Advertisement

Unmata Pony Play

topic posted Sat, April 7, 2007 - 3:50 PM by  Miss P "Rach...
Share/Save/Bookmark
I'm just dying to know what you guys all think of this!!

www.youtube.com/watch

I think - good on them. this is out there. it's well choreographed and it's different = wicked stuff.

x
posted by:
Miss P "Rachel Silver"
United Kingdom
Advertisement
  • Re: Unmata Pony Play

    Sat, April 7, 2007 - 4:08 PM
    I love Unmata and the song (had even wanted to dance to it). The dance is eye catching and executed well but the whole pony concept just isn't my thing.
  • Re: Unmata Pony Play

    Sat, April 7, 2007 - 4:25 PM
    This is why I LOVE Unmata! So creative, so innovative, and definitely not something you see everyday. They chose interesting music that they interpret so well.
  • Re: Unmata Pony Play

    Sat, April 7, 2007 - 4:59 PM
    Interesting concept - very fetish pony play.

    It is a probably a little venue specific, but it is well-executed. Unmata is always interesting for sure!
  • Re: Unmata Pony Play

    Sat, April 7, 2007 - 5:08 PM
    That's absolutely not my cuppa.
    • Re: Unmata Pony Play

      Sat, April 7, 2007 - 5:43 PM
      Not my cup of tea either, considering that pony play is a form of bondage...
      • Re: Unmata Pony Play

        Sat, April 7, 2007 - 6:24 PM
        Hmm, I kinda struggle with the whole women on leads thing...
        (if they were leading men around maybe I would cope....JOKING!!!!)

        But on another level .... I LOVE it !!!!
        • Re: Unmata Pony Play

          Mon, April 9, 2007 - 8:06 AM
          what was that song and who is is by?

          thanks
          • Re: Unmata Pony Play

            Mon, April 9, 2007 - 8:23 AM
            There are a bunch of songs combined for that piece. Most of which are by Cirque du Soleil, and that catchy one when the ponies first start dancing is by Roisin Murphy "Ramalama". The actual song list is in the Unmata tribe somewhere if you'd like it!
            • Re: Unmata Pony Play

              Sun, April 15, 2007 - 6:43 PM
              thanks Lisa! I found the Roisin Murphy cd on amazon and the samples sound really innovative. ....i can't wait until it's in my mailbox.
              The Pony Play piece is captivating....i can't take my eyes off of it...this group shows such power and confidence...it's truly moving to watch.
  • Re: Unmata Pony Play

    Mon, April 9, 2007 - 8:38 AM
    I personally think this is brilliant. I saw the piece twice live and then watched it over and over again on the computer. It seriously haunted me for weeks afterwards.

    I realize that there are pony fetishists out there, and having scantily clad girls in bits led by dominatrix-looking handlers was certainly beyond the bounds of what's considered classically/publicly "acceptable" bellydance, but considering that the performance nights also featured burlesque striptease elements, on-stage spankings, etc. this was *very* tame and almost innocently girlish. You could tangibly feel how much a girlish love for horses went into the making of this piece.

    What blew my mind was the basically everything to do with the concept and execution: the thinking outside of the box required to create such a piece, the extreme creativity, the ABILITY to do that entire what... 12 minute piece, constantly hopping and prancing in demi releve? You can't see it in the videos but their boots have had their heels cut off. They do that whole piece on their toes. Like horses would. And speaking of -- we had a video of a dancing horse in here not too long ago. Unmata's piece was clearly inspired by *real* dancing horses.

    Not to mention being that expressive (again, not really visible in the videos) with a bit in their mouths? Or the music custom composed/combined just for this piece? Plus, the costuming was ideal for what they intended. The hair waterfall bra is just brilliant, hands down. The moves they chose clearly demonstrated that they were dancing with and for the costumes and characters. How often does that happen?

    I'm generally pretty aware of the sexual elements of what happens on stage given my oh-so-proper raqs sharqi training (e.g. The Nekiya also performed and did their standard ultrasexy fare, which was like woah), but this Unmata piece was different. My reaction was purely of an enthusiast. Unmata set the bar really high with what they did in this epic piece. Fetishistic or not, this was truly brilliant art.
    • Re: Unmata Pony Play

      Mon, April 9, 2007 - 9:13 AM
      Hi Lisa - I don't think anyone in this thread has denied that it was well and artistically done. The costuming (including boots) are pretty normal as part of the pony play community - I have seen some incredible shows put on by those folks as well. I don't think anyone is even questioning the venue for this particular performance - it seems to have been a great place to show edgy performances.

