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Middle Eastern Dancing
In response to my query on Period Middle Eastern Dancing, my Lady has
given me this response....
Lady Kallyssia writes:
The Great Belly Dancing debate has been going on for years.
The best evidence I have seen is as follows:
-There are about 5 period forms of "belly"dance
(I prefer the term MiddelEastern dance): they
-The Indian is the only one with any historical
costume (this means documentation that I have seen)
that has an open stomach, and this is only the
top part of the stomack.
-In most near Middle Eastern cultures it is illeagal
to show your belly button (to get around this, present
day "cabera" dances put gems over there navals)
-It is hard to document most middle-eastern costume,
but as to the "bra" top the best evidence I have
seen is that it is an interpretation of the Quazi
Coat based on a picture from Persia; However, It
is not a "bra" top, but a Quazi that has been tucked
under the boobs to show the next layer of clothing
down, they wore lots of layers.
-I know of several people here that claim to have
documentaion supporting stripping in the streets.
But they have yet to provide this information to me,
so I can not argue their claims. If this is true,
it is likely related to some sort of religious cerimony
-One important miss interpretation: a Heram is the female
members of a family (mother,sisters,sisters-in-law), not
a man's personal sex caddy. The head female is married
to the Head Male of the family. Dancing was done only
within the Heram and for the personal enjoyment of the
women, not to entice the men. In most middle-eastern
cultures the men and women are strictly seperated. Only
on religious days is any dancing done outside of the home
(i.e. weddings, funerals,...). And certain moves are
resricted in various cultures according to what they
considered to be "in appropriate".
-The purpose of dancing is to express the feelings.
Dances can be sad, frighting, happy, funny. They
tell stories and often involve role-playing. Many
moves have tradional meanings.
I think you will find that there are those of us who consider
ourselves traditional dancers and not "belly dancers". We
hold ourselves to a higher ideal and are continuously challenging
ourselves to learn new things and to practice and study how
thing were supposed to be done.
Friday night I will talk to you about the start of modern "cabera"
or "belly" dance (the kind commonly associated with strippers) - It
started in American with a dancer called "Little Egypt" and has
spend back to the middle-east.