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  1. #1
    Mega BHUZzer Shaharazad's Avatar
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    Dance of the 7 veils

    I was wondering if anyone has any ideas on the history of the dance of the 7 veils (7 sins?). I bought a video from a bhuzzer that explains a simple routine and it's great. The only problem is that to me the routine looks (towards the end) as if it's a little too racy, hot - caliente...g.:, almost like stripping, etc. For those of you who have seen the video, are the veils positioned (in reality) the way she has them? What can I do to rid of the veils without looking as if I am stripping. I would like your input on this, please.

    Thanks for your help! ,r:;


  2. #2
    A journey of ten thousand miles begins with a single post. Zumarrad's Avatar
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    Re: Dance of the 7 veils

    OK, the history of the dance of the seven veils is:

    Oscar Wilde wrote a play called Salome. Salome is the name given to Herodias' daughter - unnamed in the Bible - whose dance so delighted King Herod that he told her she could have anything she wanted. Her mother told her to ask for the head of John the Baptist on a platter.

    She had already become synonymous with the femme fatale when Oscar wrote his play, originally in French. The play took it one step further - in his version Salome herself asks for John the Baptist's head because she is sexually attracted to him and he won't respond to her.

    The play contains a stage direction: "Salome dances the dance of the seven veils."

    That's it. No descent of Ishtar, no seven deadly sins, no fancy magickal ancient anything. Oscar Wilde made it up, probably because it sounded nice and he may also have liked the resonance of "seven" as a mystic, occult sort of number.

    It was dancers after that who came up with the idea that the seven veils were removed. Doing the dance of the seven veils usually involves removing the veils. It has a connotation of strip tease. There's no getting around it.

    I have seen interesting interpretations of the seven veils, and I think you can make it seem less sexual through facial expression, intent and remaining fairly well covered once the veils are off. But it is a seductive dance, if you are removing veils.


  3. #3
    Ultimate BHUZzer laura 2's Avatar
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    Re: Dance of the 7 veils

    Tamlyn Dallal does a gorgeous and decidedly non-sexualized dance of the seven veils on IAMED's 4th awards of Belly Dance.


  4. #4
    Ultimate BHUZzer zorba's Avatar
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    Re: Dance of the 7 veils

    I keep threatening to do one, but never have. Procrastination...


  5. #5
    Ultimate BHUZzer *Shira*'s Avatar
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    Re: Dance of the 7 veils

    Here's my research on the topic: Dance of the Seven Veils


  6. #6
    Mega BHUZzer Shaharazad's Avatar
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    Re: Dance of the 7 veils

    Cool, this is great information and thank you so much for sharing it with me.

    Quote Originally Posted by zumarrad View Post
    OK, the history of the dance of the seven veils is:

    Oscar Wilde wrote a play called Salome. Salome is the name given to Herodias' daughter - unnamed in the Bible - whose dance so delighted King Herod that he told her she could have anything she wanted. Her mother told her to ask for the head of John the Baptist on a platter.

    She had already become synonymous with the femme fatale when Oscar wrote his play, originally in French. The play took it one step further - in his version Salome herself asks for John the Baptist's head because she is sexually attracted to him and he won't respond to her.

    The play contains a stage direction: "Salome dances the dance of the seven veils."

    That's it. No descent of Ishtar, no seven deadly sins, no fancy magickal ancient anything. Oscar Wilde made it up, probably because it sounded nice and he may also have liked the resonance of "seven" as a mystic, occult sort of number.

    It was dancers after that who came up with the idea that the seven veils were removed. Doing the dance of the seven veils usually involves removing the veils. It has a connotation of strip tease. There's no getting around it.

    I have seen interesting interpretations of the seven veils, and I think you can make it seem less sexual through facial expression, intent and remaining fairly well covered once the veils are off. But it is a seductive dance, if you are removing veils.