      It isn't a negative for people to say it wasn't their cuppa or to point out that it is definitely a take on the fetish world of pony play.

      Personally, I love unmata - I personally like their show better like this: www.youtube.com/watch but they are more than welcome to explore their other artistic directions. Nothing but mad respect for the ladies here.
      • Re: Unmata Pony Play

        Mon, April 9, 2007 - 9:35 AM
        Sorry, I didn't mean for that to be taken as a defensive. It was just what I thought about the piece, which was what the thread originally asked, ya? :)
      • Re: Unmata Pony Play

        Mon, April 9, 2007 - 9:39 AM
        I didn't realize the boots were standard fare... Huh! I guess you learn something every day :) Beyond the Anne Rice novels, I'm pretty clueless with respect to the pony play community and didn't fully realize that they didn't have to have much of their stuff custom-made... Ah well. I'm still completely enamored with the piece!
        • Re: Unmata Pony Play

          Mon, April 9, 2007 - 10:06 AM
          No worries - they may have made their boots and such themselves, but it is pretty normal in the pony play set. Still and interesting performance piece!
    • Re: Unmata Pony Play

      Mon, April 9, 2007 - 9:37 AM
      I gotta say this out loud, for the record - it may have been art, it may have been brilliant, but it wasn't belly dance.

      I'm not knocking Unmata or this piece, but sometimes you have to call a non-spade a non-spade.

      I'd call it performance art, but I would NEVER call it a belly dance performance.
      • Re: Unmata Pony Play

        Mon, April 9, 2007 - 9:41 AM
        Honestly, I thought the same when I saw the piece. It was definitely more a dance theatre/performance art thing with bellydance elements.
      • Re: Unmata Pony Play

        Mon, April 9, 2007 - 9:45 AM
        it may have been brilliant, but it wasn't belly dance.

        I have to agree here and point out that things like this are what give the true art of Belly Dance a sort of bad, sleazy name.. If you are going to do a piece like this call it what it really is. The belly dance community may be a bit more accepting of the out of the box preformances but the general public is not usually as opened minded. The next time my friend tells me that she is not allowed to teach her grade 3 class a few belly dance moves i'll remember this.. She can however teach them salsa.. Hmmmm!
        Belly dance walks a very very fine line between acceptable and sleazy. And imho this is towards the sleazy side.
        As in any art medium there are going to be fans and not.. I have to say i am not a fan of this style....
        TTYS, KathleenA
      • Re: Unmata Pony Play

        Mon, April 9, 2007 - 10:08 AM
        Definitely agree with this - I didn't even think of it as belly dance, even though it is very well-executed. Can anyone who was there say how it was announced? Was it presented as belly dance or as performance art?
        • Re: Unmata Pony Play

          Mon, April 9, 2007 - 10:16 AM
          There wasn't really any "announcement" about the pieces at the show. They pretty much just announced the name of the act to come and thanked the previous act.

          You can see most of the copy at www.nouveaunights.com/ -- however some of it is misleading since it is unclear that this event is a brand new thing and *not* related to Ultra Gypsy's Undulation (which was "the" unofficial Rakkasah afterparty for four years or so).
  • Re: Unmata Pony Play

    Mon, April 9, 2007 - 10:40 AM
    i fell off the couch that was so interesting. I have done a lot of different styles of dance but i love how this interprets the thme/song. loved the tail! this was awsome!
    i watched the other link posted in the thread and was floored. that is an awsome long i listened ti back in the day. they are awsome
  • Re: Unmata Pony Play

    Mon, April 9, 2007 - 11:04 AM
    I don't know what to think of it.

    I've been assured by people who know people who've seen it live that it was really good. On the whole, I'm all up for anyone wanting to push boundaries. Perhaps it's the fact that the camera is so far away and I can't see the intricate movements.
    • Re: Unmata Pony Play

      Mon, April 9, 2007 - 11:15 AM
      Found a better version online here: video.google.com.au/videoplay
      • Re: Unmata Pony Play

        Mon, April 9, 2007 - 11:43 AM
        It was really over 12 minutes? Huh.

        Watching the whole thing, I actually think it went on a little long, especially with the drawn out owner/horse thing in the middle.
      • Re: Unmata Pony Play

        Thu, April 12, 2007 - 5:00 AM
        Thank you for sharing that link.. It made it a lot more easy to see what was going on, the variations in choreography and also some of the other links to not-so-BDSM Pony Play, like the relationship between young girls and horses (which, although I can observe, I NEVER understood as a child... sure I quite liked the few occasions I have been horse riding but I never wanted a pony!)

