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Home    Books    Serpent Of The Nile: Women And Dance In The Arab World
Serpent Of The Nile: Women And Dance In The Arab World...
Serpent Of The Nile: Women And Dance In The Arab World
 
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Author : Wendy Buonaventura
Publisher : Interlink Pub Group
ISBN# : 9781566567916
Pages : 224
Price :INR 2114
Offer Price:INR 1881
 
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Book Description

Newly updated and reissued in an appealing new format, this classic book is a lavishly illustrated celebration of female dancers of the Arab world and their impact on the West.

"I think it is the most eloquent of female dances, with is haunting lyricism, its fire, its endlessly shifting kaleidoscope of sensual movement." With these words, Wendy Buonaventura explains her own fascination with Arabic dance and gives the reader a thorough understanding of the origins, history and development of this ancient art, which has survived in the face of commercialism, religious disapproval, and changing times.

"A lively and lavishly illustrated excursion into the history of the solo womans dance..." --The New York Times Book Review

"Serpent of the Nile features a perceptive discussion of the history of female solo dancing in the Middle East and its effect on dancers and artists throughout the world. The ninety full-color and fifty black-and-white sumptuous illustrations communicate the color and sensuality, poetry and passion, sophistication and subtlety of her subject." --Dance Magazine

"An articulate book that speaks with many voices of the glory as well as the shadows surrounding the oriental dance of yesteryear and today. Buonaventuras amalgamation of materials-textual and visual-evoke a work by someone whose respect for the subject is both tasteful and thoughtful...Arabesque salutes the authoress..." --Arabesque Magazine

Reviews

This book was supposed to be hard to get ahold of.
But I ordered it and it came in a timely manner,
in good shape.
Thanks!
Lots of colour pictures ... past & present ...including old paintings, quotes & accounts of the people who actually watched belly dancing...& then tried to describe it!

For those just starting out to find out about Bellydancing & such enthusiasts,there are some pictures of famous older dancers, past & present .. Samya Gamal, Fifi Abdou & Sohair Zaki.
More like a collection of cameos than a real in-depth exploration of the Art Form, or Elucidation of the styles & Expression... but it IS a good coffee-table book & nice, informative read .
I cant speak to the accuracy of Wendy Buonaventuras history of belly dancing, though I found no evidence of the most controversial complaint, that she fails to note the role of European Orientalists in fabricating our notions of Middle-Eastern dance. In fact, she discusses this very thing at length.

The treasure in the book is the collection of paintings. Where else can you see Dinets gorgeous watercolors? I had never even heard of him. Are the pictures accurate? I suspect they are. Are they representative? Of course not. Like Gauguin in Tahiti, the Orientalists saw what they wanted to see.
Wendy Buonaventura obviously loves raks baladi ("country" or folkloric belly dance) with a passion. As sometimes happens with authors passionate about a subject, she unfortunately treats her opinions as facts upon occasion. As a dancer, I love the glorious Orientalist pictures, early 20th-century photos and fascinatingly slanted accounts from Western travellers, and I love her feelings for the dance. Its a beautiful book to peruse, and you can get some marvelous ideas for theatrical costuming from it. But like the Orientalists she reviews, Buonaventura presents an exotic and monolithic Middle East, where Egypt represents this entire diverse region and where nothing changes over time. She also perpetuates the popular myth that this is a *womens* dance, whereas in truth both sexes dance at private functions, and in both Egypt and Turkey, men historically performed as well. (Western tourists just werent interested!) Read this for its lovely artwork and, if youre a dancer, for a feel-good spiritual connection with earlier dancers--but if youre interested in the subject of dance history, do some further research.

 
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