Sunday, July 27, 2008


Questions answered by other questons.....
What is belly dance? Why are so many women interested in it? Does it necessarily demean women of the Middle East? Can it be done just for beauty? Can the dance be taken seriously by men and/or women? Does it demean women of other cultures or other cultures in general? Is it a folk dance, a social dance, a solo dance, a troupe form inspired more by Hollywood than the Middle East? Can the dance be fun and not political?

Inspired by many experiences including this 30th anniversary year of the publication of Edward Said’s landmark work Orientalism, this blog aims to explore how “orientalism” makes its appearance in one person’s professional life, most notably in belly dance and writing. Topics that interest me: despite the United States’ continuing war and overall havoc in the Middle East, interest in belly dance continues to expand globally on a faster level. Why? What does “authenticity” mean when considering belly dance? How does one find a genuine approach to practicing, teaching, performing, and enjoying this art form? Exploration, no apologies.

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