Stage/performance etiquette

Jane

New member
After saying all that, dancers need to be taught formal stage skills.

Problems are legion. Going into the audience before/during/after a show in costume. Showing up late. Being on the stage when not performing. Not knowing how to use a stage to advantage, or where to enter/exit. Stay well behind the curtains so you can't be seen. Keep quiet backstage. Keep your stuff from being strewn all around the dressing room. What looks good on stage vs. what looks good in a close setting.

It's a personal peeve, but I really dislike the hissing noise directed at dancers from other dancers in the audience. It sounds ridiculous. How did that start anyway? Yep, I'm havin' a hissy fit :lol:

Sometimes it's common sense stuff that isn't being taught.
 

RaggioDiLuce

New member
yeah, what you said!

After saying all that, dancers need to be taught formal stage skills.

Problems are legion. Going into the audience before/during/after a show in costume. Showing up late. Being on the stage when not performing. Not knowing how to use a stage to advantage, or where to enter/exit. Stay well behind the curtains so you can't be seen. Keep quiet backstage. Keep your stuff from being strewn all around the dressing room. What looks good on stage vs. what looks good in a close setting.

It's a personal peeve, but I really dislike the hissing noise directed at dancers from other dancers in the audience. It sounds ridiculous. How did that start anyway? Yep, I'm havin' a hissy fit :lol:

Sometimes it's common sense stuff that isn't being taught.
I wouldn't call that a hissy fit. It was put very well, and if you're having one, then so am I, because I agree 100% with what you're saying. I trained with Boston Ballet for several years, and after being exposed to all that professionalism, it was strange for me to get used to the way things are usually run in the belly dance world (to be honest, I'm not quite used to it yet).

Some of those pet peeves you listed above are exactly what's been secretly (until now) gnawing at me ever since I started classes. What seem like small things to many of my peers would have been huge issues in the ballet world. If you're late, you're done. You respect the dancer(s) on stage by being out of the way and quiet during the piece. We weren't allowed to even wear our stage make-up out of the theater when we were done, let alone costumes!

That being said, I don't want to come across as snobby, because on the other hand I really do appreciate the more relaxed and friendly nature of the belly dance scene. And I've said it before, but I'll say it again: It seems to me that belly dancers are more supportive of each other and positive, and that's what I love about it. Your explanation was right on, thank you! :)
(end huge essay):redface:
 

adiemus

New member
Stage/performance ettiquette is a good conversation to have - I think many people haven't been used to 'performance' and if their teachers are similarly unaware it's no wonder the usual practices of people in theatre/dance aren't followed.

I don't think it's being snobby, it's about providing an excellent, and 'fantasy' experience for the audience. For a while, at least, they're in another world where you're meant to be something finer and better than our everyday world.

Wandering about in the audience with makeup and costuming on breaks that spell.
And being on stage, or chattering in the wings, or making noises or throwing your costuming around is just disrespectful of the other dancers. So is not being aware of other dancers as they move to and from the stage or change for another performance (it's NOT ok to stand in the way when the person is trying to get changed - at the very least, help!!)

Speaking from recent experience (Kashmir's student performances) I appreciated the opportunity to run through the timing and costuming a couple of days before the 'actual' performance. The 'technical' rehearsal on the actual stage the afternoon of the performance just brought the size/space issues home, and I personally wouldn't like to be without it. Until you've danced (or at least walked through) a venue it's pretty difficult to know how big the stage is, how much space is taken up with curtains, and how high the stage is.
 

Aniseteph

New member
Jane said:
It's a personal peeve, but I really dislike the hissing noise directed at dancers from other dancers in the audience. It sounds ridiculous. How did that start anyway? Yep, I'm havin' a hissy fit
I've heard two explanations. One that it's the Egyptian equivalent of a wolf whistle (as a shorter tsss! sound), which makes some kind of sense albeit out of context, the other that it's about appreciating how snakey the dancer is being, which sounds kinda like made up nonsense to me.

Peeving with you on that one. Anyone in the audience who isn't in on the secret probably thinks you are hissing/booing the panto villain. :confused:
 

Daimona

Moderator
Stage/performance ettiquette is a good conversation to have - I think many people haven't been used to 'performance' and if their teachers are similarly unaware it's no wonder the usual practices of people in theatre/dance aren't followed.

I don't think it's being snobby, it's about providing an excellent, and 'fantasy' experience for the audience. For a while, at least, they're in another world where you're meant to be something finer and better than our everyday world.

Wandering about in the audience with makeup and costuming on breaks that spell.
And being on stage, or chattering in the wings, or making noises or throwing your costuming around is just disrespectful of the other dancers. So is not being aware of other dancers as they move to and from the stage or change for another performance (it's NOT ok to stand in the way when the person is trying to get changed - at the very least, help!!)
I really agree with this and couldn't have said better myself.
I would've given you rep points if I could, but I can't..

I'm having some issues with a couple of my troupe members, as we don't agree on how to behave on/off stage;
  • Walking in the audience in costume before the performance without covering up, breaking "the superiority spell" and first impression when you enter the stage.
  • Use black underwear under costumes (whatever color the costume is) where the underwear WILL show, instead of using nude or matching colors (think of a black bra under the costume bra). The annoying thing is that we use the same argument for/against it.
  • Chatting in the wings. I can't remember how many times I've hushed on people in the wings (not only my girls, but others as well).
Even though some of them have much experience with theatres (acting, not dancing), they still do this.

*note from moderator- part of post moved to make sense after a thread split, See dress rehearsal thread*
 
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Afrit

New member
I've heard two explanations. One that it's the Egyptian equivalent of a wolf whistle (as a shorter tsss! sound), which makes some kind of sense albeit out of context, the other that it's about appreciating how snakey the dancer is being, which sounds kinda like made up nonsense to me.
Actually the latter is the real answer - it is not Egyptian or any type of Middle Eastern. Rather it is western fantasy about slithery snakes. Please stop hissing at the dancers - it's really off putting - and plain silly!
 

