Question about audition

Jameelah

New member
I have an oportunity to dance in a show with Jilina (yes the bellydance superstar Jilina!!!)

So its an amazing oportunity and I have to audition for the part. So my questions are:
should i go in practice wear? or full costume??

And should I do a drull solo or choregraph?

Next question in the information the person organising the show, she mentioned a teaching fee involved if you are sucessful.
I think its a bit rude to ask us to audition, then charge us to learn the choregroaghy then charge people to attend the show. meanwhile we dance for no fee. It doesn;t sound right with me but I'm still going to audition and see what its all about before I decide too much.

Im interested to know if this is normal or not.
 

Yame

New member
Are you talking about the Belly Dance Evolution auditions?

If so, they have their own rules. You need to look at the website for the answers to your questions, and for any additional questions contact the people in charge of it.

Generally speaking, you audition in class gear, not in full costume. But as far as the BDE auditions go, most people are recording their videos in full costume for it. Last time I checked, you have submit a video of yourself performing Jillina's choreography, followed by a video of one of your own performances (dancing to a song of your choice).

With all that being said, if you are not okay with the ethics of how the show is being handled, you should not do it. You have to think about it and decide if it's worth it for you. Doing something you feel is wrong is only going to make you feel cheated in the end.
 

walladah

New member
THat is something that is common nowadays for new dancers, i.e....

to be trapped on how to perform within a decent-well known framework and still not being able to receive not even their travelling costs but also being asked to pay for the performance and the involvement with the event.

I know the BD Evolution rules, well, in case you have no problem with that, just go for it, it will be an experience.

My view however, is very old-fashioned: in case i am not paid for performing, first there must be certain conditions fulfilled for this unpaid performance (f.ex. that the show is also free-entrance, or charity or at least something that is experimental, or that they give you a chance to perform out of town and pay your travelling expenses etc or that they provide you with new good quality costumes for the show) and that i do not pay for performing.

I have not understood yet why to get into a dance competition you have to pay (usually much more that then door ticket itself!!) while the people who will come as audience will pay for the performance you and the other contestants offer!!!

I think that we pay already too much to get high quality training, high quality costumes and accessories, to pay for travelling/acommodation/personal expenses to become better dancers. Why should we pay to perform at a commercial show??


Read at Welcome to Morocco's Meanderings at the articles, the following one:
If Prices Are Up All Over, Why Are Oriental Dancers Getting Less?
Fantasia, Vol 5 #5, Sept/Oct 1982
By Morocco

This opinion by Morocco is what i think about all those cases of "promoting our art" through undercutting and financing the bad entrepreneurs who do not want to take the entrepreneurial risk of the show and burden with this the dancers themselves (without making us partners in profits!!!). I understand the dancers who get into paying to perform in a commercial show, but i know that once they pay to perform, it makes it harder for me to negotiate while i do not want to pay to perform. Then this is not solidary at all by our dance sisters, which makes me quite suspicious when some dancers come to me to complain about low salaries while they compete in undercutting or in paying to get unpaid into a show. on the other hand, Morocco's view gives me hope: becoming a better dancer is the only recipe for getting out of this awful undercutting... at the end, my dream is not to finance bad entrepreneurs with my free dancing, better to embellish other events...
 

teela

New member
I just got an e-mail from another famous dancer to audition for a number in a show back east where if accepted from my audition video, I would pay for 6 weeks of rehearsals, and pay for part of the costume. Sounds more like a performance class to me. To be fair, it is being advertised as a performance opportunity.
 

Leah

New member
Yikes

Thank you for sharing this info.

I had no idea that as a belly dancer, being invited to audition and chosen to perform meant you are hiring them,

since they are charging the dancer a fee to perform in their show.

Am I off base in the traditional logic that talent is chosen for their ability to make the event holder money by showcasing your skills?

My opinion differs slightly from some of the knowlegable women in this post.
If travel expenses are not included- there are times when that is unavoidable.

There is no question dancing with a group organized by Jillina could be career changing, but as a belly dancer herself, what message is Jillina sending to the belly dance community with these ethics?

Where will dancers paying event holders for exposure lead long term?


This topic has come up a few times recently on the web.
Dilara Sultan just did a 5 part series on when and how belly dancers should be paid.
Dilara's Diary at HipMix.net | NetworkedBlogs by Ninua

The link to Jillina's casting protocol is below.
About BDE Casting Competition
 

teela

New member
It was a mass mailing from this person. I doubt I was being singled out for my ability......LOL
 

walladah

New member
THanks for the Dilara Sultan articles...

actually they are funny and clear-cut!

i agree with her and i also ask the question, where does the money go?

because i know many events, where most dancers dance for free, while the star and organiser dancers get their share from the income made out of the show...

yes, i also agree about what Jilina and the rest group leaders in the bellydance industry teach on professional ethics. Actually, they just let people know that bellydancers are the artists which pay to get into an audition process and which will take over all their expenses to be able to perform on a big stage.

I really wonder, why bellydancers do not create collectives or cooperatives, to do the same thing and afterwards to share any income they have received... if we are supposed to pay for performing, we can do this as business-dancers, we do not need a "protector" to get all our income....
 

da Sage

New member
It's not all that unusual for skill-based or creative-work competitions to have an entry fee to participate. The entry fee goes towards publicity costs, prizes for the winners, maintaining the venue, and compensating the organizers (and occasionally the judges).

