So when IS performing for free good publicity?

Aniseteph

New member
I'll pay for hafla/recital tickets for the student events I do, but I don't count it as pay-to-perform, more pay to attend the event. I see being part of the show as fair exchange for the opportunity to perform. This is all student stuff though. It'd be different if I was a professional - then I'd be weighing up the time/money invested in the whole shebang against the exposure and the politics. I can see how if you got a chance to dance in front of wealthy types at a swanky charity do there might be some useful exposure in it.

Then there are the charities where they expect dancers to pay, saying it's all for charity. I am in the minority over this as I think that is expecting too much.
I'm in that minority with you then. They've had your time and money to get there and perform, maybe some extra tickets sold... asking for a fee for the privilege is dead pushy. If they want to extract cash as well they can guilt trip me into buying raffle tickets. :protest:
 

Greek Bonfire

Well-known member
Wow, that just feels wrong to me! Are there that few performance opportunities that dancers feel the only way they will be able to perform is to pay for the privilege?

How does it benefit the dancers? I don't mean that as an attack, but in the context of this thread, I can't imagine a performance opportunity being oh so very great that I would consider paying to do it...! What kind of performers are they? Amateur, professional, etc?
There were pro, advanced, intermediate and beginning dancers. But other sponsors manage to break even without charging the dancers. Maybe for a venue it does cost to rent the space, but other dancers (who are much more silent than me) really are against it. Many events do not charge dancers but for those that do, and who get not even a cup of coffee, I just have trouble going along with that. I'll have to sit it out.
 

Nejmeh

New member
Uhm, why is the catering being paid and the dancers not? In my experience if it`s charity without funds, the etiquette is that the caterer should only ask productioncosts and even that only if neccessary! Rather pay it from your own pocket. At least, thats the way my bf does it and most of his collegues I know.:think:

I would dance for free for charity I support, but under some regulations( a place to change, free water, no pictures if possible...) But, I would also make it very clear I am just a student, so people will know what they are not paying for.
 

Amulya

Moderator
:protest: I MAY consider donating a performance for a good charity event but I wouldn't PAY to perform! Regardless of the political consequences! Luckily I don't think we have many events here where you would actually pay to perform.
Even belly dancers sometimes expect other dancers to come and dance for them and PAY. Happened to me twice where dancers asked me to perform at their event for free and pay entrance, nice insult! Nothing wrong in dancing for another dancer for free in my opinion, unless it's a big money making event (which is rare), but to ask a performer to pay for their own performance is :lol::lol::lol:

It's the same for student haflas in Australia. There's no way around it, really - the school could never afford to put on a hafla if the students didn't contribute.
I have never seen that in Holland with hafla's, performing students never paid (and I suppose still don't) but there were always plenty of paying people at such events.
 
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Nejmeh

New member
I have never seen that in Holland with hafla's, performing students never paid (and I suppose still don't) but there were always plenty of paying people at such events.
I never saw this either and I would probably turn around and go back home if I would have to pay. If I have to dance, that will mean I will take some audience, the audience pays, so I did my part!:confused:
 

jenc

New member
Where we are the audience is almost entirely dancers. There is the odd partner, child or mum but they are very much the exception.

Our haflas are parties for dancers and thhe hall, perhaps rehearsal time for hall for hosts, some of the food costs and publicity etc all come from fees paid for by dancers
 
Where we are the audience is almost entirely dancers. There is the odd partner, child or mum but they are very much the exception.

Our haflas are parties for dancers and thhe hall, perhaps rehearsal time for hall for hosts, some of the food costs and publicity etc all come from fees paid for by dancers
It's the same here. At school haflas, the audience is composed of other students and their families. Up to half the members of the audience may be the performers themselves.

The important point is that these are student performances, so there are virtually NO members of the general public in the audience. So if the performers and their families don't pay, there's no money to run the show at all.

Usually, if you're performing you don't pay full price - but if performers paid nothing, the ticket price for relatives would be more than double which would discourage some from attending.
 
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Daimona

Moderator
I've been to haflas/shows where performers
  • didn't pay and got transportation, a bed in a cabin and breakfast the next day covered.
  • didn't pay and got to bring a friend or family member to a discounted entrance fee.
  • didn't pay anything, but was able to enjoy the rest of the show. Their friends and family had to pay full price, though.
  • didn't pay, but wasn' able to enjoy the rest of the show either (boring!)
  • didn't pay to see the show, but was expected to join the workshops
  • did pay a small fee (app. 5-8 USD, depending on entrance fee for the rest of the audience) to share the costs.
  • had to pay full price and got to see the show if there were any unoccupied seats.
 
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Eshta

New member
Ok, so clearly I missed the whole 'student hafla' aspect!

Student haflas where the sole purpose of the hafla is to give the students the opportunity to gain performance experience, ok, that makes sense that you might have to pay a (small) entry fee to cover the costs of running the event. In return you get performance experience in a comfortable environment.

So I guess my question is as an established performer, what makes you decide you will dance at an event for free?

I've had another request just today from a dance colleague to perform at her show in a few month's time. I'm accepting it because I think she runs good calibre events and may be able to get more work out of it. and I think I'm going to set a limit of no more than 1 a month!
 

Greek Bonfire

Well-known member
It seems more and more that when someone is sponsoring workshops by a well known dancer, performers who want to perform at the connecting hafla are asked to take one of the workshops in order to perform at the hafla. I don't have a problem with this because it does give the local dancer an opportunity for exposure. And I also can see that if in other places where if performers didn't pay, there would be no hafli at all.

I think what you have to do is do what feels right for you. A lot of dancers here don't have much trouble paying to perform yet other dancers do. However, as I mentioned before, on another forum this idea of paying to perform was pretty well accepted, and those that didn't agree were pretty much criticized for feeling that way. But to me, it's like the chicken and egg - how do you have a hafla/showcase, etc. without dancers?

And as Nejmeh said, it's just a given that caterers, etc. get paid but when bellydancers want to get paid, it's like a terrible thing to expect. Even given the above, I still don't understand this thinking, and much of it does come from other professional dancers. :protest:
 

XelaHayam

New member
I think performing for free is great for publicity. Especially if your a new troupe or dancer, it gives you exposure and then from there people will contact you for private gigs etc. I know with my troupe, we try to network within the community, we'll do free shows for local events to get our self seen, and then pass out flyers and information which leads to more paid gigs and more students. We also work deals with local hookah bars for example; we'll perform our showcases at they're restaurant and advertise heavily, so we bring them more business & they give us a venue and a cut of the nights profits in addition to tips :)

However, there is definitely a difference between just performing for free to get more opportunities to be seen, and just plain undercutting professional paid dancers. The belly dance world is full of drama unfortunately :( and I personally try to respect and never threaten another dancers territory. Thats not fair, for a lot of people its they're living.
 
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