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Thread: Respecting the Stage




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    Ultimate BHUZzer *Shira*'s Avatar
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    Respecting the Stage

    It seems as though "respecting the stage" is a skill that is no longer taught by many belly dance teachers. I remember when I was a student, my teachers taught us things such as:

    Your entrance and exit are just as important as the time you spend doing the dance itself. Be in character for entrances and exits.

    If you have live music, acknowledge the musicians at the end of the performance.

    At the end of the dance, bow / acknowledge the audience.

    Make sure your costume is always in top condition - iron skirts and veils if they need it, repair anything that needs it, etc.

    Wear stage makeup. Makeup is costuming for your face.

    I'm surprised at how many students tell me these days that their teachers no longer teach them these things when preparing for performances. If you're a teacher, do you teach it? If you're a student, did your teacher teach it?

    What other "respecting the stage" tips would you add to this list?
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    Mega BHUZzer mahsati's Avatar
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    Re: Respecting the Stage

    Yes, I teach these things to my students, as well as how to handle difficult audience members and what to expect in different performance situations.

    In terms of performance, a partial list of what I teach outside of dance itself would be:
    • Audience Etiquette - how to watch a performance and show appreciation
    • Stage Etiquette - how to behave on stage as a performer
    • Backstage Etiquette - how to be mindful of sounds, sights, and space issues backstage
    • Costuming Awareness - considering your venue, choosing your costume, fit and repair
    • Personal Safety - maintaining an awareness of your situation at all times
    • Working with Musicians - mutual respect and communication
    • Working with Other Dancers - mutual respect and communication
    • Professional Issues - pay, contracts, undercutting, subbing, marketing
    There are a lot more things that have to be covered, but these are some of the basics that I teach specifically for performances.

    Are there really a lot of teachers who don't teach these things in most areas? In my area, all of the instructors seem really good about preparing their students for proper performance behavior in different situations.
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    Ultimate BHUZzer *Shira*'s Avatar
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    Re: Respecting the Stage

    Quote Originally Posted by mahsati View Post
    Are there really a lot of teachers who don't teach these things in most areas? In my area, all of the instructors seem really good about preparing their students for proper performance behavior in different situations.
    I think we're considering different angles of the topic. You were thinking of performing skills in general, as an external thing.

    I was thinking more of the attitude toward performing that comes from within. Ie, respecting the fact that the performer "owes" something both to her audience and to the theatrical situation.

    So, I wasn't so much intending, "Teach your students how to apply stage makeup" as I was "Teach your students to present themselves as a larger-than life character, as someone who is worthy of the attention they want the audience to give them."


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    Ultimate BHUZzer *Shira*'s Avatar
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    Re: Respecting the Stage

    A lot of learning is done through example. And I think a lot of today's belly dance students are seeing examples of dancing in situations where stagecraft really isn't demonstrated.

    For example...

    I noticed that the growth of the SCA in the 1990's brought about some changes in the way many teachers/students viewed the craft of performing. SCA presented an environment for learning and doing dance that was different from the traditional classroom/student/recital dynamic. In SCA, people wear their costumes all the time as part of their persona, and "performances" are really more "folk dance" oriented.

    So in my experience, people who learned to belly dance in the SCA are less likely to see a need for cover-ups, stage makeup, and other "respecting the stage" stagecraft, because the examples they saw of "performing" didn't provide a role model for that.

    Now, I'm not bashing SCA. I think it's fine to role-play, and I don't have a problem with recreational belly dancing in that context. The problem comes when people think that the recreational approach to belly dancing in the SCA has taught them everything they need to know about "performing" and they don't realize how context-specific the SCA experience is.


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    Re: Respecting the Stage

    As discussed in another thread, wearing a coverup when not performing, so there is a clear distinction between onstage (and performing) and offstage (and not performing).

    Also, using the space. If you have the luxury of being on a large stage, use it. Travel. Cover the space. Of course, this works better with some numbers than with others.

    And, yes, my instructors have taught this, fortunately.


