Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Divas of Dance
I have a confession to make. When it comes to dancing I'm no disco diva. I can move to the music and I can even keep off toes (mine and others) but I just can't make my body go where I want it to. I also went to an all girls school and when we did dancing I always got to lead which causes problems as an adult woman as I'm not so good at the following. All in all I am much happier watching and in the case of belly dancing, I feel something akin to relief that I don't have to participate. So it was a guilt free Bobkat that watched the Desert Divas put on a belly dancing display at Templecombe Mediaeval Fayre a couple of weekends ago.
Now, I haven't the first idea about what constitutes good belly dancing but the women seemed to enjoy themselves, the crowd were appreciative and as far as I was concerned they made great photographic subjects as they were colourful and provided interesting forms as they moved.
While belly dancing certainly wasn't practised in mediaeval Britain it dates back to ancient times in the East and was practised as a form of folk dance across areas in the Middle East. It was only at the end of the 19th century that Raqs Sharqi to give it it's proper name became known as 'belly dancing' and in fact the dance involves using the whole of the body to express the emotion the dancer is experiencing from the music.
I watched one of the dances and decided that rather than capture photos of the scene in front of me, I wanted to focus on the colourful costumes, the body forms and the impression of movement in some of the shots through the fluid movement of the fabrics. While belly dancing was unexpected at such an event which was other wise full of swords fighting, jousting, battles, the swirl of fabric and the rhythmic music did provide a colourful break from the clink and clang of metal armour and swords and kept me and my camera occupied.
I have posted some of my favourite photos of the dancers on my photoblog and it is likely that one or two more will be posted soon so do pop over and take a look :) Just follow the link on the picture in my side bar which shows the most recent photo to be posted or click *here*.