Tahitian Dancers. As in Hawaii, keep your eyes on the hands, not the hips- it's the hands that tell the story.
Korean Fan Dancers
Korean Ribbon Dancers
Now here's where I got very confused. It started off with Middle Eastern music, which I was very looking forward to. This group had more of a classical style, like of Um Kalthoum, with music from Turkey, Iran, and Arab countries. But then they had to go and get a belly dancer for all of us to watch. A number of Middle Eastern musicians did that over the course of the weekend. Why do they do this? It's completely inappropriate. Belly dancing occurs within it's natal culture only in front of your spouse, or in all-female parties. Or for tourists. It's hard to find a strict comparison in American culture, but it might be like seeing presentations of a girl's pajama party, for everyone to watch in the audience. That it's done all over for tourists doesn't make it any more appropriate. It just continues the stereotype in the West of the lascivious male Arab with his harem, the exotic Orientalism that Said preached against. I kept on reading about Arab music and dance, and would get excited, thinking I was going to see something authentic, like the debke- and I kept on getting objectifying belly dancing.
Directly thereafter I went to a participatory workshop to learn Pirate Shanties, and think fondly of David. Actually, strictly speaking the pirate age evidently predates the shanty age, so there are no real pirate shanties that were sung by pirates- just anti-pirate songs sung by sailors. So this group changed the words around to make them more pro-pirate. They said they were all about putting the "Arr" back in Warshington. We sang choruses like this one:
And its all for me grog
And then I rushed off to listen to all white choirs sing Gospel music in praise of Jesus. The one pictured here is called "Sparkling Choir, of Love". Really. This praise music was within the span of an hour and a half, including pirate songs in praise of beer and Middle Eastern music. Now do you understand my grave state of confusion? And yet it didn't end there.