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    Re: Respecting the Stage

    No one ever taught me these things when I was starting out. I didn't realize how goofy I looked until I saw a video of an early solo. I curtsied, but then just hung my arms at the side and shuffled off stage with bad posture and no expression. I hadn't realized how stupid that looked until seeing the video. I changed everything after that and make sure that I mention these things to students who will be performing.
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    Re: Respecting the Stage

    I would be shocked if a teacher didn't teach basic stagecraft - I certainly was (and am). Another one one of my teachers was really big on "Keep your butt out of the audience!" - i.e. don't bend over to pick something up with your back/derriere facing the audience.
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    Mega BHUZzer mahsati's Avatar
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    Re: Respecting the Stage

    Quote Originally Posted by Shira View Post
    So, I wasn't so much intending, "Teach your students how to apply stage makeup" as I was "Teach your students to present themselves as a larger-than life character, as someone who is worthy of the attention they want the audience to give them."
    Ok - now I am definitely confused. In your original post, you mentioned specifically:

    Wear stage makeup. Makeup is costuming for your face.

    I'm surprised at how many students tell me these days that their teachers no longer teach them these things when preparing for performances. If you're a teacher, do you teach it? If you're a student, did your teacher teach it?


    That is why I thought you meant basic performance stagecraft and preparation. I am not suite sure I understand which angle you are approaching it from. I consider all of the basic stagecraft part of what gives a performer the attitude and understanding of what they should present to the audience and other dancers. Sorry for misunderstanding! :)
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    Ultimate BHUZzer *Shira*'s Avatar
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    Re: Respecting the Stage

    Quote Originally Posted by mahsati View Post
    I am not suite sure I understand which angle you are approaching it from. I consider all of the basic stagecraft part of what gives a performer the attitude and understanding of what they should present to the audience and other dancers. Sorry for misunderstanding! :)
    Well, I've heard people say stuff like, "It's just a small hafla, everyone will be sitting up close and able to see my face, so I don't need stage makeup."

    This shows a disrespect for the performer/audience dynamic. This type of statement is what I mean by a lack of "respecting the stage". It's a question of belief system.
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    Ultimate BHUZzer tahiradancer's Avatar
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    Re: Respecting the Stage

    I brought this up a couple of weeks ago in a thread both here and on facebook with the intention of gathering info in order to put together a performance prep workshop. Got some negitive feedback, mainly because of the way I worded the request for information, so I deleted the thread.

    I have to be honest, having trained as a performer from the time I was 3, the lack of basic stage etiquette makes me totally nuts! I recognize that most belly dance teachers don't have the time, or the consistency in student base, to be able to thoroughly cover stage etiquette in a meaningful way. And there are many who really don't know how to prepare a dancer as a performer. Which is not a criticism, simply an observation.

    1 - your performance starts 5 feet before you hit the stage and ends after you are 5 feet into the wings.

    2 - Own the stage. If you don't feel like you should be there, the audience knows this. Fake it if necessary. (I had a Coaching Client who was a professional musician. He had been performing for over 15 years and before every show he goes into the bathroom and is sick to his stomach. We worked on eradicating that for a while, and then decided that, for the time being, to simply accept that it was part of his process. The audience NEVER knew, because once he got on stage, he owned the stage, was in love with what he was doing and the audience.)

    3 - I would go one step further than Shira with acknowledging the musicians when you are dancing to live music. Acknowledge them when you enter. In fact, take a second to acknowledge your audience. Make contact. Break the 4th wall and bring them in! Obviously, there are times when this is not appropriate, but when it is, don't be afraid to invite the audience to experience the emotions with you.

    4 - beaver to the band and butts as well, or as much as possible. Learn to bend your knees in order to pick things up.

    5 - Yes, hair and make up are important. They don't have to be elaborate, but they do need to be appropriate. I am in the I-wear-almost-nothing-on-a-daily-basis camp, but have you seen the inside of my performance make up case? and don't be afraid to buy your hair! It's fun! (I don't think I would expect a casual performer to go too over the top in this area. but definitely learn a little bit about glam stylings.)

