There are a lot of reasons why Oriental Dance is still considered (in Egypt as well as in the so called civilized countries) a cheap, exotic, 5th cathegory strip show. A LOT of reasons. To understand a little bit more about these reasons, you may have to wait until my upcoming book arrives (2015!). Meanwhile, here´s a rock I can throw at this old lake (hoping to clear those stale waters): we´ve crowned concepts such as war, competition, evilness, greed, prostitution (of the body, the mind, the heart and the soul), capitalism, materialism and selfishness as kings and queens with the same conviction as we´ve banned LOVE, PLEASURE, FREEDOM, PASSION, ORGASM, DESIRE, WISDOM, TENDERNESS, ALIVEness and other precious stones as if they were criminals.
The body of a true Oriental Dancer is daring, profoundly and shamelessly ALIVE, still feeling (emotion, pleasure, pain, blood, tears and sweat). That is a sin, according to most of us. Consciously or unconsciously, we deny ourselves (and others) the privilege of being fully human, especially if the target is a woman.
I call it the INTERNAL SHIMMY – the flame that burns inside a woman´s body, heart, uterus, hands and legs, hair and eyes, sexual organs and soul (oh, my! did she say “sexual organs”?!).
A very appropriate joke showed up spontaneously in the middle a workshop I taught in Greece a week ago: a dancer laughed out loud when I mentioned the words “internal shimmy” and her face said it all, thanks God. That tabu word: Orgasm jumped off her mind into mine as a blessed rocket I didn´t see coming: it started to dance among the other students as well, although that was not the idea I initially had in mind when I mentioned “internal shimmy”. The word was never proferred during the workshop but we all heard it out loud and smiled at it. We had to, you see? We´re ALIVE and still loving it.
Crazy things happen when you truly listen to your students: it made sense: YES: in fact, the internal shimmy is The Orgasm (OMG! Did she say “orgasm” as in sexual intercourse orgasm?!).
( I DID and that´s exactly what I mean 😉 )
The greatest thing about teaching is that you learn as much – or more – than what you teach. If you just give them the confidence to trust their own intelligence and intuition and express themselves, dancers can be the most interesting, rich, surprising creatures. No wonder I love to teach; no wonder I catch butterflies in all kinds of unexpected gardens.
Oriental Dance and the women who do it by the book will not be respected while pleasure is a sin and pain is an industry; Oriental Dance and the women who dare to do it won´t be accepted as Art & Artists while Orgasm is considered pornography and war is considered essential.
Let them die before time if that´s their choice. YOU – dancer – are still alive. Don´t be ashamed to show it.
Note: I´ll write more on the subject – a rich one – soon. Not an issue for a short blog article (I´m already seeing it as a chapter of a book).
This is my skin, my body, my world, my sorrow and my joy;
This is my breath, my desire, my Ocean – so deep, so full of gardens and scents and fruits and water and abundance: so full of life: so open and vibrant: so ALIVE…you cannot destroy it.
You can try to shame it away; you can try to claim it as yours to protect, hide, destroy, the illusion of murder.
But you can´t have it and you can´t kill it as it
is life itself that pulses inside me, dancing, dancing, dancing out loud, louder than the Storms…burning till eternity.
This explosion inside my loins is Eternity. Remember: no human hands can catch Eternity.