ABOUT BELLY DANCE
A Name, a Notion
"In the Middle East it is known as Raqs Sharqi - translation, "Oriental Dance." The term "Belly Dance" was coined by promoter Sol Bloom in 1893. Sol used the term as an advertising hook to draw visitors to an exhibit called "The Streets of Cairo" at the Chicago World's Fair..."
Roots of Oriental Dance
"All the women were singing softly and undulating their abdomens, then sharply pulling them in several times. The movements were much slower and stronger than what dancers call the flutter, and can be seen in some Schikhatts. They repeated the movements while..."
A Brief History
"In the transition from social dance to staged performance Raks Baladi emerged in an altered state becoming what we identify as Raks Sharki (Oriental dance). This metamorphosis most notably occurred in the 1930's at the Casino Opera in Cairo, Egypt..."
Cultural Context of Belly dance
"Belly dance" is a dance of seduction. "Belly dance" was used by concubines to win the sultans favor. "Belly dance" is the eastern equivalent of strip tease. In a word - Erroneous! Traditionally in Muslim society men and women lived in separate quarters of the house..."
Faux or For Real?
"Spend five minutes on any Belly dance forum and you will encounter an ocean of opinions on which styles are and are not real Belly dance. Moreover who, within a given style, truly embodies it or not. It can be an overwhelming topic for the new..."
"In The Movies the Bellydancer is Always the Bad Guy" part 1
"For the first time in the Festival's history a panel discussion with experts was held, which explored how oriental dance is perceived in the Middle East and what the role of Western dancers are in the development of the dance..."
"You are a Very Nice Flower but without the Smell" part 2
"Tarab is an emotional state that is created by the music, dancer's emotion's, and if there is an audience, by the audience's emotional reaction. Tarab is often described as a certain type of ecstasy, an elevated emotional condition..."
Belly Dance and Improvisation
"In the world of belly dance, perhaps more than any other dance genre, improvisation is important. Most Western dances rely on choreography, or some sort of choreographed structure, and this can be seen in every type of dance, from a staged classical..."
What is Phrasing?
"In order to fully understand the answer to the question that titles this article, we must first answer another question: what is belly dancing? There are people who have been dancing for years who are not entirely sure what they are trying to accomplish when..."
"Texture" as a Concept in Raqs El-Sharghi
"Call attention to the instrument of your choice for the audience and interpret its essence through movement, then do the same thing with another within the same measure of music. This can be done by using soft movements followed by sharp accents or vice-versa..."
A Comparison and Contrast of American and Egyptian Belly Dance
"One of the identifying elements of essence in contrasting American and Egyptian styles is that in American dance, we find an essence that is often based in intellectual foundations. This means that the dance will often be choreographed in a way that creates a feeling..."
Dance as Celebration
"My mother was one of nine children in her immigrant family. When she was alive, I asked her about the Lebanese weddings she attended while growing up. The families were all from working class neighborhoods yet the celebrations lasted several days with food and..."