I thought this festival was a bd festival...

da Sage

New member
Performances like this that are clearly informed by bellydance, but draw most of their movement and motivation from other styles always make me wonder. It's very easy for dancers of other styles (ballet, modern) to move into bellydance. How often...and how easy...is it for bellydance-trained dancers to move into other styles? Are they ever taken seriously by the larger, more mainstream dance world?
 

Sophia Maria

New member
Performances like this that are clearly informed by bellydance, but draw most of their movement and motivation from other styles always make me wonder. It's very easy for dancers of other styles (ballet, modern) to move into bellydance. How often...and how easy...is it for bellydance-trained dancers to move into other styles? Are they ever taken seriously by the larger, more mainstream dance world?
What's interesting about this is that I think most bellydancers start later. There are definitely some amazing child belly dancers out there, and there are a couple that have been dancing since childhood, like Sherena and Suhaila Salimpour (I think?). It might be easier for non bd-ers to move into bd because they have been trained in dance for so long, whereas many beginner bellydancers are either teenagers or adults.

I also think that once you go bellydance, you never go back! :D
 

Jane

New member
It's very easy for dancers of other styles (ballet, modern) to move into bellydance.
I don't agree with that statement for the most part. I think it's easy for a previously well trained dancer to capture some of the polished elements of belly dance: body awareness, good posture, turns, stage presence. But a lot of western trained dancers also have problems with the fundamental aspects of what makes belly dance look like belly dance and not ballet or jazz with hips. Earthy-ness, natural flow with the arms, improvisational dancing, low center of gravity, Arabic musicality don't cross over automatically.

How often...and how easy...is it for bellydance-trained dancers to move into other styles? Are they ever taken seriously by the larger, more mainstream dance world?
It depends on the style the dancer wants to do. I've found other dance styles I enjoy that come more easily with my belly dance training, but adult ballet and tap did not cross over well for me at all.
 

Shanazel

Super Moderator
I think it's easy for a previously well trained dancer to capture some of the polished elements of belly dance: body awareness, good posture, turns, stage presence. But a lot of western trained dancers also have problems with the fundamental aspects of what makes belly dance look like belly dance and not ballet or jazz with hips. Earthy-ness, natural flow with the arms, improvisational dancing, low center of gravity, Arabic musicality don't cross over automatically.
This. Ask my student and very accomplished co-teacher how hard she has worked to cross over physically and intellectually from ballet, jazz, modern, and lyrical to belly dance. :cool:
 

da Sage

New member
I don't agree with that statement for the most part. I think it's easy for a previously well trained dancer to capture some of the polished elements of belly dance: body awareness, good posture, turns, stage presence. But a lot of western trained dancers also have problems with the fundamental aspects of what makes belly dance look like belly dance and not ballet or jazz with hips. Earthy-ness, natural flow with the arms, improvisational dancing, low center of gravity, Arabic musicality don't cross over automatically.



It depends on the style the dancer wants to do. I've found other dance styles I enjoy that come more easily with my belly dance training, but adult ballet and tap did not cross over well for me at all.
You're absolutely right, I used the wrong words. What I should have said is that it's fairly common for people with extensive other dance experience to transition into bellydance. But how often does it go the other way?
 

Shanazel

Super Moderator
I've had students with no dance experience prior to BD change over to clogging classes but the students who went to adult ballet had ballet background.

I agree with Sophia Maria above: for the most part classical dancers start earlier than belly dancers. How many folks sign their children up for belly dance classes at the age of seven or eight? It is harder to begin to build a ballet body and mind at eighteen than it is at eight; even harder at twenty-eight or thirty-eight. (That's not to say it absolutely can't be done.) In contrast, middle eastern dance is accessible to older people and in fact maturity is a benefit since one dances from a place in one's own emotions and heart rather than from a director's instructions on how to express the emotions written into a dance by a choreographer. BD also doesn't require the extremes of physicality demanded by ballet- no deformed muscles dancing over deformed skeletons, to misquote Isadora Duncan.

I hope that makes some sense. I don't think I expressed it all that well, but I seem to be braindead today. :confused:
 

Safran

New member
Going back to the Festival - I recently met the organiser of this festival, and she herself has a wonderful soft old-school feel to her dancing.
 

Dunyah

New member
Perhaps it is a festival like Rakkasah, where anyone can get a dance spot without an audition or vetting of any kind.

I get the feeling there is something very "off" about this dancer, her vibe is very strange and I don't find her dancing pretty in any way. And it's definitely not belly dance, so why dance at a belly dance festival? Because you can't get a gig anywhere else, maybe?
 
Top