"The Breakthrough Fusion Competition"

Aniseteph

New member
I saw it discussed on Bhuz. Points for a totally separate category, but...
This is about innovation and the future of the art.
Future of the art?! And which art would that be then? Where do you start... :mad: :( :rolleyes:

BTW I was dying to ask on Bhuz but too shy... what IS that on the bleeding dancer's belt? Is it meant to be...? And if not, it is the mother of all unfortunate centrally placed belt motifs. Reminds me of Michaelangelo's David...
 

Aisha Azar

New member
Future, etc.

Future of the art?! And which art would that be then? Where do you start... :mad: :( :rolleyes:

...... I asked myself this very same question.... I also was amazed at how easily dismissed authentic Middle Eastern dance seemed to be, as it it mattered not at all in the scheme of this great "future".
Regards,
A'isha
 

nightdancer

New member
The politest thing I can think of is "wth????"

For those of you wondering, I blew the picture up and...well..if I keep telling myself that its an unfortunately colored elephant, I will believe it at some point.
 

Phoebedances

New member
Gilded Serpent posted some photos from a recent fusion competition:

Community Kaleidoscope for the Gilded Serpent

Did anyone here go to that? What did you think?

Just from the photos, I'm more than a little bewildered and horrified. There isn't anything that seems to connect to the original art at all, so I don't see how it is fusion or how it presents a future. I'm reminded of artists' renditions of Dante's Inferno or some medieval depictions of damnation. To me this is 'movement art' or 'Goth Theatre' definitely not a fusion of belly dance.

A giant leap into the Abyss so to speak. :rolleyes:
 

teela

New member
I checked this out and will assume it is performance art rather than dance or bellydance and wondered why this sort of thing ended up in a magazine that supposedly focuses on middle eastern dance. It has no relation to middle eastern dance, in fact it does not seem to be anything designed to have more than shock value. Many types of performance art do go after the shock value so they stand out. All I can think of is that someone sent these in and they decided to print it but I wish they'd not said the future of art as that seems to be rather a far fetched claim.
 

maria_harlequin

New member
Does anybody know if there are any videos of the event? I don't want to judge the entire event just by looking at pictures because I do enjoy good gothic fusion (YouTube - ???????????????-???(??)) - but yes, the description and the title of event is a big turn off. :( It's like trying to be different for the sake of being different and it's all a little bit more than insulting: "No traditional Middle Eastern categories. No traditional music. No ATS! This is about innovation and the future of the art." If the future of belly dance looks something like that, then I sure don't want to be a part of it.

And dancing on cans of pork and beans????

The oddly shaped thingy on the dancer's belt looks like some sort of skull to me.
 

Caroline_afifi

New member
I dont see the problem with someone setting up a 'fusion' festival... the problem for me is the mention of Middle Eastern dance and the fact that Gilded serpant are featuring it etc. Why are they?

If we disassociate from things like this then it is not a problem, but for some reason the very word 'fusion' is now synonymous with Bellydance?

What about Goth Spanish fusion?

Have a fusion festival by all means, but why do 'Bellydancers' and everyone associated with it insist on linking it constantly to MED?

As far as I am concerned, it has sweet FA to do with any of us interested in real MED, so why do people carry on thinking we are? is it some kind of conspiracy to convert people?

If I am interested in other forms of dance then I shall seek them out.

People can like both MED and fusion, just like someone may like BD and tango, but the two things are seperate entities.

Sort out all of the people who are really interested in other forms of dance rather than BD, and the BD community would shrink drastically.

Perhaps this is the problem... less people means less money?
 
Very strange!!!!:rolleyes: As I'm not into Goth styles or other disparate fusion forms, I find the whole idea in opposition to what I enjoy doing. Pretty much, the reason why I feel attracted to Oriental dance is it's vibrancy, beauty and grace(either male or female). Dance has a very important place in any culture, it reflects the heart and soul of the people regardless of whether it's hip-hop, swing dancing or ballet. What does blood on the floor, flailing about frantically in ripped clothes and dancing on cans of vegetables tell us?
Yasmine
 

meddevi

New member
It never fails to amuse me how Lynette is consistently successful in stirring the proverbial shitbowl. You have to hand it to her, she knows how to provoke controversy. It's not so much about whether it's coverage of authentic or fusion bellydance as it is about getting people talking, getting hits on the website, and generating more material. Sort of the Fox News of the bellydance world.
 

meddevi

New member
Dear Tempest,
What is amusing about it?
Regards,
A'isha
That people continue to fall for it and get their knickers in a twist. Doesn't matter whether it's coverage of events in Egypt or San Francisco, it's about what generates the most traffic, mixed in with a few pieces of actual content that's beneficial. At the heart of it, GS is still a business and it's got to pay for itself and sell ads. People want more MED coverage, they need to supply it. But I guarantee as long as something is controversial and will generate a flurry of letters to the editors, you're still going to see it.

