I decided to make a new post because it has been several days since the last thread started and in internet terms, that's approximately forever.
A lot has been said all around the internet about that article about white bellydancers, and a lot of it has made me cringe so very hard as a white dancer. I have been fortunate in always learning from teachers who explained the history of the dance form and encouraged thoughtfulness in all performance choices to avoid misrepresenting other cultures. I'm also fairly well schooled in postcolonial studies, having written my Honours dissertation in that field. Although I do not entirely agree with it, the article made sense to me, and I have been surprised to see it and the surrounding issues of cultural appropriation so thoroughly misunderstood by so many.
I have found some further reading that might be of interest to this community and that could help to start some new and interesting conversations.
First, some definitions of cultural appropriation for those who would like clarification of the terms: Here
Here is an entire blog devoted to discussing this issue and its implications: Decolonize Belly Dance
. There is a recent entry with very thorough commentary on the article in question and the response to it here
, which I found fascinating and informative.
And a response that I agree with personally in pretty much every respect: My fellow white bellydancers...
(warning: there are a few swear words, so if that is a problem for you maybe avoid this one).
Perhaps people could use this thread to discuss some of these articles? Maybe we could have a general discussion of cultural appropriation and Orientalism and related issues? And I'd love to see links to thoughtful pieces about this discussion that other people have found interesting, too.