        Also being able to show the choreography using The Handlers as well as The Ponies was pretty darn intricate. Whether it was "bellydance" or not is not an argument I care to get into. Although some of the best dancers (not all BDers I might add) say that Dance today is the post-modern "bastardisation" of every other danceform - you can only do so much with the human body. "purists" need to re-evaluate what they class as "pure".
  • Re: Unmata Pony Play

    Mon, April 9, 2007 - 11:51 AM
    I've seen this vid before and I've seen several Unmata videos on google and youtube. I really enjoy Unmata and feel they are immensely talented and dedicated dancers. Up until I saw "Pony Play" I would have said belly dancers because everything else I saw was firmly in the realm of belly dance including the tribal fusion (IMNO). With Pony Play they have obviously stepped outside belly dance and, I suspect ,not for the first time. These women are a very talented dance troupe and I enjoy every thing I've seen. Until now...

    I agree with the other post about the "women on leads" thing. I know that many folks are into 'pony play' and bondage and blahblahblah. Good for them all, have fun and play safely. I do not like any depiction of anybody being collared, leashed and led around. It brings on images of slavery and forced captivity which are major problems in the world with women and children (boys and girls) even toddlers being held captive in order to be sold into bonded servitude to somebody elses needs and desires. So, I choose to find any display that publicly promotes such behaviours, or appears to condone them, to be in bad taste. My opinion, whether you like it or not.

    I still think that Unmata is a talented group of dancers but I feel they've stepped over a line that I personally don't like to see crossed. Even if they did it in a display of creativity and talent.
  • Re: Unmata Pony Play

    Mon, April 9, 2007 - 12:26 PM
    Creative, yes. Good choreogrpahy, yup. Good use of space, check. Costuming fits the theme and mood. Overall, the theme is effective, clear, and well addressed. Is it art? I think so. Did it require a lot of time, dedication, and talent? Yup. Is it different - heck yeah.

    I have seen a few vids of unmata, and everytime I impressed with how they effectively use simple movements to very dramatic effect in a group. They always have fantastic ways of changing places, and travelling over the stage.

    Is it bellydance, or should it fall under the hood of bellydance? I dont think so. I really really dont. Not even kind of. Its so far away from it that in my opinion, it doesnt even fall under experimental bellydance. And if it did, it would be bizarely reinforcing harem fantasy.

    I hesitate to call it good. Although it is a good performance, definitely art, clever, thought provoking, playfull and cute at times, I dont think it reflects well on bellydance, because I dont think it is bellydance - and being a dancer working hard to clarify what bellydance is (and why it deserves respect) to the general public, this is somewhat hurtful to my agenda, and the agenda of dancers everywhere. Being a woman, who takes pride in being strong and not submissive, it rubs me the wrong way there too, even if it is tongue and cheek. I dont like the idea of women with bits in their mouths.
    • Re: Unmata Pony Play

      Mon, April 9, 2007 - 3:14 PM
      Well let me start by saying that Unmata is probably my favorite troupe and I've been known to drop in for some classes when i go home to visit the family.

      On their business cards, they bill themselves as "extreme bellydance." I'll agree, and I was just saying this last week, that they've pushed the envelope beyond "bellydance" and onto what I would consider modern dance/performance art, which is well based in bellydance. They can do an awesome ATS set, but it's often to very non-traditional music, and even their tamer fusion stuff is more in the realm of avant garde modern dance now. I love that they fuse SO many elements into their style and take risks like this.

      Amy told me about this as a work in progress a few months ago and I'll admit I had no idea what pony play even was! So the whole fetish thing isn't really my thing as a lifestyle, but to use something edgy like that in an artistic endeavor is inspiring, I think. It's not their best dancing I've seen, but artistically, I think it's pretty cool. As for the "slavery" aspect, I might feel different if there were men leading women around by bridles, but there weren't. I just didn't see it as a demeaning thing personally.
      • Re: Unmata Pony Play

        Mon, April 9, 2007 - 4:33 PM
        Just to clarify something... many of the people at the head of the sex trade, slavery, child slavery and other related trades are women. I really don't care whose in control of the slave whether it's a man, woman, unick, whatever... slavery and forced confinement and bondage of the unwilling is wrong in my opinion.
        • Re: Unmata Pony Play

          Mon, April 9, 2007 - 5:05 PM
          I don't want to start a whole bondage thread because I'm totally ignorant in the subject & I don't think it's the point, but I would assume that the "ponies" who take part in real pony play are willing participants. I'm not denying that there are plenty of people forced, enslaved, etc completely against their will, but I don't think this dance was meant to celebrate that in any way.
          • Re: Unmata Pony Play

