Showing posts from 2017

Cultural Appropriation & Enculturation in the Middle Eastern Dance Arts

Trio of dancers with Milayah Laff - photo courtesy Mahmoud Reda There has recently been much controversy about 'cultural appropriation', both in our dance circles and in popular broadcast media.   As bellydancers, we will be affected by this issue at some point in our dance-lives; both individually and collectively. Bellydance is largely an appropriated, and often homogenized art form, utilizing bits and pieces from various cultural dances, many of which cross over in terms of historical transfer, innate movement quality, cultural motif and design. So how and where do we need to create boundaries that distinguish ethical use of another culture’s traditions, verses non-ethical treatment of cultural arts, or even worse… how do we deal with total ignorance of the matter? How can we become more discerning as artists, performers and teachers, and establish common ethical ground to better handle the way we understand cultural transference, and are more discerning with the

Are You at The Crossroads of Change?

I've been chatting with many dance friends lately, particularly teachers,  who feel like they've lost their "bellydance mojo". They feel that the initial spark, their drive or the energy has fizzled around bellydance somehow. Some are saying it feels like burnout... others are saying they yearn for a fresh direction, but are unsure of the path their dance-life should take. Often, the urge is to find something new, hoping it will ignite or renew passion, or shift the focus... and since there are so many possibilities, even that decision seems overwhelming. Are you at the crossroads of change? Who are you now, as a more mature being -  mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually ? How does each area affect your dance and what needs to change to synchronise with your most recent level of maturity and self? As you've matured, your dance needs will have probably changed. If you're feeling the shift, listen.  This is an ideal t

Clarity Around Events: Is it a Collaboration, Cross-Promotion or Sponsorship?

Hi dancers!  I've started a blog... the aim is to share insights into areas that are not often discussed, where we make decisions that affect our artistic directions. I'll post a new article each month. Events and connections make our local and international dance world go round, right? Bellydance sub-culture has grown phenomenally in the recent decade, with more inter-relationships, live and online, than ever before. But how do we discern which associations are the right ones for us and our fellow artists? Collaboration, cross-promotion and sponsorship are three very different relationships that exist in the co-operative dance world. They can be beneficial and uplifting for everyone involved, including the wider community, or conversely, they can become energetically draining and create disharmony. Artistic relationships need to be initiated with clarity and approached with integrity for ideas to flourish within successful associations; either as a short-term projects or lo