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 Post subject: Re: ART - DANCE - RELIGION
PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2002 2:33 pm 
Well said and RIGHT Alinword!


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 Post subject: Re: ART - DANCE - RELIGION
PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2002 9:09 pm 
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The Egyptian company is the Cairo Opera Ballet Company<BR> <A HREF="http://www.us.sis.gov.eg/egyptinf/culture/html/cobc.htm" TARGET=_blank>http://www.us.sis.gov.eg/egyptinf/culture/html/cobc.htm</A> <BR>****************<P>Alinwood, I'd have to agree with everything except possibly the "belly dancing".<P>I've tried to keep my comments limited to Islam. Islam is practiced by far to many cultures to attempt any broad cultural discussion.<P>Islam certainly does not preclude dancing. Dance is not only alive, in many cultures it is very much a part of life.<P>In the middle east, dancing is mostly a spontenious social activity. Dance is such an integral part of their lives that Arabic philosophers, who made careful and detailed studies of the arts, really didn't give much thought to it. The concept of dancing as performance and dancing as art arrived along with the British.<P>As for "belly dancing", the seductive belly dance, with it's cabaret style costume, was an invention of the Egyptian film industry. It is performed mostly for tourists by non-Muslim women. <P>Some refer to all oriental dancing as belly dancing. The problem with this is that Muslims do not dance to draw attention to their bodies. Calling their dancing "belly dancing" is vulgar to say the least. The Turks call it "oryantal tansi" (oriental dancing). The Arabs call it "raqs sharqi" (dance of the East). The general idea is to focus on the style of movement or music rather than the body.

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I must create a system or be enslaved by another mans; I will not reason and compare: my business is to create. (William Blake)


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 Post subject: Re: ART - DANCE - RELIGION
PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2002 6:59 am 
You learn something new everyday--Thanks again sisial.


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 Post subject: Re: ART - DANCE - RELIGION
PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2002 9:08 am 
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Location: France
Sisial, I'm happy you made this correction to my post. Actually while writing it, I was feeling that "belly dancing" was not the right word to express the kind of dance I had in my mind, it sounded to "showy", and yes a bit vulgar, but I didn't know what word to use instead of it. I was thinking about the dances that people do during weddings, family meetings etc... In french I would have said "danse orientale", apparently I should have went for the litteral translation here (my teachers' words are echoing in my ear... "sss... when you don't know, always chose the simplest way... ssshh... ssh..." LOL !) Image.<P>A few days ago I watched a documentary about central asian countries on TV, and there was a part were we could see in a little Tadjik village, people meeting all in the same house at night, men, women, children, simply to have a nice time together (don't know the word in english, in french we would say that it was "la veillée"). A man was singing with his traditionnal guitar, an other one had a drum, and periodically a woman and a man stood up, came in the middle and danced - it was a somehow "still" dance, balancing a bit with a lot of very supple and graceful arm movements - beautiful. And the so colourful costums only added to the beauty.


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 Post subject: Re: ART - DANCE - RELIGION
PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2002 11:09 am 
I also remember hearing that men were the original belly dancers-CORRECT???<p>[This message has been edited by angela (edited March 12, 2002).]


