I am not very graceful when it comes to slow moves and veil dancing. I’ve always avoided the veil because of my awkwardness. My strength has always been in drum solos. And balancing acts. Or songs with more beats. However, when you are performing you are required to showcase everything.
Veil is relaxing and almost therapeutic to watch. It is often the start of any bellydance show set. It puts the audience in a mood. It keeps them relaxed. After that it is easy to raise the tempo and get them involved when you start doing drum solos. Especially if you want them to pick up cues and start clapping while you dance to the drum.
It is like an appetizer, or the point you get the audience to notice you and know you. You don’t want to be aggressive and scare them away. Especially the women who are territorial about their boyfriends or their husbands. The veil is perfect to get everyone to like you.
However, the veil requires grace. “The veil is not a roti prata, it is an extension of your body.” Its not about flipping around aggressively. Its about understanding its part of your body and your movement.
For people who doesn’t know what a roti prata man does….Here is an example.
I started off like that. So i felt discouraged and avoided veil dancing as much as i can 🙂
I did not really do many moves in this video. My main goal for this practise was Barrel Turns. Barrel turns and spins can leave you dizzy. But there is a trick. When you spin to the right 10 times. You have to spin to the left to neutralize…so you won’t end up falling down.
I have started using Isis wings. So i have to practise barrel turns. Since i live in a house with a relatively low ceiling, i cannot use the wings. Therefore, i practise with the veil.
Bellydance is a very tough art form. It requires you to be graceful at times. Aggresive at other times. If you can’t learn to transition, it’s going to be very hard. That is why we do shows in a format. We start off slow and end up doing the drum. This is what my mentor Habibi taught me. But personally i feel, everyone has a persona. So you can play with the format and do it in your own style. A classic cabaret format start off with veils, taxim, then a prop (cane, sword, wings, cymbals) and then finally the most fastest and aggressive sequence – the drum. So if your character is more bubbly and you demand attention upon your entrance, you can start off with the drum. However, you have to be well versed in what you are doing first, before you play around with the format. These formats were created by trained entertainers who spent years studying the moods of various audiences.
But if you can pull it off, i suggest you should. Every dancer is different. And we all have various personalities. Sometimes its good to do what we are good at. But never get stuck in your comfort zone. Or your act will become stale.
Take care fellow comrades. Happy dancing!