Before They Were Belly Dancers: European Accounts of Female Entertainers in Egypt, 1760-1870 (Paperback)

Before They Were Belly Dancers: European Accounts of Female Entertainers in Egypt, 1760-1870 By Kathleen W. Fraser Cover Image

Before They Were Belly Dancers: European Accounts of Female Entertainers in Egypt, 1760-1870 (Paperback)

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Focusing on Egypt during the period 1760 to 1870, this book fills in some of the historical blanks for a dance form often known today in the Middle East as raqs sharki or raqs baladi, and in Western countries as "belly dance." Eyewitness accounts written by European travelers, the major primary source for modern scholars, provide most of the research material. The author shapes these numerous accounts into a coherent whole, providing a picture of Egyptian female entertainers of the period as professionals in the arts, rather than as a group of unnamed "ethnic" dancers and singers. Analysis is given of the contexts of this dance--that was a legitimate performing art form in Egyptian society appreciated by a wide variety of audiences--with a focus on actual performances--and a re-creation of choreography.

Kathleen W. Fraser has had a varied professional career encompassing magazine publishing, foreign development, human rights education, employment equity, and the teaching of essay writing and dance history at the university level. Her dance-related writing has appeared in Dance Research Journal (reviews), Impulse magazine, the UCLA Journal of Dance Ethnology, and Canadian Dance: Visions and Stories (articles), and she has presented at professional conferences held by Dance History Scholars, Conference on Research in Dance, and the International Bellydance Conferences of Canada. She lives in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
Product Details ISBN: 9780786494330
ISBN-10: 0786494336
Publisher: McFarland and Company, Inc.
Publication Date: October 1st, 2014
Pages: 308
Language: English