Most of this is taken from a thread on my personal Facebook page. There was a lively discussion but I have only taken my bits of it. There is much to be said regarding the integrity of performing. I feel even stronger about it after a few incidents this past weekend involving performers and not only their integrity in dance, but also their professionalism regarding their dance. The initial thread was in response a very clear appropriation of an "African Drum Dance" by a local Tribal Fusion troupe.
I am bothered by the integrity of performers right now. If you had taken *A* class in a certain field of dance, would you then turn around and not only teach it, but also perform said dance form? I know I wouldn't and I really question the ability and integrity of those performers who do.
I see it happening in a few places and it not only gives an audience the wrong impression, (that you are a professional when you are not,) but it also etches away your integrity as a performer and I wonder why people are OK with that.
There is no integrity in the above. If I had taken one class long ago and then performed and taught it that would have been just as bad. I don't think there is integrity in appropriation, nor do I think there is integrity in performing a dance of that type after one dancer (of a troupe) taking a class.
There are a few performances I have seen lately that if I were there, I'd have left. I don't like to watch performers who lack integrity. I don't like to watch performers who clearly shouldn't be performing yet, either. As a friend said in the thread, I don't want to be charged to be a charity audience.
Haflas are for dancers to gain their performance readiness...not bookings and showcases.
I totally get the being leary to say anything, but I'm past the point of really caring if someone doesn't like me for my opinion. There is a group locally who get billed as performing ATS. If you have ever seen them its VERY clear they are not ATS, not even in the expanded definition of ATS are they ATS, yet they are teaching and performing as such. I'm very vocal about it because I don't want people associating the dance I do to what they are doing. There are people - them included- in our area who shouldn't be performing or teaching but they do and to top it off, these same people hugely inflate their bios. They don't understand what a disservice they do the rest of the dance community, not to mention their audience. There is NO integrity.
If it makes me a bitch to uphold integrity, then that's a title I'll gladly wear.
Its not so much the teachers jumping the gun in allowing students to perform, though that is also a problem (admittedly one I have been guilty of in the past, but worked to rectify,) The problem is in instant experts. It's those who really want the attention of performing and being an artist without actually doing the work to get there.