  7. #7
    Mega BHUZzer Shaharazad's Avatar
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    Re: Dance of the 7 veils

    Great information,thank you! I will try to find the video.,r:;

    Quote Originally Posted by laura 2 View Post
    Tamlyn Dallal does a gorgeous and decidedly non-sexualized dance of the seven veils on IAMED's 4th awards of Belly Dance.


  8. #8
    Mega BHUZzer Shaharazad's Avatar
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    Re: Dance of the 7 veils

    Thanks Shira, I will check it out.,r:;


    Quote Originally Posted by Shira View Post
    Here's my research on the topic: Dance of the Seven Veils


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    Master BHUZzer zamora's Avatar
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    Re: Dance of the 7 veils

    im waiting for zorbas !


  10. #10
    Master BHUZzer aziyade's Avatar
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    Re: Dance of the 7 veils

    we should ask to move this thread over to the main forum -- it's good info and will get lost here.


  11. #11
    Mega BHUZzer Shaharazad's Avatar
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    Re: Dance of the 7 veils

    I tried to move it but I am not sure I put it in the right place.

    Quote Originally Posted by aziyade View Post
    we should ask to move this thread over to the main forum -- it's good info and will get lost here.


  12. #12
    Ultimate BHUZzer zorba's Avatar
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    Re: Dance of the 7 veils

    Quote Originally Posted by zamora View Post
    im waiting for zorbas !
    You might be waiting for awhile! I have a "pseudo-sword dance" that I've been threatening to do for years, and I haven't done it yet either!


  13. #13
    Advanced BHUZzer caasious's Avatar
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    Re: Dance of the 7 veils

    I just tried one for some student recitals...
    Not sure how it looked from the audience point of view - can't wait to see the video.


  14. #14
    Official BHUZzer nitewindz's Avatar
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    Re: Dance of the 7 veils

    Quote Originally Posted by zumarrad View Post
    OK, the history of the dance of the seven veils is:

    Oscar Wilde wrote a play called Salome. Salome is the name given to Herodias' daughter - unnamed in the Bible - whose dance so delighted King Herod that he told her she could have anything she wanted.
    I believe that Josephus Flavius accounts and other Roman records do identify the daughter of Herod Antipas and Herodias as Salome. It was a popular Roman name.

    The relationships are as complicated as a soap opera plot, and the duplicate names make it still more confusing.

    Herod Antipas and Herod Philip were half brothers, both sons of Herod the Great. Herodias was the granddaughter of Herod the Great.

    Herod Antipas first wife was Phasaelis, the daughter of King Aretas IV of Nabatea. Herodias was originally married to Herod Antipas's brother, Herod Philip.

    Herod Antipas and Herodias met in Rome and fell in love. They agreed to divorce their spouses and marry. This ticked off King Aretas IV, who sided with John the Baptist against Herod Antipas.

    While Salome's name appears in the Roman records, the exact date of her birth does not. The birth of any child between Herod Antipas and Herodias meant that Herod Antipas would not be taking Phasaelis back. King Aretas felt that dumping Phasaelis was injury, and Salomes birth was an added insult. He declared war against Herod Antipas and invaded Judea around the time of John the Baptists death.

    Herod Antipas is the Herod that Jesus was brought to in the days before his death.


  15. #15
    A journey of ten thousand miles begins with a single post. jesennia's Avatar
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    Re: Dance of the 7 veils

    excellent article, Shira, thank you!!

    Our first instructor taught us (advanced troupe) a seven veil dance and there was nothing sexual or stripping, we had on full costumes that were pretty conservative...not even cut outs, the dance was all about the veils and none of us felt like we were revealing or stripping. But Mahisha was the first dancer I ever saw doing the dance of the seven veils and it never came across to me as stripping as she presented it either.

    Later I did a seven veil dance and the veils were all different colors, each one represented a different time of the day with a rainbow at the end, so the veils were the story of a timeline.