    6 - Don't look at the floor. It will be there to catch you, I promise.

    7 - Don't throw away your energy. be sure that what ever you are doing is complete when the move is through and not when you decide it is because your brain is already on the next move.

    8 - Learn to milk things and to cheat. On stage, these are good to know and do.

    I realize that this has gone a little off topic, and I am sure there is more I can add. . .
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    Re: Respecting the Stage

    I do talk about it, but I mostly have beginners in my classes, and then in my dance troupe, I definitely talk about it!!

    For something like a hafla where there may be first time performers, has anyone done a specific class or workshop on performance skills? I've been thinking of that and think it may be helpful, but will dancers come?

    If you've taught it in a workshop, what worked best?


  12. #12
    Ultimate BHUZzer tahiradancer's Avatar
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    Re: Respecting the Stage

    Quote Originally Posted by Shira View Post
    Well, I've heard people say stuff like, "It's just a small hafla, everyone will be sitting up close and able to see my face, so I don't need stage makeup."

    This shows a disrespect for the performer/audience dynamic. This type of statement is what I mean by a lack of "respecting the stage". It's a question of belief system.
    So what you are talking about is less the art of stage craft and more about showing personal respect for being a performer. An example which might be relevant is dressing for work.

    When I was in the corporate work force (and not working for an IT company) I dressed in a way which reflected my job and the office which I represented. As I worked for Presidents, CEO's and Board members, it was expected that I wear tasteful, quality clothing in good repair, with basic hair and make up, appropriate undergarments and accessories. That I put on my "Game face" and speak and act as was appropriate for the job, thus showing that I respected the job, the company, my boss and myself. Being on stage is, in your estimation, the equivalent. I don't disagree. I also think that many people don't see it this way and many don't have the experience that this is appropriate. Of course, i know many people who have never owned a suit and really don't understand why owning one would be necessary. So it can be a challenge to explain that to them.

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    Re: Respecting the Stage

    It seems there are two factors to this. First, many teachers didn't learn these topics themselves. Their own teachers did not take class time to practice bowing for each other or how to contour eyes for theatrical lighting and so on. Occasionally one even comes across a dancer who knows better and withholds information as a means of ensuring her place in the pecking order.

    Second, many students only perform for other dancers who don't demand much ("Aw, it's just a hobbyist at a hafla"), or for audiences who don't know to expect theatrical standards (If you're performing at a house party or a street fair, who's going to complain about your bad entrance walk or poorly shaded cheekbones? Where would they direct those complaints if they wanted to?). The number of dancers who are in a situation where a mentor or manager could give them useful feedback about correcting lapses in theatrical professionalism is really quite small. The lack of making these topics a classroom priority just keeps repeating itself.


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    Ultimate BHUZzer *Shira*'s Avatar
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    Re: Respecting the Stage

    Quote Originally Posted by tahiradancer View Post
    So what you are talking about is less the art of stage craft and more about showing personal respect for being a performer. An example which might be relevant is dressing for work.
    I think you're picking up on what I was trying to convey. I'm trying to show the need for attaching a belief system to performing. Ie, I think many performers today are missing a belief system that performing for an audience carries with it the responsibility to step into a role, a role that's different from that of "ordinary person who just wandered in off the street".

    If a person starts with the right belief system, then that person will also see the value of wearing cover-ups, rehearsing adequately ahead of time, learning stagecraft skills such as good stage presence, and so on.

    So how do we teach that belief system? Part of it is leading by example, of course.
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    Re: Respecting the Stage

    Quote Originally Posted by tahiradancer View Post
    I brought this up a couple of weeks ago in a thread both here and on facebook with the intention of gathering info in order to put together a performance prep workshop. Got some negitive feedback, mainly because of the way I worded the request for information, so I deleted the thread.

