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  1. #1
    Master BHUZzer aziyade's Avatar
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    Deconstructing "world fusion" dance ?

    So we've decided now to give some of the bellydance flavored hip-hop dance formerly known as "tribal fusion" this new name of "world fusion." or Urban world fusion, etc.

    I take issue with this. Anybody want to come along? :)

    Just thinkin' out loud:

    "World fusion" would seem to have to incorporate several separate and distinct CONCEPTS of dance or movement-to-music. I'm not doing "world fusion" if I do ballet and throw in some hand floreos and an Umi.

    Just like in food -- "fusion" fuses concepts: like the concept of having a rising progression of tastes, and blending that with the concept of having 5 basic flavor elements in every meal. You don't fry a chicken and throw some couscous on the plate and call it fusion.

    To fuse two things you look for the common elements -- the fusion of Flamenco music and Egyptian music is logical because they share a common element of tarab/duende. Then you look at the differences and see if you can justify or reconcile them -- the external nature of flamenco dance compared to the internal nature of Egyptian dance, f'rinstance.


    Real "World Fusion" is a pretty ambitious idea, whether it's world fusion dance or world fusion music <--- which would actually be a much harder thing to do successfully. What usually passes for "world fusion" is something like what the 12 Girls Band does, which is basically playing European-style music on traditional Chinese instruments. Is that enough to really and truly be considered "world fusion" ??

    Thoughts?


  2. #2
    tamrahennatx
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    Re: Deconstructing "world fusion" dance ?

    I think a lot of world fusion is a potpourri, really - a bunch of different ingredients mixed together. They don't actually BECOME one thing - it's still a bunch of disparate elements. Sometimes you end up with a harmonious blend of ingredients, and sometimes it just stinks.


  3. #3
    Master BHUZzer aziyade's Avatar
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    Re: Deconstructing "world fusion" dance ?

    Quote Originally Posted by tamrahennatx View Post
    Sometimes you end up with a harmonious blend of ingredients, and sometimes it just stinks.
    So it really is just like food! LOL.
    (I won't elaborate on my own experiments with fusion cuisine...)


  4. #4
    Fotia
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    Re: Deconstructing "world fusion" dance ?

    Yes, like food, not appetizing at all. Or when you mix every color in the universe, there no longer is any color.

    And Aziyade, you are not alone in experimenting with fusing food!


  5. #5
    Official BHUZzer portiaangel's Avatar
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    Re: Deconstructing "world fusion" dance ?

    I don't know enough about naming conventions in dance to say whether it really works or not (I've been a musician all my life and I still don't understand most of the naming outside of the extremely clearly defined genres there either, so I somehow miss something in general, I think) - but I'm curious ... to the original poster - if you take issue with world fusion being used as a title - and I do hear your arguments - what would you suggest would be a more appropriate label?


  6. #6
    Mega BHUZzer indigostars's Avatar
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    Re: Deconstructing "world fusion" dance ?

    I don't care for the term "world fusion" if it's just hip hop and belly dance fusion. I would probably call it hip hop fusion; of course, if a dance company truly has a repertoire that incorporates several dances of the world, I think it's fine that they refer to themselves as such, even if every dance doesn't incorporate the things that they use in fusion.

    To me, ATS (though now it is its own entity) would be a world fusion, since it does incorporate a lot of elements from the world.


  7. #7
    Fotia
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    Re: Deconstructing "world fusion" dance ?

    The idea of world fushion IMHO doesn't appeal to me at all. I personally think they should forget it. I'm not saying we can't all try to get along, but trying to mix all things artistic just doesn't work out too well. Artistic that is.


  8. #8
    tamrahennatx
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    Re: Deconstructing "world fusion" dance ?

    Quote Originally Posted by indigostars View Post
    I don't care for the term "world fusion" if it's just hip hop and belly dance fusion. I would probably call it hip hop fusion; of course, if a dance company truly has a repertoire that incorporates several dances of the world, I think it's fine that they refer to themselves as such, even if every dance doesn't incorporate the things that they use in fusion.

    To me, ATS (though now it is its own entity) would be a world fusion, since it does incorporate a lot of elements from the world.
    Okay, so what if it's hip-hop, popping, and belly dance movements with anime hair and/or multi-colored dreads, over deeply waved early 20th century bangs, theda bara-style makeup with a heavy coat of glitter, bordello inspired costuming (can-can skirts, striped stockings, garters), thai finger tips, and doc martens, put to industrial/ambient sound collages?

    What is that?