Though some would argue that stirring controversy is a healthy and beneficial act. Could be true, as the axiom goes, "bad press is still good press."
 

Aisha Azar

New member
Dance

That people continue to fall for it and get their knickers in a twist. Doesn't matter whether it's coverage of events in Egypt or San Francisco, it's about what generates the most traffic, mixed in with a few pieces of actual content that's beneficial. At the heart of it, GS is still a business and it's got to pay for itself and sell ads. People want more MED coverage, they need to supply it. But I guarantee as long as something is controversial and will generate a flurry of letters to the editors, you're still going to see it.

Though some would argue that stirring controversy is a healthy and beneficial act. Could be true, as the axiom goes, "bad press is still good press."

Dear Tempest.
And you, of course, are so sophisticated that you are above all that. We are not so naive as you appear to think, and fully realize why people go out of their way to do the things that they do. Discussing it happens because such drek needs to be discussed in terms of how harmful it is to Middle Eastern dance, and how callous and uncaring people who perform it are when they want to ride on the coat tails of authentic Middle Eastern dance, and yet pay it no mind whatsoever, have no respect, etc. Usually they have no clue what Middle Eastern dance even is, sometimes after many years of study. It does not fit into their ego set, so that's that. They like to even act as if they invented something somehow better, more sophisticated, having more meaning. This needs to be brought to attention and we naive people who amuse you so might just understand a thing or two more than you are giving us credit for.
Regards,
A'isha
 

Caroline_afifi

New member
That people continue to fall for it and get their knickers in a twist. Doesn't matter whether it's coverage of events in Egypt or San Francisco, it's about what generates the most traffic, mixed in with a few pieces of actual content that's beneficial. At the heart of it, GS is still a business and it's got to pay for itself and sell ads. People want more MED coverage, they need to supply it. But I guarantee as long as something is controversial and will generate a flurry of letters to the editors, you're still going to see it.

Though some would argue that stirring controversy is a healthy and beneficial act. Could be true, as the axiom goes, "bad press is still good press."
Hi Meddevi,

I agree with your points but what do you think we should do about it?

I like good 'fusion' and interesting 'arty' types dances but I really dont like the association with MED because it is damageing.

Having said that, alot of people disagree with me.

The festival iteself is fine but Gilded Serpent should think twice about what they feature on their site.

We are discussing it now because it is an ongoing debate which seems to be split two ways.

Is anyone aware of a festival which is purely MED without any form of fusion?
 

meddevi

New member
You've got to be kidding me Aisha. Seriously, this is what you think/assume? Where did I call you or anyone here naive? Where did I claim being above all that? Nowhere. Focusing on the point:

It's not about "being above all that", it's about having seen it enough times over the last 10 years, perpetuated usually by the same people, that I have to wonder why people chose to get all riled up because Lynette hangs out the bait. It doesn't happen in the print magazines - sure there are differences of opinion, but Sharina (Zaghareet!), Mezdulene (Jareeda) or the lovely lady of Bellydance: A Raks Sharqi Magazine whose name I'm blanking on - they educate and present a breadth of the bellydance community without trying to bait their readers. And it's a LOT more expensive to publish a print mag then it is to run an e-zine, and I'm talking from experience here on both. You want to stop seeing coverage like that? Then don't let it get a rise out of you and drive the traffic up.

There's better ways to educate the public about Middle Eastern Dance, and it starts in-home, in-town with our students, and what we take on the road, in our performances. That's where it matters, that's where the energy counts most.


Dear Tempest.
And you, of course, are so sophisticated that you are above all that. We are not so naive as you appear to think, and fully realize why people go out of their way to do the things that they do. Discussing it happens because such drek needs to be discussed in terms of how harmful it is to Middle Eastern dance, and how callous and uncaring people who perform it are when they want to ride on the coat tails of authentic Middle Eastern dance, and yet pay it no mind whatsoever, have no respect, etc. Usually they have no clue what Middle Eastern dance even is, sometimes after many years of study. It does not fit into their ego set, so that's that. They like to even act as if they invented something somehow better, more sophisticated, having more meaning. This needs to be brought to attention and we naive people who amuse you so might just understand a thing or two more than you are giving us credit for.
Regards,
A'isha
 

Phoebedances

New member
That people continue to fall for it and get their knickers in a twist. Doesn't matter whether it's coverage of events in Egypt or San Francisco, it's about what generates the most traffic, mixed in with a few pieces of actual content that's beneficial. At the heart of it, GS is still a business and it's got to pay for itself and sell ads. People want more MED coverage, they need to supply it. But I guarantee as long as something is controversial and will generate a flurry of letters to the editors, you're still going to see it.

