to think what they like, as long as they don't get in my face, I really don't care...
 

Shanazel

Super Moderator
Sometimes the best way to "deal with" things is to simply ignore them. People are free to think what they like, as long as they don't get in my face, I really don't care...
:) I feel that way about politics, religion, fashion, and meatloaf with tomato sauce.
 

Darshiva

Moderator
I swear this topic just came up at the same time at various places on the internet. So here's the thrilling conclusion to the male fashion trilogy.

[video=youtube;N_MxS7A5nws]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N_MxS7A5nws[/video]
 

Kashmir

New member
By all means wear whatever you are comfortable with (assuming your troupe director/teacher agrees) - but don't bitch then if you get misinterpreted. My preference is for no makup, jeans and t-shirts but if I'm at a gig I wear makeup, jewellery and sparkly clothes (usually a dress) because performance is theatre; you are not just dancing but spinning a fantasy and part of that you take from the audience's own mind.
 

Kashmir

New member
Darshiva - my formative years were in the 60s & 70s. Men wearing skirts (or high heels - or fishnets) is part of my normal social experience. But I know none of those guys dress like that in their day jobs (at least those who have jobs - challenging some stereotypes can limit your employment prospects) whereas I wore pants to work 99% of the time - and for two jobs it was strongly suggested I do (pretty hard to get into overalls in a skirt and crawling under desks is never a good idea in a skirt). In current western culture women in pants is not cross dressing - men in skirts still is. It might be unfair but ignore it at your peril.
 

Darshiva

Moderator
Darshiva - my formative years were in the 60s & 70s. Men wearing skirts (or high heels - or fishnets) is part of my normal social experience. But I know none of those guys dress like that in their day jobs (at least those who have jobs - challenging some stereotypes can limit your employment prospects) whereas I wore pants to work 99% of the time - and for two jobs it was strongly suggested I do (pretty hard to get into overalls in a skirt and crawling under desks is never a good idea in a skirt). In current western culture women in pants is not cross dressing - men in skirts still is. It might be unfair but ignore it at your peril.
See that is why I take issue with this:

By all means wear whatever you are comfortable with (assuming your troupe director/teacher agrees) - but don't bitch then if you get misinterpreted.
Specifically, the don't bitch about it part. The big reason why women currently wear pants, MOSTLY without issue, is because women bitched about it when they wore pants and were misinterpreted (called a lesbian, accused of trying to be men, etc).

I seriously understand the ideal of being able to accept the consequences of one's actions, but this isn't the moment to hold someone to those ideals. This is the moment to say 'look, people are going to be arseholes about this, but I'm going to support you'. This isn't about transgender equality (although it does overlap), it is about the right for people to wear clothing that they like and feel comfortable wearing. Which is precisely the reasoning behind those awesome pioneering women of the right for women to wear pants. :)
 

Shanazel

Super Moderator
I think that "don't bitch" translates as "don't be surprised" if it gets misinterpreted rather than "you asked for it so suck it up."

Dance is not always an occasion to express one's individuality in dress.

Last fall, my class did shaabi. Performance costumes were tees, jeans, hip scarves. One of the male members of the class didn't want to wear jeans; wanted to wear a dress because he doesn't like men's jeans. I said no: ensemble dance, ensemble costume. Offered to loan him a pair of seriously blinged out jeans belonging to me (a visually modified pair of Levi 501s; we have the same waist size though my inseam is longer). He decided to sit that one out, partly due to the costume, partly due to not feeling ready to dance in public.

Now we're doing khaleeji. He loves his new blinged out thobe. The other male member of the class, not a wearer of skirts, cheerfully agreed to ensemble dress.

Ensemble member: ensemble dress. I don't expect to have to plan costumes around one person's preferences.
 

Zorba

"The Veiled Male"
But I know none of those guys dress like that in their day jobs (at least those who have jobs - challenging some stereotypes can limit your employment prospects) whereas I wore pants to work 99% of the time - and for two jobs it was strongly suggested I do (pretty hard to get into overalls in a skirt and crawling under desks is never a good idea in a skirt). In current western culture women in pants is not cross dressing - men in skirts still is. It might be unfair but ignore it at your peril.
Oh really? Sorry about the bad picture rotation, but this is one of MANY pictures taken of me at work - in a skirt every darn day! "Ignore at your peril" - HA! Tell me "you can't" at yours.



zorba@work.jpg
 
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Shanazel

Super Moderator
At this point, you are the exception rather than the rule and good on you for it. My dancer still wears "male drag" for work, not because it is required, but because he's not prepared to take the fallout.
 

Zorba

"The Veiled Male"
At this point, you are the exception rather than the rule and good on you for it.
True enough, but somebody's gotta challenge this "baloney" and go first. Since I really could care less about fallout, it might as well be me. I wore pants to work a couple of times a couple of months ago - the first time in probably 15 years. People here did NOT like it!

I've often had people tell me that I'm "brave". I don't see it that way - I just don't care. I'm a guy in a skirt - so what?
 

Zumarrad

New member
Misogyny, yes, but to assume that western ideas about pants are the beginning and ending of the matter is rather Eurocentric. In most world cultures, if there are pants to be had, it's the women who have worn them. So making this all about the bold Western women who fought for the right to wear trousers in the early 20th century is no less narrow than observing that wearing a skirt - not a kilt, not a lavalava, not a single garment covering the upper and lower bodies without bifurcation - is going to be interpreted as female attire by most people looking at you.

Dance performance is about representation, so what you wear in a stage setting matters more than what you wear when you're wandering down the street. It will be subject to more scrutiny and more interpretation. A dancer can't stop mid performance and explain why they're wearing what they're wearing. This goes far beyond skirts and pants. What you wear on stage sends a very strong message, and you can't always control its reception.

This dance form also represents not just our individual tastes but entire cultures that are frequently not our own. That has to be taken into consideration too.
 
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Darshiva

Moderator
My posts are not a pick & mix. Please stop pulling words out of context and telling me I mean something other than what I mean. Thankyou.
 

Shanazel

Super Moderator
Extra thought for discussion: Is it necessary for costuming to change in countries of origin before changing it in secondary (mainly western) countries or is there acceptable leeway for costuming changes in westernized belly dance?
 

Zorba

"The Veiled Male"
If its "westernized Belly Dance", its "westernized Belly Dance". AmCab has traditionally borrowed from all over. Now if you're representing yourself as authentic Turkish, or authentic Egyptian, or whatever, that might be another story. That's how I see it anyway.
 

Kashmir

New member
Oh really? Sorry about the bad picture rotation, but this is one of MANY pictures taken of me at work - in a skirt every darn day! "Ignore at your peril" - HA! Tell me "you can't" at yours.
As I'm a self employed contractor these days I can wear anything I like - unless I'm going to see a client. One client actually complained about my T-shirts (clean, tidy and often amusing). You are lucky to have a good employer. Not everyone has that opportunity. They may not fail to employ/fire you for what you wear (in most cases that is illegal in NZ) but there are ways.
 

Zorba

"The Veiled Male"
As I'm a self employed contractor these days I can wear anything I like - unless I'm going to see a client. One client actually complained about my T-shirts (clean, tidy and often amusing). You are lucky to have a good employer. Not everyone has that opportunity. They may not fail to employ/fire you for what you wear (in most cases that is illegal in NZ) but there are ways.

You are correct, and I am very lucky to have a good, and ETHICAL, employer. People who get upset about clothing are generally people who I don't want to be around anyway. No suits or neckties here!
 
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