Shanazel

Super Moderator
Alas, poor hissing, such a small thing to have incurred the wrath of so many. It's done to show appreciation for execution of certain snakey movements. I don't know when or where it started, but I've heard it done in this country for damned near forty years, have done it myself, and will probably continue to do it in the future. Ssssssssso there! :lol::lol:

Everyone has their pet peeves. I promise not to hiss at your haflas if you'll promise to tolerate it at my haflas. Deal?
 

Jane

New member
Sounds like a deal to me :lol:

It's just a peeve of mine, a small and unimportant one in the big scheme of things for certain!



Is the practice of hissing American then?
 

Shanazel

Super Moderator
No idea. I've heard it used in California, Colorado, and Wyoming. Can't speak for other places, though a friend from New Joisey says she is also familiar with the custom.
 

Jane

New member
The Tribal dancers do it here in Montana, but the Egyptian and Turkish style dancers don't. The American Oriental dancers sometimes do, depending on who their teacher was I think.

Apologies for going OT. New thread maybe?
 
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Shanazel

Super Moderator
Probably. It's kind of interesting. Moderators??? Could you move these posts and startus a new thread about noises made by belly dancers?
 

Jane

New member
I dunno, maybe mods thought, "noises made by belly dancers" sounds kind of yucky. ;)

Once in a while my thighs will slap together during a shimmy. It makes a very loud audible noise which is quite startling. :shok::lol:
 

Aniseteph

New member
Actually the latter is the real answer - it is not Egyptian or any type of Middle Eastern.
Interesting - the reason I mentioned the non-snakey explanation was my teacher was explaining something in an Egyptian song. More of a Pssst really, but to me Pssst has different connotations than "hey good looking". More "come and look at what I've got here". Er, no thanks...

Hey, it's global! Do you hiss at women? :: Kudocities London

Off topic though because it's a different sound to the Hissssssssssssssss....
 

lizaj

New member
It may not be a ME thing...hissing that is. But at a local dance show we attended in Turkey , the elderly men did it to the dancers..more like a sucking in hiss..sounded like phew..of course I am not sure how many teeth they had:D
 

MissVega

New member
Once in a while my thighs will slap together during a shimmy. It makes a very loud audible noise which is quite startling. :shok::lol:[/QUOTE]


LOL story of my life.. thighs and butt cheeks. And once you're all sweaty, it is like it amplifies the clapping sound.... ugh lol:rolleyes: Glad I'm not the only one:dance:

Also in addition to hissing (god that drives me nuts...) what is with the "Yipping" that you hear a lot of in tribal and ATS? It reminds me of coyotes and that makes me want to run and grab the 22 and shoot something.

I'm a live and let live kind of person, I don't even eat meat, but we have a coyote problem where I live, my yearling was attacked last fall. A couple of people have been, dogs and cats killed and the ministry is doing nothing. So when I hear a "Yip" it puts me on edge to say the least lol.
 
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Shara

New member
I almost cried the first time I was hissed at!!!!! I thought it was a rude display of displeasure!!!!! As far as the yipping, maybe that is a cross-over from country line dancing or clogging/square dancing?
 

Azrael

New member
Personally, I've never heard the hissing thing happen here, and since the tribal community isn't so big here I also rarely hear the 'yipping' but I like it. *shrugs* I think that and zaghareeting is encouraging (and I always know who in the audience is doing it -- only a few people here can do it properly! haha) So maybe that's why? They're like the bigwig tribal girls here and hearing that from them is encouraging.
 

nightdancer

New member
I know I'm the one that probably harps on this, but I have a few things to add.

1) Get rid of the gum. Lately, I've seen a few dancers in my local area, and in videos chewing gum while performing. Its not a mint to keep their mouth moist, it's gum. NOM nom NOM is not attractive.

2) Especially in a new costume, get up on your kitchen chair and have someone sit on the floor. Raise your arms, and move some to ensure that your costume does not "part ways" and things are not revealed. Same goes for underwear check.

3) Be friendly. You may be the hottest dancer in your area, but someone there backstage is terrified. Even just a "You're doing to do great" in passing is nice. There is no place for rudeness in this art form or this world, really. Being firm is one thing. Being rude is totally different.

4) Keep your things together. I've gone home with other people's stuff, and some of its been expensive. My teacher hates it, but I bring all my stuff in a laundry basket (left over from the pageant days, what can I say) Nothing gets scattered about, then.

5) SMILE. Even if your peice is super-dramatic and smiling has no place in it, smile to yourself just before you go on. It relaxes the face and helps remove the look of concentration.
 

Farasha Hanem

New member
I almost cried the first time I was hissed at!!!!! I thought it was a rude display of displeasure!!!!! As far as the yipping, maybe that is a cross-over from country line dancing or clogging/square dancing?
I wasn't aware of ATS audience members doing the "yip," but from the ATS dancers' side of things, the "yip" is kind of a code used as a signal to let the troupe know when to shift formation, turn, etc., so there is a valid reason for it. Nothing to do with line dancing or coyotes. :)
 

Daimona

Moderator
I know I'm the one that probably harps on this, but I have a few things to add.

1) Get rid of the gum. Lately, I've seen a few dancers in my local area, and in videos chewing gum while performing. Its not a mint to keep their mouth moist, it's gum. NOM nom NOM is not attractive.
;) Are you sure they just forgot it and didn't mean to dance with it?
I've actually got one tongue-in-cheek choreography where chewing gum is necessary.. :lol:
 
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