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  1. #1
    Just Starting! npeterko's Avatar
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    How to make a face veil

    Would you tell me how to MAKE and WEAR a face veil? I don't usually wear things on my head. Many thanks for you time.


  2. #2
    Official BHUZzer Athenaserpent's Avatar
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    Re: How to make a face veil



    I'm asuming you want to make one of those.
    what you will need:
    -a light sheer fabric
    -thread & needle
    -ribbon in a matching color
    -scissors

    1) cut a rectangular piece from the fabric (you can pick whatever dimensions you like)
    2) hem the edge of the fabric so it doesn't frey
    3) sew 2 long pieces of ribbon onto the upper corners of your veil
    4) tie it at the back of your head with a bow. you can put some of your hair over the ribbon at the back of your head to hide it

    hope i helped a wee bit
    xxx
    Athena


  3. #3
    Ultimate BHUZzer meissoun's Avatar
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    Re: How to make a face veil

    OK, here comes my very personal opinion, take it or leave it:

    I think face veils are really silly and super-cliché.
    It's something I can only accept in a comedy number but never on a serious dancer (Melaya dance is an exception, but those look very different).

    It's this "harem girl" image that we really should try to avoid.

    Plus, in the Middle East, a woman who covers her face would not expose her belly (or arms, legs, hair etc.) at the same time. So it's about as un-authentic as you can be.

    Please think about this before you really consider a face veil for performing.

    MEISSOUN


  4. #4
    Ultimate BHUZzer SatinWorship19's Avatar
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    Re: How to make a face veil

    Meissoun - thanks for going on this soapbox so I wouldn't have to!


  5. #5
    Ultimate BHUZzer ssipes's Avatar
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    Re: How to make a face veil

    Agree with Meissoun and Satin.


  6. #6
    Ultimate BHUZzer laura 2's Avatar
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    Re: How to make a face veil

    Same here - they are possibly appropriate for dressing up as a harem girl for Halloween and not much else. I don't know any respected professional dancers who wear them (except for a crocheted one for Meleya Leff as Meissoun suggested). I might be judging a book by it's cover, but whenever I come across the occasional YouTube clip of a dancer wearing one, I automatically think "6-week wonder without a clue".


  7. #7
    Master BHUZzer Souzan's Avatar
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    Re: How to make a face veil

    I just saw this and the first thing that came into my mind is how culturally insensitive wearing a face veil is. Wearing a long headpiece in folkloric dance and occassionally pulling an edge across the face is one thing, but wearing the face veil while dancing raqs sharki is something entirely different. Fantasy bedroom bellydance--okay. Like doing the "dance of the 7 veils" which is essentially stripping while belly dancing--fantasy for the budoir but not real and not for public performance.

    Souzan


  8. #8
    Advanced BHUZzer Nepenthe's Avatar
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    Re: How to make a face veil

    Since we're on the topic, has anyone seen the Virginia performance to Harramt Ahibbak where she picks up a little tiny face veil and wraps it around her face...what did people think about that?

    I love Virginia, but when I saw that vid for the first time, I was a little put off - like "aren't we not supposed to do that?" And she has trained with Egyptians in Egyptian style and knows a lot about the culture (judging from theworkshop I took with her).


  9. #9
    Just Starting! npeterko's Avatar
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    Re: How to make a face veil

    Thank you all for your input. Totally understand what you mean. I was thinking of Sahra Saeeda's Melaya Laff ([ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IoMR6SXcAUE]YouTube - Sahra Saeeda - Melaya Laff[/ame]) with her face veil? Is it appropriate? If not, I shall forget about the idea. If yes, how do I make one? Thank you again for all your support


  10. #10
    tamrahennatx
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    Re: How to make a face veil

    Quote Originally Posted by Nepenthe View Post
    Since we're on the topic, has anyone seen the Virginia performance to Harramt Ahibbak where she picks up a little tiny face veil and wraps it around her face...what did people think about that?

    I love Virginia, but when I saw that vid for the first time, I was a little put off - like "aren't we not supposed to do that?" And she has trained with Egyptians in Egyptian style and knows a lot about the culture (judging from theworkshop I took with her).
    I think we sometimes get a little carried away by our "rules"

    The point of the face veil shtick is to cheekily "flirt" with your audience using your eyes. I've done this on occasion, and no one has ever reacted with disgust when I've done it. I've done this with wings, veil, long sleeve drapes. It's just meant to be cute and an opportunity to connect with the audience, not to perpetuate any stereotypes. I think sometimes we as non-Arab dancers become a bit oversensitive to cultural issues.


  11. #11
    tamrahennatx
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    Re: How to make a face veil

    Quote Originally Posted by npeterko View Post
    Thank you all for your input. Totally understand what you mean. I was thinking of Sahra Saeeda's Melaya Laff (YouTube - Sahra Saeeda - Melaya Laff) with her face veil? Is it appropriate? If not, I shall forget about the idea. If yes, how do I make one? Thank you again for all your support
    In this context it is a traditional part of this particular character dance.


