09 March 2008

Gothic Bellydancing

First of all, I'd like to make a protest. As a person who studies Goths as in the tribe that was in the middle of Europe before it split into the Visigoths and the Ostrogoths, I have long been burdened by getting hits on sites for people who wear deathlike makeup and gloomy clothes when I search for "Goths" and on sites about gloomy cathedrals and gloomy novels when I search for "Gothic". Having the term "Gothic" taken up by yet another non-Goth-the-tribe group is not going to help. (And what is up with all the gloom anyway? The tribal Goths were as cheerful as anyone.)

The confusion did let me stumble across Gothic bellydancing. There appear to be technical definitions of this art form. (See GothicBellydance.com, for example.) My short description is that it is Goth-the-modern-movement women wearing Theda Bara bellydancer costumes dancing to Goth-type music.

I have to confess. I am not a Goth. I don't think there is anything wrong with the movement or the styles--they are just so not for me. I did, however, expect the Gothic bellydancing to be silly or pretentious. It's not. It's actually pretty interesting for me. (I am not qualified to say if it is sexy or not.)

I was doing web searches on "Gothing Bellydancing" trying to come up with more to say than "it exists" and "it doesn't suck". I got engrossed in trying to figure out the difference between tribal fusion gothic bellydancing and industrial, so I decided I better surface and give a preliminary report.

Youtube has plenty of examples, but here are two I like as illustrations. Here is Sashi with a tribal fusion gothic bellydance:

And here is BellyCraft with industrial bellydance:

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