Though some would argue that stirring controversy is a healthy and beneficial act. Could be true, as the axiom goes, "bad press is still good press."
I'm not sure what is so beneficial about it to middle eastern dance to have a big stir, just for the sake of having a stir. On Bhuz, in the thread where this event was eventually discussed, one dancer was talking about a Hafla she went to lately where most of the younger girls were dancing various 'Fusions' and had virtually no moves taken from middle eastern dance and were not using Turkish/Arabic/Egyptian music at all. All of the music was something else, things very westernized/industrial/goth.

When she danced to Laylet Hob, they all looked at each other as if, 'What is she doing?' Don't you see how SAD that is???

I was very saddened when I read that. How very sad that what they are doing and representing as belly dance is so very far removed from the origins that the dancers who are learning it no longer recognize the original art form. I don't think art remains static, but I think at a certain point you can't really connect it to the original, especially when the people doing it don't have the knowledge of the roots of it.

What is really worrisome is the fact that it keeps being diluted down. It's not just the M.E. style that's getting lost, it's also the authentic ATS style that is in danger of being lost too. All in a sea of black leather, combat boots and spikes with many dancers who, quite honestly from what I've seen,(and shockingly I did see one who has even made an instructional DVD like this!!) who can't dance their way out of a paper bag!!! They move horribly. They move worse than I did with barely 6 weeks of lessons when I was prompted to do a very short solo in a troop piece. (like 30 seconds).

Don't get me wrong.. I love Rachel Brice and I've enjoyed some of your performances too. I think you both are great. However, there is something else afoot here, something different than what you guys do. The very problem I have with it is that it's a huge trend for people who can't dance to do shocking things on stage, trying to out-goth and out-strange one another and then somehow call it belly dance.
 

meddevi

New member
My point is, GS wouldn't think twice about covering such an event because it DOES cause controversy. And the more people get their hackles up over it and say "why are you doing this!", the more reason it gives her to continue such coverage.

I think if you want to see more solid MED coverage, then you have to look to a different e-zine for it, or create one. I believe one could be highly successful with a motivated editor and volunteer staff. There's surely enough people who want to see such coverage, the key thing is getting them to contribute and keep the project afloat. Whereas Habibi Magazine couldn't keep afloat through the changes because of the expense, an e-zine version could with the proper business model.

As for a "pure" MED festival, I'm sure there are. There are certainly more
"cabaret" ones - like Festival Fantasia (the sister festival to Tribal Fest) was cabaret-based - but even then, there's fusion going on. It's a matter of who's in charge and what they consider fusion - is Dunyavi Gypsy ok, but not Tribal Fusion?

I know it seems like there's a lot of Fusion events, but consider the fact of how many Tribal Festivals have folded. Tribal Cafe is no more, Tribal Quest is on hold, Tribal Caravan is gone, and several others. We're at a time where a lot of things are being restructured, there's a strong pull back to ATS and distaste for "Tribal Fusion" that doesn't even resemble Tribal anymore within that community, and I believe we are going to see a resurgence of more traditional dance across the board in the coming years.


Hi Meddevi,

I agree with your points but what do you think we should do about it?

I like good 'fusion' and interesting 'arty' types dances but I really dont like the association with MED because it is damageing.

Having said that, alot of people disagree with me.

The festival iteself is fine but Gilded Serpent should think twice about what they feature on their site.

We are discussing it now because it is an ongoing debate which seems to be split two ways.

Is anyone aware of a festival which is purely MED without any form of fusion?
 

meddevi

New member
I definitely agree with you - there's a real problem amongst the folks who've been dancing for only 0-3 years, and I would say they make up the majority of "conFusion" or what I like to call Tribal FLUsion. We could analyze the reasons for it all day - BDSS popularlity, too many inexperienced people teaching, and a big whopping heap of "that's cool, I can do it too!". I also think that instead of seeing bad cabaret/bad teaching, because there's been another component thrown in (Tribal), we're seeing the offshoots of the same with just a different face. To me, it's no worse and cringe-worthy than a girl out there in a cheap, ill-fitting bedlah flailing a veil about. Neither does anything good for bellydance.

But I do believe the ones who are serious about dance, WILL go forth and discover traditional bellydance. I think we're just looking at a growing phase - how many of you can't say you didn't do something stupid when you were starting out? - I surely can, and I have picture proof ;) I'd like to think I've grown a bit and know better, but there's so many more years to go (hopefully).

And at this point, I would stop looking to the Bay Area as the heart of what's happening in bellydance - tribal fusion or otherwise. It's been self-imploding for years, and I wouldn't recommend using it as thermometer. There's far more structured and sound things developing elsewhere in this country and others. There's bigger events happening and better community-working elsewhere.