  12. #12
    Advanced BHUZzer _Tanya_'s Avatar
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    Re: How to make a face veil

    Quote Originally Posted by npeterko View Post
    Thank you all for your input. Totally understand what you mean. I was thinking of Sahra Saeeda's Melaya Laff with her face veil? Is it appropriate? If not, I shall forget about the idea. If yes, how do I make one? Thank you again for all your support
    This is a totally appropriate costume addition. Melaya Leff is usually done with a face veil of some sort, though I have seen it without. These veils are crocheted for the most part.

    Something like this may work.
    Crochet Stitch: Solomon's Knot : Frequently-Asked Questions (FAQ) about Knitting and Crochet : Lion Brand Yarn
    You can add beads or sequins, and use a sparkly or lovely colored yarn.


  13. #13
    tamrahennatx
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    Re: How to make a face veil

    Quote Originally Posted by _Tanya_ View Post
    This is a totally appropriate costume addition. Melaya Leff is usually done with a face veil of some sort, though I have seen it without. These veils are crocheted for the most part.

    Something like this may work.
    Crochet Stitch: Solomon's Knot : Frequently-Asked Questions (FAQ) about Knitting and Crochet : Lion Brand Yarn
    You can add beads or sequins, and use a sparkly or lovely colored yarn.
    I'm quoting you, Tanya, but my response is for everyone.

    It seems to me that the melaya dance itself breaks a lot of the rules. Why is the face veil appropriate in the melaya dance? Why is the melaya dance appropriate at all? Because Reda created it and it has become acceptable?

    The melaya portrays a gal acting in ways that are very much out of accordance of the way women are supposed to behave in Islam - she is showing a lot of skin (in the traditional ruffled dress), covering and uncovering herself, and behaving in an openly flirtatious manner supposedly in public, on the street, while still wearing a face covering. Is this portrayal acceptable because it was created and popularized in a native country? Are there not cases in which this dance might offend some muslims who are not Egyptian and familiar with Reda? Is this possible?
    Last edited by tamrahennatx; 06-22-2009 at 11:40 AM.


  14. #14
    Advanced BHUZzer _Tanya_'s Avatar
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    Re: How to make a face veil

    Quote Originally Posted by tamrahennatx View Post
    I'm quoting you, Tanya, but my response is for everyone.

    It seems to me that the melaya dance itself breaks a lot of the rules. Why is the face veil appropriate in the melaya dance? Why is the melaya dance appropriate at all? Because Reda created it and it has become acceptable?

    The melaya portrays a gal acting in ways that are very much out of accordance of the way women are supposed to behave in Islam - she is showing a lot of skin (in the traditional ruffled dress), covering and uncovering herself, and behaving in an openly flirtatious manner supposedly in public, on the street, while still wearing a face covering. Is this portrayal acceptable because it was created and popularized in a native country? Are there not cases in which this dance might offend some muslims who are not Egyptian and familiar with Reda? Is this possible?

    I'd be interested as well, there was a bit of a stink when videos of Nubian dances were posted and I see the reasons for it.

    My post was more of a reassurance that the OP was not asking a culturally insensitive question.


  15. #15
    Advanced BHUZzer shaabichic's Avatar
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    Re: How to make a face veil

    Quote Originally Posted by meissoun View Post
    OK, here comes my very personal opinion, take it or leave it:

    I think face veils are really silly and super-cliché.
    It's something I can only accept in a comedy number but never on a serious dancer (Melaya dance is an exception, but those look very different).

    It's this "harem girl" image that we really should try to avoid.

    Plus, in the Middle East, a woman who covers her face would not expose her belly (or arms, legs, hair etc.) at the same time. So it's about as un-authentic as you can be.

    Please think about this before you really consider a face veil for performing.

    MEISSOUN
    my thoughts exactly


  16. #16
    Ultimate BHUZzer SatinWorship19's Avatar
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    Re: How to make a face veil

    IMO, appropriateness depends on who your audience is.

    If you're doing a melaya for dancers or people who understand that the face veil is a normal component of that style of presentation, I wouldn't say that's an issue.

    But for the general public, I'd say leave the face veil at home. The way I see it, if you have a choice between causing zero confusion or possibly leaving the door open for being stereotyped (or perpetuating arcane ideas) - isn't it better to be safe than sorry? If you'd like to play and flirt with your eyes, which is always beautiful, there are quite a few veil tricks and hand gestures that enable you to do this without controversy .

    Plus, nobody can see you smile when you're wearing a face veil - that may be the other reason I find them aesthetically unpleasing. Looking friendly, warm and approachable is such a huge part of our presentation, especially at parties and such.

    Then again, I don't even feel comfortable doing a lot of things that are considered normal harem-inspired comedic bellygram tricks...I guess appropriate is subjective and we all draw our lines somewhere. shrug

    Now, where did I put my asbestos panties?


  17. #17
    Master BHUZzer Souzan's Avatar
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    Re: How to make a face veil

    Probably would not do melaya leff for general public simply because it would not be understood. Same reason I won't wear the white gallabeyia dancing for general public.