    And I used to do a mahalo dance where I gifted the final veil to someone, if I was hired for a party or graduation or whatever, they received the final veil as the mahalo gift. It was along the lines of the dance of the seven veils, dance of the seven islands (of Hawaii) so I had a veil for each island.

    I sell scarf sets in a gift box now ..the seven scarves of the seven islands but that's just a side tidbit

    and have been commissioned over the years to create seven veil sets for dancers who wish to dance the seven veils..and there is usually some kind of theme to it

    One dancer wanted the elements, earth wind fire water spirit and then we added two more..one was pure white and one was rainbow

    I'll see if I can dig up the info about wrapping the seven veils..there's many ways of wrapping them and i don't know it just never came across as any type of strip tease to me but i think it's all mood and music and expression


  16. #16
    Fotia
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    Re: Dance of the 7 veils

    Quote Originally Posted by zorba View Post
    I keep threatening to do one, but never have. Procrastination...
    Now that would really be an interesting article. . ...l;,


  17. #17
    Ultimate BHUZzer zorba's Avatar
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    Re: Dance of the 7 veils

    Quote Originally Posted by Fotia View Post
    Now that would really be an interesting article. . ...l;,
    What? Procrastination? ..g.:


  18. #18
    I could get used to this! Tauremorna's Avatar
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    Re: Dance of the 7 veils

    Has anyone seen Isidora Bushkovski's piece she did (along with Ariellah) at the Northern Lights Festival in Wisconsin last year? I thought it was an interesting and beautiful interpretation of the dance of the seven veils. It's on You Tube but make sure you find the UPDATED version as the other one has a glitch.

    I would upload it here, but admit I don't know how to...http://www.bhuz.com/forum/images/smi...mbarrassed.gif


  19. #19
    I could get used to this! Tauremorna's Avatar
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    Re: Dance of the 7 veils

    I can't even post a smiley; someone smack me!


  20. #20
    A journey of ten thousand miles begins with a single post. Zumarrad's Avatar
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    Re: Dance of the 7 veils

    I believe that Josephus Flavius accounts and other Roman records do identify the daughter of Herod Antipas and Herodias as Salome. It was a popular Roman name.
    Yes, that's not the Bible though is it. The story on which the play is based is the biblical account. People often assume Salome was named in the biblical account and she was not. I did say unnamed "in the Bible". Who Salome really was is actually immaterial, though it's interesting.


  21. #21
    Established BHUZzer kahaz's Avatar
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    Re: Dance of the 7 veils

    The movie "Salome" starring Rita Hayworth (It's probably on a few TV stations this Easter weekend) climaxes with Hayworth performing a Hollywood version of the dance. It's actually pretty good! The dance, that is; the movie is a typical sand and sandal affair. At least it gives some great ideas of how to put on 7 veils.

    A troupemate of mine just did a 7 veils dance in a historical show we did this fall; she keeps talking about youtube; I'll check in with her. (disclaimer: it was historical as in History in America, NOT ancient).

    Just for fun, read Tom Robbins' novel "Skinny Legs and All" which features a bellydancer that performs in a restaurant owned by an Arab and a Jew across the street from the United Nations. She does a very intense DOTSV that is life changing for everyone. It's a great and fun read.


  22. #22
    Official BHUZzer blueyeddancer's Avatar
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    Re: Dance of the 7 veils

    Quote Originally Posted by Tauremorna View Post
    Has anyone seen Isidora Bushkovski's piece she did (along with Ariellah) at the Northern Lights Festival in Wisconsin last year? I thought it was an interesting and beautiful interpretation of the dance of the seven veils. It's on You Tube but make sure you find the UPDATED version as the other one has a glitch.

    I would upload it here, but admit I don't know how to...http://www.bhuz.com/forum/images/smi...mbarrassed.gif


    OMG!!! Yes!!! I was lucky enough to see it live and it was truly breath-taking. Took both performers workshops and got to spend some time hanging with Izzy, she is so cool ..g.: Here it is.