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 Post subject: Re: ART - DANCE - RELIGION
PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2002 3:05 pm 
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I'm not sure how to answer that Angela. Much of oriental dancing is genderless. I suppose British soldiers were exposed to more male dancing than female dancing. If Egyptian men and women were socializing seperately at the time. then British soldiers may have seen only male dancing.<P>In regards to professional dancing, the British soldiers were mostly interested in female dancers. Muslims do not give themselves to such exploitation easily. So, the bulk of performances were done by Indians and Jews.<P>The films were made in order to bring tourists. These films seemed to have been targeted at a male audience. I'm sure you know the routine: harems filled with seductive women waiting to be ravished by their sultan.<BR>********************************<P>I talked to a friend from Lebanon last night. (He's Christian, not Muslim). I figured that if there is ballet in Cairo, there must surely be ballet in Beruit. (Cairo and Beruit are the arts capitals of the Arab world). So I asked him about ballet. He said ballet is quite common in Arab states; the most popular being ballet-jazz and eastern ballet.<P>I suppose he sees all professional dancing as "ballet". Eastern ballet, he explains is classical Indian dance. Western ballet, he says, is not very popular. But, he defends, how many Westerners actually watch western ballet? Still, art is very important to the Arab world. He says most Arabic states sponser annual arts festivals. This is mostly for the benefit of local artists; but there are also several large performances by Western artists which cover a range of Western performing arts. Western ballet is almost always included.<P>He also says that there are health clubs which offer classes in ballet (western, jazz, eastern).<P>As I was talking to him, a thought crossed my mind (It does happen on occassion). Ignoring for the moment Muslim sensibilities, having been raised in a culture (middle east) where people regularly break out into dance, how would you view the concept of dance as an art? I mean you watch, but don't participate? What's up with that?<P>Anyhow, I also had an interesting time yesterday exploring the thoughts of people in Egypt just after the British arrived. <P>British soldiers were shocked at the displays of local professional dancers. The loose circular motions of their bodies had a seductive quality to it. Most obvious was the movement of the belly and hips. This was not the sort of thing civilized people did, much less in public display. Yet, Egyptian dancers were seen, their bellies and hips moving energetically and often in unison. It was absolutely vulgar. And, they loved it. <P>Still, they also had more refined tastes, and so they brought with them ballet..<P>The Egyptians were shocked at the displays of professional ballet dancers. Silphish girls were seen to be prostituting themselves on stage. This was hardly suitable family entertainment. Laws were quickly passed to prevent young Muslim girls from being seduced into this unsavory activity.<P>OK. Men can be crude. But, that's not the point. What catches my eye is what I've mentioned earlier. The Western emphasis is on the body of the dancer. The Muslim emphasis is on the character of the dancer. Now, my sister likes oriental dancing. Often, it seems, when she mentions oriental dancing, the first thing people ask if is she is a stripper, a prostitute, or some such thing. This common misperception is the result of Western emphasis on the body of the dancer. This got me thinking (again) about the Eastern emphasis on the character of the dancer. Suppose you are a Muslim watching a ballet. You are judging the dancer based on character. What character(s) are commonly portrayed in traditional ballets? If a Muslim girl mentioned to you that she likes dancing ballet, what sorts of generalizations might you make?<P>BTW ... How is character portrayed in ballet? <P>I found this wonderful poem which seems to give insight into the role hands and eyes play in drawing attention to the character of the individual in classical Indian dancing. Focus on hands and eyes is what Muslim dress is about.<P>"Keeping the song in your throat<BR>Let your hands bring out the meaning<BR>Your glance should be full of expression<BR>While your feet maintain the rhythm<BR>Where the hand goes,<BR>there the eyes should follow<BR>Where the eyes are,<BR>the mind should follow<BR>Where the mind is,<BR>there the expression<BR>should be brought out<BR>Where the expression is,<BR>there the flavor<BR>will be experienced<BR>(by the audience)"<BR>Bijal Dwivedi (March 10, 2001)

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I must create a system or be enslaved by another mans; I will not reason and compare: my business is to create. (William Blake)


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 Post subject: Re: ART - DANCE - RELIGION
PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2002 4:41 pm 
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Angela, back on the original belly dancers.<P>"Indian" was a bit vague. You might be more familiar with tribes such as the Romani or Sinti. They were tribes of musician/dancers. Most settled Egypt and Syria. Europeans thought they were Egyptian, and called the Gypsy.<P>One of the most famous groups was the Ghawazee. Here's a link if you want pictures and info: <A HREF="http://www.arab-esque.org/ghawazee/ghawazee.html" TARGET=_blank>http://www.arab-esque.org/ghawazee/ghawazee.html</A>

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I must create a system or be enslaved by another mans; I will not reason and compare: my business is to create. (William Blake)


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 Post subject: Re: ART - DANCE - RELIGION
PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2002 9:43 am 
THANKS sisial Image<BR>This is some site!!!<BR>I'll get back to you if I have any questions or comments.


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 Post subject: Re: ART - DANCE - RELIGION
PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2002 9:58 am 
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Yeh. I just found it yesterday. Don't even know where to begin.

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I must create a system or be enslaved by another mans; I will not reason and compare: my business is to create. (William Blake)


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 Post subject: Re: ART - DANCE - RELIGION
PostPosted: Thu Mar 21, 2002 10:11 am 
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Posts: 48
Location: WA, USA
I found this site all about Uzbek dance and culture. The sections titled "History & Styles" and "Costuming" are pretty interesting. They discuss how the roles of dance have changed over the years, owing in part to the changing religious preferences.<P><A HREF="http://www.uzbekdance.org/">uzbekdance.com</A><BR>Image<BR><BR><FONT SIZE="-1">Tamara Khanum</FONT><p>[This message has been edited by Faith (edited March 21, 2002).]