If you don't like the terms of the contest, don't enter it.
 

gisela

Super Moderator
Many art-exhibitions have an entry fee which you have to pay to even be considered. Even if you aren't picked to exhibit you don't get the money back. :(
 

Shanazel

Super Moderator
By all means, don't enter the contest if you don't like the rules. But also be aware that some contests are unethical and should be recognized as such instead of simply being passed over with a shrug.

I think its a bit rude to ask us to audition, then charge us to learn the choregroaghy then charge people to attend the show. meanwhile we dance for no fee.
Paying twenty bucks to enter a photograph or short story in a competition is at least straight forward. I don't enter those contests unless the entry fee is minimal and used directly to fund the awards.

What Jameelah describes is not the usual "entry fee required" contest. The organizers are double-dipping. Not only do they have free labor for the performance which nets them door receipts but they force the performers to pay to learn the choreography, additional funds which go straight into their pockets.

This is the sophisticated version of "but think of the great publicity and ego rush" that local organizations think is fair trade for a freebie performance. This is not an audition to appear in a professional performance as a professional in the position of "chorus line." The audition is a carrot to lure a dancer in to paying fees for classes that result in free labor for the organizer.

Personally, I think it sounds reprehensible and I'm looking forward to hearing the rest of the story if Jameelah goes through with it.
 
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Yame

New member
Paying twenty bucks to enter a photograph or short story in a competition is at least straight forward. I don't enter those contests unless the entry fee is minimal and used directly to fund the awards.

What Jameelah describes is not the usual "entry fee required" contest. The organizers are double-dipping. Not only do they have free labor for the performance which nets them door receipts but they force the performers to pay to learn the choreography, additional funds which go straight into their pockets.
This.

I mean, I don't think Jillina and the organizers are making a huge buck out of this, and I'm sure it costs a lot of money to pay for the costuming and the venues. However, I don't think it's right that some of the performers (the main line-up) get paid while others (the ones who auditioned) don't, and on top of not getting paid have to incur their own travel expenses and forgo on other opportunities and their job in order to be able to dedicate themselves fully to rehearsals all day for a few weeks.

The fee to audition is fine and very common in other dances and arts. What's not fine is not paying professional performers for a professional show on a professional stage which people are paying to see.

OTOH I do understand the motives behind entering this contest and don't fault anyone for entering as I am sure it can be a great experience for those who can afford it. It's the organizers who should know better.

Shanazel, when BDE first came out there was a huge discussion on Bhuz about the ethics of this business model. In the end, a few participants (people who auditioned for the show and got the part) chimed in with their experiences, which were mostly positive. If you're interested I can look for the thread.
 

walladah

New member
I would rather pay to take part in a competition

or an art exhibition, provided that this payment is justified by, let's say, the no-entrance fee for the audience/public.

You cannot both charge the audience AND the dancers who perform for you to get the entrance fees by the audience!! that is too much.

then, i prefer to participate in charities and at least receive a "thank you" at the end than pay to perform for businesses who will take all my income from my performance...

It has happened to me recently too, i mean, a dance competition was announced as part of a festival and when i asked about the competition, they told me about the... charges, which were not mentioned on the website.

THe funny thing is that once you buy a workshop ticket, you also buy a ticket to attend the competition. THen if you want to be part of it, you pay again...

So, i would be performing for other people to take the audience tickets and i would pay to be a competition participant and i would pay for an audience entrance (my audience seat) while i would be a performer...

then, i thought that for the money it will cost me to perform, it is better to do a charity performance or buy one more workshop to become a better dancer....

what do you think?
 

Leah

New member
I'm with Yame on this one

The fee to audition is fine and very common in other dances and arts. What's not fine is not paying professional performers for a professional show on a professional stage which people are paying to see.
You can't have it both ways.
Audition fees- fine. There is personnel to cover and venue expenses depending on where the audition is held.

But to award a dancer the "part" after her paid audition,
then charge her AGAIN to be a part of the production she/he was chosen for,
while the event holder is collecting ticket sales and
still not paying the dancer for the skills for which she was chosen and
the audience PAID to see.

It stinks of greed.

But, if a dancer believes the experience and the expense will further her belly dance career (and we hope it does) than it may be worth it for the individual dancer in the long run.

the more dancers who participate in this performance model, the more it will continue.

What kind of belly dance world would that look like?

One that undervalues the dance and the dancer.

We allll want to learn how this turns out for our beautiful auditioning belly dancer.
 

Aniseteph

New member
"Dance with Bigname Dancer !!!!!" seems to be becoming a thing. I think organisers spotted a new angle to get more mileage out of the big names they hire. Not just the usual pay for a workshop or two and see the show - now there's pay for a course of lessons with someone else to learn the choreography and then get to be on stage with Big Name Dancer. I agree with Shanazel that it's a carrot, and if you think it's worth it for the experience, why not? It is what it is, and it's about the students experience, IMO.

I don't know that I like the idea of auditioning for that. Please - if Organiser (or star) doesn't want to share the stage with a bunch of no-hopers, then it's no longer about the students, it's about their precious show. If they want quality they should pay for it. Appealing to dancers hopes/ dreams/ vanity/ egos by inviting them to audition and pay for the privilege does look like exploitation to me.

And is it really ever much of a career boost to have been an unpaid backing dancer for BigName Dancer (who will probably dance you off the stage) at a BD event?
 
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