Grandmother's Secrets by Rosina- Fawzia Al - Rawi

Tanglefoot

New member
Grandmother's Secrets- The Ancient Rituals and Healing Power of Belly Dancing by Rosina-Fawzia Al-Rawi, translated by Monique Arav.

I do recommend this book as you know those movements we learn, well they have meaning and it's good to understand the meaning behind the movement and there is more besides, though part 3 of the book I found the most useful to me.

But Amazon, where you may find some pretty entertaining reviews andof course a description far better than I can offer ;

http://www.amazon.com/Grandmothers-Secrets-Ancient-Rituals-Healing/dp/1566563267

I have had the book for about five years, a gift from a friend and never really picked it up so I had the idea, I'll read it then pass it on to any that are interested in my classes, but now having read it, re-read it and keep diving into it to get my head around stuff I want to do better, like no way, I am not passing this book on, but I will recommend it to others and so I do.
 

Darshiva

Moderator
I honestly thought it was a big steaming pile that contradicted what a lot of bellydance researchers (Shira, Aunt Rocky, etc) have discovered from getting out there and integrating themselves into the societies in question.

But it was a fun read and one I have no regrets having spent money on. I just treat it like a work of fiction to enjoy it. ;)
 

Kashmir

New member
And I'd say avoid it if at all possible. It is mostly fantasy. The sections on belly dance history and kinesiology are flawed to useless. As a story of a child's relationship with her grandmother there are nice toches - and I'd love to know who made up the section on the veil - her or or grandmother. Either way, it is a modern WESTERN addition to belly dnce - not a part of its documented history.
 

Sophia Maria

New member
I read it some time ago as well, and I would say that the section where she talks about specific movements is fun--she talks about the similarities between certain movements and the movement of water or air or whatnot; it could be called "wishy-washy" certainly, but it was a nice read.

However, the section that touched on the "history"...It was seriously questionable, and that's putting it lightly. It seemed to be completely her fantasy of what she wanted history to be.
 

Zorba

"The Veiled Male"
I've heard it described as a "stupendous stinking stack of steaming steer stool" - but I do agree that its a nice read.
 

Duvet

New member
"A fun read".."a nice read"..."a fantasy"..."a fiction"..."wishy-washy"..."next to useless"..."best avoided"..."highly recommended"!

I've heard of this book, but have not read it, nor any opinions about it before. From the posts above it sounds like a personal experience and understanding of belly dance, which we can all share an emotional link or sympathy with as dancers. But it wants to link that emotional response into a set theory about history and absolute meaning, which can grate against our own or those of others that we value. Isn't that a frequent (predominant?) fault in bellydance books and articles?
 
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Darshiva

Moderator
It reads to me like what someone wished the history of bellydance was like. If you lived nearby I'd offer to loan you my copy so you could read it, but why not see if your local library can order it in for you to read?
 

Tanglefoot

New member
I read it some time ago as well, and I would say that the section where she talks about specific movements is fun--she talks about the similarities between certain movements and the movement of water or air or whatnot; it could be called "wishy-washy" certainly, but it was a nice read.
Perhaps what appealed to me was the fact that I think in pictures and if I can see an image I can feel it and move to it where honestly in choreographies what I see in my mind is patterns and shapes where if I can remember the sequence of those patterns and shapes I can dance to it. To be reminded of the action of something puts a whole new perspective on learning and I have found there is stuff that didn't feel quite right but when I read what the author of the above book wrote and pictured what I had read, I found the movement changed as also with me where I guess I am kind of lazy in that I also need reason to move.

As to the ' history ', well there are many histories from many perspectives where what histories are taken as definitivive are the histories promoted by the daring who dare to put their opinion out there, via books and such, of which can be promoted by those that agree for whatever reason and yes I did notice a lot of,well, what I could describe as feminist inspired wishtory, but perhaps it was what the author was told where in a restrictive society as say where the author comes from and lived I can understand anything that seeks to empower where the societal is diminish, particularly those that are of the wrong gender but aspire to greater things.

As I said, part three was of use to myself for the pictures and reason, I needed to consider in order to improve my dance.
 
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