Lynette Harper

Lynette Harper of Vancouver

The Gilded Serpent presents...

Lynette Harper

Another Lynette

Lynette is a dancer and a scholar, a grandchild of immigrants from Lebanon and from Scotland.

"I was born and raised in Vancouver, where I looked like I belonged, with my fair skin and my father's Scottish Protestant heritage. But my personality and values were profoundly influenced by my mother's Lebanese family, and I shared her pride in a book about my grandfather, Solomon Mussallem. It wasn't until I journeyed in the Middle East that I recognized that aspects of my character may be more Lebanese than Canadian."

After initial training in Western dance forms, Lynette shifted focus to bellydance, and eventually to Arab and Turkish genres. Three decades later, she has developed unique a performance and teaching style in Middle Eastern contemporary dance Now living on Vancouver Island, Dr. Lynette Harper is also an author, anthropologist and university instructor, committed to dialogue among cultural communities. Her dance and research projects explore representation and identity among Arab women dancers in diaspora.

Articles on Gilded Serpent by or about Lynette Harper

  • Identity Through Bellydance:An Arab Descendant's Viewpoint
    While some Arab women turn instead to ballet and western contemporary dance, others, like me, have embraced belly dance genres as a way to connect with our cultural heritage-only to disappear behind another veil, because Arab women dance artists in Canada are obscured within a huge belly dance community.
  • Community Kaleidoscope
    Lynette Harper and Rahma Haddad explored their shared Lebanese roots and Arab-Canadian identities through dance and storytelling in Bekaa Valley Girls: A Lebanese Saga (presented by Vancouver's Dance Centre in late 2009, in their "Discover Dance" series). More than one hundred years after their grandfathers escaped from Ottoman authorities, these two women found each other through a common love of Arab dance. Family narratives and performances of traditional and contemporary Arab dance offered a personal and cultural context for understanding our dynamic dance form.