    I have to be honest, having trained as a performer from the time I was 3, the lack of basic stage etiquette makes me totally nuts! I recognize that most belly dance teachers don't have the time, or the consistency in student base, to be able to thoroughly cover stage etiquette in a meaningful way. And there are many who really don't know how to prepare a dancer as a performer. Which is not a criticism, simply an observation.

    1 - your performance starts 5 feet before you hit the stage and ends after you are 5 feet into the wings.

    2 - Own the stage. If you don't feel like you should be there, the audience knows this. Fake it if necessary. (I had a Coaching Client who was a professional musician. He had been performing for over 15 years and before every show he goes into the bathroom and is sick to his stomach. We worked on eradicating that for a while, and then decided that, for the time being, to simply accept that it was part of his process. The audience NEVER knew, because once he got on stage, he owned the stage, was in love with what he was doing and the audience.)

    3 - I would go one step further than Shira with acknowledging the musicians when you are dancing to live music. Acknowledge them when you enter. In fact, take a second to acknowledge your audience. Make contact. Break the 4th wall and bring them in! Obviously, there are times when this is not appropriate, but when it is, don't be afraid to invite the audience to experience the emotions with you.

    4 - beaver to the band and butts as well, or as much as possible. Learn to bend your knees in order to pick things up.

    5 - Yes, hair and make up are important. They don't have to be elaborate, but they do need to be appropriate. I am in the I-wear-almost-nothing-on-a-daily-basis camp, but have you seen the inside of my performance make up case? and don't be afraid to buy your hair! It's fun! (I don't think I would expect a casual performer to go too over the top in this area. but definitely learn a little bit about glam stylings.)

    6 - Don't look at the floor. It will be there to catch you, I promise.

    7 - Don't throw away your energy. be sure that what ever you are doing is complete when the move is through and not when you decide it is because your brain is already on the next move.

    8 - Learn to milk things and to cheat. On stage, these are good to know and do.

    I realize that this has gone a little off topic, and I am sure there is more I can add. . .
    I agree with everything you've written here. But tell us more about #8 - I'm intrigued!
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    A journey of ten thousand miles begins with a single post. Zumarrad's Avatar
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    Re: Respecting the Stage

    I've never met a bellydance student yet who refused makeup. Ones who found it difficult to go OTT yes, but ones who refused to accept that makeup is part of costuming? Never! I am wondering if it's cultural - many NZers don't wear makeup every day and any chance to dress up in costume, be it for stage or for hafla, is jumped on with joy.

    We do have to accept that "stage" conventions don't make a lot of sense in worlds where nobody has ever been on a stage. But the only convention I know of that dancers locally seem happy to ignore is the cover up requirement, and I suspect that dates from haflas where it's largely other dancers, so they enjoy being able to wear their costumes about the place. Also, tribal dancers in my town don't wear coverups, at least not that I have seen, and we always had to respect that Tribal Is Different. Unfortunately it has bled into the oriental field, I think.
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    Master BHUZzer norma's Avatar
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    Re: Respecting the Stage

    I totally understand what you are trying to say Shira. Big hobby horse of mine. I've said it often enough that performing on stage is a privilege not a right and you have a duty to your audience. This is for ALL performers but even more so if you charge the top going rate. I hear so many dancers say they can't afford costumes yet they charge top rate. Costumes are a lot cheaper and so much easier to get now then they were 20-30 years ago. There is no excuse for not having nice costumes if you are a professional performer. It's an investment. The same goes with hair and makeup, you are on stage, a performer, a belly dancer, you need to create that persona. Do you think Dolly Parton would ever step on the stage to perform if she didn't have on her wig and false eyelashes????

    Sure there are always going to be days when you don't feel like putting on the big hair or putting on full makeup, well guess what? That's part of what you are getting paid for. It's a whole package, the looks, the dance, the costumes. My teacher always said that people should be able to tell you are the belly dancer the instant you walk through the door.

    If you are lucky enough to work with live musicians you do need to acknowledge them. You'll always see top professionals conversing and joking with the musicians during their show. They realize they are part of a team.