            Mon, April 9, 2007 - 6:09 PM
            very very good point.....haven't you ever as a little girl preteneded to be a pony? and now it's a grown up version...just because Unmata doesn't stick to the stric guidelines of bellydancing doesn't mean that they aren't talented and some of the most kind women you will ever meet....I'll admit when I first saw it I was a little thrown back..but the artistic value of it is huge....you gotta have respect for that...at least they aren't horribly scantly clad like many of the huge dancers out there...and to be able to work with so many elements of dance! damn! rather see them than someone in fish nets with nothing on underneath :)
            • Re: Unmata Pony Play

              Mon, April 9, 2007 - 9:31 PM
              No one here has said that these women are not talented and creative, and no one has said that they aren't nice people. What has been said is that this performance is not belly dance. It's not "extreme" belly dance either (that name calls to mind an old turn of the century video of a dancer who picked up a table in her teeth and spun around).

              Call it Dance Theatre, Experimental Dance, Interpretive Dance, Equine Fusion, whatever, but to call it belly dance is incorrect, and does a disservice to both belly dancers and to experimental dancers.

              As an aside - call me old-fashioned, but I rather like being an "in the box" dancer. What's wrong with the box? I like the box. There's a lot of cool stuff in the box. Seems to me like there is a crop new dancers who are high-tailing it out of the box before they really even begin to understand what's in it.
            • Unsu...
               

              Re: Unmata Pony Play

              Tue, April 10, 2007 - 3:29 PM
              omg that is so true. I can't count the number of times I wished I could morph into a horse/pony when I was little. I also draw horses, watch movies with horses, ride horses, appreciate many things horse... is it bellydance? Ida know! I was more thinking Is it a Performance of intent and quality. I got the whole horse/owner thing right away and I did see some obvious bellydancing moves. It kind of fell flat for me in that I was hoping for more 'levels' in the dance. It seems repetitive. but that's just me <><
              ;-)
          • Re: Unmata Pony Play

            Tue, April 10, 2007 - 5:48 AM
            Actual 'pony play' is a type of BDSM role play thing. People enjoy it for all different reasons i should imagine, as with all types of fetish. And as with all of them, it relies on total trust, cooperation and mutual respect for each other.

            x
            • Re: Unmata Pony Play

              Wed, April 11, 2007 - 10:46 AM
              After having watched it, how can they call it bellydance? There was no belly dance movements. You could call it burlesque or dance theater. It was interesting for sure but nothing said bellydance to me.

              I'm with Tamra Henna. Everyone is so concerned with getting outside of the box do they even know what the box is? There are wonderful things inside the box. Wonderful things that evolved over thousands of years and much trial and tribulation.

              I am completely okay with people pushing themselves as artists but they need to know the fundamentals first and know what the art truly is before pushing the envelope. You have to know the rules before you can break them.
              • Re: Unmata Pony Play

                Wed, April 11, 2007 - 11:04 AM
                Despite the fact that this performance was really not bellydance, all of the girls in Unmata are very well-trained in bellydance of various genres, so it's not that they don't know how to do it. You might not have been suggesting that about Unmata specifically, but I just wanted to get that out there. I totally agree that a person should be well-trained in the fundamentals before trying to branch out into experimental styles.

                Here are some of their more conservative performances.
                youtube.com/watch
                youtube.com/watch
                • Re: Unmata Pony Play

                  Wed, April 11, 2007 - 12:57 PM
                  Actually, my personal issue is not with Unmata specifically or even with this performance, but with the relatively recent phenomenon of dancers (well-trained in belly dance or not) who dislike the restrictions of the genre, and yet insist on continuing to use the label.

                  There are several "alternative belly dance" or "extreme belly dance" or "avante garde belly dance" performers and troupes out there. In some cases they've gone so far beyond the belly dance genre that placing their performances under the title "belly dance" is frankly disingenuous. I wonder why more of these experimental troupes don't just use the term "Dance Theatre" and be done with it, but it seems like they are desperate to hold onto the title of "belly dancer" for some reason even if their representation is no longer identifiable as belly dance.

                  Why call oneself "belly dance' anything if one feels that the traditional genre is too restrictive to one's creativity and artistic vision? Can anyone offer some insight?
                  • This is the maximum depth. Additional responses will not be threaded.

                    Re: Unmata Pony Play

                    Wed, April 11, 2007 - 6:24 PM
                    Seems to be a HOT topic

                    Seems, in answer to one question asked somewhere in this discussion, that the event at which this dance was performed was not publisized as a bellydance event.

