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Belly Dance Information 

This page....

Origins of Middle Eastern Dance
Styles  of Egyptian Dance
Where to find music 
Where to see belly dancers in Brisbane

Other pages....

Belly Dance and Pregnancy
The Dos and Don'ts

Tips for Practising for a Performance

The Ghawazee
-  Egyptian Gypsy dance

Raqs Al Assaya - Egyptian Cane Dance

Raqs al Baladi - Egyptian Urban Folk Style


weebutton2   Origins of Middle Eastern Dance....
"Belly Dancing" originates from the folkloric dances of the Middle East. Some of these dances were religious or spiritual in nature, others designed for court or harem entertainment, others celebratory.

Other Names for Middle Eastern Dance:
Belly Dance, Bellydance, Oriental Dance, Raqs Sharqi,  Danse Orientale, Tsiftitelli, Egyptian Dance

Regional and cultural variations have given birth to many different dance styles, each with particular music and costumes.

Countries of Origin:
Egypt, Lebanon, Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Greece, India etc.  

The style of belly dancing most Westerners recognise is a relatively new (20th century) fusion of many different Middle Eastern dance steps with a generous dollop of Hollywood and western ballet steps thrown in!

Other people have already written extensively on the origins of Middle Eastern dance so here are some links:

Origins of Oriental Dance
In Search of the Origins of Dance
Why the Fuss over Egyptian Style Music and Dance?



Styles of Egyptian Dance

Saidi - an "earthy" style from Upper Egypt, often using a cane (raqs al assaya) as a prop, more covered costumes, such as a baladi dress, are usually worn, use of more traditional instruments e.g mizmar 
Baladi - "Urbanised Folk" - evolved early this century, usually danced in a baladi dress, specific musical format
Ghawazee - Female gypsy style dance, very traditional instruments such as arghul, rebeba
Cabaret - This style is what western audiences recognise as "belly dance"; glitzy costumes, may combine a few different styles in the one act
Zaar - spiritual "trance" dance, specific drum rhythm
link to more info (arab-esque)
Nubian - dance style of the Nubian people of Upper Egypt
link to more info (egypt magazine)

Milaaya Luf - playful Alexandrian dance style using a black shawl (milaaya) as a prop
link to more info (arab-esque)

Aida Noor with Milaya Luff 

Pharonic - theatrical style inspired by the poses found in ancient Egyptian paintings



Where to find  Belly Dance music in Brisbane
Azziza's Belly Dance Supplies Ph 3359 4680
Rockinghorse Records (Adelaide St) JB Hi Fi (Adelaide St), Borders (Albert St), HMV etc - Look under Bellydance or Middle Eastern in the world music section
Amera's Palace, Sydney, order by phone or email



Where to see a Belly Dancer in Brisbane

It is a good idea to ring ahead to check whether there is a belly dancer performing that night.

Most restaurants only employ belly dancers on Friday and Saturday nights.


Caravanserai Restaurant, Turkish, 1 Dornoch Tce, West End, Ph 3217 2617
Dancer 8.30pm
Ottoman Cafe, Turkish, Mollison St West End Ph 3846 3555
Dancer 9.00pm
Efes One, Turkish, 293 Sandgate Rd, Albion Ph 3862 4599
Dancer 8.00pm
Kapsali, Greek, Southbank, Ph 3846 1804
Dancer 8.30pm
Harem Restaurant, Turkish, Given Tce Paddington
Dancer 7.45pm Saturday
Ahmets Turkish Restaurant, Turkish, Southbank ph 3846 6699
Dancer 8.30pm
Ahmets Turkish Restaurant
Dancer 7.45pm
Al Samar, Lebanese,
The Grange
Dancer 8.00 Friday
Little Indian Palace, Indian, Cleveland
Dancer 7.30pm (First Friday of the month)
La Kazbah, French Moroccan, 669 Stanley St Woolloongabba Ph 3391 7439
Dancer 8.30pm



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This site is being built and maintained by Lorelle with grateful acknowledgement to Cathy Stephens for her direction.

This site was last updated on: 18/10/05