While many different forms of dance seem to reach height of popularity for a mere year or two. There are few that have moved throughout the ages, and have lasted throughout every diverse culture and society within the world. One of these seemingly timeless dances is the art of Arabian belly dancing. A form of dance that is speculated to be as old as the human civilization itself. Not only was it popular throughout many different cultures, it has begun to conjure the imagination of many modern-day belly dancers as well. However, despite it’s popularity among the belly dancers in the western world, as well as all across many great nations. Many people still aren’t quite sure what the differences are, and what Arabian dancing really is.
The form of Arabian belly dancing has been around for many a year, however just begun to be called Arab belly dancing within the late nineteenth century. Otherwise known as Raqs Sharqui in the Arabic culture itself, it is also sometimes referred to as Raqs Baladi (folk dance). Regardless of it’s name, it has been passed down throughout the ages as a ritualistic dance. It can even be traced as far back to the time of Alexander the Great, and Egypt. However; it has stemmed from many of the different belly dancing traditions throughout the world.
It’s popularity didn’t reach the western civilization until the demise of the Ottoman Empire. Often times the Arabian dancers would be called upon to show their mesmerizing dance to the world at fairs and large gathering. Often times becoming more and more popular as people began to enjoy watching this dancing art form. Unfortunately Arabian belly dancing did hit a slow period in it’s popularity. Of course when everyone’s morality seemed to be in question, when they began to watch this risky dance. It had been forbidden in many different parts of the Arabian world for years. However, as you can see it has returned full force in popularity.
Much like any other dance, the Arabian belly dance has it’s own wardrobe. While many of the costumes that are available today wouldn’t resemble that of the vintage dress. They are still breathtakingly beautiful. Often times seen as a bra top and pants or a slender hip-belt; or a skirt. The style seems to vary. However, they are extremely touched by the part that Hollywood has played in making Arabian belly dancing’s comeback However despite the costumes, Arabian belly dancing still has the same basics of any belly dance. Giving the belly dancer the ability to control her body’s movements, all while offering an almost hypnotic experience for the viewers.