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Karavan Blog


July 2014: My Philosophy Topic


Some Thoughts on Performance Venues

This article was originally written and published in a studio newsletter in 1999! 

Note that the “Concert at Jump Start” to which I am referring is akin to the “Project Nebtidi” Production that took place as the Saturday night show of the last GBDAC recital.  The “San Antonio Dance Umbrella” show has not taken place in a few years (a showcase of many dance styles here in San Antonio) but I am hopeful for its return.  Demo’s (our “Student Jam Session”) used to be a bi-weekly gig that is now weekly.  And this is strictly venue driven in analysis; our current “Project Band” work is separate and apart.  Anyway, it was interesting finding this.  : )  Thought I’d share.

Some Thoughts on Performance Venues

In my mind, I see a hierarchy of all the performance opportunities that we have... and it looks something like this:
Concert at Jump Start

San Antonio Dance Umbrella show at the Carver

GBDAC recital

Shows at dance workshops (here and other cities)*

Weekend gigs in restaurants (all of them!!)*

Demo's on Mon. and Wed.*

* To me, these three venues indicate the "current system" of Middle Eastern dancing... and the others indicate an attempt to reach upwards.  The bottom two have the most consistent impact on the public, so they should not be discounted... it's just that we are looking at a relative scale.  I also believe that the weekend gigs should not be overestimated... yes, after about 100 of them you might be able to buy a new costume (WOW!), but you will be schlepping for dollars from table to table or be the opening act for the singer that the Arabs really came to see.  Please, "Broadway bound" performers...participate where you wish (God knows I did for 15 years and it's great practice), but, for God's sake, focus upwards!

So I believe that as one climbs the hierarchy, one is having a larger impact on the overall mission and, not surprisingly, the level of commitment required to be a part of those performances increases. 

Now, I have a few thoughts along those lines...
  1. Know your level of commitment... and don't kid yourself!  As my favorite county commissioner often says, "...so you want to go to heaven, but you don't want to die?"  
  2. My point of reference is myself (it's all I have!)... I've been dancing since I was 5 years old.  Others who have spent a lifetime (or many years) dancing, or engaged in another physical art form, will probably take hold of the details of my advanced choreographies more quickly.  This should be no surprise.  Does that mean that an adult who wants to perform at that level is doomed?  Absolutely not!  Do I think that most adults do not want to invest the time to make up for the deficit?  Absolutely!  Most of them have different priorities.  No big deal...just don't kid yourself!  
  3. I think that everyone with/considering a costume needs to think about this.  
  4. But it's just my opinion...

Karen Barbee Adkisson    : )

(Originally published: Jan. 1999, Vol. 3 # 2)

Karen Barbee Adkisson, Karavan Studio owner and professional belly dancer, has been teaching students in the art of belly dance techniques for more than 25 years.  Her expertise at the national and international level is technique and professional progression.  Karen's systematic approaches are found throughout Karavan's online video lessons, live classes, workshops, and events including the annual June GBDAC Recital weekend held in San Antonio, Texas.

Posted by Karen Barbee Adkisson, Karavan Studio on 30th July, 2014 | Comments | Trackbacks
Tags: commitment, costume, perform, Middle Eastern dancing, dance workshops, Project Band, Student Jam Session, GBDAC, Project Nebtidi, venues, performance, belly dancing San Antonio, learn how to belly belly dance, learn belly dancing, Karen Barbee

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