Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Asia Global Bellydance 2010

I have to give it to the contestants. They have the grit and the determination, as well as EQ and the skills to pull it off.

The competition was held in a public venue. Under less than flattering lighting. The contestants focused on dancing to the panel of judges, dance friends and supporters, but they also have to dance to a rudely gawping audience who happened to stumble upon the event on their afternoon stroll through the shopping malls.

The contestants are required to showcase one traditional and one fusion number. The traditional category is straightforward so it is comfortable segment for everyone - performers, learned audience and judges.

The fusion segment is another story. I don't think it has ever been adequately described or defined what this is. Maybe the very concept of fusion defies description and definition.

The contestants who came up with a modern take on bellydance by working in elements of jazz and salsa managed to combine everything beautifully into a coherent work of sass and eye-candy. Others played it safe by going "tribal", specifically American-Tribal Style.

Then there were the rest. I assert that mixing genres without a strong grasp of the cultural, historical or social roots of the dance(s) can only produce a messy end-product that is confused rather than fused. I just wish that the non-existent dance form loosely called fusion be dropped altogether. (I really really dislike fusion.)

Lastly, I wish the emcees would stop pounding the contestants with the same inane questions :
- How long have you been learning bellydance?
-Why did you take up bellydance?
- What is the difference betweeen traditional and fusion bellydance?

And the contestants handled every one of the silly questions with grace and charm.

Like I said, I have admiration for these contestants.


wildgoose said...

I agree the "fusion" category should be dropped altogether. It would be better to have a "drum solo" category to really showcase techniques. "Fusion" does nothing to show your grasp of belly dance.

sinlady said...

wildgoose - so glad to hear an assenting voice.

dancingbunny said...

I totally, totally forgot about it. Somehow I am so overladen with work that bellydance is almost non-existence in my life now apart from my on and off sessions....oh dear

sinlady said...

bunny - i'm sorry. i could have alerted you.