                    See related discussion on Ultra Gypsie Tribe
                    ultragypsy.tribe.net/thread/...88b1f345
                    • Re: Unmata Pony Play

                      Wed, April 11, 2007 - 7:21 PM
                      It does seem like it was marketed as a belly dance event, even if it was implicit rather than explicit.

                      For example, if an event was promoted as "the ultimate heavy metal after party has a new name" with the debut of new music by Metallica, Rob Zombie, Korn, and Marilyn Manson....you could see where people would be confused if when they arrived the performances consisted of chamber music or new age jazz.

                      I still think this was a great venue for these alternative dance performances, but I disagree that it was not publicized as a belly dance event.

                      From what I have seen of the videos it was a night full of great performances - wish I could have seen it in person! :)
                      • Re: Unmata Pony Play

                        Sun, April 15, 2007 - 4:16 PM
                        I went to the Neauveau Nights website and the performance was actually advertised as Unmata's 'Provocative New Production' and was clearly described as their 'equine fetish piece'...so, I don't think it was cleverly hidden behind some deceptive veil of traditional bellydance ;)
                        And if you look at the rest of the performers/performances, you can see that there's definitely an alternative theme going on...
                        Also, I just saw Ultra Gypsy's performance at NN on YouTube as well and that was pretty alternative to the 'norm' of bellydance, yes??

                        There are ALOT of threads along these lines... especially right now... and I posted something like this on the Hands Of Kali tribe... They have been accused of being too alternative, too sexual, too controversial... So, this reminded me of that...

                        I am often confronted with the conflict/battle/issue of defining bellydance... My bellydance, your bellydance, traditional vs. contemporary... In the box, out of the box...
                        Off to the side, with one foot in the box.... ;)

                        Perhaps this particular performance wasn't exactly bellydance... that may be up to our own individual interpretations, but that's okay... I don't think I'd call it bellydance...
                        However, we need to be clear on one thing: they are artists and deserve respect! I don't think anyone on here (so far) has been terribly disrespectful, but sometimes we get too caught up in the black & white of things and lose sight of the fact that these are the amazing, creative, artistic endeavors of our fellow dancers and artists and we can get alittle too judgemental...
                        Maybe it's not your cuppa... that's fine... but maybe we lose the point in the exclusivity...
                        Just show tha love, guys!
                  • This is the maximum depth. Additional responses will not be threaded.

                    Re: Unmata Pony Play

                    Fri, April 13, 2007 - 2:04 PM
                    There is a similar discussion going on in the Ultra Gypsy tribe: ultragypsy.tribe.net/thread/...88b1f345

                    Tamra Henna,

                    I think your comment: " I wonder why more of these experimental troupes don't just use the term "Dance Theatre" and be done with it, but it seems like they are desperate to hold onto the title of "belly dancer" for some reason even if their representation is no longer identifiable as belly dance." would be very appropriate there.

                  • This is the maximum depth. Additional responses will not be threaded.

                    Re: Unmata Pony Play

                    Fri, April 13, 2007 - 5:09 PM
                    (Why call oneself "belly dance' anything if one feels that the traditional genre is too restrictive to one's creativity and artistic vision? Can anyone offer some insight? )

                    Most who know me , know how I feel about this subject . I think it is like politics some are republican some are democrat or green or independent , but what they will all agree on is they all like politics .

                    So my point is belly dance is the bigger club with lots of smaller clicks , but we all like the shimmy and hip drop or undulation the foundation moves that make up this dance . And that in the end is what brings us all together at events with the name belly dance . If they do not hold on to the name it then excludes them from the bigger club .

                    Independent voter freethinker . Belly dancer with friends in all belly dance styles that I would not have met had they not called themselves belly dancers .
                    • Re: Unmata Pony Play

                      Sun, April 15, 2007 - 9:56 PM
                      love your comment, Zahara. Soooo true about us all being under the "belly dance" umbrella, which is an American English term in the first place. Belly dance is innately very personal and is thus somewhat defined by the individual - so much like everything else in this country. I don't see the possibility of there ever really being a solid definition of the term.
  • Re: Unmata Pony Play

    Wed, April 11, 2007 - 8:08 PM
    I waited to watch this as I saw the thread grow.