    And you should especially acknowledge the audience the moment you step on stage. My teacher always taught that the first few seconds of your opening was to say hi to the audience. "Here I am, and I'm going to entertain you and we are going to have a good time together!" You don't have to stop and shake hands to do that. It's in the way you present yourself and make eye contact.

    It is a shame that there are so few opportunities now for students to see live full shows with professional dancers. In my day, I learned a lot from going to shows and watching how the professionals entered the stage, interacted with the band, the audience and how they exited. Those field trips to the clubs were an invaluable learning tool.


  18. #18
    Ultimate BHUZzer tahiradancer's Avatar
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    Re: Respecting the Stage

    Milking things and Cheating. ..

    Okay, milking things is basically using the energy to get every bit out of that last beat of the music. Really going deep for the feeling. This helps the audience feel fulfilled. Can become a little campy if over done, but that can be a choice as well. Pantomime is used sometimes for this as well. The hand to head for, Oh Woo is me. Or the hand to heart for He's broken my heart! This can be incorporated very easily and effectively into a show.

    Cheating can be as simple as only turning 170 degrees instead of 180, so that the audience doesn't actually have a full on view of your back side, or so that you can move into another movement more quickly. It can also be about how you angle you shoulders so that the audience has a cleared view of what you are doing, remembering to drop your down stage arm and raise your upstage one, once again so the audience can see what you are doing. When you are in profile, twist your shoulders just a smidge. These "cheats" are generally small, but they create a lot of visual space for the audience to be able to see the dancer, which makes the performance better, because an empty stage is boring, unless you are doing a light show to Pink Floyd!

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    Re: Respecting the Stage

    Quote Originally Posted by Shira View Post
    Well, I've heard people say stuff like, "It's just a small hafla, everyone will be sitting up close and able to see my face, so I don't need stage makeup."
    Are they nuts? This is exactly a situation that you NEED stage makeup! Do "you" want the audience to be able to count the pores in your nose?

    If I said something like that to my instructor, she'd make me do 15 minutes of floorwork on ground glass!
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    Re: Respecting the Stage

    The makeup thing reminds me of a story a friend recently told me. She went to a workshop with a big name star -think BDSS! Later that evening the star was performing at a local club. My friend was so excited to go see a live show. Imagine her disappointment when said star wore a cholie top and skirt for her show then proceeded to wear the EXACT same costume for the second show. Now that is a lack of respect for the both the stage and the audience.
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    Re: Respecting the Stage

    Quote Originally Posted by Shira View Post
    If a person starts with the right belief system, then that person will also see the value of wearing cover-ups, rehearsing adequately ahead of time, learning stagecraft skills such as good stage presence, and so on.

    So how do we teach that belief system? Part of it is leading by example, of course.
    Leading by example is necessary, but not sufficient. There are already lots of dancers who do the right things, but it doesn't transfer to the ones who aren't making the connection that their behavior should change to match the good example's. If they're not intuiting it on their own, the obvious conclusion would be that someone has to come out and tell them.

    Right now, our educational system doesn't do a very good job of addressing stagecraft. Partially that's because so many students don't start out planning to dance for an audience, so teachers don't emphasize this material early on. They don't want to harangue about professionalism to students just in it for fun, they don't want to discourage the shy ones by making performances seem mandatory, and as I already posted, some teachers lack knowledge in this material themselves. Teachers don't start out in Class One teaching performing responsibilities and stagecraft skills, and by the time students start contemplating soloing or taking paying gigs, they're already in the bad habit of thinking these things aren't important or don't apply to them. Even worse, some dancers are already teaching and gigging before finding out they're deficient in these skills. What kind of face-saving remedial class is going to help them?

