Belly dance special event in london

Videoblogger

New member
Belly dancers from different countries performing different types of belly dance including Azad Kaan as a special guests. Location London

 

Shanazel

Super Moderator
My pet peeve: videos dubbed in music that has nothing to do with the actual performance music.

That's not to criticize you, Videoblogger, just the videographer's idea of a good way to present dancers.
 

Videoblogger

New member
My pet peeve: videos dubbed in music that has nothing to do with the actual performance music.

That's not to criticize you, Videoblogger, just the videographer's idea of a good way to present dancers.
yes I agree, best way is to use original music and I try to use original whenever I can. But youtube create problems with copyrigt and when you Need a highlights i believe it s better to use one music which fits all so you can take the best bits and create a shorter Version with more energy. I am looking for musicians who wants to colloborate and also looking for the profesional belly dancers as well.
 

Videoblogger

New member
So these are actually your own compilations with dubbed in music?
Yes, I try to improve the quality and try to do more creative videos. For example in this video I have colloborated with a musician and a belly dancer and recorded in a studio just to create a nice video. Music and the location is the most difficult things to find. May be you can suggest me some locations if you know any good place in London?

 

Shanazel

Super Moderator
I spent two days in London during which it rained and blew and was miserably cold. Huh. And I thought Wyoming's April weather was challenging. The grounds of Buckingham Palace at 5:30 a.m. are nice and uncrowded. There were a lot of pretty parks nearby. Westminster Cathedral was nice, though that might not be the best place for dance music. I walked down the Victoria embankment, saw Bodicca's statue, took a boat to the Tower of London, which I did not go inside due to the remarkable price of admission, but I was happy with the outside and the Traitor's Gate. Parliament was all scaffolded up; you'd think they'd get that job done quicker since they are working around the clock. Ahem. Took the train to Gatwick. Have no idea which airport we landed in coming from Inverness.

And that is all I remember about sites in London.

Oh. I forgot. My daughter made me go see Platform 9 3/4 and I caught a glimpse of #10 Downing Street as I was awaiting certain death on the streets of London in a cab that missed other vehicles by the width of a coat of paint
 

Tourbeau

Active member
My pet peeve: videos dubbed in music that has nothing to do with the actual performance music.
As long as we've gone off on a tangent about dancers' frustrations with videographers, here are a few more ideas about what makes a less than desirable dance video:

- Extensive shots of bodies without heads. Facial expressions and head positions are part of the presentation of the dance. Also, human beings have heads, and dancers are human beings, not sides of beef being advertised as meat.

- Fetishized tight focus on hips or bust. Yes, this can be a very sensuous dance, but there is a fine line between highlighting the intangible magic of a beautiful body moving in an artful way, and providing self-pleasuring fodder for perverts. A brief torso close up or two for variety is one thing, but the video should be demonstrating the dancer's ability to bring the music to life, not creepily asking "Would you like some of this?"

- Lasciviously panning up and down the torso. Again, are we selling the dancing or the dancer's body?

- Focusing on one area of the body when something more interesting is happening somewhere else. This is just bad filming technique. Don't show feet if the dancer is standing still. Don't tighten into a head shot when the dancer gets to the most intricate hip-isolation sequence of the choreography.

- Too much editing. Constantly transitioning to different shots distracts from the flow of what the dancer is doing. If a "professional" dancer needs to rely on frantic editing to hold their audience's attention, maybe they're not ready to need a marketing video, and if an amateur wants a show video, maybe they'd rather have a record of their performance than a sizzle reel. And don't even think about trying to use every gimmick on the editing toolbar--nothing says "crazy, amateur video" like a star wipe.

- Filming 101 mistakes like insufficient lighting, not enough contrast between the dancer's costume and the background, distracting backgrounds, bad audio, shooting from so far away that the dancer's movements are barely distinguishable, and not sufficiently tracking movement so if the dancer wanders out of the center of the frame, the stage becomes empty. Even if you are the hafla organizer's spouse and you're filming the show for free, these mistakes aren't acceptable.

Basically, a good dance video spends most of its time showing most of the dancer, not sexually charged chunks of a dancer, and it respects how the dancer is interpreting the music, which gets back to Shanazel's point about trying not to break the bond between the performance and the original soundtrack.

Lurkers, if you've stumbled into this thread looking for hints to improve, please go (re-)watch some videos of classic dancers online, especially clips from old Egyptian movies to see how they film their performing sequences. They won't have modern, short-attention-span editing or swooping drone shots, but they generally demonstrate the best way to package the dancing...even in this example below, which is a compilation set to the "wrong" music.

 

Videoblogger

New member
As long as we've gone off on a tangent about dancers' frustrations with videographers, here are a few more ideas about what makes a less than desirable dance video:

- Extensive shots of bodies without heads. Facial expressions and head positions are part of the presentation of the dance. Also, human beings have heads, and dancers are human beings, not sides of beef being advertised as meat.

