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  1. #51
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    Lol- As shouldne say it like but I've been dancing as long, if not longer than her. She's more into the whole floaty thing about dance, not the actual dancing. Mum sez all she does is walk around.

  2. #52
    Senior Member sedoniaraqs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shanazel View Post
    I am one of those teachers who discriminates between a shoulder shimmy and shaking one's breasts, but I don't think I will throw myself on my sword just yet.
    Dear Shanazel: There *is* a difference between shoulder movements and a bust shimmy in Egyptian dance. I call the shoulder ones shoulder articulations though, so my students understand these are different movements. Samia Gamal has some signature shoulder articulations in which the shoulders are the focal point of the movement. These are not really what you'd call shimmies.

    The upper body shimmy that is more common in Egyptian dance, and the one most Americans call shoulder shimmies, have as their focal point movement of the breasts and the shoulders, or in some cases (Nagua Fouad comes to mind), mostly the breasts with the shoulders not moving much at all.

    I don't have a problem with dancers who prefer not to move their breasts very much in these shimmies simply as a matter of their personal style and preference, I have a problem with teachers who try to tell their students that somehow it is not correct for the bust movement to be a focal point of the movement.

    When the upper body is lifted and "out there" and the breasts are shimmied powered by the back muscles, this movement is very elegant to me; I feel no modesty inhibiting me from doing it, and do not think it looks sleazy at all within the context of Egyptian dance. It is different from a stripper movement because of the posture and the intent.

    Most of the Egyptian dancers who have been brought to the U.S. to teach and perform have made comments about how the Americans are not moving the the breasts enough during what we call a shoulder shimmy. Mona, Dina, and Fifi I know have all told their American classes to shake their breasts more.

    Think about it. Out of all the things they could nitpick us on, this one always jumps to their attention. This and the need to feel the music and not be a slave to choreography and counting.

    Sedonia

  3. #53
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    Hi, Sedonia. I appreciate your input and read it with great interest. It is interesting that dancers from the middle east think Americans don't shake their breasts enough, isn't it? I see more American dancers doing it now than in the past, so it seems to be coming into fashion here as well.

    I teach as separate movements Samia-style articulations, shoulder shimmies and upper body shimmies that result in enough breast shaking to please Dina, FiFi and Mona . Breast movement is not the focal point of shoulder shimmies, though heaven knows I can't stop the little darlings from shimmering gently along with my shoulders. Breast movement is the focal point of the upper body shimmies. I think we are basically agreeing here, though terminology is weighing us down once again.

    Shanazel

  4. #54
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    i think we might define sexy and sensous differently. sensous, to me is a display of someones natural sexiness, it isnt created or protrayed, it is exuded. sexiness is more pro-active. contrived with choreography and costume to elicit a certain response from the crowd. this is how i distinguish the two. sensous is sexy. sexy is sensous or sleazy. it depends on how you deliver it, the attitude, the costume, the music...

    like someone has already stated, how you choose to express yourself is based on personal preference same is true for how it is interpretted.

  5. #55
    V.I.P. Kharmine's Avatar
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    Neat discussion!

    I've seen breast shimmies in old Egyptian movies designed for Egyptian audiences -- but not all the old-time dancers did them. And those shimmies looked more subtle than the kind I often see modern Western dancers do.

    As with 'most everything else all over the world, different peoples and cultures have their own meanings for the same gestures and body movements. Because belly dance itself is a synthesis of various ME/Turkish/Greek/Armenian folk styles with a strong Western influence -- depending on which style is emphasized (and the audience), you see quite different reactions to the same things.

    And when politics affect religions, you see attitude changes, too. Certainly most Muslim-dominated countries have gotten more conservative and the more conservative they are the more likely just the idea of a woman dancing before men she isn't related to is offensive, let alone anything else she does!

    The immigrant Arab-American communities that helped develop and support belly dance in the U.S. were mostly Sephardic Jews and Christians of Middle Eastern sects, Now when people say "Arab-American" here it usually means Muslim and much more conservative, because that's how the immigrant communities have changed.

    All of which is gonna have an impact in how anything is viewed today, even if it didn't used to be a controversy!
    Last edited by Kharmine; 06-12-2007 at 08:15 PM.

  6. #56
    Member SmilingMarie's Avatar
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    Previous in this thread someone mentioned putting their right hand on the left side of their face, next to the nose, index finger pointing towards the eye.
    I have been taught that this is often used in khaleegi esp when swinging your hair from side to side - your hand on the cheek is ok (keeping your long hair from getting in your eyes) but by the side of the nose signals that you're 'game' - anyone know about this?
    and any comments on not dipping your middle finger?? someone mentioned this earlier on in the thread too - I've surely never heard of it.
    about showing palms - I think it is ok as long as you know you are doing it - showing you palms and doing a bust/shoulder shake can send 'the wrong' signals (not that the dance can't be swxy - you just need to be aware of when you are!)

  7. #57
    V.I.P. Aisha Azar's Avatar
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    Default Hands, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by SmilingMarie View Post
    Previous in this thread someone mentioned putting their right hand on the left side of their face, next to the nose, index finger pointing towards the eye.
    I have been taught that this is often used in khaleegi esp when swinging your hair from side to side - your hand on the cheek is ok (keeping your long hair from getting in your eyes) but by the side of the nose signals that you're 'game' - anyone know about this?
    and any comments on not dipping your middle finger?? someone mentioned this earlier on in the thread too - I've surely never heard of it.
    about showing palms - I think it is ok as long as you know you are doing it - showing you palms and doing a bust/shoulder shake can send 'the wrong' signals (not that the dance can't be swxy - you just need to be aware of when you are!)

    Dear Smiling Marie,
    The hand is put to the side of the nose in Gulf dance because the dance was originally an imitation dance that told of life by the sea. The hand was put to the nose to imitate the pearl divers who did not use breathing equipment, but used to block their noses in the way down to the oyster beds.
    Regards,
    A'isha

  8. #58
    Member SmilingMarie's Avatar
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    Dear A'isha -thanks for that - I did not know that So you have never heard of this gesture as signalling 'availability'? Maybe another urban myth (alive and well in Denmark!)

  9. #59
    V.I.P. Aisha Azar's Avatar
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    Default Gestures, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by SmilingMarie View Post
    Dear A'isha -thanks for that - I did not know that So you have never heard of this gesture as signalling 'availability'? Maybe another urban myth (alive and well in Denmark!)


    Dear Marie,
    I have never heard that gesture as signaling availability. I learned most of my Gulf info and dance from either natives or from people who lived there. I have two articles on my website (Raqs Azar) that are about Gulf dance. They are in the library and they are "Are We confused Yet?" and "Observations On Samri". They discuss the hand gestures a little bit and other movements, the dresses, etc.
    Regards,
    A'isha

  10. #60
    Member SmilingMarie's Avatar
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    brilliant - I'll check it out - thanks for sharing

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