A Short Rant...Gross Mislabeling
Allow me to jump right in. For simplicity's sake I will only mention the two most widely used terms to describe bellydance categories but this applies to just about every category out there.
Wearing a cabaret costume does not make you a cabaret dancer if you are a tribal style dancer.
Wearing a tribal costume does not make you a tribal dancer if you are a cabaret dancer.
There are very, very, very few dancers that can pull off both or more categories expertly. And even then you see influences or at the very least telltale signs of the more dominant style within them.
Claiming to do Raks Sharki while integrating Fat Chance arm movements, spins and turns does not produce a Raks Sharki performance.
Likewise for Tribal. Claiming to do a specific Tribal style just because you plopped in some super slow snake-y arm movement and some Zoe Jakes locks and pops in the middle of your Egyptian routine does not make an actual Tribal style performance.
Asserting to do so only negates all the work, commitment and devotion previous dancers, teachers, masters have put into their craft and the overall art of the various forms of bellydance. In addition, it further advances erroneous and confusing ideas of the dance. In short it is disrespectful and irresponsible.
So why does this happen so often? If it were mainly newer dancers, I could take it. But it's disheartening to see when experienced dancers with a substantial reach out to newer dancers make these mistakes. Why does it happen? Have they not been exposed to the rich range of bellydance? Do they not know the history of the dance? Are they not familiar with the roots of their own style? Do they even care?
Now, if you're talking "fusion" that's a whole other subject. There's certainly more leeway in mixing dance styles. But even then, the dancer still has to actually know WHAT they are dancing AND do those styles justice.
Ok. Thank you. I think I'm done with my rant. But I SO would love to hear your 2 cents. What are your thoughts on gross mislabeling?