    You can't serve two masters equally well. You can't give the dance proper due as a theatrical art with an obligation to present quality to an audience at the same time as selling the dance as a grand exercise in self-fulfillment. When it's all about ME--I need to express myself, you can't ever correct me because it hurts my feelings, the best part of dancing is how special I feel in these clothes, I don't care what rules other dancers follow, I want to dance my way to my music--and you leave off the part about "... because this will give meaning or enjoyment to the people watching me," you lose the necessity of teaching stagecraft. Student who only use the dance for themselves are not thinking in terms of the audience. Does that mean actors, musicians, and other performers are never motivated by personal fulfillment? Of course not! Most of them are in it because their art makes them feel good, and some of them need applause like they need oxygen to live, but they're in a world where people aren't hesitant to say, "You and your 'process' are secondary to whether the audience likes it. Your 'process' means nothing if it doesn't ultimately pay respect to the profession."
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    Re: Respecting the Stage

    Quote Originally Posted by norma View Post
    The makeup thing reminds me of a story a friend recently told me. She went to a workshop with a big name star -think BDSS! Later that evening the star was performing at a local club. My friend was so excited to go see a live show. Imagine her disappointment when said star wore a cholie top and skirt for her show then proceeded to wear the EXACT same costume for the second show. Now that is a lack of respect for the both the stage and the audience.
    While I certainly wouldn't advocate that someone wear an unprofessional costume at a professional show, I wouldn't be disappointed to see my favorite dancers performing even if they were wearing garbage bags for costumes. Sure, it might be disrespectful on their part but as a dancer, I can appreciate great dancing no matter what kind of attire it's packaged in.


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    Re: Respecting the Stage

    Quote Originally Posted by devra1 View Post
    I do talk about it, but I mostly have beginners in my classes, and then in my dance troupe, I definitely talk about it!!

    For something like a hafla where there may be first time performers, has anyone done a specific class or workshop on performance skills? I've been thinking of that and think it may be helpful, but will dancers come?

    If you've taught it in a workshop, what worked best?
    I have taught such a workshop and it was very well received!

    All subjects already mentioned were covered in the workshop material.

    It shocks me, absolutely shocks me, that a teacher would allow students of any level to take a stage without covering the most basic of stagecraft requirements: entering/exiting "in character," picking up props at the conclusion of the performance, musician/audience acknowledgement, etc.

    And yet they do.

    All. The. Time.



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    Master BHUZzer casbahdance's Avatar
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    Re: Respecting the Stage

    BTW, Shira, thanks for the thread. It was a good venting piece for me!



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    Re: Respecting the Stage

    Quote Originally Posted by Zumarrad View Post
    I've never met a bellydance student yet who refused makeup. Ones who found it difficult to go OTT yes, but ones who refused to accept that makeup is part of costuming? Never! I am wondering if it's cultural - many NZers don't wear makeup every day and any chance to dress up in costume, be it for stage or for hafla, is jumped on with joy.
    I find the makeup issue (in the US) as more that people don't know how much makeup really is needed for a stage makeup face (or hafla). I see people try but they aren't wearing much at all; I'm not sure if they fully realize how much is needed or how to apply it, even though they've been on stage before and have seen photos of themselves. Some have even gone to MAC who supposedly are world-class at helping people learn stage makeup.

    It's one of the few issues that is not necessarily a respect issue but a genuine lack of knowledge or some disconnect.


  26. #26
    Advanced BHUZzer khalida777's Avatar
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    Re: Respecting the Stage

    Quote Originally Posted by Shira View Post
    I'm surprised at how many students tell me these days that their teachers no longer teach them these things when preparing for performances. If you're a teacher, do you teach it?

    What other "respecting the stage" tips would you add to this list?
    Yes, I teach stagecraft starting with my Level 1 students. Over the 12-week session they learn a basic choreo which they perform in small groups in front of the class. I give them all the tips above and more, including breath control and keeping the muscles warmed/primed "back stage", (side wall of the studio), entering and forming a stage pattern (V, W, horseshoe, staggered), amongst others.

    I tell them that one fine day they'll surely be asked to show their skills at a family party, for example, so if they're going to show something they've learned then they need to represent themselves, their studio, and the art well.

