Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Gotta give 'em props.

Or do you?

Sometimes, I feel like my bellydance performance is more of a freak show than a dance show. I feel like, if I actually went out there and just DANCED for 20 minutes, the audience would get bored. So I have to distract them, with fun and exiciting props. Oooohh, look at the pretty wings! Ooooohh, watch me balance this sharp and dangerous sword on various body parts! (I haven't yet entered the realm of flaming candelabra on my head, but I'm sure it's only a matter of time...).

It's not that I don't enjoy using props. I do, really. They are fun, and sometimes challenging, and I do like working withthem. My current, standard show consists of wings, veil, sword and finger cymbals.

It's just that I sometimes wonder if I'd be able to hold the audiences attention without them? We live in a world where live action movies like Spiderman can show real, human actors swinging from building to building from spiderwebs coming out of their wrists. Are audiences jaded because of it? Does it take a lot more to "entertain" now that hollywood and technology have set the bar so high?

Can a simple dance awe the audience? Or do today's audiences need more?


kara :) said...

I do think that people do expect more than just a dance and hollywood has a part in it. People go to the movies with high expectations and the only way to satisfy the evolving expectations is by topping what has already been done. I think this applies to belly dancing in some way. A dancer will always have different dances to differnet songs and utilze different styles and moves but people have a short attention span. Props may be needed keep a crowds' attention. At a recent job the audience was amazed by Daniela's use of zills, a sword and sultan props. I heard the guests express that Daniela must be extremely experienced because of the way she incorporated them into her show. Let's face it--it takes experience and talent to balance that sharp, dangerous sword.

Ester said...

I agree with Kara, but i don't think that we can blame the whole thing on hollywood. It is human nature to get bored with things that we've already seen. Bellydancing has been done for centuries, and many people have seen a lot of the moves repeated time and time again. I am sure that people just want to see new things and balancing swords on your head is just the perfect remedy for that.