    Good, yes, and very well executed. A nice, theatrical dance piece well suited to an adult-oriented audience. Very artistic and risque without being obscene. It looked like a fun piece...but not bellydance. A few hip movements, chest drops, and undulations thrown into a dance does not make it bellydance--not even just pushing the envelope bellydance.
    • Re: Unmata Pony Play

      Wed, April 11, 2007 - 11:15 PM
      I thought it was a very interesting routine. Anybody who can manage to throw in what looks like drill team steps and formations, hip hop, clogging and bits of bellydance...my hats of to you. Not a routine I would be interested in doing due to theme, but well done girls.
    • Re: Unmata Pony Play

      Thu, April 12, 2007 - 2:36 AM
      Hmmm... I'm surprised we all can't agree that UNMATA are, for one, *trained* belly dancers. (They kick my ass when it comes to intricate layering.) And two, they put on an event that was NOT strictly "raqs sharqi" belly dance, but WAS alternative/tribal/fusion/theatre/free belly dance. UNMATA was *one* act in this extremely diverse array of belly dance-esque performances. Every dancer on that stage was a belly dancer whether they were "belly dancing" by one's definition or not. What the performers chose to do that night may not have been, in it's entirety, a "belly dance" performance, however, it was not an expectation of the audience to only see "belly dance" as it is strictly defined. I know it's easy to get really stuck on "what is and what isn't belly dance," but every one who was watching knew just what they were in for. This was not a repeat of Kaya and Sadie at Rakkasah because Rakkasah was not the appropriate venue for that type of performance. However, they, we, you and I have the freedom to do what we please with our dance (our bodies). It's the venue, really, that has people concerned. I think you had to be there to really understand what was going on. It was an event for ALL types of belly dancers. And all the performers were invited to share their interpretation of the dance. No limits. No rules. And that, really, should be okay with everyone. We do live in the US of A, don't we?
      • Re: Unmata Pony Play

        Thu, April 12, 2007 - 4:44 AM
        Sure, THEY may be belly dancers (I don't think anyone's disputed that), and maybe every dancer in the show was a belly dancer. I won't disagree with that. It still wasn't a bellydance performance. They stepped out of the box and performed a different genre than the one they're trained to do, and they added a *very* few belly dance moves in. That's all fine and good. All dancers are free to express what their bodies call them to do in their dance (in the appropriate venue, as this one apparently was), but if it ain't a belly dancer performance, it ain't a belly dance performance. Sticking the belly dance name on a performance doesn't make it one. Just being a belly dancer most of the time doesn't make it one. Actually belly dancing at least a significant portion of the performance (not a random move here and there) does.

        Do want your heart and soul leads you to. Test the bounds of your own creativity. Let your imagination have free reign and have FUN with it...but call it what it is, and don't call it what it isn't. Otherwise, you're misrepresenting yourself to your potential audience, and in an age where your potential audience extends beyond the theatre and onto the internet, just being appropriate to the venue doesn't help if you don't explain the context of the performance to your internet audience (i.e.: "This piece was presented at a show done by belly dancers, but some pieces [such as this one] were not of the belly dance genre. Here Unmata performs a representation of blah, blah, blah").
        • Re: Unmata Pony Play

          Thu, April 12, 2007 - 6:22 AM
          I am not disputing the fact either that they are obvioulsy trained bellydancers. I have seen their other performances and they are all obviously very well trained and understand the movements. I also have to appluad that this performance was done in an appropriate venue. Its funny because the first thing I thought was "at least they didn't pull a Kaya and Sadie"! So much applause to them for knowning their audience. A mark of true professionalism.

          It's the fact that everyone has to travel so far outside the box and host these events as even bellydance-esque. It's not bellydance. It's burlesque. I think it's aggravting because in the Middle East where this dance orginiates these women are viewed as 'impure'. To be a dancer in a country like Egypt is to run the risk of being a shame on your family. I know many Egyptain families that are more than willing to invite me into their homes but ask that I tell no one I am a belly dancer.

          Then events like these are hosted and although its in the US it seems to have a blantant disregard for the true origins of the dance and perpuatates the myths that Americans have about bellydance.
          • Re: Unmata Pony Play

            Fri, April 13, 2007 - 12:51 PM
            OK.... so where and when did *UNMATA* claim/say/state that "Pony Play" was/is a belly dance performance? Did someone ELSE state that? Who are we holding responsible? Apparently that is the issue. My original point was that they were performing among a wide array of belly dance-esque (meaning, everything that can possibly fit within the widest boundaries of belly dancing, ie. tribal, fusion, experimental, theatre, etc - all using belly dance movement) bits that night. The show itself was *for* a belly dance-esque audience and was in an appropriate venue (which, it seems, we agree upon).

            But, who proclaimed, ever, that UNMATA's performance was a "belly dance" performance? I'm confused.
            • Re: Unmata Pony Play

              Fri, April 13, 2007 - 1:08 PM
              Whoever posted the vid did. They put it in the tags for the video.

