Founder and Director of the "Desert Dance Festival"
(14 years to present). Since 1976, Dunia has performed and entertained
crowds at night clubs, festivals, and charity events throughout
the San Francisco Bay Area. She has taught Middle Eastern Dance
on all student levels, at various community centers throughout
Dunia writes to
TO THE HOOK
I dont usually bother to reply to opinionated
statements. After all, this IS a free country, but this one bothered
me. I feel that the dance community has been insulted and I hope
it responds accordingly.
RESPONSE TO The
some of these people have zills older than you.
I took a couple
of days to calm down and re-evaluate just what you were saying.
The conclusion I came to was that you apparently wondered why
I dont say NO to dancers that YOU feel shouldnt
be on stage.
Are you making
a statement of dance festivals in general? Or is it DDF
that you have the problem with?
When you get
your own festival, you can do as you like. Until YOU put one together,
you will have no idea what it entails or how my committee and
I strive to present the best possible festival to the public year
By the way,
I dont have time to audition every single dancer before
the festival. Even if I did, I wouldnt anyway. DDF was designed
for open dancing, not structured performances. The dancers who
YOU feel are inept call in just like everyone else and the performances
are scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis. Ive been
asked by so-called better dancers why they have to call in at
all. My reply is because its the fair thing to
Lots of these
dancers dont get to perform in clubs or get asked to do
paid gigs. So tell me, where can they go to express themselves
in a safe, warm environment? Some of these dancers will never
be better than they are right now. Some have disabilities. Is
that any reason to exclude them?
One of the
dancers is a Vietnam veteran who received head injuries in an
unpopular war. He put his life on the line for us. The joy he
gets from those nine minutes of glory isnt really asking
for much. What do YOU think?
understand that you are an artist; its difficult to believe
the lack of understanding and sympathy you have for your fellow
dancers, especially if your only contribution to the dance
community is to hold your breath for six hours under water (Houdini
would be envious) while playing finger cymbals.
If you are
going to write articles for public review, please write responsibly.
word to you, Editor, for being so politically incorrect: I feel
this so-called article is negative and non-supportive to the
dance community. We need the good with the bad, the thick with
the thin, the short with the tall. Without these differences,
none of us would be special.
Nobody cares if you cant dance well. Just get up and
Producer, Desert Dance Festival
Director, The Nile Spice Dancers
CEO, Scarab Productions
Final Word from Bobbie
cares if you can't dance well. Just get up and dance!" You
may believe this, Dunia, but don't charge us for it.
Dunia, for responding. The so-far uniformly positive response
to my article had me wondering if I was just preaching to the
converted. Now I know that there is at least one person out there
who doesn't agree with me, and it's the organizer of the event
I criticized! You made some comments, however which led me to
believe you completely misunderstood my point. The careful reader
would have seen that I was making a distinction between "beginner"
and just plain "clueless".
kept my criticism directed at the unprepared, lazy dancer,
not those dancers who are obviously making great efforts onstage.
that I should write more "responsibly." From your perspective
it seems that the only interpretation of "responsible"
could be non-judgmental description. I don't agree, and I stand
by my opinion.
world doesn't belong onstage just because they have the will and
desire to be there. We are not all artists just because we want
to be. Where can unprepared dancers go to express themselves in
a safe, warm environment? Home. They can dance for friends in
their living room, at parties, discos, or class. But not on stage;
that is a public forum where people who have been charged admission
fees will inevitably notice and judge them. The audience has arrived
in the spirit of goodwill to see dance, good or bad, and we are
ready to be entertained, not made a part of someone's personal
Your turn! What
do you think?
2-26-01 The Fourth
Annual IAMED Awards of Belly Dance by Marula
Seldom does one see a bellydance production as professionally
staged and presented
newest additions to North Beach Memories-Yasmeen
and the North Beach of Yore
An interview with Gail by Meredith McGuire Find
more names and faces you have known or heard about!
Festival Fantasia 2000
October 7 & 8 photos
Shake and Bake Festival
2000 by Sandy Keller
a true happening, an experience, and for all who attend, an adventure.
Tribute to KATRINA
HEGG 1950 - 2000 by Anisa Beverly
Katrina was going to support herself dancing while auditioning
for modeling and acting jobs,
all the while taking acting classes.
Edinburgh Festival Fringe
2000 with Troupe Dhyanis by
The rough and ready Scots do love a party! No coincidence then
that they host the world's
largest performing arts festival in their capitol city of Edinburgh
Fels, Master Cymbal Maker by Shelley
made the most exquisite finger cymbals. Each one was a work of