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‘How does she do that?' Belly Dancing and the Horror of a Flexible Woman

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The role of belly dance and the meanings attached to this dance for both the women who perform it and their spectators have undergone radical change since it was first introduced to the West in the 19th century. This article raises a series of questions about the process of bodily transformation through the practice of belly dance and explores the mechanisms by which women attain empowerment through the moving body. In particular, the complex intersections between ideas of display, spectacle, and the “grotesque” moving body are examined.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Wollongong, NSW Australia

Publication date: April 1, 2005

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