  9. #9
    Mega BHUZzer indigostars's Avatar
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    Re: Deconstructing "world fusion" dance ?

    Well, that sounds like a mess to me.

    My original point was that if you exclusively focus your fusion on two things, let's say belly dance and Flamenco, I think it would make more sense to call it Flamenco belly dance fusion, rather than world fusion. I'm for names that are descriptive without being too long. If you run a dance company and you do all sorts of fusion in individual dances (one dance of Flamenco fusion, another dance of Bollywood fusion), I think calling it world fusion makes sense.

    This isn't, of course, going into the idea of what constitutes good fusion.


  10. #10
    Fotia
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    Re: Deconstructing "world fusion" dance ?

    And what audience do you direct it to? The Arabs don't like it, I doubt most Andalusions will either, or most cultures of very old dances.


  11. #11
    Mega BHUZzer indigostars's Avatar
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    Re: Deconstructing "world fusion" dance ?

    A few I know have done like coffee shops or participated in variety show or school showcase. I imagine it is much harder to find gigs/an audience, but people choose their paths in life.

    I think there is a tribal group that does dance at an Indian restaurant.


  12. #12
    Advanced BHUZzer NazirahDances's Avatar
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    Re: Deconstructing "world fusion" dance ?

    I've only seen the term used a couple of times. . . and it seemed to be for cases where a troupe or person started out with bellydance, moved on to tribal/tribal fusion, and then moved from there in to all sorts of other dance. I noted that for at least one (if I recall correctly), the term Urban World Fusion was used ALONE, no longer in conjunction with the term "bellydance" even though some of the movement vocabulary is bellydance. It leaves them free to explore the movements that they are drawn too without being misleading to the public or anyone else.


  13. #13
    tamrahennatx
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    Re: Deconstructing "world fusion" dance ?

    Quote Originally Posted by basina View Post
    I've only seen the term used a couple of times. . . and it seemed to be for cases where a troupe or person started out with bellydance, moved on to tribal/tribal fusion, and then moved from there in to all sorts of other dance. I noted that for at least one (if I recall correctly), the term Urban World Fusion was used ALONE, no longer in conjunction with the term "bellydance" even though some of the movement vocabulary is bellydance. It leaves them free to explore the movements that they are drawn too without being misleading to the public or anyone else.
    I think that this is the best - and most honest - solution.


  14. #14
    Established BHUZzer Emma's Avatar
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    Re: Deconstructing "world fusion" dance ?

    Quote Originally Posted by tamrahennatx View Post
    Okay, so what if it's hip-hop, popping, and belly dance movements with anime hair and/or multi-colored dreads, over deeply waved early 20th century bangs, theda bara-style makeup with a heavy coat of glitter, bordello inspired costuming (can-can skirts, striped stockings, garters), thai finger tips, and doc martens, put to industrial/ambient sound collages?

    What is that?
    They can call it what they like, just don't call it bellydancing.


  15. #15
    Official BHUZzer SidoniaOfNashville's Avatar
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    Re: Deconstructing "world fusion" dance ?

    Eh, I do a fusion of sorts when I'm not doing Egyptian Oriental, I don't see a definite future audience for it (besides other bellydancers), but I'm still doing it. It's like a creative outlet that HAS to be dealt with or my brain is just going to explode. I don't call it world fusion however, though it contains elements of bellydance and Flamenco, among other things... (cough!)goth(cough!)...

    I understand the original point you're making Ayizade, and I also agree with other posters too. I think there is a difference between calling a style world fusion and calling a company world fusion. I don't really understand calling a style world fusion either, but I think a company world fusion is possible.

    However, I'd be hesitant to call a company world fusion unless the group could represent several dances from around the world on command. In otherwords, I'd expect we'd be almost be a one-stop world dance shop if ever asked. Not just, we do dances of the Middle East and maybe sometimes throw in a Flamenco piece here and there.


  16. #16
    Master BHUZzer Souzan's Avatar
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    Re: Deconstructing "world fusion" dance ?

    "Postmodern urban existential movement melange"


  17. #17
    Fotia
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    Re: Deconstructing "world fusion" dance ?

    Quote Originally Posted by indigostars View Post
    A few I know have done like coffee shops or participated in variety show or school showcase. I imagine it is much harder to find gigs/an audience, but people choose their paths in life.

    I think there is a tribal group that does dance at an Indian restaurant.
    In the suburbs of Chicago? I think Smoke performs there.


  18. #18
    A journey of ten thousand miles begins with a single post. Lauren_'s Avatar
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    Re: Deconstructing "world fusion" dance ?

