Originally posted by Jan H on tribe.net.Hello again friends. I have a bit of an ethical dilemma that Id love some opinions & thoughts on.br/br/The performing Goth community here in southern Maine has a strong presence, and I often do solo (non-ATS) work with them. There is an upcoming show that they have invited me to be part of -- and do ATS in with my dance partner. Im happy for the troupe invitation, but am a little uneasy about the subject matter. Heres a snippet from the show description:br/br/“DARK ARABIAN NIGHTS”br/The theme encompasses all areas of Arabia (with a dark bent): religion, folklore, dance, music, costuming, etc…whatever the mind can conceive and believe. Varied styles of dance and performance art will be featured, such as Burlesque, Fetish, Belly dance, Drag, Interpretive, and more.br/br/Heres why this show makes me uncomfortable:br/a. I dont really want to mix ATS with fetish performances.br/b. The description just SCREAMS "cultural misappropriation" and "orientalism" and "harem girls" to me.br/c. Most importantly, I want to do ATS justice. I dont want the audience thinking that were somehow making fun of the Arab world.br/br/So, I suppose I have at least four options.br/1. Get over it, realize that its all just fantasy, and do the show without saying anything;br/2. Use the show as an opportunity for education (how?) but do the show anyway;br/3. Thank the organizers for the invitation, but decline and explain why;br/4. Thank the organizers for the invitation, but decline without explaining why, and hope they understand at some point.br/br/The last time the Goth community did this sort of event, they showed Lawrence of Arabia on the video screen, and had a "Middle Eastern Costume Contest" (Im not kidding). ugggggggghhhh.br/br/Ideas? Thoughts? Am I simply being too sensitive?
Originally posted by Carrie on tribe.net.Whatever you decide, do not choose #3. ;-)br/br/If anything makes you feel uncomfortable for whatever the reason, then you shouldnt do it. I wouldnt create unnecessary drama by explaining to the coordinators why you dont want to do it.
Originally posted by Hollie Schmidt on tribe.net.Go with your deep stomach feeling. If you have any negative feeling at all, dont do it. Usually your first instinct is correct. I would decline and if asked why? A little white lie is appropriate to keep the peace =)
Originally posted by Jan H on tribe.net.Thanks to both of you. Another dancer was asked to do the show and feels the same way I do - and really wants to tell them why shes declining, so Im torn about having the conversation. But youre right, the benefits to keeping my mouth shut far outweigh the benefits of sharing here. Its a small community, best to keep the peace.
Originally posted by Valizan on tribe.net.Im all about choice #4 myself. Dont do it and hope theyll understand.br/br/Having said that, I am going to play Devils Advocate. br/br/#2 is the high, rocky road on a dark Arabian night. 😉 People dont learn anything different if you ignore their ignorance. Can you get stuff into the program explaining ATS? Or even just bellydance? br/br/Is there going to be another bellydancer there? If they have someone else coming in to wiggle then, yes, skip it. If youre going to be it, then take the opportunity to show em.br/br/Now, if you KNOW education is pointless, I agree with everyone else and follow your gut.
Originally posted by Sandi on tribe.net.I dont think youre being too sensitive. I dont think you should do what you dont want to do. If it makes you uncomfortable, dont do it. If youre open to it, do it. But your "a." answer sounds like your firm answer.br/br/Theres no reason why you cant decline by saying something like, "Thank you for the opportunity to collaborate with you, but we are unavailable. [be it mind, body or spirit] Please keep us in mind for future shows!" If you turn them down a few times, they might stop asking. But it doesnt mean you disapprove of or are disrespecting what theyre doing, you are just unable to take part in something you dont see as enhancing how youd prefer to be portrayed.br/br/However, location and social norms can play a factor in opinions. In SF, we of FCBD have done MANY different types of shows. We do shy away from the fetish/sex or overly gothy shows, but doesnt mean weve never done them. Last year a few of us performed at ShadowDance, a goth mostly bellydance show, which did involve suspension/piercing and cutting rituals. Tho, we performed, not as part of the main show, but as part of the DJ set at the end of the night. And ya know what? We were the liveliest and most uplifting group of the night. I thought we gave a nice texture to the whole show. Plus, some color. ;} But yeah, weve done burlesque shows to hunky gay mens calendar parties to drag queen bingo. All done with great respect for the local performance scene.br/br/I personally would consider the whole picture. Who are the people inviting you? Do you respect/trust them? Have you seen other shows by these performers? What sort of audience will they be drawing? How might it be beneficial/detrimental to you? Will it help with creating bonds within the local dance community? Might you get other gigs from this exposure? A lot of times we find ourselves in variety shows like this and we end up being the classier and more graceful act of the evening. A good contrast, to our benefit. We even may have gotten other gigs because of these gigs. br/br/If you dont think it will benefit you in the long run and its not worth the effort, then listen to your instincts and decline.
Originally posted by Jan H on tribe.net.So good to know that FCBD has done those sorts of shows. I dont have an issue mixing belly dance with burlesque for the reasons you mentioned (we tend to class up the joint, audiences see the difference), but fetish just seems too....br/br/... well, I live in Maine. :)br/br/I do want to support the organizers of the show. Theyve done a lot, and will do a lot, to create performance opportunities, and theyre an integral part of our small performing arts community. And like you said, it could be great exposure to a new audience.br/br/Luckily, my troupe has another gig that night, and the timing wouldnt work out easily, so I can decline on that basis if asked. But because I want to support the organizers (even with feeling uncomfortable about the theme) I did decide to buy an ad in their program - its cheap, and its a nice gesture.br/br/Thanks again for your advice!
Originally posted by icy on tribe.net.I couldnt agree more with Sandi and my two cents in addition to the fetish part.br/br/It honestly depends on what the event is...as some fetish events are nothing more than people dressing up in SM (standing and modeling) fetish wear, much like a costume party.br/br/Other fetish events might involve other activities that are maybe not good to mix with bellydance in the show. I have danced at some fetish events but again I am very mindful of what the event truly is and whether I will dance solo or invite others to dance. br/br/Not sure that helps any but a tidbit added. 🙂
Originally posted by Lucy on tribe.net.I was asked to dance at a fetish do a coupla years back. It didnt feel like the appropriate thing to do, despite the fact many of my friends go to the evening in question. Im not trying to be enticing or sexual when I dance, so dancing at an event focused around sex didnt feel like a good place for me to be. I dont think you are being too sensitive at all 🙂
Originally posted by Leslie Jean-Jellybean aka: Miss Boo on tribe.net.Drag queen bingo! Now Id like to be invited to that!! 🙂
Originally posted by icy on tribe.net.Fetish events are not exclusively "sexual" in content.br/br/I dont dance sexual or enticing either I dance like I know how to dance and wow the responses I have gotten have been far different than you would think. br/I have danced in burlesque themed events and I still dance like I dance and again, wow the response I got was amazing. I didnt dance sexually, I didnt remove not even one strip of anything (or did anything fall off even accidentally) yet the response to what I presented was amazing. br/br/So I caution only - in that please dont stereotype the event either.br/br/If it makes you uncomfy = dont do it, and that applies to ANY event not just fetish based ones.br/br/If you arent bothered by it, just be mindful of what you present and do with all that you are and guess what...people respond accordingly. br/br/Dont put preconcieved notions on what is "expected" from you in your dance presentation. If they saw you and asked you, they know what they are getting...dont change it but do it with as much gusto and performance professionalism as any other gig and you will be recieved accordingly.br/br/Best of luck!!!! And have fun!!!br/
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