Recently someone asked me whether a dancer may have been insulted or upset when her group started doing a tribal improvisation behind her performance at a hafla. Not being there, I couldn’t really say whether she left because of them or whether she had an urgent phone call to make. However, in her place I think I would have been at best annoyed. Here are some of the reasons that I can think of:
- If you are going to do this, first ask the dancer if she is okay that you do this.
- A soloist is performing to an audience – asking her to share its attention with a group moving behind her is at best rude.
- Worse, this dancer was doing an orientale piece with a lot of emotional connection and display of technique which deserved the audience’s full attention.
- The (beginner) students had lots of friends and family in the audience which made it all the worse as they cheered on their mates.
- At the best of times Orientale and Tribal don’t really mix.
- Similarly, it is tricky to mix professional dancers and students. It can work with a teacher and her students if she adjusts her technique to fit with them – some times.