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Thread: Greek Belly Dance

  1. #1
    Just Starting! astro_girl's Avatar
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    Apr 2011

    Greek Belly Dance


    I love to learn the history about many different forms of belly dance, but one I admittedly know nothing about is Greek BD. I'm finding some wonderful music billed as Greek BD music, but I've never heard any of the teachers or students in our large metro area perform or teach with this. How would Greek BD differ from other common styles (i.e. Turkish, Egyptian, modern oriental, etc...)?


  2. #2
    Advanced BHUZzer Hala Jamal's Avatar
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    Oct 2003
    Banff, Alberta, Canada

    Re: Greek Belly Dance

    You haven't heard much because there is no such thing as Greek Bellydance. It's not part of the culture and Greeks are quick to admit this.

    HOWEVER, Greeks sure are good businesspeople. "Hmm, an attractive woman dancing through the restaurant in a revealing outfit to entertain guests - what a great idea! Let's add some bellydancing to our Greek restaurant."

    You can find many Egyptian and Turkish songs done by Greek musicians. Just listen for the indistinguishable bazouki sound.

    Remember that the Greeks and the Turks have a long, often temultuous relationship. There is definitely bellydancing in Turkey. Borders and cultures are permeable . . .

    A great source for all your Greek bellydancing questions is Helena Vlahos. Not only is she a warm, generous person, absolutely amazing professional dancer (whose careers spans 4 decades) but she is also Greek. Helena Vlahos

    I dance Egyptian style and I perform twice weekly in a Greek restaurant (owners are Greeks, speak Greek, return to Greece every year). I find most Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cultures have a lot in common: they love to party! Dancing spreads joy which makes bellydance a natural fit in the celebratory atmosphere often found in Greek restaurants.

  3. #3
    Master BHUZzer norma's Avatar
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    Oct 2006

    Re: Greek Belly Dance

    Some clips:

  4. #4
    Advanced BHUZzer jamielynn's Avatar
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    Jun 2008

    Re: Greek Belly Dance

    A previous Bhuz thread with lots of good info:

    What makes it Greek?

  5. #5
    Ultimate BHUZzer *Shira*'s Avatar
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    Feb 2006
    Iowa City, Iowa

    Re: Greek Belly Dance

    The primary reason Greek restaurants in the U.S. came to feature belly dancing is due to a wave of immigration in the late 1950's and early 1960's of ethnic Greeks who came to the U.S. from Alexandria, Egypt. The instability of post-Revolution Egypt combined with the Nasser era seizing of privately-owned businesses by "foreigners" led to a mass exodus from Egypt of Greeks, Armenians, and others. Many of the Alexandrian clubs had been owned by ethnic Greeks, and it was only natural for those who came to the U.S. to open similar night spots here. So the belly-dancer-in-Greek-restaurants concept came from Egypt, not from Greece.
    norma and yameyameyame like this.

  6. #6
    Just Starting! astro_girl's Avatar
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    Apr 2011

    Re: Greek Belly Dance

    Now this is all very helpful, and I forgot about Alexander the Great, Ptolemy, and the Egyptian roots of some of the Greeks. Thanks!

    Sounds crazy...but I love learning the history of these dances just as much as the moves of the dances. Like it gives meaning to why I (like to) dance.

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