I do not think or feel that artists doing fusion dances should be scrutinized for not being “perfect” in the spirit of the dance.
They have an artistic license to change whatever the fuck they want. If they went on stage wanting to deliver pure autenticity, then that s another story. But I m looking at them and I knew from the start that they did not take 20 years of their life to drill this into holy authentic perfection.
Take a look at what contemporary dance artists are doing with oriental techniques or inspirations, it is their vision and their freedom.
Why, when a dancer decides to fuse ballet with whatever the hell (even bellydance) she is not scrutinized for not having the perfect technique or being authentic? Or it s okay to fuse bellydance with popping and locking (and hip hopers sometimes feel of us bellydancers using highly questionable techniques and don t like what we do)?
But not the “holy mother authentic dance from over there”?
Get over yourself people and down from the high horse.
Let the artist, live, breathe, explore and bring to you what she feel right, be it fusion or authenticity.
I think because in your original post you talked about the religious nature and stories of Balinese dance, I assumed that what you were critique-ing was Zoe’s use of the form in this context, or her respect for the form. I’m glad you clarified. In terms of a critique of the movements in the piece, I understand your comment that they don’t have complete mastery of Balinese dance technique yet and the fusion itself isn’t super refined. However, I think that …
Yeah, I was definitely just contextualizing*, and providing a reference point for understanding, not trying to say that what you guys were doing was inherently disrespectful at all.
I do not expect perfection, but this just wasn’t near far enough along in terms of technique for me. Part of what makes Balinese dance very striking (at least to a Western audience) is it’s basic posture and carriage (and how it contrasts with Western notions of dance posture), and I definitely feel that without it, you’re doing a disservice to your own intentions. Go big or go home, you know? Additionally in rewatching, there waaaaaay too many head slide/eye flick movements to the point where, to use Asharah’s words, it became gimmicky. I’m sorry I wasn’t able to say that more explicitly in my original post, but at least I’m clarifying it now.
I don’t mean to discourage people from trying new things, but what knowyourveil said in reference to a different performance from this years TF puts it perfectly for me, and sadly I feel like this performance went to ‘misrepresenting’ territory (even though I guessed then and now know that you guys had the best of intentions and worked very hard to refine the choreography and technique). No one has to agree with my opinion, but just as I respect and appreciate the work that went into this piece, I would hope people would similarly respect my opinion and where I’m coming from.
*I just wanted to mention that this is often the main issue I have with many fusion dances, they’re too often completely without cultural context of any kind or worse incorrect information. I feel contextual info is a must if we’re using/incorporating the traditional dances of cultures outside our own.