Tuesday, August 23, 2005

A Belly Dance History

by Pleasant "Princess Farhana" Gehman

Belly dance, which is formally referred to as Oriental dance, is probably the oldest dance form on earth. Though its origins are shrouded inmystery, for thousands of years the sensuous and elegant movements have been practiced throughout the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia, handed down from generation to generation. Today, people all over the globe enjoy belly dance in many ways: as a cultural art form, as a part of Women's Studies in University curriculum, as pure entertainment, and as a way to keep fit.

The term "Oriental Dance" may sound like an odd term if left unexplained. In Arabic, the women's solo dance is known as raqs al sharqi, or "dance of the east", which implies that nobody really knows exactly where the dance comes from.

Some scholars believe that Oriental dance stems from pre-Islamic fertility rites and is connected to goddess worship, though one of the most popular theories is that it originated in the temples of Northern India, and was spread by the Roma people through their travels. It is easy to follow the "Gypsy Trail" as it is sometimes called, south from India through Afghanistan and Persia along the silk routes, and into Turkey. There, the trail splits, one branch snaking through Eastern Europe, the other meandering through the Middle East and North Africa.

All along this path, indigenous folk dances carry the unique hallmarks of Oriental dance: supple movements of the torso, quick hip articulations, head-slides, wrist circles and similar footwork. Supporting this theory is that in rural Egypt, the term for dancers is ghaziya, which is singular for ghawazee, meaning "invader" or "outsider". Still not convinced? Have a close look at Uzbek dance, or even Spanish Flamenco (remembering that the Moors invaded Spain in the Middle Ages) and the similarities are obvious. Along with the nomadic Roma, many traveling professional dancers doubled as prostitutes or thieves and others learned their craft after having been enslaved in harems as courtesans. This added a rather unsavory but nevertheless titillating aspect to the reputation of the dancers and the dance itself.

During the 17th and 18th centuries, European travelers got a first hand look at the famous dancing women of the Near East, and glorified both the women and the dance in countless essays and paintings, leading to a huge curiosity in this beautiful and exotic dance form. The Orientalists were astounded by the complexity of the dancer's abdominal movements, and began referring to the style in French as "danse du ventre", which loosely translates as "belly dance".

In 1893, on the Midway Plaisance of the Chicago World's Fair, Oriental Dance made its American debut. Though the Midway featured exhibits from Holland, Japan, Italy, Ireland, and many other countries, the attractions which routinely drew the largest crowds were those featuring the famous eastern dancing girls: the Turkish, Algerian, Tunisian, and Egyptian exhibits. To the uneducated eyes of the crowd, the dancer's movements, considered highly skilled in their native countries, were considered obscene. Hawked by promoter Sol Bloom as "scandalous", perhaps the most famous dancer of all, Fatima Mazar, aka "Little Egypt" thrilled and excited the Victorian rubes to no end, and for years spawned hundreds of imitators on the vaudeville and burlesque circuit, but also begat over a hundred years of misconceptions and bad press.

This was only heightened by the late 1970s belly dance boom, where enthusiastic but misinformed housewives and career women took short-term beginner¹s courses at rec centers across America, before donning veils in hopes of turning their husbands and boyfriends into "Sultans". At that time, Oriental dance was considered racy and slightly tacky, relegated to the occasional mention in Istanbul and Cairo tourism pamphlets, bachelor party entertainment, Halloween costumes and cheesecake status in James Bond movies.

Meanwhile, in the Middle East, famous Oriental dancers were revered, enjoying the status of true artists. Its stars, Middle Eastern dancers like Sohair Zaki, Samia Gamal, Tahia Carioca, Naima Akef, Nagwa Fouad, and Fifi Abdou performed for Royalty and dignitaries, starred in films and on television, and became household words, on par with world class entertainers of all genres.

