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Thread: Fusions




  1. #1
    I could get used to this! bellydancebyleyla's Avatar
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    Fusions

    I don't know if I'm the only one, but I was perfecting my piece that I'm performing today for a Girl Scout demo and I realized that I have inadvertently become a fusionist. My piece for today is tribal meets cabaret meets gypsy. I think part of this is because I started off pure Egyptian Cabaret, picked up some Turkish, learned Tribal Fusion, picked up some ATS, picked up some Gypsy fusion...and voila! I like so much from so many different styles, that I find when I JUST DANCE, I am a belly dance fusion extraordinaire! ..g.: Granted, when I am teaching my Egyptian Cabaret class I put myself in check and same for Tribal Fusion, but when I am just me, myself, dancing I find myself fusing a lot. Not necessarily a bad thing, but I was just wondering if others who study multiple styles found the same to be true with their dancing?


  2. #2
    Established BHUZzer Sariah's Avatar
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    Re: Fusions

    That's happened to me. I learned mostly American cabaret, but have also taken classes in ATS and tribal fusion, and I find myself mixing in moves from other genres when I improv.


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    A journey of ten thousand miles begins with a single post. Zumarrad's Avatar
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    Re: Fusions

    I don't study multiple styles but I still consider my dance fusion because it's not "pure" and the influences of other dance forms I've studied (ballet, contemporary, argentinian tango, salsa, merengue etc) are in there. Not to mention things that I do because they feel right that are not any particular "style".


  4. #4
    Advanced BHUZzer BELLA_BELLA's Avatar
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    Re: Fusions

    That's what I would call having a style of your own.

    That, and when someone else spoofs your dance and everybody knows who that someone is imitating...then you have arrived.


  5. #5
    Advanced BHUZzer smuse33's Avatar
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    Re: Fusions

    I'm glad someone started a thread on this. It shows that I won't completely be shunned by the belly dance community if one day I decide to mix different styles. I've been having concerns about needing to fit in with one style or the other when I think all styles are awesome. I see ME dance and love the grace and variation of it and see ATS dance and am reminded of large bonfires and nights spent camping outdoors with my Pagan friends. I literally love it all. Although I admit right now after doing some compare and contrast between Egyptian and Turkish on You Tube I have been harboring a desire to learn Turkish style when I feel confident performing Egyptian. One of the things I love about this dance is that I don't feel like I have to know it all right now. It's such an exciting educational experience. Do you guys have any videos you could post of fusion dances you have performed?


  6. #6
    I could get used to this! bellydancebyleyla's Avatar
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    Re: Fusions

    I don't have any yet (well, one may have been taped via phone yesterday without my approval, but that's another thread...lol), but I hope to have some by the end of June provided friend with video cam helps me out!


  7. #7
    Fotia
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    Re: Fusions

    I've fused Greek into my ME cabaret version. I don't know if that's considered part of the ME norm but in the western world we fuse a lot of the different ME styles already.


  8. #8
    Master BHUZzer Souzan's Avatar
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    Re: Fusions

    Golden rule of fusion--know what you are fusing. Unfortunately there are far, far too many people who do anything they want to anything and it if includes a hip circle or a shoulder shimmy or snake arms it is called belly dance. It is very painful to see "belly dance performances" that are just writhing to industrial music. Call it alternative dance or postmodern industrial fusion or whatever but please, not belly dance, not belly dance fusion, not middle eastern, not tribal fusion when it does not use the movement vocabulary.

    Now I am not talking about someone who adds folkloric steps or posture to raks sharqi, or someone who throws in some Flamenco attitude, or who mixes some Turkish Rom into Turkish oriental or even someone who does good old Pan Arabic cabaret dancing. As the sainted Rocky says "Good theater is good theater!"

    And have some cultural knowledge and respect. I think the worst lack of cultural knowledge I saw was a good young dancer doing lovely sword work, including floor work, wearing a tight Egyptian lycra dress that she had to hike up to her knees and dancing to saidi music. A big HUH?

