jueves, 28 de febrero de 2013

Belly dancer of theater vs restaurant performer

This is an old post I did on my cultural blog in spanish (www.raqsamar.blogspot.ae), the subject is simple: "The belly dancer and her work in theater and in a restaurant and also to talk about the way we look ourselves as performers".
So, I did try to translate at best of my abilities, this article was big success among my collegues in Mexico and beyond (spanish speakers) so I wanted to share it with english speakers; to get your opinion and share points of view.

 *BD=belly dancer

A topic that cause lots of controversy among dancers., -If the restaurant BD* does whatever or, if the BD of theater looks too much mechanical,even some girls said : "Any dancer can perform in a restaurant" while the BD in restaurants says : "Girls that dance in theater aren't able to improvise"etc, etc,etc...

¿Why we attack to each other?

Each BD who call herself pro, pass through the phase of learning,later the phase of practice (dance in theaters, social events and other non paid shows),after you will get the phase of specialization in whatever style you like more (after experiment dance in both theater and Restaurant) then you will decide which place is better for you, but what happen? some theater BDs begin to feel that "Superiority"of technique and choreo., while the restaurant BDs believe to have that charisma and freedom that lack in the first ones.

¡The truth!

To dance in theater as in restaurant are both rewarding experiences, each one fills you up as an artist but in different way. I hope you girls feel identified with the next!!


*I love the big space, the powerful lights that make my costumes look stunning!, I love to step a theater when I want to make an special performance with some proops I usually cannot do in close spaces, or when I want to dance into a strange or fusion song, also when I dance with my students.


Here I should clarify "Is not the same to perform for an arab audience than for a audience non arab"
a non arab public expect the same as in theater but in a very small space. The arab public expect to be entertain, and for that you must let yourself go by the mood of the night, by the music and it's words.
Ok, with this been said., To dance in restaurant is equal to get the skill of improvisation, to be ready for whatever happens during your show either good or bad, to have a big musical repertoire and choose the music with no time to waist.also a good connection with the audience is INDISPENSABLE!.

The pros and cons (in my opinion)


*the freedom to make your show as you wish.
*You will have opportunity of rehersals which minimize the margin of error
*it's a purely artistic expression
*It give you the chance to coexist and collaborate with your fellow dancers
*It gives you a good CV (especially if it is an important theater)
*It expose your work to people with certain knowledge on the belly dance and it's styles
*To prepare a show is really HARD work (it can take months to prepare a more or less decent show)
*It should be that the mistakes are less, but when error exist is much more evident.
*It take lots of hours and hard work,lots of costumes made and ¿payment? sometimes very less or even non existent!


*It gives you the power of improvisation and even interact with your audience.
*To dance in a regular basis enlarge your arabian music repertoire better than dance sometimes.
*It is a job, one you like and they pay you for it !
*it gives you good experience to be ready when you have to dance anywhere feel more selfconfident
*You have much more places where to perform
*It gives you a good CV
 *Sometimes your show transform in a: "lets go people clap....yeahhhh !!! " cheerleader than a dancer
*Like any other job in the world, sometimes it can turn routine
*To expose your art infront of an open audience  (meaning people who knows what belly dance is
  and people who do not) sometimes leads to non ethical propousals.
*it is a job, so it does not matter if you are sick, if you have no mood to smile today or if your period
  arrived 1 week before...the show must go on!

What normally happens is.... 

*The majority of the first clan will dance in restaurant  as a good way to make a living.
The dancers that have few opportunities to dance in a huge stage will dance in theater to feel "sublime artist".
The ones like me who have the chance to dance in both, I tell you: - Dance, enjoy, earn money if posible and do not criticize the opposite side cause even to smile is hard work!

martes, 12 de febrero de 2013

Ana bashaak - Mayada el Henawi

February, month of love... HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY TO ALL!!!

So as contribution to this "video of the month" sure I wanted to post some song dedicated to love.
The song is a very well known in the arab world, so popular that there's no day the audience don't ask for it.
The singer name is Mayada el Henawi, she is the golden voice of Siria, original from the city of Aleppo,one of the most damage zones cause of civil war this days.
The name of the song "Ana bashaak" which means "I adore you"
It's really nice song, full of love and pain as all the stories between two persons who are madly in love.
This is one part, (the most well known) as some years back the songs used to be really long.
I hope you enjoyi it as I do.

it's safari time !!!

Yes.... ladies and gentleman, it's safari time!!!

I't`s amazing how many vids of belly dancers in safaris are on youtube., safari is something fun to
do, you can interact with people, invite them to dance even teach them little bit...the whole point of
safari is to make your audience HAPPY!!.

Most of the people who goes safari in middle east are tourists, they come in here, and after go shopping, go to the top of burj khalifa and visit the main nightclubs in town., they have this overwhelming feeling to get the touch of the real arab experience, to dress up with ghandoora and abaya , sit in  the dunes of the amazing arab desert, smoke sheesha and listen to authentic arabian tunes.

Sooo our tourist friends call some well known safaris companies in UAE and get a package that can offer this.. sure by the end of the evening the belly dancer or dancers will be included!

Now, I think more or less you got the idea of the safari for the people, you come,eat,drink tea, smoke sheesha, ride camels and by nightfall will see belly dance show.. make lots of pics and film a long video of the "show"..  by the end of your holidays you come home and post this vid on youtube.

Now, the second part, once the video is online there's 100's of bad comments, people (most of them dancers) who make remarks to this "very bad dancer" !!
Sure not each one of them is great, but in their favor, and as the experience I got dancing in safaris as well... I can tell you this.

*You  cannot expect a belly dancer do the same as she is in a theater
*Most of the time, the floor is sand which is cover by carpets, so the floor is not great for moving
*people wanna be part of the show and make pics, ENJOY!!! you cannot expect they are serious and clap at the end, think of it as a party!

*dancing expose to outside weather as heat, wind or cold in winter can also affect the performance!
*If you are so used to dance with high heels, you will find little bit hard to dance bare foot again.

To dance in safari as I said is super fun, but probably not the best place to record a show...
if you cross into a safari belly dance video on youtube, think before posting your opinion, that, safaris aren't made for the "performace of the year" but for the "happy dancing time of the year"

You will watch the video from another angle...!!!