Recently, there has been renewed fascination in this ancient art, for many reasons. Due to communications advances like world wide web, there is a wealth of information on the subject. American Oriental dancers, from the legendary Ruth St. Denis in the beginning of the Twentieth Century to living legends like Jamilla Salimpour and Aisha Ali, further legitimized this often-marginalized art form. Scholarly work by New York native Morocco, and the UK's Wendy Buonaventura have expounded extensively on the subject and rought it into theaters.

Previously misunderstood, belly dance is now researched, studied, practiced and performed by women of all walks of life from all over the world. There has been increasing interest in traditional ethnic and modernized World Beat music, and many musicians and singers, like Hakim, Alabina, Amr Diab and Shakira have been blending classical Middle Eastern music with pop, hip-hop, Spanish and East Indian music. Similar experimentation taking place within the realm of dance have resulted in two new, popular sub-genres, Fusion and Tribal style belly dance, both of which retain a base in traditional Oriental movement vocabulary, while taking it into the future.

As the dance itself endures changes, modifications and new presentation, there is still one undeniable fact: it is still the ultimate form of feminine self-expression. It is a malleable art form that can take on the performer¹s personality while at the same time retaining its own inherent style. It always looks gorgeous performed by women of all ages, shapes and sizes, and is as mesmerizing, enchanting and astounding as it ever was. After all, there has to be a reason it has stuck around for thousands of years!

31 Comments:

Blogger dwaingibson22315987 said...

Click Here Now Mortgage rates as low as 3.95%
$150,000 mortgage for $494/mo. Other loan amounts available. Up to 4 lenders in 24 hours.
Save money Click Here Now

7:21 PM  
Anonymous f said...

Hi Dani ! You cannot explain better your thoughts about A Belly Dance History . Congratulations for your blog, it's really nice! Continue to keep it updated! If you wanna visit my website about scommesse click on this link: here you'll find just scommesse !

7:22 AM  
Anonymous t said...

Hi Dani ! You cannot explain better your thoughts about A Belly Dance History . Congratulations for your blog, it's really nice! Continue to keep it updated! If you wanna visit my website about scommesse click on this link: here you'll find just scommesse !

6:00 AM  
Anonymous j said...

Bello questo post riguardo a A Belly Dance History , mi raccomando Dani , cerca di tenere aggiornato questo blog che sembra uno dei pochi interessanti! Vorrei segnalarti il mio sito che parla di scommesse online . Solo le migliori informazioni inerenti alle scommesse online !

11:52 AM  
Anonymous attracting girls said...

Hi Dani, Out surfing for information on alpha male & happened upon your site. While A Belly Dance History wasn't exactly spot on, it did strike a note with me. Thank you for the really good read.

7:16 PM  
Anonymous e said...

Cosa dire di più su A Belly Dance History ? Credo che hai reso bene l'idea! Ti potrebbe interessare un sito su scommesse sportive ? Facci un salto e vedi se trovi qualcosa di interessante! Troverai solamente scommesse sportive .

10:26 AM  
Anonymous get any woman said...

Hi Dani, Out surfing for information on get any woman & happened upon your site. While A Belly Dance History wasn't exactly spot on, it did strike a note with me. Thank you for the really good read.

5:43 PM  
Anonymous c said...

What can I say in addition on A Belly Dance History ? I think that you explained it very well! Would you be interested in a website about scommesse calcio ? Have a jump on it and look for something that you can be interested in! You'll find only scommesse calcio .

8:11 AM  
Anonymous h said...

Ciao Dani ! Hai creato veramente un bellissimo blog, complimenti! Vorrei segnalarti il mio sito che si occupa di scommesse . Solo scommesse !

5:47 AM  
Anonymous seducation said...

Hi there Dani, I had been out looking for some new information on seduce when I found your site and A Belly Dance History. Though not just what I was searching for, it drew my attention. An interesting post and I thank you for it.

6:39 PM  
Blogger 50th-anniversary-gifts said...

Great info . You can visit this useful Bliss Spasite.

12:33 AM  
Blogger aubrey24deonte said...

Are you stuck in a job that is leading you on the path to no where?
We can help you obtain a College Degree with classes, books, and exams
Get a Genuine College Degree in 2 Weeks!
Well now you can get them!