    Souzan


  9. #9
    I could get used to this! Meredith's Avatar
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    Re: Fusions

    It must be hard not to let the styles influence each other....I know I have trouble!

    Without saying it can't work...I think fusing too many styles can go wrong very quickly. Like too many flavors or ingredients in a dish, it can end up a confusing tasteless mess and lose the beauty and taste of each. Guess i subscribe to the Gordon Ramsey school of thought on food and dance.... keep it simple, rustic, and fabulously prepared!
    Last edited by Meredith; 05-20-2009 at 02:11 PM. Reason: spelling


  10. #10
    Mega BHUZzer Lara L's Avatar
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    Re: Fusions

    Quote Originally Posted by Meredith View Post
    It must be hard not to let the styles influence each other....I know I have trouble!

    Without saying it can't work...I think fusing too many styles can go wrong very quickly. Like too many flavors or ingredients in a dish, it can end up a confusing tasteless mess and lose the beauty and taste of each. Guess i substribe to the Gordon Ramsey school of thought on food and dance.... keep it simple, rustic, and fabulously prepared!
    Well, I agree with the sentiment, but if I tried to categorize my last performance, it would be hard. I wrote Egyptian/American pop in the program 'cause that was what I was aiming for, but if I'm honest with myself, there was a fair bit of Lebanese style in there too because I just came out of a semester of Lebanese style classes & what comes out is generally what you've been working on the most recently. It worked, it went over fabulously well, but heck if I know what to label it!


  11. #11
    Mega BHUZzer maliaraqs's Avatar
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    Re: Fusions

    Quote Originally Posted by Souzan View Post
    Golden rule of fusion--know what you are fusing. Unfortunately there are far, far too many people who do anything they want to anything and it if includes a hip circle or a shoulder shimmy or snake arms it is called belly dance. It is very painful to see "belly dance performances" that are just writhing to industrial music. Call it alternative dance or postmodern industrial fusion or whatever but please, not belly dance, not belly dance fusion, not middle eastern, not tribal fusion when it does not use the movement vocabulary.

    Now I am not talking about someone who adds folkloric steps or posture to raks sharqi, or someone who throws in some Flamenco attitude, or who mixes some Turkish Rom into Turkish oriental or even someone who does good old Pan Arabic cabaret dancing. As the sainted Rocky says "Good theater is good theater!"

    And have some cultural knowledge and respect. I think the worst lack of cultural knowledge I saw was a good young dancer doing lovely sword work, including floor work, wearing a tight Egyptian lycra dress that she had to hike up to her knees and dancing to saidi music. A big HUH?

    Souzan
    Amen sistah.


  12. #12
    I could get used to this! Meredith's Avatar
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    Re: Fusions

    Quote Originally Posted by Lara L View Post
    Well, I agree with the sentiment, but if I tried to categorize my last performance, it would be hard. I wrote Egyptian/American pop in the program 'cause that was what I was aiming for, but if I'm honest with myself, there was a fair bit of Lebanese style in there too because I just came out of a semester of Lebanese style classes & what comes out is generally what you've been working on the most recently. It worked, it went over fabulously well, but heck if I know what to label it!
    I feel that way about most of my dancing :) I've studied with four instructor and four styles...a classic egyptian, a modern egyptian, a more lebanese and an american caberet....most of the time it is a mush up of all four which I call "belly dance" and hope no one is offended! Still working toward separating the threads and being able to make them unique as well as the unique combination that is my dancing.

    My previous post I was thinking more of some interesting fusions of more diverse dances I have seen....latin, tango, hiphop, musical theater, ect...in multiple combinations.


  13. #13
    Mega BHUZzer Lara L's Avatar
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    Re: Fusions

    Quote Originally Posted by Meredith View Post
    I feel that way about most of my dancing :) I've studied with four instructor and four styles...a classic egyptian, a modern egyptian, a more lebanese and an american caberet....most of the time it is a mush up of all four which I call "belly dance" and hope no one is offended! Still working toward separating the threads and being able to make them unique as well as the unique combination that is my dancing.

