Belly Dancing in Popular Culture: Shakira
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Published: Fri, 04 May 2018
Popular culture introduced certain dance forms as art is very subjective, a particular person’s approach to dance is different in many ways especially in how one sees and explains a piece of dance. A particular dancer puts it in a way that each dance step has a sensation and each of these sensations becomes the object of a separate perception of the mind. One’s approach to dance is different, it’s source is one’s emotion. One’s emotion affects a dance piece if it was danced with a different approach. Even if two or more people are performing the same step in a particular dance, the effect on is different depending on their style and how they make a particular movement big. For example Beyonce Knowles or Shakira, famous singers worldwide are well known for their dancing in addition to being blessed with great vocals. People like them have to adapt to many dance styles by different cheographers. As many of us know, Beyonce attempted a familiar dance style by Bob Fosse in her “Single Ladies” music video. Jacquel Knight, the 19 year old cheographer for this music video interpreted Bob Fosse’s dance style using the follow-the-leader and canon technique.
Shakira on the other hand attempted dance the Arabic belly dancing which is seen in many of her music videos and concerts. Her approach to dance influenced people especially young artists and teenagers worldwide. Belly dancing had the certain uniqueness which shakira portrays and danced beautifully. Her approach to belly dancing was much more influential compared to beyonce’s follow-the-leader style in dance.
Belly dancing’s exact orign is anticipatorily debated with dance enthusiasts. Belly dance was based on the social dance native to the Middle East. This dance is a fusion of many dance styles, there are many origins and many form of ethnic folk dances, which are usually performed for celebration and fun events like weddings or social gatherings. Traditionally, movements in belly dancing are utilized to demonstrate or ease fertility or childbirth. Outside of Middle East, belly dancing was popularized during the Romantic Movement in the 18th and 19th centuries as oriental artists characterized their interpretation of harem life in the Ottoman Empire. In the early 1900s, it was a common belief among the people in America and Europe that dancers were women of loose morals. This assumption drew criticism for its “immodest” dancing and was usually banned form the public’s view which lead to an overall misunderstanding of the true nature of belly dancing. Belly dancing use movements in every muscle group of the body and is usually an improvised dance with its own range of dance vocabulary, which is fluidly integrated with the music rhythm. Belly dancers express the emotions that are stimulated by the music. Belly dancers communicate to the audience the emotions and the rhythm of the music especially obvious during the drums solo section of a performance. Basic movements remain the same but the dance continued to grow and expand. The most important Egyptian forms of belly dance are the Lebanese and the Turkish. For Lebanese culture, this form of dance holds the same regard as ballet and opera in European countries and music is often based around the artists of Egypt.
Shakira’s Lebanese heritage was a great influence on her belly dancing style and music. Hip movement in lebanses is similar to that used in other belly dancing methods. The focus of attention is on the stomach area. Shakira’s her intensive training in belly dancing has afforded her a fluidity in her body movement. she oftens performs barefoot however, foot movements are not considered important. The upper body and hand movements are used in a snakelike form throughout the dance routine. Shakira’s music relates to the Arabic belly dance style which produces a great effect works very well. She recently cheographed a dance for her song “La Tortura” in collaboration with Jamie King.
Shakira was influenced in the belly dancing industry not only through her background as a part lbranse. She was influenced by Miles Copeland from the pop group “The Police”. Miles formed the most famous belly dance troupe, Bellydance Superstars. This dance troupe tours internationally, introducing belly dance to different parts of the world by performing hundreds of shows throughout the globe. These performance had created new stars of a few dancers in the industry. Music in the middle eastern countries were the main influences which brought Shakira into becoming a performer. Shakira started writing poems since young which eventually turned into songs. Typical arabic music are usually accompained by belly dancing. Shakira enjoyed singing and performing for her schoolmates in her catholic school. She was known as “belly dancing girl” as she would perform when she learns a new move.
Shakira’s influence, especially her part labanese background shows her style and it made popular belly dancing in pop culture. as pop culture greatly influence the young genration these days through music and especially MTV, many teenagers of all age groups tends to imitated unique and popular music either by dancing or singing. They would join competitions like personal impersonation, dance competitions of all genres and even multi talents competition which usually includes singing and dancing for entertainment. The new age are usually attracted to the amazing way the body works in different movements in a certain dance and would imitate exactly from music videos if that certain dance is in a popular song a particular artist made popular. Some teens will abstarct the certain ways the artist move and improvise for certain competitions. Not only do teens perform only in competitions these day, they do perform at celebration places like weddings, social gatherings or even at clubs. The enthuism of these teenagers renewed history and belly dancing’s true nature. The dance which brought people together in the early days, a celebration dance. This brings a greater influence as not only teenagers would attend functions like weddings and social gatherings, older people who are not influenced by watching popular culture like MTVs or listen to the radio, gained knowledge about this particular dance style and genre by watching these teenagers dance. This have a huge impact on the particular artist who made the dance popular and thus expanding the industry of what he or she made famous. R and B artists and actresses like Ciara, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Yvonne De Carlo, Jessica Simpson, Aaliyah and Hilary Duff were influenced by shakira in a way that they used techniques like belly rolls as signature moves on stage. By influencing artists in certain ways like this allows the industry to expand even more and shakira’s style slowly and eventually rose up internationally. The more popular artist who was influenced by Shakira is Beyonce. Despite having her own style in music and in dance, Beyonce explored and attempted different dances. Her dances are more of an abstraction like Bob Fosse’s movements, and the recent collorbration in 2007 with Shakira, spread belly dancing worldwide as the song and music video made it up the billboard in the music industry. Shakira choreographed the dance in the music video and taught beyonce some of her belly dancing moves. This learning process where they collaborated, influenced beyonce in her concert tours and music videos where she did belly dancing on stage and in front of the camera to her singles which have a strong rhythm to express the sexy lyrics and emotion of the song.
Both Beyonce and Shakira have their own style and approach to their music just like in their own styles of singing. They are both concious of their own dance movements as they uses particular dance styles from centuries ago to express emotions new age music which brings a particularly amazing spark to their music like a signature movement and style. This signature movement and style lead to a great support with their audience as people remember and know them vividly because of the influences they appeal to the world and which expend and introduced the belly dancing industry.
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