A while back I got to thinking about authenticity in bellydancing and all the various paths you can take with it and it’s been kicking around my head ever since.  Samantha Emmanuel (formerly Hasthorpe) of the bellydance super stars has an interesting blog post about it here and what she says about utilising music from her “roots” has been bouncing around my head too.  I don’t necessarily think that it is important to dance to music that’s associated with where you physically come from, though.  I think it’s far more important to find music that moves you, that you connect with and feel inspired by regardless of origin.

Lately I’ve been feeling moved by some English-language songs but have been having a really hard time figuring out  choreographies for them (I’m getting back into choreography).  For a while I thought it was because I could understand the words and they were throwing me off (I don’t speak Arabic which is what many of the songs I’ve previously danced to were sung in, or alternatively they were instrumental).  But it occurs to me that the first song that made me want to be a bellydancer was ‘Mysterious Ways’ by U2 (video below, man I love youtube!).  “Desert Rose” by Sting is also a song that has for the longest time inspired me to move.  So what’s the problem?

Well the songs I’ve been thinking of choreographing are, well… not especially up-beat.  And because I understand the lyrics I’m  struggling to put movements to the words which are sensitive to the lyrics, that don’t ride-over or ignore the words but also aren’t too literal either.  And also because they mean something to me I want to be able to convey something of that meaning through my dance.  Oh yeah,  and I’m concerned that that’s all terribly pretentious…

Answers (or thoughts) on a postcard please.  Or you could just write them below 😉

EDIT: I’ve been trying to find a post I read a wee while ago that had images from a performance Rachel Brice did wearing a mask honouring her Grandmother who had died that year (from what I recall).  I’ve managed to find a clip or the performance on youtube (see below) but can’t find the post.  It’s an interesting ‘take’ on what I’m mulling over.