    Souzan


  18. #18
    Ultimate BHUZzer SatinWorship19's Avatar
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    Re: How to make a face veil

    Yeah, I'd have to agree that doing any sort of folkloric at a general public event can be risky. Too much can get lost in translation or just go over people's heads.


  19. #19
    Mega BHUZzer david's Avatar
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    Re: How to make a face veil

    You know, the issue of Melaya Leff and the burqa are interesting as many have already addressed. One of the things that we have not addressed is the fact that when this dance is done in Egypt - it remains within an Arab/Muslim country where everyone is of the similar understanding of the ground rules and the venues where it is presented are selected with this in mind. When we take the dance out of context - it also becomes more of a political statement.

    Also a thing that is important to recognize is that eastern cultures often times have a logic to behavior that may seem counter-intutive to others. Its like a tawaif during the Mugul era was often essentially a dance performing concubine - or a prostitute , or regarded as such by people - they would still cover up with a Burqa or a full length cape when they went outside.

    Similarly it becomes "less of an offence" for a "village girl" to give into the weakness of the moment and the intoxication of her youth to dance around with her melaya and burqa on in exitement and then catch herself and return to her pias self....when done in Egypt.

    I dont know if it really would translate elsewhere without a pre-text or introduction if one was to try to inform the audience about what was going on.


  20. #20
    Mega BHUZzer dinavienna's Avatar
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    Re: How to make a face veil

    ....
    Last edited by dinavienna; 08-05-2009 at 11:39 AM.


  21. #21
    Advanced BHUZzer Nouria's Avatar
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    Re: How to make a face veil

    Hi Dina,

    I think a face veil, especially when done in a modern, fashionable way, is a very sophisticated way of erotical teasing in a society that has no clear lines anymore between what is freedom of expression and what pornography. If I see model-candidates minor of age in that Heidi-Klum show posing with a pole dancing-pole between their legs and are told that a model oughtn't be to fussy about nakedness, Heidi Klum being a role-model and an economical heavyweight, I think this highlights the problem very well.

    If you'd perform like you described, you sure could become an erotical sensation and you could get a lot of business. I heard that the effect of a face veil was very strong - on men. The mystery woman thing. Who hides her identity must be up to something. You do sth. forbidden - you bellydance, being a lawyer and you obviously agree that it's sth. not suitable. I guess it would be sort of an exciting game for you?

    In the high society in Lima in Peru, they had this, when the husband went out and the wife went out to betray him, she covered her face with a veil, only one eye was left unveiled, not to be recognized. So this was a kinky game, the one eyed women were out for an affair and their husbands could even dance at the same party, maybe also out for an affair.

    Well I guess in times where everybody can shoot you with his cell phone, veiling could acquire a new sense...


  22. #22
    Mega BHUZzer dinavienna's Avatar
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    Re: How to make a face veil

    ...
    Last edited by dinavienna; 08-05-2009 at 11:39 AM.


  23. #23
    A journey of ten thousand miles begins with a single post. anala's Avatar
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    Re: How to make a face veil

    I do think sometimes you guys worry too much about what offends Mideasterners ;) no need to be more Catholic than the Pope. :-D

    LOL...love that!!!


  24. #24
    Mega BHUZzer dinavienna's Avatar
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    Re: How to make a face veil

    I wished I could claim that saying for myself - but to be honest, it's a very common German one :)


  25. #25
    Advanced BHUZzer Nouria's Avatar
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    Re: How to make a face veil

    sorry Dina didn't mean to make you feel guilty but it does have an adventurous touch to it, like from an old spy movie. So in this sense, it could be really interesting.
    But the idea of face veil and being a bellydancer doesn't really come together in my mind other than in an extreme form of coquetry.

    Don't you think everybody would bribe waiters in the club in question to reveal your identity? Just because it's so unusual. And in your case there is even a little scandal-potential in it. ,r:;


  26. #26
    Mega BHUZzer dinavienna's Avatar
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    Re: How to make a face veil

    ...
    Last edited by dinavienna; 08-05-2009 at 11:39 AM.


  27. #27
    Advanced BHUZzer Nouria's Avatar
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    Re: How to make a face veil

    No I'm not a pro but I'm using performance opportunities to get performing skills. I had a few and have two more in autumn, I ought to have performed this weekend but my teacher forgot to write me on the list. My technique is ok, not great, but solid. As a troupe member I am preparing to become a semi-professional. I'd love to dance for Arab people.


  28. #28
    Mega BHUZzer dinavienna's Avatar
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    Re: How to make a face veil

    Oh I'm sure you'll be successful! I liked the Saidi practice you put online some time ago.
    I think with the Arab community it might be hard to enter it - but like a snowball word of mouth is the key I think.


  29. #29
    Advanced BHUZzer kemintiri's Avatar
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    Re: How to make a face veil

    Quote Originally Posted by dinavienna View Post
    I wished I could claim that saying for myself - but to be honest, it's a very common German one :)
    Very common in Quebec too g


  30. #30
    Advanced BHUZzer kemintiri's Avatar
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    Re: How to make a face veil

    Quote Originally Posted by Souzan View Post
    Same reason I won't wear the white gallabeyia dancing for general public.
    Is this because of religious connotations? curious


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