"feminine essenced activity" !!!???
Furthermore, if we go all the way back to the Paleolithic, the best archeological and cultural anthropological research indicates that MEN were the first dancers- dancing around the evening fire, telling the story of the hunt through dance. Using this same distorted "logic" about belly dance being feminine, and only for women, then based on what we can know about prehistory, women should not be allowed to dance at all. Any style! After all, dance in general was invented by men, and set on men's bodies.
Furthermore, I live in the US, and could care less what "Middle Eastern men" think about males belly dancing, assuming they really are monolithically against it, which I doubt.
Can you please direct me to this research? My original goal in life was to be a paleo-anthropologist,and I have never run across this info myself. I have run across much research that shows that men and women are so differently constructed that it is possible to to tell a a million year old skeleton's sex, merely from its bone structure. It is even possible to tell the AGE of some of these old skeletons. When we reach skeletons that are merely hundreds of thousands of years old, we are able to tell even MORE infromation. The thickness of a female skull, for example increases as she ages, yet it is still possbible to tell that she is a female and different from a male. This is one of the slight clues that old skeletons give us. When we get to such characters as Australopithicus Robustus, it is REALLY easy to tell males from females with just a few inches of skull bone becasue of the ridges in the skull where powerful jaw muslces attached. We don't even need pelvic evidence, which shows whole bunches of info.
I would be interested in any journal titles with year, date etc, or any books, with author and ISBN and page numbers if possible. If there is paleolitihic evidence that one sex danced before another, I REALLY want to study that information. I hope you will share your sources.
It is also immaterial whether or not you believe me when I say males from the Middle East think that belly dance is shameful for men to perform. Truth is truth regardless of what a person believes. I would also have to add that this point of view is nearly universal regardless of where one is in the Arab countrties.
And if you really could care less about cultural and social aspects of Middle Eastern dance, then I feel sorry for you and for the dance, because you have automatically, by not caring, lost a whole dimension of the dance.
You are correct, I am not prejudiced against male dancers. However, I also never refute the fact that it is considered to be "shameful" among Middle Eastern males. I DO believe that there are differences in movement as well as in essence in male and female in the animal and human kingdom, and that movement itself has distinct meaning, aside from cultural meaning. I once debated this point with Tarik ( whom I really adore as a human being), and I pointed out that nobody ever crouches down and cowers in the corner with joy. Some movement has specific and universal meaning.
I think that just anatomy alone means that movement sometimes also has specific masculine and feminine meaning, though of course this is a general statement not taking in mesomorphic or any of the other morphic body types. It is not that both genders can not do the same movements (though I hear that this is also the case in some few things that human bodies are able to do). it is that it is universally accepted that when a male or female does a certain thing, that it is gender specific.
All that aside, I do believe that both men and women can be amazing belly dancers, and that even in the Middle East, there are those who secretly enjoy males performing as much as they do females. This is my personal belief, however, and I do not confuse it with the social realities of the Middle East. I think that in the hundred or so years that there has been belly dance, there have also been males dancing in secret, and later in the open. There has been a long history of male dancers in public as well, but this was actually before the development of belly dance.
And YES!!! My dance company and I are greatly looking forward to having you here in October. For anyone who is interested and close enough to attend. DaVid will be here for a performance and workshop Oct. 14th/15th. For more info go to baharatdancers.com.
Regards to you both,