Snake's Kin Studio presents...
Sword Dance

"Modern belly dancers also perform sword dances, in the sense of sword balancing. Eva Cernik, a professional dancer who travels regularly to Egypt and Turkey, tells this anecdote about sword dancing: "There was a time in Egyptian history when dancers were sold as slaves into the courts, or as property of the wealthy. Some acclimated well, but some retained their independence in a very special way. They took to dancing with swords normally used in battle. They did not wave them around in fighting mode, as the men did, but rather they delicately balanced them on their heads, dancing undaunted, expressing themselves beneath the sword. 'You control my life, you hold the sword over my head, but you do not control my spirit.' Whether this story is true or not, it is a wonderful explanation."

from 'The Origins of Oriental Dance,' by Karol Henderson Harding
Cane Dance

'....It has also become the custom for female dancers to dance with a cane, in a much more delicate fashion, This may include balancing the cane, holding the cane and shimmying, and swinging the cane about at above and below head level. It has been suggested that the women's cane dance is a "parody" or "comedy" of the men's dance. The Ghawazee cane dance witnessed by Qamar did include, however, a very interesting and distinctive step. It is a step-hop, which the National Folkloric group calls the "tawalli" step. The step is basically a hop on one foot, and a lifting of the other leg with the thigh horizontal to the floor at hip level, and the leg bent downward at the knee. In addition to being a very folkloric move, it also bears great similarity to the hop-step shown in pictures of Turkish dancing boys and girls

from 'The Origins of Oriental Dance,' by Karol Henderson Harding
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