Weekly Challenge for Halloween
Okay, I know it’s not Halloween today, but it’s the week of this fun holiday, so I thought it would be good to have a sort-of Halloween inspired challenge for this week.
Art is not created in a vacuum. While belly dance is a traditional dance, well deserving of preservation and respect, it is also an art form. Art grows, mutates, expands, and changes. This should not be suppressed or frowned-upon (thus lies the treachery of censorship).
In order to charge up our creative batteries we need input, and for that, we need to watch other dancers. We need to see what they do, and how they do it. Not to steal, but to inspire. To become better dancers, better artists, we must grow and change and be inspired.
So what’s the challenge?
This week, be inspired. Go to a belly dance show you are NOT in. Or, go to a ballet, or a dance recital at your nearest studio (for real inspiration, go to a children’s recital and be amazed). Halloween is the best time for this, because everyone is at their most creative. Fun costumes, different music, a taste for the “other,” the “different.” We are already, culturally (if you live in the US, anyway), programmed to expect unusual things at Halloween, and, while it might be scary, we are more open to the weird and uncomfortable.
BUT . . . and this is a big but . . . don’t go there to critique the other dancers (in your head or out loud, which, btw, is usually not welcomed). Go there to watch the story. What song did they pick? Imagine why. Do you think they just liked it, or are they telling a story with it? What was their costume choice (no judgements!)? Does it fit the music? Does it fit the story? Why do you think they chose that costume? And then overall, is there something in the piece, even if it’s only one thing, that you like? Is it something you think you might be able to use (again, not stealing, but being inspired by)?
If you can’t make it to a show, hit YouTube and do the same thing. In fact, try a new video each day this week, and see if you can’t become inspired.
And another thing: this isn’t just about fusion performances. Traditional belly dancers should still go to shows with Tribal dancers (even if there are no cabaret performances) AND still go to other dancers’ traditional shows. Why? Sure, it may not be your cup of tea, but otherwise you will go stale. Your creativity will run out, and all of your performances will look the same. We need creative input in order to grow, and if we never reach outwards, that will never happen. So yes, traditional belly dancers can take inspiration even from fusion performances. So open up your mind and take it all in!
Happy dancing! (And watching!)