    Gee, I wonder why there aren't more tribal dancers on Bhuz. .w.:


  19. #19
    Ultimate BHUZzer dunyah's Avatar
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    Re: Deconstructing "world fusion" dance ?

    Quote Originally Posted by tamrahennatx View Post
    Okay, so what if it's hip-hop, popping, and belly dance movements with anime hair and/or multi-colored dreads, over deeply waved early 20th century bangs, theda bara-style makeup with a heavy coat of glitter, bordello inspired costuming (can-can skirts, striped stockings, garters), thai finger tips, and doc martens, put to industrial/ambient sound collages?

    What is that?
    Tribal Fest?


  20. #20
    Ultimate BHUZzer dunyah's Avatar
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    Re: Deconstructing "world fusion" dance ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lauren_ View Post
    Gee, I wonder why there aren't more tribal dancers on Bhuz. .w.:
    I know, I try not to post on these threads because I always end up getting snarky.I just don't "get" or like a lot of the far-out Tribal Fusion stuff that I see. I just like Middle Eastern music and belly dancing, I don't care if it's totally pure and authentic but I want some Middle Eastern connection to be there.

    I really appreciate it when dancers use a term other than belly dancing to describe what they are doing when they are performing "tribal fusion," because it is neither Tribal nor Fusion in many cases. But they have the right to call it what they will, I suppose.

    I love the women I know who perform World Fusion. There is a troupe here called Luminessah that my band has worked with extensively. They are fun, good at what they do, and they do incorporate several different world dance traditions: Classical Indian, Turkish Rom, Egyptian, ATS, and even Native American on occasion. When they dance to recorded music I sometimes don't like the music as much, but I do respect that they are trying to differentiate what they do from more "mainstream" belly dancing and to be respectful about it. They are excellent dancers, good performers, do their homework and are respectful toward other dancers and styles.

    Dalia Carella does some excellent world fusion, and there are probably others, like Isadora Bushkovski.


  21. #21
    A journey of ten thousand miles begins with a single post. Lauren_'s Avatar
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    Re: Deconstructing "world fusion" dance ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fotia View Post
    And what audience do you direct it to? The Arabs don't like it, I doubt most Andalusions will either, or most cultures of very old dances.
    In my area, i think it's easier for the ATS/ITS/TF/World Fusion dancers to find audiences (though I think they have the same issues with getting professional pay as the rest of us).

    Traditional bellydancers are mostly limited to ethnic restaurants (and a few art, culture and dance events.)

    But the ATS/ITS/TF/WF dancers appear at all the same art, culture and dance events we do, as well as coffee shops, bookstores, clubs, street festivals, etc.

    Their audience is mostly Americans, the artistic and/or alternative type -- which is a MUCH larger audience in my area than any ethnic group.


  22. #22
    A journey of ten thousand miles begins with a single post. Lauren_'s Avatar
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    Re: Deconstructing "world fusion" dance ?

    I know Dunyah. I prefer to dance traditional forms myself, but I appreciate great dancing in any genre. I also appreciate accurate naming, and get peeved when I think my own dance form is getting muddied or appropriated.

    I just think these discussions are a lot more valuable when the people whose dances we're deconstructing (or renaming) are part of the discussion! (or at least are respected).


  23. #23
    Fotia
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    Re: Deconstructing "world fusion" dance ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lauren_ View Post
    In my area, i think it's easier for the ATS/ITS/TF/World Fusion dancers to find audiences (though I think they have the same issues with getting professional pay as the rest of us).

    Traditional bellydancers are mostly limited to ethnic restaurants (and a few art, culture and dance events.)

    But the ATS/ITS/TF/WF dancers appear at all the same art, culture and dance events we do, as well as coffee shops, bookstores, clubs, street festivals, etc.

    Their audience is mostly Americans, the artistic and/or alternative type -- which is a MUCH larger audience in my area than any ethnic group.
    I agree with you completely.


  24. #24
    Advanced BHUZzer CalgaryBibi's Avatar
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    Re: Deconstructing "world fusion" dance ?

    Thank you, Lauren. I do both "tribal fusion" (I'm not sure who the "we" are who are using the term "world fusion", but that doesn't include my group), and Egyptian style bellydance, and I love them both, but I've often noticed quite a hostile attitude here towards tribal, and that does make me feel somewhat uncomfortable at times.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lauren_ View Post
    I just think these discussions are a lot more valuable when the people whose dances we're deconstructing (or renaming) are part of the discussion! (or at least are respected).


