Belly Dancing History

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History of Belly Dancing

Belly dancing or “raks sharki” which celebrates the woman form is the one of the most natural dance given the dance is naturally built to flow with the natural movements of a woman. Scholars are not sure of its origin but given the proof one can vaguely pin point the origin to the Middle East and North Africa. The dance was practiced for based in religion, celebration but has expanded to an increasingly popular dance form practiced in every country. Belly dancing can be found all around the world; nearly every ancient culture practiced some variation of the dance. Many believe that belly dancing began to participate in a ritual that honored the Birth Magic Ritual. In Palermo, Sicily, rock engravings
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In 1893, during the Chicago World Fair, Americans were first introduced to dancers at the Midway Plaisance. The World Fair celebrated Columbus’s trip to find “The New World”. Belly dancing began in the 19th century and attracted many viewers during its full six months to “The Streets of Cairo” an exhibit where women displayed various types of dance to a new audience. Although the concept of specific belly dance costumes were fabricated many ideas and inspired by past such as the coin belt. In certain communities, women left the mountains to dance for a dowry while collecting coins from the locals to return home and to never dance again. The Bedouins sewed their coin into the waist belts and now many dancers use rattling coins at the end of their scarves to highlight the sway of their hips. Hollywood costuming history has played a part in the costuming. Ancient dress for dance revolved around ordinary covering the body. In the ancient times, the concept of traditional dress for belly dancing was not concocted, dancers often danced in their everyday clothes or whatever clothes that the special occasion called for. The glittering skirts and brassieres known today as the “Belly Dance Costume” were crafted for Hollywood artists to appear more “exotic” to western audiences. The glitzy costuming was intended for actresses who preformed the dance to suit …show more content…
American belly dancing is best known for its cabaret routine know by a theatrical entrance performed by a lone dancer in front of a dining audience. The dancer communicates and dances for the crowd to a group of playing musicians to a drum solo and interact with the viewers. For dancers of today, many find that they can participate in a plethora of dances ranging from Western Cabaret to the historically accurate Turkish or Egyptian style. Dance and jazz are fused into belly dancing. From Egypt to Lebanon, to Yemen to Nubia. North African belly dance lives while building into the present with a rich history. Belly dancing will continue to evolve as different cultures add their unique taste to the dance form, making it the diverse and beautiful art style that it is

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