Dance : Non-European
Information is taken from the current Arts and Sciences Handbook. Any discrepancies are resolved in favor of the official printed version found at the arts section of the Kingdom of Meridies Homepage.
General Comments not specific to any category
If there is no documentation, the item will not be judged to afford the entrant the opportunity to better exhibit their piece and re-enter the next fair.
Genre' Definitions for Middle Eastern Dance:
- Folk type dances from period that are done by groups of both men and women together or by a group of men or a group of women
- Men's solo dance (Sufi, Warrior Dances, Hunting Dances, etc)
- Women's solo dance (Persian, Indian, Egyptian, Arabic, North African, Islamic Spanish, Turkish and Central Asian)
NOTE: There may be subdivisions within areas that should be addressed by the performer in their introduction and documentation if they wish complexity standards to be focused further.
General Guidelines for Middle Eastern Dance:
- Entrants are judged on a 20 point scale and are not judged against other entrants, but against a genre standard
- A score of above 15 is a good score
- Not all pieces are capable of receiving a 20 point score due to the complexity category. Entrants should consider this when choosing pieces for the faire
- Judges are encouraged to consider that perfection is the exception not the standard
- Judges should take venue difficulties that are beyond the performer's control into consideration when assessing the performance. The entrant should note the difficulties of the venue during their presentation.
- Entrants should endeavor to consider site venues for performing arts when choosing their pieces whenever possible
- An audience is usually present during performing arts. This should be taken into account both for the judging and the performance
- Documenting any performing art is difficult. Dance holds its own problems. While documentation should be as inclusive as possible for each category, it is not necessary to write a research paper. Simply address each category as needed so the judges have time to actually review the documentation
- The introduction contributes to the overall performance impression. It should not overshadow the actual performance
- The performance itself should not be rote, but embodied with emotion and energy as appropriate to authenticity
- Consider the costume carefully, especially the footwear. Combat boots or other similar foot wear are inappropriate for any Middle Eastern or Eastern dance performance
- Entrants and judges are encouraged to attend classes on judging performing arts and on research and documentation for performing arts.
- Entrants are encouraged to shadow judge for their category in order to better understand the judging process
- Interaction between the dancer and the music is necessary. This also applies if the music is recorded
- Middle Eastern dance often uses dangerous props. Entrants need to consider safety issues when working with these props. Do not assume that things will go well. Plan for the worse case scenario.
Documentation Guidelines for Middle Eastern Dance:
- Documentation should address each category directly. See Documentation Categories below.
- Documentation is not required to be in a research paper format
- Primary sources for Middle Eastern dance are the following: pictorial/static representations of dance from the appropriate period (sculpture, carvings, illuminations, ceramic decorations, etc.), first person written descriptions of dance from the appropriate period, and written choreography of dance from the appropriate period
- Modern traditional dance/Oral tradition is not acceptable documentation for an A&S faire, but can be useful for comparison studies
- Period music should be used and addressed in the documentation
- Reconstruction methodology should be addressed in the introduction or the documentation
Documentation Categories for Middle Eastern Dance:
Authenticity Category: As supported by documentation
The documentation should address and the performance should reflect the following points:
- An accurate understanding of the setting or performance venue appropriate to the time/place/culture of the dance.
- Music that is appropriate to the time/place/culture of the dance
- Movements that are appropriate to the time/place/culture of the dance
- Costumes, props, and accessories that are appropriate to the time/place/culture of the dance
Complexity Category: As supported by documentation
The documentation should address and the performance should display a complexity of performance appropriate to the time/place/culture of the dance. Complexity should be judged appropriate to genre of the dance presented. For example Persian is judged against Persian standards and not Indian standards so that pieces are not held to a standard outside of their genre. Entrants should consider that a simple piece will have a lower complexity score. If an entrant wishes the opportunity for a higher score, it is expected that they will choose to perform a more complex piece. The complexity score reflects the following points:
- Physical difficulty of the movement or movement combinations
- An overall consideration of the use of the different elements of the dance within their particular genre
- Difficulty of documentation, if that difference is above the norm. Any difficulty of documentation should be brought to the judge's attention during the presentation. Elaborateness of documentation presentation does not add to the complexity score
- An introduction done in persona adds to the complexity score. For example speaking as if you are that persona. This does not require speaking in the language of the persona. Otherwise the introduction should not impact the complexity score.
- Accompaniment, by the dancer, while dancing by singing/chanting/recitation and/or playing an instrument adds to the complexity score, but is not a requirement.
- Elaborateness of setting and stage decorations, as is possible in the limited time allotment of the performance schedule. Efforts by the entrant in this area are a way to enhance the performance score. In no way is setting and stage decoration a requirement in order to attain a good score.
- The use of live music or recorded music, with live music adding to the complexity score. Live music is not a requirement for a good score. The music may be part of the entry or it may simply be accompaniment to the dance entry itself and not judged.
- The use of choreography or improvisation. Improvisation is a more difficult skill level, but is not required for a good score. Documentation should address the use of choreography or improvisation.
Technical Merit Category: As supported by documentation, where possible. Not all of these skills were considered/recognized in period. Documentation should address those that were period concepts. Documentation should address the technical skills demonstrated in the performance. The Technical Merit score should reflect the following where appropriate:
- Precision of movement
- Rhythm and timing
- Grace or control
- Memorization if using choreography
- Proficiency in accompanying dance with vocals or musical instrument
- Use of space
- A balanced performance as defined by period practice
- Synchronization of movements with music and other dancers, if competing with other dancers, as defined by period practice
Artistic Merit Category: As supported by documentation
Documentation should address artistic merit demonstrated in the performance. Artistic merit includes the following:
- Polish of performance
- Appropriateness of the costume. Not whether it is constructed in a period mannor, but does it enhance, impair or not affect the performance. Does it fit well or inhibit the performance. Is the dancer comfortable in the costume while performing, etc?
- Time limit. Each performer has a maximum time of 15 minutes. This includes set-up, introduction, performance and breakdown. This should be accomplished within the time limit and done in a competent, smooth fashion.
- Skill in use of props or accessories, if used. Is the use of the prop incorporated into the dance/choreography smoothly? Should not count against the performer if props are not used.
- Period performance style. Does the dancer use a period performance style or are they presenting the performance in a modern way, using modern esthetics?
- Interpretation of the mood or emotion of the dance
- Interpretation of the period movement documentation. How well does the performer interpret and incorporate the static research into an actual performance?
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