Born from a need for a book that distills belly dance history and its related subjects into something readable and accountable, we have published the Salimpour Compendium, Volume 1!
Originally meant as a companion piece to Jamila’s Article Book, this publication digs deeper not only into Jamila Salimpour’s life as a dancer, instructor, mother, and innovator, but also into the wide and often daunting history of belly dance, the Middle East, and the complex relationship between the “West” and the Arab world. Topics include a brief history of the Middle East and its peoples, the perception of professional dancers in the Arab world, the portrayal of the Middle East in Hollywood, the history of the ghawazi and ‘awalim, the creation and establishment of Middle Eastern nightclubs in the United States, and a brief introduction to the theory of Orientalism. We hope that this book becomes a starting point for your own exploration of belly dance outside the studio so that your practice is enriched and empowered with knowledge and curiosity.
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