Get a Strong Traditional Foundation Before Exploring
I have been in these synchronistic situations lately around getting a strong foundation before branching out and doing your own thing: a conversation with a dancer, watching a movie about a painter, listening to how a lovely and gigantic garden was planned. I really think that is so true, yet I see “dancers” out there all the time dancing to American music in a belly dance costume. It’s clear that they do not have the slightest idea of what makes belly dance belly dance and are just doing their interpretation. You can’t work from a place of familiarity when doing a new or foreign art. While you may have a lot to offer, you have to step out of yourself and learn the basics of that new thing intimately before you can apply what you have in a meaningful way.
There is a huge difference between fusion and con-fusion. Fusion is a purposeful blending of two or more things that respects the differences of each. The product is unique. Not this or that, but something new. Con-fusion is just throwing something together and hoping it sticks. Usually it doesn’t. Dancing in jeans is rarely creative. It’s usually just odd. You have to do more than that it make it new and fresh and “art.”
I dance many different ethnic styles and have yet to blend any of them. I am a wild club dancer who loves techno, yet I haven’t done anything with that either. I feel like I intimately understand each dance style and that is what makes it so hard. How do you take something distinctly its own, blend it with something else, and have something new with its own integrity and meaning?
Think about that because that is what fusion should do. You can’t really hope to create that without having a strong foundation in all the things you blend. And if you take the time to really study belly dance, perhaps it will be good enough just being belly dance.