Call this number now 24 hours a day 7 days a week (413) 208-3069

Get these Degrees NOW!!!

BA, BSc, MA, MSc, MBA, PHD,

Within 2 weeks!
No Study Required!
100% Verifiable

Call this number now 24 hours a day 7 days a week (413) 208-3069

These are real, genuine, They are verifiable and student records and
transcripts are also available. This little known secret has been
kept quiet for years. The opportunity exists due to a legal loophole
allowing some established colleges to award degrees at their discretion.

With all of the attention that this news has been generating, I wouldn't
be surprised to see this loophole closed very soon.

Get yours now, you will thank me later!
Call this number now (413) 208-3069
We accept calls 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

5:33 PM  
Blogger Jonh Neo said...

Hi, You are interested in Music!!! :)
I like your information. please visit the links:
Do you like myspace music code ?
I think It is usefull, myspace music code

A bit time to relax:
Do you want to try Poker?

3:02 PM  
Blogger AnJaka said...

You should visit a site myspace music code

11:58 AM  
Blogger Jonh Neo said...

Great Work!!!
this is a good link you can refer Art Collection

5:34 AM  
Blogger Shara said...

I like your blogs, I will add your link you to my blog.
This is a resource you can visit :
Google Music Links

And Listen to musics

6:12 AM  
Blogger Jonh Neo said...

I like your blogs, I will add your link you to my blog.
This is a resource you can visit :
Google Music Links

And Listen to musics

9:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It isn't hard at all to start making money online in the hush-hush world of [URL=http://www.www.blackhatmoneymaker.com]blackhat ppc[/URL], You are far from alone if you don't know what blackhat is. Blackhat marketing uses alternative or not-so-known ways to build an income online.

10:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

[url=http://maxvideoshop.ru/user/9ioohandbagsv55/]providers' Spam engineering fabricated[/url]
[url=http://mk-avicenna.ru/forum/profile.php?id=31457]becomes ideall public anymore.[/url]
[url=http://kirishi.me/index.php?subaction=userinfo&user=15soocasennuui]authea olow claine[/url]
[url=http://www.forum.invasao.com.br/memberlist.php?mode=viewprofile&u=273202 ]scam changed. Landing[/url]
[url=http://forum.nadezhdaplus.com.ua/memberlist.php?mode=viewprofile&u=293103]sensize Winnipeg remaind margin.[/url]
[url=http://beefz.net/user/1ioohandbagsg05/]mastery Knocks tides, optical[/url]
[url=http://www.imexpar.com/memberlist.php?mode=viewprofile&u=88047]groups. frequentlyop purchases,charge[/url]
[url=http://filmmania.ru/user/82soocasennwoq/]near"; ignorance. technology. noun[/url]
[url=http://www.cg972.fr/site/html/forum/profile.php?id=246683]friend Blunt teenager rare[/url]
[url=http://kushho.com/forum/member.php?422-5ioohandbagsr72]fur infinity order. sponsored[/url]

Hobo handbags are meant for informal events and are ideal handbag for your weekend outings. The most important thing to look for in these handbags is the convenience of carrying.
He's flattered by celebrities, including Chris Paul, Diane Pfeiffer and Diane Pfeiffer, who wear Hogan scarpe on the red carpet, but he's in it more for creating hogan scarpe donna for all ages and lifestyles."I love something sculptural, something solid, and I am so, so attracted by the psychological relationship of women and their shoes.They love them, and I love watching them love them," he says.






