Real people dancing vs professionals?

Maria_Aya

New member
Hi there !!!
I was looking today many many video's of people dancing in arab world in weddings, party's etc.
Its total different than a professional dancing, and sure it is very intersting.
Sometimes we the professionals, miss the core of the dance, which is to enjoy !!!!
I love the unique feeling of a person getting up on stage with friends and relatives around and dance !!!!
This is one of my favorites.

A great and very known Tabla solo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rz2EFnMJOAk

Maria Aya:)
 

Gia al Qamar

New member
I enjoyed watching her...but I'm confused...she doesn't appear to be an invited guest (most of the women there are covered modestly) and she's in jeans and a tank top...rather casually dressed for a wedding (the shots of the crowd show the guests in very dressy attire). Is it possible that she was 'hired' to dance? I don't get the sense that she just jumped up there for the sheer joy of dancing! :cool:
Gia
 

Aisha Azar

New member
"Real people" etc.

Dear Aya,
I was also under the impression that she was a guest, but that perhaps she is either a belly dancer as her job,or is really into it more than the average wedding guest might be. In partying pretty frequently with Arab women, I have not seen very many who are able to dance in the complex way this woman did and they usually like pop music nowadays to dance to and don't do drum solos. She might be a dancer who is rather new or not in the top eschelons because she did not have the "professioanl confidence" of the top dancers, but I thought she was very good; much better than the average guest would probably be.
Regards,
A'isha
 

Shanazel

Super Moderator
Maybe she is a guest with no taste in wedding attire. She spends a lot of time staring down at her body, and the constantly bent head is not all that professional. She's fun to watch, though. It occurs to me when I see these wedding clips that the brides are always remarkably uninspired by the dancing. This one acts irritated (perhaps she wants to be the only center of attention on her wedding day?) and I saw a clip once of a bride who cried when a very lightly dressed dancer arrived to dance so hard that her boobs escaped their covering at one point.
 

samira shuruk

New member
She was using a well known drum solo recording (is that Issam?). She had an understanding of the music more than the average "just for fun" Arabic woman. I agree with Gia and Aisha A., she may or may not have been a guest, but she has more than a passing interest or social interest in belly dance.
 

Michelle

New member
Maybe she is a guest with no taste in wedding attire. She spends a lot of time staring down at her body, and the constantly bent head is not all that professional. She's fun to watch, though. It occurs to me when I see these wedding clips that the brides are always remarkably uninspired by the dancing. This one acts irritated (perhaps she wants to be the only center of attention on her wedding day?) and I saw a clip once of a bride who cried when a very lightly dressed dancer arrived to dance so hard that her boobs escaped their covering at one point.
I remember this clip!
But yes, I've noticed that also. Granted, I have not attended very many Arabic weddings but is this a cultural norm that the brides are usually rather annoyed with the dancer? Could it be because of the stigma that belly dancers often carry in the Middle East of being women of ill-repute (not just as prostitutes but as lower class women in general...)?
 

Tarik Sultan

New member
I remember this clip!
But yes, I've noticed that also. Granted, I have not attended very many Arabic weddings but is this a cultural norm that the brides are usually rather annoyed with the dancer? Could it be because of the stigma that belly dancers often carry in the Middle East of being women of ill-repute (not just as prostitutes but as lower class women in general...)?
:( I think it probably has more to do with the fact that they're exhausted by the time they get to the reception. That and the fact that they're supposed to look calm, coll, collected and dignified since they're in public.
 

Tarik Sultan

New member
She was using a well known drum solo recording (is that Issam?). She had an understanding of the music more than the average "just for fun" Arabic woman. I agree with Gia and Aisha A., she may or may not have been a guest, but she has more than a passing interest or social interest in belly dance.
I agree that her wardrobe hair and makeup qualifies her for a spot on extreem makeover, but she's definately not a dancer. If she were, she wouldn't be caught dead looking like that in public, ESPECIALLY at a wedding!

She might be dressed that way for a few reasons, 1. She might be a Christian. I've seen Christian girls in Egypt who will go to great lengths in dress to show they are not Muslim. 2. She might be from a very Western side of town.

I've seen many girls in Egypt who can dance just as well or better than she can. You'd really be surprides at the amount of hidden talent there is there. I do have some footage, but I wont put it up because the girls were dancing for their families and to put them on display around the world, without their consent would be a terrible invasion of privacy and lack of respect on my part.
 