What is really worrisome is the fact that it keeps being diluted down. It's not just the M.E. style that's getting lost, it's also the authentic ATS style that is in danger of being lost too. All in a sea of black leather, combat boots and spikes with many dancers who, quite honestly from what I've seen,(and shockingly I did see one who has even made an instructional DVD like this!!) who can't dance their way out of a paper bag!!! They move horribly. They move worse than I did with barely 6 weeks of lessons when I was prompted to do a very short solo in a troop piece. (like 30 seconds).

Don't get me wrong.. I love Rachel Brice and I've enjoyed some of your performances too. I think you both are great. However, there is something else afoot here, something different than what you guys do. The very problem I have with it is that it's a huge trend for people who can't dance to do shocking things on stage, trying to out-goth and out-strange one another and then somehow call it belly dance.
 

Caroline_afifi

New member
My point is, GS wouldn't think twice about covering such an event because it DOES cause controversy. And the more people get their hackles up over it and say "why are you doing this!", the more reason it gives her to continue such coverage.
Yes, I see what you are saying. I personally dont look at Gilded Serpant unless directed to it for some article which has caused a hoo ha on a forum.

I think if you want to see more solid MED coverage, then you have to look to a different e-zine for it, or create one. I believe one could be highly successful with a motivated editor and volunteer staff. There's surely enough people who want to see such coverage, the key thing is getting them to contribute and keep the project afloat. Whereas Habibi Magazine couldn't keep afloat through the changes because of the expense, an e-zine version could with the proper business model.
Yes. I know Habibi and have seen it. Each country has its own media in MED.

As for a "pure" MED festival, I'm sure there are.
Butcan you think of one? 'cabaret' is not nessesarily what i am talking about either. Not so long back in the uK, a festival featured different styles of Egyptian, North African styles and Khaleegi etc.

These workshops are still there among feathers, fans, scarfs, fangs and other bizarre props with mo cultural relevance.


There are certainly more
"cabaret" ones - like Festival Fantasia (the sister festival to Tribal Fest) was cabaret-based - but even then, there's fusion going on. It's a matter of who's in charge and what they consider fusion - is Dunyavi Gypsy ok, but not Tribal Fusion?
I dont know any of them. They are all ok to me, just not to be confused with MED.



I know it seems like there's a lot of Fusion events, but consider the fact of how many Tribal Festivals have folded. Tribal Cafe is no more, Tribal Quest is on hold, Tribal Caravan is gone, and several others. We're at a time where a lot of things are being restructured, there's a strong pull back to ATS and distaste for "Tribal Fusion" that doesn't even resemble Tribal anymore within that community, and I believe we are going to see a resurgence of more traditional dance across the board in the coming years.[/QUOTE
]

I assume this is the States you are talking about? why do you think they have folded? just too many of them or is the fan base not big enough to seperate events? BDSShave tribal London and Their is also Tribal Ford in the UK and these seperate festivals do OK as far as i know. There is also Gothla which is big.
Again, I see nothing wrong with it, just dont like the confusion it causes when mixed with MED.
 

Phoebedances

New member
My point is, GS wouldn't think twice about covering such an event because it DOES cause controversy. And the more people get their hackles up over it and say "why are you doing this!", the more reason it gives her to continue such coverage.

I think if you want to see more solid MED coverage, then you have to look to a different e-zine for it, or create one. I believe one could be highly successful with a motivated editor and volunteer staff. There's surely enough people who want to see such coverage, the key thing is getting them to contribute and keep the project afloat. Whereas Habibi Magazine couldn't keep afloat through the changes because of the expense, an e-zine version could with the proper business model.

As for a "pure" MED festival, I'm sure there are. There are certainly more
"cabaret" ones - like Festival Fantasia (the sister festival to Tribal Fest) was cabaret-based - but even then, there's fusion going on. It's a matter of who's in charge and what they consider fusion - is Dunyavi Gypsy ok, but not Tribal Fusion?

I know it seems like there's a lot of Fusion events, but consider the fact of how many Tribal Festivals have folded. Tribal Cafe is no more, Tribal Quest is on hold, Tribal Caravan is gone, and several others. We're at a time where a lot of things are being restructured, there's a strong pull back to ATS and distaste for "Tribal Fusion" that doesn't even resemble Tribal anymore within that community, and I believe we are going to see a resurgence of more traditional dance across the board in the coming years.
I hope you are right about a resurgence of more traditional forms. I can imagine that the ATS original dancers are shaking their heads as well. Maybe it will happen.

As far as a more traditional online magazine. I am planning to go back to school to finish my degree this year, but I would be tempted to give it a try at least on the web design side. I ran an online women's fiction reviews site before my first divorce and had 11 reviewers onstaff who were very happy to write for the place in return for free books. :) We had a good following and I think, at the least, I could have a much more organized site than Gilded Serpent, which is very hard to find any specific article at. I do fairly well at design, but don't have time for the organizing who would write what and contribute since going back to school.
 
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