The Sociohistorical Significance of Belly Dancing in Arab Culture
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The Sociohistorical Significance of
Belly Dancing in Arab Culture
Laura G.Jill S.
Belly Dancing or "Raks Sharqi” in Arabic means "The Dance Of The Orient" when translated. Frane "danse du venture".
Greece “cifte telli” (also the name of a Turkish rhythm)
Middle Easterners "danse orientale" to distinguish it from the "balady", or country, dance.
Origins of Oriental/Belly Dance
- Pagan cultures in Mesopotamia- Maternal deity- Woman’s ability to carry a child- Fertility Abdomen is where pregnancy is shown- Spread throughout Middle East by nomads
History of Cultural EntertainmentTurkey-Chengis use of finger cymbalshttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UuVAUemvJ88-Çiftetelli belly dancing influenced by traditional folkdancehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7h6Vf0F-BvQ&feature=related
Egypt-Ghawazee public dance and music performances that included belly dancing-Belly dancing ban (Cairo 1934 to 1955)
Raqs sharqi Arabic “Dance of the Orient”
In the late 1700’s France and Great Britain occupied Egypt
Young soldiers excited to be free of the rules and regulations of home life tempted dancers with money begging prostitution in the area.
Belly Dancing as Exotic Entertainment
Stories of “harem dancing” traveled to Europe, and were exaggerated tales of a forbidden room, full of food, wine and beautiful dancing women Belly dancers wear “harem pants”
Belly Dancing as Exotic EntertainmentAmericaChicago World Fair in 1893 coined the term “belly dance” from controversial dancer “Little Egypt
Growing Exposure in America:- Influx of Immigrants (Greek, Turkish, Persian)- American WWII soldiers in North Africa- Clubs, magazines, art- Broadway 1954 hit, Fanny- Form of fitness Fitness trend in the 1980’s, alternative forms of exercize (Aerobics, jazzercize, Zumba, and belly dance)
-Homage to cultural traditions celebration of womanhood
-Belly dancing as an art form/entertainment
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Griffin, Wendy. Daughters of the Goddess: Studies of Healing, Identity, And Empowerment. Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira Press, 2000.
Shay, Anthony. Dancing Across Borders: the American Fascination With Exotic Dance Forms. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Co., 2008
Zuhur, S. (2001). Colors of enchantment: theater, dance, music, and the visual arts of the Middle East. Cairo: American University in Cairo Press.