- Fetishized tight focus on hips or bust. Yes, this can be a very sensuous dance, but there is a fine line between highlighting the intangible magic of a beautiful body moving in an artful way, and providing self-pleasuring fodder for perverts. A brief torso close up or two for variety is one thing, but the video should be demonstrating the dancer's ability to bring the music to life, not creepily asking "Would you like some of this?"

- Lasciviously panning up and down the torso. Again, are we selling the dancing or the dancer's body?

- Focusing on one area of the body when something more interesting is happening somewhere else. This is just bad filming technique. Don't show feet if the dancer is standing still. Don't tighten into a head shot when the dancer gets to the most intricate hip-isolation sequence of the choreography.

- Too much editing. Constantly transitioning to different shots distracts from the flow of what the dancer is doing. If a "professional" dancer needs to rely on frantic editing to hold their audience's attention, maybe they're not ready to need a marketing video, and if an amateur wants a show video, maybe they'd rather have a record of their performance than a sizzle reel. And don't even think about trying to use every gimmick on the editing toolbar--nothing says "crazy, amateur video" like a star wipe.

- Filming 101 mistakes like insufficient lighting, not enough contrast between the dancer's costume and the background, distracting backgrounds, bad audio, shooting from so far away that the dancer's movements are barely distinguishable, and not sufficiently tracking movement so if the dancer wanders out of the center of the frame, the stage becomes empty. Even if you are the hafla organizer's spouse and you're filming the show for free, these mistakes aren't acceptable.

Basically, a good dance video spends most of its time showing most of the dancer, not sexually charged chunks of a dancer, and it respects how the dancer is interpreting the music, which gets back to Shanazel's point about trying not to break the bond between the performance and the original soundtrack.

Lurkers, if you've stumbled into this thread looking for hints to improve, please go (re-)watch some videos of classic dancers online, especially clips from old Egyptian movies to see how they film their performing sequences. They won't have modern, short-attention-span editing or swooping drone shots, but they generally demonstrate the best way to package the dancing...even in this example below, which is a compilation set to the "wrong" music.

Very nice video, and nice recording tips thanks. Most of the time it s not only the videographer but also the dancers make mistakes. They need to work on their coreography so when the videographer takes wide medium close shots it can be edited properly. This is a problem I am having most of the time when recording with belly dancers. As a result we ended up several videos which does not match with each other and obviously this effect the final edit really bad way and sometimes it leads to the problems unintentionally that you mentioned.
 

Shanazel

Super Moderator
Belly dance is an emotional and physical response to music. It is not a rigidly formulated controlled series of movements, even when the dance is choreographed. The dancers aren't making mistakes when one performance is slightly- or greatly- different from another. That's the nature of the dance. I understand this presents challenges for a videographer, but meeting those challenges is the difference between producing videos of belly dance and producing videos of automated eye candy.
 

Tourbeau

Active member
They need to work on their coreography so when the videographer takes wide medium close shots it can be edited properly.
I'm not sure what you mean by this. A dancer's obligation is to perform movements (either choreographed or improvised) that actualize the music in an artistic, personalized way while respecting the emotional and cultural significances of the song.

Certainly if a dancer hires someone to make a video of them for their promotional purposes, it should be a cooperative process, but if a restaurant or event organizer hires a videographer, and a dancer's expectation is simply to provide a 3-to-5-minute slice of entertainment for a show, then I'm not sure how the performer could anticipate preparing a choreography to maximize the videographer's success.

I can't speak to the details of what went into planning the London show, but it's not unusual for a dancer to sign up for a show without much advance notice of what the performing situation will be (raised stage or not? what kind of floor surface? full stage lighting or enhanced room lighting? what is the stage background? should I expect to break the fourth wall or not? is tipping an issue?), much less what kind of choreography the videographer would prefer to film. I wish event organizers would be a little more forthcoming with prep information (didn't you see the venue before reserving it? don't you know what kind of show you're planning?), but in fairness, sometimes circumstances change that are out of the organizer's control.

Nevertheless, unless a performance is specifically a collaboration between a dancer and a videographer, having the videographer tell the dancer how they ought to interpret their music seems a little like the frame telling the painting what kind of picture it should be.
 

Videoblogger

New member
Nevertheless, unless a performance is specifically a collaboration between a dancer and a videographer, having the videographer tell the dancer how they ought to interpret their music seems a little like the frame telling the painting what kind of picture it should be.
i was not writing about london show. There is nothing much to there the light is really bad etc... I was talking about collaborations, if dancer prepares choreography it makes videographer life way much easier and the end product looks great. Obviously it is not something you can do at live shows or restaurants. If you are recording liveshow you can use multiple camera to capture wide and close shots.

I do not blame dancers, what i tried to say before you blame videographer you also need to know the situation, limitations etc...
 