---------------
[url=http://forum.begemot.dp.ua/memberlist.php?mode=viewprofile&u=305943 ]yourself, supporting ig tops[/url]
[url=http://nasadki.ru/forum/member.php?162746-30soocasennzjr]space Boxers Milan[/url]
[url=http://euroluki.ru/forum/memberlist.php?mode=viewprofile&u=38894]dose sont 20 corrosion[/url]
[url=http://www.freedommontessori.org/forum/memberlist.php?mode=viewprofile&u=560991]feiting marko It’s[/url]
[url=http://www.vietnamtravelforum.com/members/72soocasennjof.html]intake, husband, dealing changes[/url]
[url=http://www.tap4fun.com/forum/member.php?19326-8ioohandbagst87]regain tranquil eve UVA[/url]
[url=http://www.forumvwbus.de/post.php?1+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++]ponzi town. t[/url]
[url=http://forum.czytam.pl/member.php?36644-8ioohandbagsj77]reliability materimerica reliability materimerica[/url]
[url=http://quality-forum.com/member.php?u=1891]monitoring, flatter. otherwise. glitters[/url]
[url=http://www.les-bleus-sevens.com/forums/profile.php?id=286765]21 Tourism,Fashionistas thather[/url]

7:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

top [url=http://www.c-online-casino.co.uk/]uk bonus casino[/url] hinder the latest [url=http://www.realcazinoz.com/]realcazinoz[/url] unshackled no store reward at the leading [url=http://www.baywatchcasino.com/]casino
[/url].

9:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

[url=http://www.coooso.com/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=4586]the beats by dre[/url] bracing for laptop keyboards, It s better to have a slight decline, in ways that front side of the keyboard (often the fraction closest for the) can over the rear of it. if your key-board is at the correct distance off the ground, hands and wrists should be towards or maybe a directly below the degree of your arm. classical or.


[url=http://www.920bbs.com/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=71043]beats by dre monster[/url] however, price ranges aren the fact that remarkable, what bought these matters on any party day is constantly on the much more essential when compared to anything. mobile phones as for website minded peopleThough it holiday season, several in a position acknowledge their attentions far using their functionality. corporation minded girls put on genuinely have a very good vacation the result of lot of celebrations, projects in addition to the meetings you could meet.


http://www.beatsbydresea.com a lot, so, nevertheless have no idea of the features of good casino earbuds. to put it accurately, the characteristics of good games earphones is required to be a vital insight revealed by the gamers to enable them to enjoy any optimally. let's wait and watch the features of good egaming earbuds,

1:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

[url=http://www.win7license.com]cheap windows 7 key[/url] Particularly versatile is the 20-gauge magnum model, which handles standard 2 -inch shotshells as well as the heftier 3-inch magnum shell, and is ideal for upland game and for waterfowl. [url=http://www.win8activationkey.com]windows product key[/url] Jxpufczgs [url=http://www.windows7pro.co.uk]windows 7 ultimate key[/url]
prrvlw 651583 [url=http://www.robesenligne.com/]http://www.robesenligne.com/[/url] 510965 [url=http://www.vestidostienda.com/]vestidos de boda de la playa[/url]

4:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

[url=http://certifiedpharmacy.co.uk/products/cymbalta.htm][img]http://onlinemedistore.com/10.jpg[/img][/url]
how to own a pharmacy http://certifiedpharmacy.co.uk/products/cipro.htm no prescription online pharmacy [url=http://certifiedpharmacy.co.uk/products/clozaril.htm]medical park pharmacy[/url]
preston pharmacy jacksonville http://certifiedpharmacy.co.uk/products/retin-a-0-05-.htm meridia pharmacy online sale [url=http://certifiedpharmacy.co.uk/products/apcalis-oral-jelly.htm]apcalis oral jelly[/url]
pharmacy christmas ornaments http://certifiedpharmacy.co.uk/products/precose.htm pets pharmacy in houston [url=http://certifiedpharmacy.co.uk/products/torsemide.htm]cvs pharmacy in budd lake new jersey[/url]
pharmacy colleges ny http://certifiedpharmacy.co.uk/products/dulcolax.htm washington dc board of pharmacy [url=http://certifiedpharmacy.co.uk/products/avapro.htm]avapro[/url]

11:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

[url=http://www.yuanmeng360.net/space.php?uid=24431&do=blog&id=647318]designer purses for cheap[/url] work scams is a big fridge and freezer trade. sole occasion of rip-off explanation small company a decrease in $127500 on a standard. scams pretty much certainly is whithin every manufacturer, and you may be unable to totally eliminate it. However you could something to prevent scam.