  25. #25
    Mega BHUZzer indigostars's Avatar
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    Re: Deconstructing "world fusion" dance ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fotia View Post
    In the suburbs of Chicago? I think Smoke performs there.
    I think Piper's troupe, Gypsy Queens, perform at an Indian restaurant.


  26. #26
    tamrahennatx
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    Re: Deconstructing "world fusion" dance ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lauren_ View Post
    Gee, I wonder why there aren't more tribal dancers on Bhuz. .w.:
    If you do it, you should be able to own it.


  27. #27
    A journey of ten thousand miles begins with a single post. Lauren_'s Avatar
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    Re: Deconstructing "world fusion" dance ?

    Quote Originally Posted by tamrahennatx View Post
    If you do it, you should be able to own it.
    Agreed.

    But that doesn't mean you have to spend your free time socializing with people who are disrespectful to it on a regular basis.

    I wouldn't hang out on Bhuz much if I were a Tribal Fusion dancer.


  28. #28
    tamrahennatx
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    Re: Deconstructing "world fusion" dance ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lauren_ View Post
    Agreed.

    But that doesn't mean you have to spend your free time socializing with people who are disrespectful to it on a regular basis.

    I wouldn't hang out on Bhuz much if I were a Tribal Fusion dancer.
    I'm not sure that saying tribal fusion is not belly dance is being disrespectful, and I think that's the problem.

    In my earlier post, I asked "what is it?" That wasn't just a fascetious question (though it was a little fascetious). I'd really like to know what it is. I don't necessarily think the concept is bad, but I think that what is called tribal fusion belly dance may have as much - dancewise - in common with "Popping and Locking" and the Robot or Goth club dancing as it does with belly dance, so why isn't it called Pop-Lock Fusion or Robot Fusion or Goth Fusion? Why the insistence on co-opting the "belly dance" label? I think we all agree it's not Flamenco just because they incorporate the upright upper body carriage and hand floreos, so why is it belly dance because there are some 3/4 shimmies and undulations going on?

    In my view there's some other reason that Tribal Fusion dancers are clinging - as a group - so fiercely to the identity. Perhaps it's because it's where the movement began, or because the belly dance community has already accepted the form as an offshoot, and so we are "stuck" with each other at this point.

    I have to admit that I'm conflicted - I don't want to disrespect individuals that I know have studied all forms of belly dance first-hand and then used their own creativity and innovated, but I also think that a lot of second- and third-generation tribal fusion dancers are learning a very watered down version of "belly dance" without learning the mother dance, and who feel that their dance is avant garde and original, even though they are only being different in the same way that their instructors were different. I often feel that these same folks don't respect the dance that I do, without even understanding it - and yet they want to call themselves the same thing that I call myself. It's really gets my bedleh in a bunch...


  29. #29
    Mega BHUZzer MakedaMaysa's Avatar
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    Re: Deconstructing "world fusion" dance ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lauren_ View Post
    Gee, I wonder why there aren't more tribal dancers on Bhuz. .w.:
    Heh.


  30. #30
    Ultimate BHUZzer laura 2's Avatar
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    Re: Deconstructing "world fusion" dance ?

    Quote Originally Posted by tamrahennatx View Post
    In my earlier post, I asked "what is it?" That wasn't just a fascetious question (though it was a little fascetious). I'd really like to know what it is. I don't necessarily think the concept is bad, but I think that what is called tribal fusion belly dance may have as much - dancewise - in common with "Popping and Locking" and the Robot or Goth club dancing as it does with belly dance, so why isn't it called Pop-Lock Fusion or Robot Fusion or Goth Fusion?
    Just my $0.02 as someone who's just barely dipped their toe in the fusion pond and plans to keep to the shallows...

    I took my first TF workshop ever with Kami Liddle a couple of months ago, and I have to say that a lot of what she covered was very familiar movement vocabulary for me. We did traveling undulations, 3/4 shimmies, hip lifts, figure 8's and a host of other things that were usual workshop fodder for me.

    There was a certain accent on the movements, especially with the arms, hands and shoulders that gave things a different look for sure. And yes, the names were quite different; for example, she used what I was taught by my Egyptian-style instructor as hagallah step, but called it something completely different (samia, maybe?). But the basics were not that foreign to me at all. shrugs I've even incorporated a couple of the combinations from the workshop into some recent improv to perfectly traditional ME music and without the tribal-y accents it fits in fairly well.

    The mini-choreography we learned was the one in the clip below, starting at 5:36 and ending at 6:30.

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ucos6a4m_6Q]YouTube - Kami Liddle in Mexico City[/ame]


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