Unusual Props Ideas

tdancergirl

New member
I want to do a tribal dance and want to use a prop.. I dont want to use usual props such as a sword or candle... anyone have any ideas for me? It will be a dance with two people. Any ideas would be appreciated.. thanks :)
 

Manuela

New member
Hello, and welcome!

Have you chosen a piece of music? If so, what feelings, images and associations does it evoke in you? What kind of movements go with it? Why would you use a prop at all, and how could it assist you in expressing the music?

If you think about that, you might already get some ideas.
Please, take care that the dance doesn't just become an excuse for showing off the prop...:)

The most unusual props that I've seen so far were:
- Thai nails. That was just weird.
- A spear with a point at each end! The music was somewhat "jungle-ish", and the dancers portrayed some kind of ritual with stamping and shouting involved.
It didn't have much to do with tribal dance, but it was certainly interesting.

Well, do let us know what you choose...!
 

tdancergirl

New member
I have picked a song... we are going for the more non traditional songs to dance with since that is the theme for the show... we are dancing to Into the void by nine inch nails. The plan is to do precise mildly slow movements. with fast mixed in.
 

Darshiva

Moderator
Usually the song suggests a prop. If the song doesn't suggest a prop, choose a song that does. Bludgeoning a prop into a choreography is usually very obvious, it can come across as an afterthought.
 

Shanazel

Super Moderator
Hmm. You could use a sword fish. Or a veiled threat. Or wings of eagles (warning: possession of raptor parts is illegal in the USA). Or boi balls (ooo, how rude). How about penlight flashlights instead of candles?
 

Henna

New member
Veiled threat will be my favourite prop from now on. It's so much more subtle than my old favourite - the cane. ;)
 

Crystalllized

New member
I saw a cool routine by Tanya Tanya (Peloponnese, Greece) and she danced with an orb to the 2001 Space Odyssey Theme. I think it was one of those garden gazing globes. Not 100% sure, but she did some tricks with it rolling across her arms.
 

PracticalDancer

New member
Hmm. You could use a sword fish. Or a veiled threat. Or wings of eagles (warning: possession of raptor parts is illegal in the USA). Or boi balls (ooo, how rude). How about penlight flashlights instead of candles?
Shanazel is known for dancing with her razor sharp humor -- a creative prop, indeed. ;)

I have danced with a fake cake on my head. Twas interesting, and appropriate for the song and the venue.

I also was once told I could only perform in a halloween hafla if I dressed like a Nun. So, after some consideration, I realized Nun's habits were a bit like beledi dresses. Nuns are reputed to carry rulers (and threaten people with them), so I extrapolated that into a metal yardstick, and danced as if it were a cane, complete with swinging and balancing on my head. "Goody Two Shoes" by Adam Ant seemed so appropriate at the time. A little editing for brevity, and I had my opening number. At the break between the songs, I whipped off my wimple and danced to "exotic" by Mezdeke. Oh, yes, I did. somewhere there are pictures to prove it, I am sure. Oh, and I almost forgot the kicker: I pinned a note on my wimple stating "(So and So) made me do it!"

:D

Well, having listened to it, no prop screams out. Closest I can come up with is to have a lot -- I mean a LOT of photographs to tear up and scatter on the stage. Not really a prop, more acting out, and something you really need to get the blessing of the stage manager for first.
 

tdancergirl

New member
Shanazel is known for dancing with her razor sharp humor -- a creative prop, indeed. ;)

I have danced with a fake cake on my head. Twas interesting, and appropriate for the song and the venue.

I also was once told I could only perform in a halloween hafla if I dressed like a Nun. So, after some consideration, I realized Nun's habits were a bit like beledi dresses. Nuns are reputed to carry rulers (and threaten people with them), so I extrapolated that into a metal yardstick, and danced as if it were a cane, complete with swinging and balancing on my head. "Goody Two Shoes" by Adam Ant seemed so appropriate at the time. A little editing for brevity, and I had my opening number. At the break between the songs, I whipped off my wimple and danced to "exotic" by Mezdeke. Oh, yes, I did. somewhere there are pictures to prove it, I am sure. Oh, and I almost forgot the kicker: I pinned a note on my wimple stating "(So and So) made me do it!"

