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elven glare
elven_ranger wrote in bd_newbie
I am trying to decide between two sets of "bottom halves" on Ebay for a trio of girls in a theatre show I am directing. Set in Algeirs, three slave girls have to [belly]dance to impress the Sheikh. Now some of the shows will be in stantard theatres and some are open air shows during the summer. I simply cant decide between these two types (bearing in mind theres a large range of colours for both, so its a choice of style rather than colour. Also two of the girls are plus size though with nice figures.)

In our shoes, which style would you choose? 



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Agreed, on all of this. It should also be mentioned that the "custom" of the Ouled Naïl dancing provocatively for strange men had more to do with what colonialism did to the economy and customs. Unfortunately, because of this, a lot of photographic images of the Ouled Naïl were specifically set up to please the Orientalist (and prurient) tastes of Europeans, hence all the nakey pics. As I understand it, what travelers took home about the Ouled Naïl may not exactly have reflected a cultural truth.

If the OP is keeping to the "harem concubines appeasing the Pasha" routine (keeping in mind I agree with your take on it), and setting it in Old Algeria, perhaps looking at costuming from the Ottoman Empire -- Turkish-style stuff, IOW -- would be a better bet. Algeria was part of the Ottoman Empire before the French stomped in.

Fantasy is easier to manage than history where these things are concerned, and fraught with a lot less peril of various sorts.

Absolutely agree with you. :) Most of the old postcards were fauxtography, but there are some nice representations in historical archives as long as you are patient enough to sift out the naked and/or blatantly orientalist ones.

Exactly. I wince at the naked ones, because it's so obviously exploitative (as in "marginalized group making a living however they can in a situation where they are powerless" especially because apart from the colonialism and sexual exploitation of the Europeans, the Naili were Imazighen in an Arab-dominant culture, so doubly marginalized). I boggle that anyone can look at these things and think they're reflective of actual cultural tradition.

I will say I love this little 13-second Edison clip of "Princess Ali" dancing, because it's 13 seconds of dignity, even in an undignified situation.


Do you mind if I friend you? I am an anthropologist in my day life and *love* finding other people who are as interested in history and culture as I am. :)

Lovely! I'm afraid I'm only but so interesting, but I'm flattered :D

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