When I saw that the prompt for the weekly photo challenge was the word ‘blur’, I was instantly transported back to a dance festival I attended in Russia some years ago. It was the most amazing experience and included traditional dance from various ethnic groups which have settled in Russia over the centuries. There was Greek dancing as well as Armenian, and both were wonderful. But the most memorable was the cossak dancing. With their boots, blousy shirts and billowing trousers, the dashing cossaks perform a truly acrobatic dance full of jumps, kicks and bends. They really are a blur and photos are hard to take. However, I have some super photos of a dancer that I watched closer to home. Her name is Ann, and she gave up her day job to pursue the art of Egyptian Belly Dancing.
Ann came to our WI and gave a fascinating talk about the history, myths, legends and meanings associated with this type of dance. She also told us about the costumes and how “Belly Dancing” got its name. Her fascination with the dance started when her Lebanese friends in London inspired her to find a teacher. She was learning classical Indian dance at the time. Over the last twenty years Ann has perfected her craft and she is now a very talented dancer as well as an inspirational teacher. When Ann dances it is spellbinding, beautiful, graceful and charming. Every movement is significant and tells a story.
Her costumes were ravishing, colourful and exotic. To cover up she wears the traditional Egyptian Galabeya. She buys her costumes when she attends the Soukh or market at the Egyptian Hafla or party. Most of her costumes are made in Thailand or Turkey. According to Ann, Egypt is considered the birthplace of belly dancing, but there are variations in different regions. She certainly takes her dance seriously. In order to get to know and feel the spirit of the dance, she spent time living in a Bedouin tent in the Sinai desert!
She is an amazing woman and a beautiful dancer so I have picked her to illustrate this week’s post.