:D

Well, having listened to it, no prop screams out. Closest I can come up with is to have a lot -- I mean a LOT of photographs to tear up and scatter on the stage. Not really a prop, more acting out, and something you really need to get the blessing of the stage manager for first.
the picture idea is unique... do you mean tear them up before hand or tear them during the dance? and what kind of pictures?
 

Duvet

Member
Music suggests hammers and car hub-caps to me. :confused:
Maybe fake hammers would be safer, used as alternative to canes.
Hub-caps? Maybe polished and sparkled up, and used to frame the face and hips.
Just an idea.
Now I'm getting visions of sequined boiler suits!!
Tool belts instead of coin belts!!:shok:

I have danced with a teacup and saucer before now, and with a door, I recall. And my first improvised dance was with someone holding a wooden spoon. Its also great fun dancing as you're clearing up after a hafla - lots of practise dancing with chairs, tables, bin liners and brooms.
The more I think about it the more bizarre this is sounding.
 
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PracticalDancer

New member
the picture idea is unique... do you mean tear them up before hand or tear them during the dance? and what kind of pictures?
Either way. The music inspires thoughts of ripping and of fluttering pieces. And hammers, per Duvet's thought.

But, here is the thing: It's not a bellydance song. It's not. And, it's not tribal. There is nothing about the music that recalls a group acting as one, or community, or synchronous movement in the song. It has an industrial isolationist sound. It requires industrial, isolated movement. While that may inspire a pop and lock or two, that really falls to the goth / industrial / other music vocabulary, not tribal.

So, if you free your mind from "bellydance prop" or "tribal prop" and stop trying to think of it (or, getting others to think of it) as bellydance or tribal, you will find your inspiration and do justice to the music. And, then it will make sense to your audience.
 

Amulya

Moderator
The worst prop ever can be found on youtube, it was a dancer who had some sort of 'wings' pierced through her skin on her back (that was done right before the performance) and danced with those. Absolutly weird and scary. I think it was just to impress people and to get well known, which she did (the well known bit).
 

LilithNoor

New member
The worst prop ever can be found on youtube, it was a dancer who had some sort of 'wings' pierced through her skin on her back (that was done right before the performance) and danced with those.
That was Sashi from Ascend Tribal, and this was part of her introduction to the piece-
'Sashi of Ascend Tribal Dance combines movements and stylings from modern day Tribal Bellydance with aspects inspired by the Tribal Hindu Thaipusam Festivals of Malaysia in which kavadi frames, cheek and tongue spears are worn in trance-like states to honor Lord Muruga while seeking penance for themselves and their community.'

It may not be many people's idea of fusion, and personally I'm not convinced the wings added anything to the actual bellydance, as they appear to limit her upper body movement, however having met Sashi and read a lot of her writing, it seems pretty clear to me that the piece was motivated by her study of the spiritual aspects of bellydance, rather than a desire to cause a flap (pun intended!)
 
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Athena

New member
I saw someone dance with a fake snake and she balanced it on her head. It was cool it was about the size of a sword and it was green and had red eyes.
 

Daimona

Moderator
Not regarding OP's type of performance or music, here are the most unusual props I've seen:


If this doesn't fit, perhaps some light cubes would be easier to handle?
 

Amulya

Moderator
It may not be many people's idea of fusion, and personally I'm not convinced the wings added anything to the actual bellydance, as they appear to limit her upper body movement

I thought the same, without those wings her dancing is very different. A prop shouldn't take away from dancing, but most normal props do it often too because of overuse.

I have seen a mobile phone as prop once too, worked well for the piece, but there is no clip for that one. The ironing board I have seen used more often (for melaya)
 

Rania

New member
The worst prop ever can be found on youtube, it was a dancer who had some sort of 'wings' pierced through her skin on her back (that was done right before the performance) and danced with those. Absolutly weird and scary. I think it was just to impress people and to get well known, which she did (the well known bit).
that sound like it hurts.
 
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