"Middle Eastern dance schools play upon harem-mother-goddess fantasies of adult students. One has to give credit for business savvy, but what is being sacrificed in terms of art and ethics? In a bid to take over the local market, unskilled student dancers have been sent out on behalf of the studio to perform for fees that are either shockingly below the going rate or, which is worse, free."
To the degree that we as artists prepare the audience to see the world in stereotypes, we perpetuate a society that only knows how to know through separation. Whose identity is it anyway – ours or the audiences? Whose character is it anyway?
Christel Stevens writes about challenges toward creation of professional World Dance performances, including funder preferences toward traditional concert dance styles, and the recent trend of combining European and 'World Dance' forms.