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 Post subject: Re: ART - DANCE - RELIGION
PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2002 3:00 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 19975
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
A short article on the situation in Pakistan, where dance sems to be under threat:<P><B>Pakistan government's ban on dance programmes praised by newspaper</B> <BR>From the BBC Monitoring Service - United Kingdom<P><BR>Text of editorial entitled: "The ban on dancing"; published by Pakistani newspaper Nawa-i-Waqt on 23 March<P>According to our cultural reporter, the government has banned dances even on PTV [Pakistan TV] following a ban on them in the theatre. There will be no male companions to dance with the female singers either. Dramas and other programmes will also be made in accordance with Pakistani traditions. The cable operators will also have to telecast programmes staying within the limits of morality.<P><A HREF="http://globalarchive.ft.com/globalarchive/article.html?id=020324000562&query=dance" TARGET=_blank><B>click for more</B></A>


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 Post subject: Re: ART - DANCE - RELIGION
PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2002 10:48 am 
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Location: San Francisco
While looking for more information about the recent decision to ban dance on TV and in theatres in Pakistan, I came across this article about Nahid Siddiqui, a famous Pakistani Kathak performer who left Pakistan during an earlier period of repression. The article is from January of this year, and judging from it and other articles from that period, things were looking up for dancers in Pakistan only a few months ago.


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 Post subject: Re: ART - DANCE - RELIGION
PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2002 10:49 am 
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I forgot -- here's the URL for the article about the Kathak dancer.<BR> <A HREF="http://www.dawn.com/2002/01/17/nat28.htm" TARGET=_blank>http://www.dawn.com/2002/01/17/nat28.htm</A>


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 Post subject: Re: ART - DANCE - RELIGION
PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2002 7:12 pm 
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Location: SF Bay Area
What some Westerners don't understand is that the Taliban was restrictive on Islamic rituals as well:<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Afghans Revive Shi'ite Festival Banned by Taliban<P>Dmitry Solovyov<P>MAZAR-I-SHARIF, Afghanistan (Reuters) - Thousands of people thronged to mosques and holy places in Afghanistan (news - web sites)'s main northern city Sunday to celebrate an ancient Shi'ite holiday revived after the fall of the Taliban.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><a href=http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/nm/20020324/wl_nm/afghan_ashura_dc_2 target=_blank>More</a>


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 Post subject: Re: ART - DANCE - RELIGION
PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2002 6:41 am 
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Posts: 13071
Location: San Diego, California, USA
From the Los Angeles Times:<P><B>THE NEW AFGHANISTAN<BR>They're Having Some Fun Now</B><P>Recreation: The end of the Taliban has brought a wave of leisure activities, junk food and a new Afghan film.<P>By JEFFREY GETTLEMAN, Times Staff Writer<P><BR> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>MAZAR-I-SHARIF, Afghanistan--There wasn't a shred of red carpet or kernel of popcorn at the first movie premiere in the new Afghanistan. <BR> But that didn't stop the buzz. <BR> On Sunday, hundreds of amped-up kids, gun-toting soldiers, wizened old men, and women hidden beneath burkas streamed into an auditorium here to watch a screening of the first movie made in Afghanistan since anyone can remember. <BR> Some dabbed tears from the corners of their eyes. <BR> Others, like Shojaudin Zaka, blurted out: "Get the goat! Get the goat!" <BR> The 14-year-old boy had never seen a movie before, let alone a wild buzkashi player thundering across the screen. He couldn't help but offer some advice. <BR> "Chapandaz" is a bona fide Afghan production, the first film since before the Taliban came to power in 1996 to be shot, edited and released in this land of mountains and war. It also is a celebration of the distinctive Afghan pastime of buzkashi, or goat polo. <BR> "A country without its own movies," lead actor Seqiq Habidi said as he scribbled autographs after the show, "is a country without soul."<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><BR><A HREF="http://www.calendarlive.com/top/1,1419,L-LATimes-Theater-X!ArticleDetail-55008,00.html" TARGET=_blank><B>MORE...</B></A>


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