    I teach more advanced concepts to troupe members and love creating interesting entrances and exits. Here's a fusion performance from 2007 to the main theme from the HBO series "Rome":




    Khalida
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  27. #27
    Established BHUZzer taji-dancer's Avatar
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    Re: Respecting the Stage

    Nice choreo and stage presence: i see echoes of what i tell my performers---Hold the pose at the end, don't break character till you are totally off stage.

    You must be very proud.
    Taji-dancer
    youtube channel:thetajidancer


  28. #28
    Established BHUZzer taji-dancer's Avatar
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    Re: Respecting the Stage

    I personally never go to a BD event w/ out my face on. I am so pale that w/ out eye stuff--i blend into the wall. IMHO---as long as you are still performing somewhere ---i wish everyone would do this.

    you know when your husband wants to go to dinner and you say" i can't go there, i'm grubby/too casual" because it is a BD venue or a possible BD venue. One of my friends says you should never go out of the house w/ out your face on. I'm not that crazy---although cause i always have class flyers in my purse i probably should do it more. But when you are going to workout and Home Depot----not so much.
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    Taji-dancer
    youtube channel:thetajidancer


  29. #29
    Ultimate BHUZzer naiyahayal's Avatar
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    Re: Respecting the Stage

    I'm currently teaching a class for the "absolute beginner", and from day one the students are told about the importance of entrances/exits, acknowledging the audience & musicians, how NOT to pick up a veil if it should slip out of your hands (I show them exactly what it looks like when you bend over with your backside to the audience--they laugh & get the message). I ask them to wear something sparkly on their wrists like the stretchy rhinestone bracelets so they don't forget that the eyes of their audience will follow their own gaze and to help them finish their arm movements. They learn to send their energy beyond the room so that it envelopes their imaginary audience and pulls them into their energy field. I show them how a movement facing the audience looks entirely different by simply facing away or to the side. I teach them how to respect the imaginary musicians. I try to create an atmosphere where they feel as though there are musicians behind them and an audience in front or around them. From Day One--and for weeks, most will say, "Oh, I have no intention of dancing in front of an audience/on stage/at an event, etc." Right. Maybe they won't, and I would never ask them to before they were ready or if they didn't want to. But every so often I will wear a professional cossie to class as a treat--try it and watch their eyes light up, lol. They learn that they must earn their way to wearing such a sparkly, but when they are ready, I will lend them a costume for their first performance. They know what awaits them if they work hard. Some change their mind and look forward to performing someday. That is why I start on Day One. It's like teaching a child how to behave in public, with respect for others, BEFORE they ever leave the house. If they haven't learned how to act at home, it's too late, and I experience this on a daily basis. PS, I wear makeup to class, whether teaching or as a workshop attendee, without exception. It's a sign of respect for the teacher, the students, and the dance. When you walk through the door of the studio, whether as a teacher or a student, you are entering the world of dance. Make the most of that time--make it magical, and when your student finally performs, it will already be a part of them. Makeup, coverups, proper costuming, exits, entrances, acknowledging the audience & musicians, won't be an issue. It will have been part of what they already learned, along with all the other skills they have learned and absorbed.
    dunyah, zorba, Nebula and 2 others like this.
    ... dance as though no one who is qualified to commit you is watching ..


  30. #30
    Advanced BHUZzer caroline_afifi's Avatar
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    Re: Respecting the Stage

    I have come across dancers who are reluctant to wear make-up, or just dont know how to apply it because they dont own any.

    I usually bring in a pro make-up artist to do the make-up for my shows and those who opt not to use her have to be very good at doing their own.

    Some people think they can do stage make-up but I have often been shocked by the make-up presentation on some dancers. I have seen shocking pink lipstick with lots of blue eyeshadow worn with a costume which is black and yellow. I have seen make-up drawn on like some sort of clown or cartoon character.

    I agree with the whole 'make-up is a costume' thing but please advise your fellow dancers and dont say they look good if they look like some sort of drag artist/pantomime dame or worse.. a blow up doll with a slow punture!
    Last edited by caroline_afifi; 02-25-2012 at 04:55 AM.
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