              Tribal Fusion Bellydance
              • Re: Unmata Pony Play

                Fri, April 13, 2007 - 1:37 PM
                On Unmata's own web site it says Professional bellydance fusion troupe and art bound circle of friends based in Sacramento, CA.
                • Re: Unmata Pony Play

                  Sun, April 15, 2007 - 1:34 PM
                  Ahhh.... the video is labeled "belly dance." I didn't realize. Ironically, UNMATA never called "Pony Play" belly dance.

                  In response to Kath: Yes, on their website they label themselves "belly dance fusion," "extreme belly dance," and "tough-love belly dance," but this is in reference to their most popular work which is all of these things, IMO, not "Pony Play."
      • Re: Unmata Pony Play

        Thu, April 12, 2007 - 10:26 AM
        I guess that is what it comes down too, taking things out of context.
        And no not everyone lives in the USA.
        Freedom, yes. Good taste, i guess i find that questionable.
        • Re: Unmata Pony Play

          Fri, April 13, 2007 - 11:34 AM
          Wow....

          well, first off, i was not crazy about the theme, but I did think the choreography was good. I didn't really feel it was belly dance either- I would probably call it performance art. On the one hand, I wonder if us watching on youtube and google over the internet would have taken it differently in context of the venue; other performances, etc....but still......I am a bellydancer. I am a gymnast. But, If I'm performing gymnastics in front of all of you, can you call it bellydance? no. I think that's what it is basically, some bellydancers doing performace art, or dance theatre or whatever. But if you look at from Unmata's standpoint.....Maybe they just wanted to try something different, and apparently they picked the right venue for that...and from what i've heard most of the people actually there seemed to love it. I don't think they would have done it at most other venues, say tribalfest or anything like that. From a business standpoint, Unmata is known as a bellydance troupe, so I can see why they would want to tag it that way....everyone in that area knows them as that. Personally, I didn't like it....maybe they should have called it "extreme performance fusion bellydance," lol. would that have been easier to swallow? I did like the outfits- at least the bras.....does anyone know where they came from? They look to me like the totem bras from synari www.synaridesigns.com. Those were cool, I have to say.
  • Re: Unmata Pony Play

    Fri, April 13, 2007 - 12:12 PM
    I think that conceptually, this is interesting, but as a performance piece, is overly long and frankly, gets boring after about two minutes. I've been blown away by almost everything I've seen by Unmata. This piece isn't up to their usual standards. Their choreography isn't nearly as tight as it usually is. Maybe they were having an off night.

    That being said, I'm betting they can work something much more interesting out of this basic idea.
    • Re: Unmata Pony Play

      Fri, April 13, 2007 - 1:59 PM
      This version of the performance is much more up-close and personal. You might get the vibe a little better:

      video.google.com/videoplay
      • Re: Unmata Pony Play

        Fri, April 13, 2007 - 2:00 PM
        ... and remember, they're on demi-point the entire time. ---No heels on the boots.
        • Re: Unmata Pony Play

          Sun, April 15, 2007 - 1:53 PM
          This 'labelling' thing is getting out of control.
          So they call themselves bellydancers- they are.
          That piece may not have been 'belly dance', that doesn't make them 'not bellydancers'.
          They didn't CALL it anything at the show, except Unmata. So, what is the issue here? The audience understood it, and they were one of the best-loved numbers of both nights- I enjoyed watching it twice.
          So you don't like it, or it's not your cuppa tea. But why, oh WHY won't this categorizing issue just die already!
          • Re: Unmata Pony Play

            Sun, April 15, 2007 - 2:13 PM
            Oh, and knowing nothing about the BDSM 'Pony Play' stuff that already exists, I totally thought it was based on the real showponies that you seen in rodeos.

            Their moves, movement around the stage, all of it reminded me of real horses. I thought, "Now where the heck did they come up with that?" Talk about being creative! They totally were thinking outside the box. But it wasn't degrading or demeaning- and since everything is better live, you might not quite 'get' it just by the video alone. I don't think the video quite captures every nuance about the piece. Notice that most people who are defending it are people who saw it live. That also shows how they were gearing toward an appropriate audience.
            • Re: Unmata Pony Play

              Sun, April 15, 2007 - 2:45 PM
              So Erin should i say it again?
              I guess that is what it comes down too, taking things out of context.
              I have never seen videos of any other Unmata preformances before so what i am to think?
              And haveing never been to that show who could i know it was an appropriate venue?
              Agree or not, it sure did generate alot of conversation about it.
              Somethings i think "we" shoud just agree to disagree and get on with life.
          • Re: Unmata Pony Play

