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Dances Through the Ages

A Middle Eastern Dance Exhibition

Saturday, October 17, 7:00 PM

$12 in advance $15 at the door

Holly Luky assembles some of the finest belly dancers in the Southwest to present “dance through the ages,” an evolution of belly dance styles from past to present.

Evolution of the Belly Dance

Have you ever attended a ‘belly dance’ concert or event? Did you ever wonder about the origins of this dance? The Old Town Center for the Arts is pleased to present a special Middle Eastern Dance Exhibition, entitled, “Dances Through the Ages.” You are invited to come see how Middle Eastern Dance has evolved into the beautiful form it is today, and be entertained and informed. This special event, which includes some of the best belly dance talent in the region, will be held at Old Town Center for the Arts on Saturday, October 17th at 7PM.

The term "belly dancing" is generally credited to Sol Bloom, Entertainment Director of the 1893 World’s Fair, and the World Columbian Exposition in Chicago. At the World’s Fair, there were authentic dancers from several Middle Eastern and North African countries, including Syria, Turkey and Algeria. These dances became the craze of the period. Thomas Edison made several films of dancers in the 1890s in response to this phenomenon.

The current interest in ‘belly dance’ may be traced back to the 1950s and '60s. It was in the ethnic nightclubs in major cities like New York, that most Americans first became acquainted with the dance. These clubs were owned, operated and patronized by members of the ethnic communities of Mediterranean countries like Greece, Turkey, Lebanon and Syria. At the time, most of the dancers were Greek or Turkish, but in time their ranks would grow to include Americans as well.

In the late 1960s and early '70s many of these dancers began offering dance classes. With increasing exploration of the East in the late 1960s, many people became interested in everything Eastern, including dance. Many touring Middle Eastern or Eastern bands took dancers with them as they toured to provide a visual representation of their music, which helped to spark interest in the dance. Today, there are many forms of Belly Dance.

Most of the movements in belly dancing involve isolating different parts of the body, including hips, shoulders, and stomach, which appear similar to the isolations used in jazz ballet, but are often ‘driven’ differently.

Join us for a special evening of dance and live music as we take you on a journey through the evolution of “belly dance” from ancient Mesopotamia to modern day America. Dances will be performed by The Gypsy Chicks, with special guests Salima from Prescott, Habib, and Haqiqah Bellydance Cooperative from Flagstaff, as well as live music pre-show by Rhythm Oasis with open dancing at the end!


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