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The Art of Belly Dance

Goddess Celebration and Fertility Dance

‘The Pearl Fishers’. Rene Milot. Oil on canvas. Click for larger image

Belly dance plays a number of functions within society and it has a rich history. Often referred to as Arabic dance, Oriental dancing or Exotic dancing, it’s widely believed to be an Arab dance originating in Egypt. Know one knows the exact origins although it appears to have been centred between North India, The Black Sea and North Africa. Over the millennia it has evolved to take many different forms depending on the country and region between the Mediterranean to the Pacific.

It originated as a fertility dance within cultures inspired by the joy of life and it

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Bharathanatyam

Classical temple dances of Bharatha (India)

Bharatanatyam, the classical dance from Southern India is not an entertainment, first and foremost it’s a prayer, a celebration and an offering to the divine. The ultimate goal is both the performance and the closer connection between the dancer and the source of creation.

As a visual meditation, the audience can also be drawn into the story as Bharatanatyam expresses Hindu religious themes and spiritual ideas, particularly of Shaivism, but also of Vaishnavism and Shaktism.

The origins of Bharatanatyam are thought go back to about 500 BC and much has been lost over time as various Muslim and British rulers banned it. But a possible origin of the name is from Bharata Muni who

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