Best known for his Western name, which has nothing to do with tradition, but it’s much related to the little imagination with which the excellent New York musician, Sol Bloom, renamed it while he held the shows direction of the 1893 Chicago Universal Exposition.
Bloom called it belly dance. However, we are talking about a living and ancestral traditional beledi dance from Arab countries.
‘Belly dance’ is lost in the sacred dances that the priestesses of the old Egypt made in honor of the gods and that, later, thanks to the migratory movements of Gypsies and Indian peoples, spread to other parts of the world.
Finally, the dance was enriched with a combination of elements from the folk tradition of Middle East and North African countries. That is why, even today, destinations such as Egypt, Turkey or Morocco, are not understand without seeing one of these ‘belly dance’ shows.
However, and although it still retains a touch of charm and sensuality, that artists such as Shakira or Beyonce have been able to monetize, the truth is that the authentic belly dancing has been shaped to Western tastes, needs of the cabaret and the big international shows.
Anyhow, during our stay in Morocco it will be a good idea to make a visit to one of these places where the music and the veils melt, thanks to the magic of the dancers of rounded hips and impossible movements.
Creative Commons Image: Flickr/Foxtongue