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gWXxJwAbUCA]YouTube - Isidora Bushkovski w/ Ariellah (UPDATED) @ Northern Lights[/ame]


  23. #23
    Fotia
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    Re: Dance of the 7 veils

    Quote Originally Posted by zorba View Post
    What? Procrastination? ..g.:
    ..l;,..l;,

    Leave it to Hollywood <sigh>


  24. #24
    Ultimate BHUZzer lizajuk's Avatar
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    Re: Dance of the 7 veils

    The dance of the seven veils has very little to do with the belly dance that I love..Egyptian.
    As far as I can see it's a fantasy...and always in great danger of being loaded with cheddar. Sorry.


  25. #25
    A journey of ten thousand miles begins with a single post. Lauren_'s Avatar
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    Re: Dance of the 7 veils

    Quote Originally Posted by lizajuk View Post
    The dance of the seven veils has very little to do with the belly dance that I love..Egyptian.
    As far as I can see it's a fantasy...and always in great danger of being loaded with cheddar. Sorry.
    Ditto.


  26. #26
    A journey of ten thousand miles begins with a single post. jesennia's Avatar
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    Re: Dance of the 7 veils

    Quote Originally Posted by blueyeddancer View Post
    OMG!!! Yes!!! I was lucky enough to see it live and it was truly breath-taking. Took both performers workshops and got to spend some time hanging with Izzy, she is so cool ..g.: Here it is.

    YouTube - Isidora Bushkovski w/ Ariellah (UPDATED) @ Northern Lights
    you can see who inspired the A'Kai Bloom color design, one night Izzy and i were putting together costumes in her living room and she was making this deep green and pink costume..it inspired A'Kai Bloom

    it would be difficult to do a seven veil dance on stage, hats off to those who can pull it off and keep things exciting. It works well for a restaurant setting, especially one that has separate rooms, and if all of your veils are different colors. Sort of a cheddar magician trick..look new veil!


  27. #27
    Established BHUZzer kahaz's Avatar
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    Re: Dance of the 7 veils

    Of course it's fantasy and has nothing to do with Egyptian! But it can be deliciously camp, or beautifully moving.


  28. #28
    Ultimate BHUZzer dunyah's Avatar
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    Re: Dance of the 7 veils

    Quote Originally Posted by laura 2 View Post
    Tamlyn Dallal does a gorgeous and decidedly non-sexualized dance of the seven veils on IAMED's 4th awards of Belly Dance.
    I LOVE her Dance of the 7 Veils on a recent compilation DVD that she is releasing soon. Definitely no strip-tease connotations. I think that is mostly in the mind of the beholder and in preconceptions about veil dancing. It doesn't have to be that way.

    There Bellydancer USA Competition has a 7 Veils category and I've seen some really wonderful 7-veil dances there.


  29. #29
    Ultimate BHUZzer dunyah's Avatar
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    Re: Dance of the 7 veils

    Quote Originally Posted by blueyeddancer View Post
    OMG!!! Yes!!! I was lucky enough to see it live and it was truly breath-taking. Took both performers workshops and got to spend some time hanging with Izzy, she is so cool ..g.: Here it is.

    YouTube - Isidora Bushkovski w/ Ariellah (UPDATED) @ Northern Lights
    WOW. That held my interest for the whole 10:59 and I'm picky. That was impressively creative and well-done. I'm usually a bit of a purist but that knocked my socks off.


  30. #30
    Ultimate BHUZzer lizajuk's Avatar
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    Re: Dance of the 7 veils

    Quote Originally Posted by kahaz View Post
    Of course it's fantasy and has nothing to do with Egyptian! But it can be deliciously camp, or beautifully moving.
    My point being it can also be cheesy and even tacky.
    As a stage tableau I can cope maybe reflecting Oscar Wilde but as far as I am concerned it's best avoided by dancers at a belly dance event.
    Then again we are all entitled to our opinions and I
    think there is too much risk of it being seen as stripping by the communities and culture from which belly dance springs.


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