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  1. #1
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    Default Hiding The Face?

    The weird bellydance accessories thread got me thinking....there are some face veils in there (and a weird seafood costume, eek! )
    But I was wondering where the face veil tradition in dance came from, if there is one? Please forgive any ignorance on this subject.
    When I made my first, basic costume, I added a chiffon face veil. This was impulsive and entirely because it made me feel less shy....in a critical world, aware of not being `pretty` etc, well, being able to `hide` like that made me feel more confident in my dancing....even though I`m limited to my livingroom and the only folks watching were my loved ones!
    I kinda like the concept of a face veil, a pretty one, that maybe matches the costume, or a whisper of chiffon or silk that just hides the features and suggests beauty beneath (even if, for me, it isn`t really there, )
    but was wondering if anyone could tell me more about face veils please, and what is a good one, or a bad one? Are there rules about wearing one? Is there history behind them?

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    V.I.P. lizaj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oresai View Post
    The weird bellydance accessories thread got me thinking....there are some face veils in there (and a weird seafood costume, eek! )
    But I was wondering where the face veil tradition in dance came from, if there is one? Please forgive any ignorance on this subject.
    When I made my first, basic costume, I added a chiffon face veil. This was impulsive and entirely because it made me feel less shy....in a critical world, aware of not being `pretty` etc, well, being able to `hide` like that made me feel more confident in my dancing....even though I`m limited to my livingroom and the only folks watching were my loved ones!
    I kinda like the concept of a face veil, a pretty one, that maybe matches the costume, or a whisper of chiffon or silk that just hides the features and suggests beauty beneath (even if, for me, it isn`t really there, )
    but was wondering if anyone could tell me more about face veils please, and what is a good one, or a bad one? Are there rules about wearing one? Is there history behind them?

    Cheesy, bad, can be seen as disrespecting Islamic dress so best avoided.
    Of course others see it as a harmless fantasy but I think it's better to play safe.

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    V.I.P. Maria_Aya's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oresai View Post
    The weird bellydance accessories thread got me thinking....there are some face veils in there (and a weird seafood costume, eek! )

    This could be Eskandarani dress with net veil, very traditional style from Alexandria, so its not wierd.

    But I was wondering where the face veil tradition in dance came from, if there is one? Please forgive any ignorance on this subject.

    Its more a fantasy thing, that comes from the Orientalism time (Harem's style etc)
    If you want to be considered a serious dancer from the bellydance community better avoid it.



    When I made my first, basic costume, I added a chiffon face veil. This was impulsive and entirely because it made me feel less shy....in a critical world, aware of not being `pretty` etc, well, being able to `hide` like that made me feel more confident in my dancing....even though I`m limited to my livingroom and the only folks watching were my loved ones!
    I kinda like the concept of a face veil, a pretty one, that maybe matches the costume, or a whisper of chiffon or silk that just hides the features and suggests beauty beneath (even if, for me, it isn`t really there, )....
    but was wondering if anyone could tell me more about face veils please, and what is a good one, or a bad one? Are there rules about wearing one? Is there history behind them?
    .....

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    Senior Member maria_harlequin's Avatar
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    I agree with the others Wearing a face veil is insensitive to Muslim culture no matter how good your intentions are. It's like a mockery of the hijab. Even wearing one in front of audience that may not know a thing about Islamic culture is still terrible because you're playing the harem girl in a western man's fantasy. Not good for belly dancers.

    I know most dancers don't mean any harm and want to play up the "mystery" but I always, always cringe when I see a dancer wear a face veil. It distracts me from the dance no matter how beautiful the dance is.


    This is an example of how a face veil distracts me - gorgeous costume, amazing technique - face veil? Cringe! Of course this one isn't as bad as some of them out there...

  5. #5
    Senior Member Marya's Avatar
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    If one is performing a folkoric (or Reda style fakeloric) face veils are sometimes an appropriate part of the costume, as Maria Aya pointed out. Face veils are frequently used in Bandari, the Iranian folkdance, Melaya Leff and Guedra. (the veil in Guedra is draped over the head rather than below the eyes. these are the ones I can think of today.

    Marya

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    Okies, thanks for the responses I understand now. For myself, I didn`t realise the religious issues behind one and was thinking only aesthetics. I [I]still[I] don`t see anything aesthetically wrong with some of them, but do appreciate the religious or cultural sensitivity so will avoid them.
    Thanks again.

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    V.I.P. lizaj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oresai View Post
    Okies, thanks for the responses I understand now. For myself, I didn`t realise the religious issues behind one and was thinking only aesthetics. I [I]still[I] don`t see anything aesthetically wrong with some of them, but do appreciate the religious or cultural sensitivity so will avoid them.
    Thanks again.
    Neither did I when I first started. I learnt all about these considerations on forum...there ya go.
    And yes they can look very pretty and if you were doing a take off of the "Hollywood" cheesy image/dreaming of jeannie image ..that's probably appropriate.

  8. #8
    Administrator Salome's Avatar
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    I think it's great you asked! Good job And being informed - are sensitive to what's been mentioned.

    I remember being at a festival and there was a person in the crowd in belly dance costume, wearing an opaque face veil. Covering is for modesty... The juxtaposition of her rack, pushed up with miles of cleavage and her face covered was... not right.

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    V.I.P. Kashmir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oresai View Post
    But I was wondering where the face veil tradition in dance came from, if there is one? Please forgive any ignorance on this subject < ... snip ...> but was wondering if anyone could tell me more about face veils please, and what is a good one, or a bad one? Are there rules about wearing one? Is there history behind them?
    I have a veil page in my traditional clothing section
    Veils. (This has some history and photos of some of the variations)

    Basically it is one interpretation of the requirement for Muslims to cover the head when at prayer (there is a link on the page to a discussion on this that looks at what the Koran actually says on this). This requirement applies to both men and women. That said many non-Muslim women in the Middle East also cover their hair.

    On the whole, except for milay lef (sometimes), I would never use a face veil. It is cheesy. It makes it hard to breath. And if worn with a bare belly I think insulting to the reason why the veil is worn in the first place (I'll hide my face but show my hair, my hands and arms, my legs and my belly )
    Last edited by Kashmir; 04-02-2009 at 08:48 PM. Reason: spelling

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    V.I.P. Reen.Blom's Avatar
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    On professionals? No

    Dancing at home for your loved ones? Why on earth not????

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