            Sun, April 15, 2007 - 2:47 PM
            I have no issue with them calling themselves bellydancers, but whoever posted the vid should not have labelled it bellydance, and I don't think anyone here said *they* weren't bellydancers. You're putting words in our mouths. Saying "that's not bellydance" is *not* the same as saying "they're not bellydancers". I believe we've all referred to the piece itself. It's not bellydance, and shouldn't be labelled as such. It's misleading. It's misleading to a potential audience who, thinking this *might* be their usual fare, may pass on them as a troupe. It's misleading to those looking to learn what bellydance is and getting something that makes it look like something totally different. And since pieces that aren't bellydance yet are labelled as such--like it or not--reflect on us all, you're not likely to see the issue die.
            • Re: Unmata Pony Play

              Sun, April 15, 2007 - 7:22 PM
              Well, in response to KathleenA, you can tell it's an appropriate venue when you hear the crowd's response. And it's not Unmata's responsibility to make sure you've seen them belly dance before you see the pony play clip. Now you know- they are based in belly dance, and that's mostly what they do.

              And Diana: in the clip that Dahlia posted, "belly dance" wasn't mentioned anywhere. Ok, so someone posted a clip on youtube that had the word "bellydance" somewhere in it. Let's beat the poster up with a wet noodle and get on with our lives. Is it really so necessary to get all worked up because the word belly dance was mentioned ONCE, because they are belly dancers, and they did use some belly dance moves?

              "I don't think anyone here said *they* weren't bellydancers."

              Somebody mentioned that their website says they do belly dance, then said "This video is not belly dance", implying that their website is misleading. That's what I was referring to.

              Unmata aside, this labeling thing is getting so out of control, with people nitpicking over one word on one site and debating the issue until the (ahem) dead horse we're beating is dust and bones. I could understand a valid debate if Unmata was proclaiming to the world "Look at our new belly dance piece! And come see us debut this at the local Moroccan restaurant!" They're not doing that.
              • Re: Unmata Pony Play

                Sun, April 15, 2007 - 7:33 PM
                I went to the Neauveau Nights website and the performance was actually advertised as Unmata's 'Provocative New Production' and was clearly described as their 'equine fetish piece'...so, I don't think it was cleverly hidden behind some deceptive veil of traditional bellydance ;)
                And if you look at the rest of the performers/performances, you can see that there's definitely an alternative theme going on...
                Also, I just saw Ultra Gypsy's performance at NN on YouTube as well and that was pretty alternative to the 'norm' of bellydance, yes??

                There are ALOT of threads along these lines... especially right now... and I posted something like this on the Hands Of Kali tribe... They have been accused of being too alternative, too sexual, too controversial... So, this reminded me of that...

                I am often confronted with the conflict/battle/issue of defining bellydance... My bellydance, your bellydance, traditional vs. contemporary... In the box, out of the box...
                Off to the side, with one foot in the box.... ;)

                Perhaps this particular performance wasn't exactly bellydance... that may be up to our own individual interpretations, but that's okay... I don't think I'd call it bellydance...
                However, we need to be clear on one thing: they are artists and deserve respect! I don't think anyone on here (so far) has been terribly disrespectful, but sometimes we get too caught up in the black & white of things and lose sight of the fact that these are the amazing, creative, artistic endeavors of our fellow dancers and artists and we can get alittle too judgemental...
                Maybe it's not your cuppa... that's fine... but maybe we lose the point in the exclusivity...
                Just show tha love, guys!
  • Unsu...
     

    Re: Unmata Pony Play

    Thu, July 23, 2009 - 6:33 PM
    This is so not an expression of true female empowerment to me. It's like when the Spice Girls co-opted "girl power"...pretty soon everyone (including women) bought back into the idea of shaven, submissive, obsessed with looks female imagery. And of course being a stripper makes you "a liberated woman" now. I know Unmata is talented and creative, but who cares if this is the kind of thing that comes from that? Now this Rodeo? I don't even agree with bridling the poor horses (beasts of burden) what's with doing it to women too? And it's not "fun and games" it's serious sh*t. Wake up to the reality of the world--and don't tell me it's MY reality. Again, know the rules before you break them. It's like using the N word in a casual way. It's not funny yet!!! Tits and ass is still not funny yet. Maybe it's a game for rich girls?

Recent topics in "Belly Dance Video Clips"

Topic Author Replies Last Post
night club for fun Unsubscribed 0 August 14, 2014
drum solos please ~:Samira:~ 25 December 9, 2012
A Tribal Video Mini-Class Dano 12 October 9, 2012
Sydney Middle Eastern Dance Festival 2012 Ignatius 0 May 11, 2012