    My previous post I was thinking more of some interesting fusions of more diverse dances I have seen....latin, tango, hiphop, musical theater, ect...in multiple combinations.
    understood- I like the term pan-Arabic that someone brought up- I consider what I do to be more a mix of ME styles more than what I would normally think of as fusion (like ME/Indian fusion or hip hop, etc). I might just have to hijack that term...


  14. #14
    I could get used to this! bellydancebyleyla's Avatar
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    Re: Fusions

    Usually, I have a dominant style when I fuse and then for sections that warrant it musically I'll add in another style - so I keep the styles separate, but they might be in the same piece. For example the piece I did yesterday started off with a tribal intro, morphed into a gypsy routine, and ended with some cabaret work. It worked out pretty nicely. I still have my pieces that are pure tribal or pure cabaret or pure gypsy, but it's fun to throw in a sampler platter every so often!


  15. #15
    Established BHUZzer kahaz's Avatar
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    Re: Fusions

    While pan-Arabic sounds good and respectful, please remember that it leaves out Turkish and Persian. Turkish especially has been a huge influence on this dance form. (Turks, Iranians, : NOT Arabic)


  16. #16
    Mega BHUZzer indigostars's Avatar
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    Re: Fusions

    I think it works, though, if you don't really draw from Turkey or Iran.

    Speaking of Iran, does anyone do any Persian dancing? I know Aradia taught me a bit when I was in Vegas, but I wanted to know about others who teach it. I really liked it.


  17. #17
    Mega BHUZzer Lara L's Avatar
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    Re: Fusions

    darn it, you're right :) any other suggestions- I loves me some Turkish style...

    the few classes I have taken in Persian classic dance are very, very distinct- if i put it in belly dance, it would definitely be fusion- but I have also been told they also do something closer to what we would consider "belly dance"- would love more information on this!


  18. #18
    Advanced BHUZzer da Sage's Avatar
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    Persian dance forms

    Quote Originally Posted by Lara L View Post
    the few classes I have taken in Persian classic dance are very, very distinct- if i put it in belly dance, it would definitely be fusion- but I have also been told they also do something closer to what we would consider "belly dance"- would love more information on this!
    Me too!


  19. #19
    Established BHUZzer kahaz's Avatar
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    Re: Fusions

    I've taken Persian from a couple of people-only name I remember is Robyn Friend and I highly recommend her!-but a lot of what I learned is kind of a distant cousin of Turkish. I know that doesn't make a lot of sense, but if you do one (or are quite familiar with the form) then the other feels familiar but different. Especially in the slower sections.

    Please note folk police: I am NOT claiming that they are the same!.p:: A distant echo, maybe?


  20. #20
    Advanced BHUZzer Nouria's Avatar
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    Re: Fusions

    Quote Originally Posted by zumarrad View Post
    I don't study multiple styles but I still consider my dance fusion because it's not "pure" and the influences of other dance forms I've studied (ballet, contemporary, argentinian tango, salsa, merengue etc) are in there. Not to mention things that I do because they feel right that are not any particular "style".
    I agree with Bella Bella. Fusion is sth. different from individual style. Or?


  21. #21
    A journey of ten thousand miles begins with a single post. Zumarrad's Avatar
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    Re: Fusions

    I've found a lot of BDers use "fusion" as a way of being allowed to be "not pure" one thing or another in these days when every style has to be pinned down. I would also use the word hybrid to describe myself.

    I'm definitely a belly dancer but I'm not "pure" anything. OTOH I'm definitely not tribal fusion, definitely not ATS, definitely not Turkish. I love Egyptian but I wouldn't say I was purely that at all. I'm a belly dancer who is a mixture of things. And we call that fusion, no?


  22. #22
    Advanced BHUZzer Nouria's Avatar
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    Re: Fusions

    Hm. Or individual style, as result of a dancing biography, and any good dancer should have developped a personal style. It sticks with you when you improvise, while I'd call "fusion" a deliberate experiment. But it's all fluid of course. Nothing is pure, really..c::


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