Monday, December 20, 2010

Vampires Can't Bellydance

"You know, I'm curious."
"Hey! I've got the best idea ever!"
"You know what would be really cool?"
It was the first of these phrases, all of which portend doom, that led me to discover this little horror. 

A fellow dancer and I were working on our duet choreography when we had a bit of a mental shut down. Smoke hands are neat and everything, but they can only take you so far into a piece before your audience finally starts to realize the filler. "Hey... I think they've been doing the same move in different directions for three minutes..." So when bellydancers get brain farts we do what every other bored and worn out human being with access to a computer does - we watch Internet videos.

Somehow I got it in my head that typing in the phrase "vampire bellydance" would produce some hilarious results. Oh. And it did. Oh, how it did. Were I to list the things this woman does wrong, I might actually produce a page's worth of ranting. So, leaving aside the fact that she's trying to do veil AND candles, the fact that her music is a mix of everything from folkloric Evanescence  to what sounds like German rap, plus the fact that she's wearing contacts and fake vampire teeth, I have chosen my top gripe with this apparent bellydancer: The woman humps everything in sight! The floor! The air! The audience (Thank the gods, from a distance.)! She gets down and dirty with so many objects that I feel sorry for the curtains for getting left out of the action!

For those of you who don't normally see bellydance, this is NOT bellydance. This is a stripper wearing a bellydance costume. ...And I hope you all find it as wonderfully entertaining and hilarious as my friend and I did when we were grasping at our sides and doubled over laughing (At 2:30 when she's flipping her veil up with both arms: "Oh, God! It's a beached whale! Quick! We must help it flail  back to the ocean!").

I'll be posting a Yule bellydance move for you guys tomorrow, and I leave you with this piece of advice until then: If I ever see any of you on YouTube, blogs, Myspace, Facebook, Photobucket, etc. dancing like this outside of a spooflah, I will hunt you down and make you watch your own video while professional bellydancers berate you.

...but if anyone is bold enough to spoof this, I have no quips or qualms. :P


Soraya said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lilith Noor said...

Great Flying Spaghetti Monster.

That was... special. I don't think I've ever seen a dancer with so much latent ability make quite such a twit of herself. The backbend/air humping and the kneeling African shimmy/stripper thrusts stood out for me as total no-nos, but even disregarding the invisible dildo effect, the piece is a total mishmash of graceful props and some of the clumsiest dancing I've ever seen.

I've only seen one decent bit of vampire bellydance- a goth dancer I know dances to the theme from True Blood. It's straight up gothic bellydance until almost the end , when she grins at the audience and shows off her fangs!

Diandra said...

Hmm... I'm not sure what to say about this. On the one hand, I am not a hardcore traditionalist. I think that everyone should feel free to take the moves and make them their own and feel free to create something new (although they should be honest enough to say so and not claim to be "traditional" bellydancers).

On the other hand - her moves do not look good. It looks as if her back is stiff, and she can't do isolated movements, and with some moves I am still trying to figure out what she was trying to do. I guess it is still necessary to really learn the basics before you can do your own thing, kinda "learn to walk before you run".

Well, at least I hope the woman had fun. That's the most important thing (but there is no reason to "simply have fun" on stage).

Foxy said...

Oh dear oh dear oh dear...she looked rather frightening, and definitely not in the way she intended to look :(

Ceres said...

My impression is that she is not incapable of bellydancing, but this choreography sucks on several levels. POOR poor use of veil, the candles silly, and while I don't mind the occasional stretch of--what would you call it, 4th chakra hip thrusts?--do NOT do them on the floor towards the audience.

The other fail being the bumpy, forgetting-to-dance transitions. The veil didn't seem to help there either. Overall, I'd say the choreography was worse than the dancer, but they were mismatched in the fist place.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I didn't realize there was a new genre of bellydance....stripperbellydance. hmmmmmm, I think I'll stick to tribal and fusion thank you very much.

faerwillow said...

~i unfortunately can't even finish watching this...oh my goodness...and i will make sure that i never attempt such as i would hate for you to have to spend~waste your time trying to hunt me down for my foolish attempt! warm wishes and brightest solstice blessings upon you~

Kristen said...

I have to admit I couldn't finish watching this either, though I did make it through a decent amount. I want to know if she watched herself before hand or if she performed in front of someone before going on stage. Dancing isn't my usual thing but even I could tell this didn't look all that spectacular, and probably wasn't what the woman was hoping for.....I hope.

Soraya said...

I decided to delete my previous comment... As I realized it's very close to what had happened to me with my Type O negative dance... You can find where people are viewing your videos from and it lead my right to where people were commenting EXTREMELY negative stuff about my video of me dancing for only 9 months.
I figure I'll put it in a much... friendlier way...
While I do not enjoy watching the video, and see it as much longer than it should be... (amongst other things and critiques...) I say say she had the guts to get out there to do..that, Which is more than I can say for a few of the dancers that I know in this area that refuse to get out and dance.
Everything else, I'm just gonna zip my mouth for.

The Blue Faerie said...

You make a very good point, Soraya. There is always room for improvement, and I hope this woman chalks this one up to a learning experience.

And you also bring up another good point which is having the courage to perform. Heck, I got nervous just making a home video on shimmies, and this woman can dress up like a vampire and jump out on YouTube. Strange, but something to be admired for sure.

I bow my head and step behind my curtain of humility.

I still hope this woman never attempts candles with a head veil again. Not unless there are several stage hands with fire extinguishers on the ready.

Christina Jones said...

Having very little belly dance experience myself, I cannot comment on the technique without being hypocritical. I do have to agree with the common belief that this is stripper belly dance. Without being rude to the dancer herself (this seems more like an attempt to entertain rather than be a belly dancer) it's performances like these that continue to perpetrate stereotypes of what belly dance is.

Jenni said...

OMG!!!!! She humped the air!!!! Ahhhhahahahahahaha!!! Yes, stripper all the way! Or she was taught by someone who was a stripper. Either way, BAD!!!! In our regional area, our troupe is highly respected. When our troupe takes the stage, all the dancers come out of the dressing room to see us. I'm not trying to toot my own horn or anything, this is just literally what I've whitnessed. We make it a point to show our joy of watching other troupes perform, we yip and hoot and holler, give standing ovations, etc... But we also make it a point to show our disgust at dancers like this woman. We don't boo them or anything, but we don't clap, nor make eye contact with the dancer for the rest of the evening. And they notice. When they ask why we didn't like their performance, we give it to them very simply... When women call themselves belly dancers and then go on a stage and perform like a damn stripper, it just perpetuates the misconception that belly dancers are no better than whores, and that is incredibly insulting to the thousands of women who actually learn this beautiful dance and take pride in what they do. The woman in this video is a prime example of what not to do. This was hilarious though. WoW!