Belly Dance

Belly dancing gained visibility in Brazil at the turn of the 21st century. Featuring a blend of femininity and religiosity, this dance has won many practitioners in our country, gaining status in the novel O Clone, Rede Globo de Televisão. Although belly dancing is thought to have been a fad in Brazil, this is not true. Brazil has some of the best belly dancers in the world, and they perform here in Brazil and abroad: Lulu Sabongi, Shahar and Soraia Zaied teach and show the art of belly dancing in the city of São Paulo since the decade 1980.

There is a myth of origin about pretty belly dancing. It is said to have originated in Egypt in a time marked by matriarchy, and that dance was a means of expressing gratitude to the Goddess Aphrodite for the fertility of the land and women. Unfortunately, it is known that this does not correspond to the truth, for History has never found evidence of matriarchal groups. But the fact is that belly dancing is traditionally transmitted in much of the Middle East: the mother teaching the daughter and the custom of family dance among women is perpetuated to this day.

When dance gained popularity in Brazil, some characteristics were linked to it, which further attracted women to the practice: 1) it was believed that the exercise of belly dancing stimulated femininity in practitioners; 2) that the practice of dance stimulated a face of female religiosity, stimulating the mystical side of the woman; 3) Like any other type of physical activity, it would bring benefits to the body and health. Regardless of stimulating female mysticism, the fact is that the practice of belly dancing does have many health benefits - when practiced regularly - and it stimulates femininity, since the gestures used in dance automatically pass through the grimaces everyday.

The fundamental movements of the belly dance are: round movements; movements in eight; movements of hands and arms; head movements; Facial expressions; movements to shake some body parts.

- Round movements: it is the circumference of the pectoral or of the hip;

- Movements in eight: taking the body as the axis of movement, the hip draws an eight, both to the right and to the left. There is also the eight standing, where the hip is shifted from top to bottom and vice versa. This last type of eight is also known as "Mayan eight";

- The movements of arms and hands are marked by delicacy and lightness;

- Head movements are usually marked by lateral displacement, both to the right and to the left;

- Facial expressions are fundamental for the dancer to express her feelings: sadness, joy and sensuality are the most common expressions in dance;

- Shaking movements may be the best known. The "shimmy" is a body technique used to shake the abdomen, the chest, and the legs.

Belly dancing can also be danced with accessories. The tambourine, cane, veil, candle and sword are the most used. There are also more modern variations on the instruments. One last thing to remember is that there are two different strands on how belly dancing should be danced: there is a line of thinking that believes that dance appears in the dancer according to her state of mind; other dancers dance from a previously rehearsed choreography.

Posted on July 21, 2018 at 09:10 PM