This particular topic is something that has been bothering me for quite some time. I am noticing that Greek style dance- bellydance or folkloric- isn’t recognized as it’s own form. It gets lumped along with Turkish style. Granted the Ottoman Empire did invade and control Greece for some time so there are customs and styles that transferred but Greek style in itself, is a style.
Any time I have presented it to the public, they don’t understand the music. it’s too fast, etc. If i present it in it’s pure form- it’s too boring. Or it’s just ___ move and __ move, I can do that. It’s not recognized. It surprises me when you have Golden age dancers that were GREEK who people are studying profusely but only seeming to recognize their Egyptian heritage in that study. Katy for instance was half Greek! Or Boubouka a famous bellydancer from Greece that was in the movie Never on Sunday. Are their golden age movies not as golden age?
There are so many nuances and differences in Greek style that are never captured. I would love to show them more and describe them but it doesn’t seem to be recognized. There aren’t that many of us of Greek descent who perform and when we do, I feel like it is lost, or pushed aside. I have been told that people don’t like the music or it’s too fast. Which fine, OK, if it’s not to your taste, but I am sure that there are plenty of Egyptian dances that are not to someone’s taste but are studied anyway because it’s proper to know the entirety of a culture/ style of dance that you plan on presenting. For example, you don’t learn history but only US history, you learn all of it.
Why are other folkloric dances the rage and amazing to learn, but not Greek? Please explain it to me as i would love to know! The Greek civilization was and is amazing. And it has so much to offer the world and it continues to do so. I have seen Goddess workouts and themed events but I haven’t seen Greek style there. And I would truly love for it to share space with the dance form that I also love! I could truly go on and on but I don’t want this to be perceived as a rant. I want it to be the beginning of a conversation. I want to know how to better serve Greek dance and how to make it more widely known. There is room for everyone and every culture to contribute.
Have thoughts on this topic? Or your own to share? Feel free to share them in the comments section below.