About Mediterranean Folk Dance
Added: Tue. Aug 07, 2012 6:03pm
Posted in: Other
For many people folk dance – one of the categories of folk lore - often
refers to dances of historical importance in a group’s culture and history. Others
refer to the dances that reflect tradition at time when the difference between common
folk dance and high society dance were slim.
Dances are considered to be "ethnic" and "traditional" when
they are used to represent cultural roots. As a result, nearly all folk dances
are ethnic. If some dances, such as polka, cross ethnic (and geographic) boundaries
those distinctions are made among the dancers. For example, Czech polka vs.
The beauty of folk dance is that it is a group activity that
can be enjoyed by dancers and audiences alike. Often at the core of festivals
that celebrate special passages, like weddings and birthdays, they highlight the
joy of community and tradition. Folk
dancers wear the costumes of their culture (beaded vests, scarves, flowing
pants or skirts, etc.) and perform – as a community – to the beat of their folk
Belly dance is among the oldest forms of Middle Eastern folk
dance. One such dance, the Raks Sharki
“The Dance of the Orient”, also known as belly dancing performed as a birthing
aid. The body movements were believed to
have helped women in childbirth.
In time, the movements were recognized as artful. About 100 years ago at the Chicago Worlds
Fair in 1893 a dancer by the name of “Little Egypt” first introduced this type
of belly dance. It has taken a while for
western sentiment to recognize that this dance represents a spiritual
connection between mind and body. It is esthetic and it is a celebration of the
feminine soul and inner spirit.
Here are some belly dance videos: