Tag Archives: Bellydance

Goth belly dance

Snake_edited-1

Goth belly dance or raqs gothique—a term coined from the Arabic raqs sharqi (dance of the East)—fuses the already Westernized interpretative dance style of the Middle East with Goth subculture.

This new experimental dance involves different musics (from goth rock to world music), altered costuming, and new performance settings. Although rooted in belly dance and its ties to colonialism, Goth belly dance transforms Orientalism and embodies decolonization as process and product.

This according to “Raqs gothique: Decolonizing belly dance” by Tina Frühauf (TDR: The drama review LIII/3 [fall 2009] pp. 117-138). Above, Maiiah with her snake, Maharet (photo by Pryor Dodge; click to enlarge); below, the late JeniViva Mia performs.

Related article: Subversive belly dancing

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Subversive belly dancing

The role of the belly dancer at elite weddings in Cairo illuminates Egyptian attitudes toward sexuality.

The dancer plays on ambiguous evaluations, using the wit associated with baladī-class women to subvert patriarchal constructions of sexuality. Song lyrics, dance forms, and musical styles are all important aspects of raqṣ baladī.

Using wit, gestures, and the raqṣ baladī genre of dance and music, the performer Fifi Abdou entertains through an elaborate joke form in which she deconstructs and reconstructs sexualized assumptions about Egyptian dance and herself as a sexualized dancer.

This according to “‘Oh boy, you salt of the earth’: Outwitting patriarchy in raqs baladi” by Cassandra Lorius (Popular music XV/3 [October 1996] pp. 285–298). Above and below, historic performances by Ms. Abdou.

Related article: Exotic dance and civil liberties

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