Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Reading Notes: Flaubert in Egypt 3(Dancers)

Already in Cairo, this is Flaubert's first dramatic rendering of a dancer, mostly on the male dancer Hasan el-Belbeissi:

One day behind the Hotel d'Orient, we meet a wedding procession. The drummers (small drums) are on donkey-back, richly dressed children on horses; women in black veils (seen full-face, the veilsare like the paper disks that circus riders jump through, only black) uttering the zagarit;.....a male dancer--it was Hassan el-Belbeissi--in drag, his hair braided on each side, embroidered jacket, eyebrows painted black, very ugly, gold piastres hanging down his back; around his body, as a belt, a chain of large square gold amulets; he clicks castanets; splendid writhings of belly and hips; he makes his belly undulate like waves; grand final blow with his trousers ballooning." (38-39)

Flaubert in Egypt: A Sensibility on Tour. Trans. and Ed. Francis Steegmuller. Academy Chicago Limited. Chicago: 1979.
Photo: Kocek (male dancer) from Wikipedia.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.