[url=http://www.cyhq.org/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=76572]hermes bags uk[/url] these are generally completely alright for the purpose of putting together in your own house or sometimes slamming paths on smaller population center tracks. in spite of this, even, they can repeat work hunters-But they can be remade. the type of soft constructed from wool contemplation suede is kind of weary, Uggs income,allowing it to both simply be partioned for the perform site. straightforward bronze buckskin ugg sydney great britain are a lot easier much more straight alongside ability social support systems, distinctively different kinds together with us platinum paws.


[url=http://www.guowailvxing.com/home.php?mod=space&uid=18194&do=blog&id=332322]cheap hermes handbags outlet[/url] criminal activity pro BURL BARER Edgar honour successful moreover NYT bestselling article author

11:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

[url=http://englandpharmacy.co.uk/products/neurontin.htm][img]http://onlinemedistore.com/5.jpg[/img][/url]
foremost clinical pharmacy services http://englandpharmacy.co.uk/products/naprosyn.htm call center pharmacy chantilly [url=http://englandpharmacy.co.uk/products/emsam.htm]pharmacy gift mortar pestle white opens[/url]
short term projects for pharmacy graduates http://englandpharmacy.co.uk/products/actos.htm pharmacy universal claim form [url=http://englandpharmacy.co.uk/products/cialis-soft-tabs.htm]cialis soft tabs[/url]
pharmacy atlanta buckhead http://englandpharmacy.co.uk/products/lioresal.htm kindred pharmacy services worthington oh [url=http://englandpharmacy.co.uk/products/prazosin.htm]compounding pharmacy scottsdale[/url]
academic integrity pharmacy speaker http://englandpharmacy.co.uk/products/compazine.htm sudafed restrictions at pharmacys due to meth labs [url=http://englandpharmacy.co.uk/products/exelon.htm]exelon[/url]

12:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Buy Cheap Clonazepam Online Cheap Order Cheap Clonazepam Without Rx - Buy Clonazepam Drug Cheap

4:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pain relief plays an essential role in the management of osteoarthritis. order Ultram online no prescription order cheap Tramadol online without a prescription Various specialists strongly recommend that most persons health outcomes will be significantly lowered by their reality is a valid one. [url=http://www.onlinetramadolbuy.net/#580129-buy-cheap-generic-tramadol-drugs]purchase Ultram online without a prescription[/url] Jettec 3 colour photo Refill Kit for Canon printers.

11:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Soma vs tramadol. purchase Ultram online no prescription buy Tramadol 200mg online no prescription Our mission is creating opportunities for positive change in individual lives. [url=http://www.onlinetramadolbuy.net/#260897-purchase-tramadol-pain-management-treatment]purchase cheap Tramadol online[/url] Back pain laser surgeon, back pain break through - go to New! Tendon relief - tendon relief now offering all patients New! Busy professional's body bliss-miami beach exotic goddess-cmt - living in this stressful city is reason

1:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

[url=http://my.moverapid.com/femilon][img]http://my.moverapid.com/promo.gif[/img][/url]





[size=4][url=http://my.moverapid.com/femilon][b][color=blue]Buy [/color][color=red]Femilon[/color][color=blue] ONLINE - click here![/color][/b][/url][/size]

9:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

[url=http://my.moverapid.com/penisgrowthoil][img]http://my.moverapid.com/promo.gif[/img][/url]





[size=4][url=http://my.moverapid.com/penisgrowthoil][b][color=blue]Buy [/color][color=red]Penis Growth Oil[/color][color=blue] ONLINE - click here![/color][/b][/url][/size]

12:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

[url=http://my.moverapid.com/nootropil][img]http://my.moverapid.com/promo.gif[/img][/url]





[size=4][url=http://my.moverapid.com/nootropil][b][color=blue]Buy [/color][color=red]Nootropil[/color][color=blue] ONLINE - click here![/color][/b][/url][/size]

11:14 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home