Does anyone know about Germany?I think what is abundently clear, is the world wide development of 'belly dance' was actually from two places.. East or West Coast USA.
Yes, thats true, we cant say for sure.I don't think we can say *categorically* that the US is the fount of all globalised belly dance *yet* because really intensive research has not been done; moreover as I've said and others have said there was significant Mediterranean influence in Australia, and in other countries ME migrants have played a very important part.
It's possible Hollywood has a bit to do with it though. The older dancers I spoke to said if they had any concept of BD beforehand it was from movies - either that or they saw it and went "wow! that's for me!" When you think about it, the oldest women I spoke to were late 60s-70, ie my mother's age, and there were *so* many films in the 40s and 50s with "oriental" themes. Not to mention stage shows. People were routinely putting on "Kismet" in the 50s apparently.
Germany has had belly dancer for quite a long time. Before WWII it had both Turkish and Egyptian dancers perfroming there.I dont know about Germany.
I think that is a pretty solid assumption. Paul Monty claimed he was the first in the US to organise belly dance seminars/workshops, and while he can't have known 100 percent since he didn't meet every person in the world ever, or even in the States, I think we can assume till we know differently that the idea of belly dance festivals etc has its genesis in the States.but it seems the dance was being practised in a very localised way in many countries but the wider teaching etc. seems to so far trace back to the States in some way.
At the risk of sounding ethnocentric I will say that that seems to be fairly normal sort of thing. An ethnic group will immigrate to the US and bring with them their arts; dance, paint, calligraphy, music, food, etc. Then someone from outside their ethnicity becomes interested in it, learns as much as they can, and goes on to teach it to someone else wherever they happen to be (whatever country they happen to be in). That's what makes us what we are, we celebrate/treasure anything we find good no matter the origin. It's that multiculturalism that is our greatest strength just as it is when someone uses the differences to divide us that we are at our weakest.Like Zummarad mentioned, it is still early days to draw a final conclusion, but it seems the dance was being practised in a very localised way in many countries but the wider teaching etc. seems to so far trace back to the States in some way.
I looked at La Meri briefly for my presentation and she didn't make the cut. Just a wee but too far off the radar. Leona Woods would have made it ahead of La Meri.I haven't looked very deeply into La Meri but she definitely studied *something* of "real" "ethnic" dances and her school ran till the late 50s. There may be German, French, Swiss, whatever equivalents to La Meri.
I don't recall ever having heard BD called Amcab here, generally it is Egyptian or turkish etc, or just Oriental BD"I've heard dancers here describe their style as AmCab and am leaning towards the idea that it might actually be 'travelling', though I haven't seen Dutch dancers yet doing a 5 or 7 part show the American way. I also notice a lot of Salimpour influence in many dancers here, though it depends on the area. Still, a lot of Dutch dancers dance the Arabian/Egyptian way, but I'm seeing the term AmCab being used as a style in itself. Could that be the case? This has been drawing my attention for quite some time and I'm dying to ask around in our 'scene' to see what I come up with.
How is this in other countries? Is there a true market for AmCab, is it really done 'here' the way it is done in America, or do dancers just call what they are doing anywhere else 'AmCab' because it is similar in so many ways, but there seems to be no valid term for the evolution of cabaret style bellydance in their own region (like FranceCab or BritCab...:think: I've really had too much diet coke. It's off to bed with me.)