Tarik Sultan

New member
Dear Aya,
I have not seen very many who are able to dance in the complex way this woman did and they usually like pop music nowadays to dance to and don't do drum solos.
Regards,
A'isha
Actually, this drum solo was very popular with the young people in Cairo this summer. All the DJs in the clubs I went to played it as well as all the party felucas on the Nile
 

samira shuruk

New member
...and I saw a clip once of a bride who cried when a very lightly dressed dancer arrived to dance so hard that her boobs escaped their covering at one point.
Oooh, I know that clip. I can't find it right now or I'd post a link.
I wouldn't base all Egyptian brides reactions on that of the bride in that clip. The dancer and her choice of costuming was not exactly of an ilk that you'd be happy having your Grandmom see. There ARE videos with brides who are happy to see the dancer. Due to the culture (and as Tarik said the exhaustion) there might be some "reserve" on the reaction of the bride at times, but again this video Shanazel is referring to is the exception, not the rule.
 

Aisha Azar

New member
Dance, etc.

Dear Tarik,
My freind Leila was in Egypt this Srping. She says it is not only the Christian girls who are dressing this way but also the Moselm girls. They wear very tight jeans, cropped shirt and hijab. She was appalled. Talked at length about how they miss the point entirely, etc. On her last trip to Saudi Arabia, she was also amazed at how much things had changed there as far as girls and boys talking in public, etc.
I stand corrected on the drum solo thing!
Regards,
A'isha
 
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Demelza

New member
Over the years I've been to at least 20 Egyptian Weddings...and I can tell you this....

first of all, there are always plenty of people (guests) at the party who are not dressed in 'wedding attire' , and I myself have been one of these people many-a-time.

And the reason is this......Here in the UK, if you get invited to a wedding/wedding reception, you usually recieve your invitation months in advance, and at the doo, there are table names and place names etc. . so basically if you haven't got an invite you are not coming in !!! Thats just the way it is. You can't say to your mate, 'wanna come?'....

However, in Egypt, you can be out in a coffee shop or bar or wherever, and a friend might say, "oh I'm going to my friend's brother's wedding party in half an hour...you want to come?" and thats so normal.....the bride and groom are always happy to see new faces - friends of friends etc....hence the reason that there are always people around not in the dress that you might expect.

Secondly I would say that she is NOT a proffessional belly dancer. If she was professional she would have been wearing a slightly different outfit.

As for the bride not looking happy, I think that she looked like any normal Egyptian bride who has to sit on that chair ALL NIGHT LONG while the guests enjoy themselves. She'd also be constantly aware of the camera as the video is their pride and Joy after any wedding party. (When I take pictures of egyptians I always have to tell them to smile....for some reason they think the right thing is to look serious ????!!)

And as for the clothing styles of the Egyptian girls, it is true that more and more of them are wearing tighter and tighter jeans and tops at the same time as covering their hair !! (although this video is the first time I've ever seen an egyptian girl show her tummy).

Lovex
 

Maria_Aya

New member
Isnt this forum great !!!!!!!!
We start from a simple video and we learn learn things :D

I know that Jasmine of Cairo is working on a great documentary over Dancers at Egypt, and we all wait for it.
My idea is someday to go down there (Egypt is just opposite my island Crete, thats why we say down there lol) and stay for a couple of months, shooting everyday people & dance. Someday :rolleyes:

Maria Aya

p.s. Delmeza !!! thanks for the info!!
 

Scimitar_Moon

New member
She doesn't look like a professional. Her posture and the way she carries herself make her look very self-conscious, even uncomfortable, not like someone who's used to doing paid gigs.
 

chryssanthi sahar

New member
Granted, I have not attended very many Arabic weddings but is this a cultural norm that the brides are usually rather annoyed with the dancer?
No, definitely not. I've performed at some dozens of Arabian weddings and I've never seen a bride being annoyed with my dancing. Just the opposite. I always ask the wedding couple to dance with me for some minutes and all brides I've seen have been enjoying the dancing very much and have given me good tips:)
As about the girl from the video, I also don't think that she is a professional dancer. As somebody else already mentioned, there are many Egyptian girls who can dance really well and maybe, if she was a relative or friend of the couple and was known in the family for her dancing skills, poeple asked her spontaneously to dance for the couple. In Greece, where I come from, it happens often. If you are at some party or family feast and people know that you dance well, they always ask you to either dance a solo (depending on the kind of dance of course), or to be the first at the raw (pull the raw). Since there are big similarities between Greek and Egyptian culture, I could imagine, that it is common also in Egypt (at least among the westernized Egyptians) to do so.
 
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