- The Oxford Handbook of Dance and Ethnicity
- List of Contributors
- Dance and Ethnicity: Introduction
- “And I Make My Own”: Class Performance, Black Urban Identity, and Depression-Era Harlem’s Physical Culture
- “Do You Want to See My Hornpipe?” Creativity and Irish Step Dance in the Work of Jean Butler and Colin Dunne
- Dancing Jews and Jewesses: Jewishness, Ethnicity, and Exoticism in American Dance
- Queering Ethnicity and Shattering the Disco: Is There an Enduring Gay Ethnic Dance?
- Dancing Multiple Identities: Preserving and Revitalizing Dances of the Skolt Sámi
- To Call Dance Japanese: Nihon Buyô as Ethnic Dance
- Diasporic Ethnicity, Gender, and Dance: Muslim Macedonian Roma in New York
- “An Interesting Experiment in Eugenics”: Ted Shawn, American Dance, and the Discourses of Sex, Race, and Ethnicity
- Dancing Angels and Princesses: The Invention of an Ideal Female National Dancer in Twentieth-Century Iran
- The Spectacularization of Soviet/Russian Folk Dance: Igor Moiseyev and the Invented Tradition of Staged Folk Dance
- LADO, the State Ensemble of Croatian Folk Dances and Songs: Icon of Croatian Identity
- Authenticity and Ethnicity: Folk Dance, Americanization, and the Immigrant Body in the Early Twentieth Century
- A Folklorist’s View of “Folk” and “Ethnic” Dance: Three Ukrainian Examples
- The Jarabe Tapatío: Imagining Race, Nation, Class, and Gender in 1920s Mexico
- Perception, Connections, and Performed Identities in American-Ghanaian Dance Encounters
- Orientalism and the American Belly Dancer: Multiplicity, Authenticity, Identity
- Black Erased: The Tango de Negros in Spain’s Romantic Age
- English-Canadian Ethnocentricity: The Case Study of Boris Volkoff at the 1936 Nazi Olympics
- La Meri: Purveyor of the Dancing Other
- Choreographing Interculturalism: International Dance Performance at the American Museum of Natural History, 1943–1952
- “Hot” Latin Dance: Ethnic Identity and Stereotype
- From Salsa to Salzonto: Rhythmic Identities and Inventive Dance Traditions in Ghana
- Spectacles of Ethnicities: The San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival
- Dancecapes of Dionysus: From Kali Vrisi (Northern Greece) to the Olympics
- Ballet and Whiteness: Will Ballet Forever Be the Kingdom of the Pale?
- Men and the Happiness Dance
- From Powwow to Stomp Dance: Parallel Dance Traditions in Oklahoma
- Beyond Colonization, Commodification, and Reclamation: Hula and Hawaiian Identity
- Crossing the Seas of Southeast Asia: Indigenous Diasporic Islam and Performances of Women’s Igal
- San Miguel the Arcángel, Capitan of Many Troops: An Ethno-Iconographic Study of Danza de Migueles
- Black Dance after Race
Abstract and Keywords
Belly dance was introduced into America by Turkish and Arab dancers, who established the structure and aesthetics of the dance. Appropriated by non-Arab dancers for recreation and personal growth, belly dance has promulgated sensualized Orientalism and gained public notoriety that is problematic and even offensive to those whose culture it apparently represents. This chapter explores three manifestations of belly dance in America: recreational, in which “Arab” aspects are obscured or romanticized; tribal, which entangles the “Arab” and the “primitive” using Middle Eastern elements to evoke an archetypal tribe; and “Arab-centered” (Egyptian),based on the styles and aesthetics of Arab dancers. In the twenty-first century, America’s sensual, fantasy Orientalism fuels the expansion of recreational belly dance beyond the Western world. This appropriated, hybridized dance both fosters the misrepresentation of Arab culture and offers the potential for genuine artistic and cultural exchange with the Arab cultures that inspired it.
Andrea Deagon began teaching and performing belly dance in 1975. She received her Ph.D. from Duke University in 1984, and currently coordinates the Classical Studies program for the University of North Carolina Wilmington, where she also teaches in the Women’s Studies program. Her articles on belly dance have appeared in both academic and popular-market publications.
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