Shanazel

Super Moderator
It's not a matter of blame being laid; please don't think that. This is a matter of explaining what belly dance entails, what it expresses, how it is often misrepresented as nothing more than a torso gyrating in space, and what videographers need to understand before making videos that will impress dancers and not just guys kicked back in their chairs with a beer and a leer. ;) My husband, a professional musician, tells the groups he directs, "It's easy to perform for general audiences; they just want to be entertained. We perform for other musicians. When we impress our peers, we have succeeded as musicians."

If the situation, limitations, etc. lead to a poor video, scrap the video and try again. I'm not a videographer, but as a photographer and fabric artist, I've scrapped or put aside far more projects than I've shown in galleries or in print. Standing alongside a displayed photograph explaining that it would be better if the subject hadn't blinked, the light had not been so bright, etc. is using time that could more profitably be spent taking more photos.

I do understand that a perfectly choreographed dance repeated breath for breath each time is easier to edit and makes combining clips less of a headache. What I want you to understand is the difference between a slick act and an emotive performance. Once you catch the latter on video, you'll have dancers piling up at your door in search of your services.

If you are recording liveshow you can use multiple camera to capture wide and close shots.

Why can't you do this at private recordings?
 

Videoblogger

New member
If you are recording liveshow you can use multiple camera to capture wide and close shots.

Why can't you do this at private recordings?
Because I am very close to the dancer and turning around etc i will be blocking the second camera. Well you can just record wide and close but I want to try different things.

if this was a live show it would not possible to record it with multiple camera same way I did here. I guess one of the reasons this video has more than 10 million views is the way i recorded it. I believe there is also very positive vibes from the dancer and the customers

 

Daimona

Moderator
Hi Videblogger!
I think you've done a good job with all the three videos posted in this thread. Matching moves with the non-original music show you've put a lot of effort to the editing.
The two latter videos have a bit too much close-ups of my preferences, but sometimes we have limited material to work on (yes, I've edited a lot of dance videos myself for dancers) and over all very nice work. 👏


Love the energy and expressions of the last dancer and would love to see it with the original music as well.
 

Shanazel

Super Moderator
Congratulations on the 10 million views. It's an entertaining video evocative of the atmosphere of the venue and spirit of the dancer. As Daimona notes, you did a fine job of matching moves with non-original music. If this is your goal, then your goal has been achieved, and I congratulate you most sincerely.

Some of us with decades of experience have made suggestions from a dancer's viewpoint in hopes that you will expand your repertoire to videos that present belly dance as more than a series of clips of well-honed muscular movement. Please don't take the remarks amiss. We've been presented as sexy bodies moving in space for so many years, and sometimes that representation becomes too much to stand without comment.
 

Videoblogger

New member
I think you've done a good job with all the three videos posted in this thread. Matching moves with the non-original music show you've put a lot of effort to the editing.
The two latter videos have a bit too much close-ups of my preferences, but sometimes we have limited material to work on (yes, I've edited a lot of dance videos myself for dancer.
Thank you Daimona, yes it takes lots of time and a little bit of luck. Very difficult to find licensed music to match the scene. I try to buy licensed music as much as I can. I try to collaborate with musicians if i can.

Yes 2nd video has many closeups and some footage is not matching. The music is original was created by musician for me, and dancer performed with the same music while recording. We did 5 takes but unfortunately each time dancer did different moves... so I had to spent lots of time to combine different bits. It supposed to be an easy editing but turnout very difficult one. So this is the reason why you see lots of close ups and also some of the equipment in the studio was visible in the wide shots so i have to cut them out. This was a collaboration project. I would like to see some of your videos if they are online.

I think you will love Tevec s performance in this video lots of wide shots. There is no customer interaction though .this one is close to 1 million. Tevec is an international award wining bellydancer.

 

Videoblogger

New member
Congratulations on the 10 million views. It's an entertaining video evocative of the atmosphere of the venue and spirit of the dancer.

Some of us with decades of experience have made suggestions from a dancer's viewpoint in hopes that you will expand your repertoire to videos that present belly dance as more than a series of clips of well-honed muscular movement.
Thank you Shanazel. In my oppinion facial expression and natural smile is one of the most important aspects in belly dance. Close shots are good to show details of the costume accessories and focus on some movements. When you combine all these with a nice music then you have a great video. And if you can add some type of story to your video it would be great. This is what i try to achieve.
 

Zorba

"The Veiled Male"
I don't think there's a Belly Dancer on the planet who hasn't felt like throttling a videographer with hir veil at one time or another! Like the one who cut off my hands overhead right at the penultimate point of the dance - what the hands did at that moment was the point of the whole performance! And, in a staged showcase type show, there's little reason for sloppy work like that.

BUT

In other venues, where grab shots may be the best that can be done, I'm willing to overlook "some" bad video - but boob cam, hip cam, foot cam, and most especially MONKEY CAM, are never permissible!
 
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