Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Arts n' Crafts

That marionette at the top gives me the heebiejeebies. It's supposed to be a 'harem dancer' but it looks like Jocelyn Wildenstein. Amirite?:

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

More bellydance paper dolls

These are from Liana Kerr. Cute costumes -- but I would say that. I have a hip scarf quite similar to this one:

But I can only hope and dream that someday I'll have a costume like this:

Monday, 26 April 2010

Cleopatra paper doll

The blog gallimauphry musings illustrates the post on Bara's turn as Cleopatra with these adorable paper dolls:

Friday, 23 April 2010

Hakim and Olga Tanon - "Ah Ya Albi"

This is the first song I ever performed in public to. I might have enjoyed it more if I'd seen this video first!

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Stars of the 1940s: Tahia Carioca

If the 1944 date is correct, Carioca (1915-1999) would have been about 24 years old at the time this performance was filmed.

This rather interesting article about her dancing from the Millicent and Carla Fran blog makes some of the classic assertions about belly dance (it developed as a means of assisting childbirth, for example, and Carla Fran trotting out the 'coin belts originated as a way of displaying a dowry' myth in the comments), but I really appreciated this post because its well written and includes clips -- always handy when discussing a visual art form!

From the 'Legends of Bellydance' DVD.

Monday, 19 April 2010

The Dancing Boys of Afghanistan

I know no one reads this blog, but if you happen to be in the UK tomorrow night with access to a TV, you could do as I plan to and watch a repeat screening of The Dancing Boys of Afghanistan on More 4:

"The Dancing Boys of Afghanistan reveals a dark side of Afghan culture which has up to now remained hidden. A tradition known as Bacha Bazi (literally 'boy play'), which was banned by the Taliban, is spreading through the country and exploiting the desperation of many poverty stricken children."

If you can't watch the doco, Reuters carries a story about the "bacha bereesh" (boys without beards), as does the dear old Guardian (where would I be without them?) -- though their take is, if anything, much bleaker.

Update: Wikileaks cables have now shown that foreign contractors working in Afghanistan were implicated in Bacha Bazi. Interior Minister Hanif Atmar was worried enough to approach the US and ask that the story be 'quashed' in case deaths followed the revelations.

Pic: Ghaith Abdul Ahad/Guardian

Friday, 16 April 2010

Nawa el Saadawi: Egypt's radical feminist

Nawal-el-Saadawi is profiled in today's Guardian and the piece opens with her declaration that she is becoming 'more radical with age'. Yeah, me too!

Image source: Guardian UK

Monday, 12 April 2010

Sex sells

Another disappointing example of the near-pornographic imagery used to sell belly dance albums in the 1970s.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Shake n' Bake

You wait ten years for bellydance cakes to crop up online and then two come along almost at once!

Saturday, 3 April 2010

Just Because

Just Because is a UK-based charity set up by raqs dancers to help fund breast cancer screening and treatment for women in Egypt. As you can probably imagine, like many other countries Egypt doesn't tend to put women's health issues at the front of the funding queue.