Belly dancers perform for Festival of the Arts crowd in Oklahoma City

A troupe from the Aalim Dance Academy of Oklahoma performed Saturday at the Festival of the Arts in Oklahoma City.
by Juliana Keeping Published: April 29, 2012

The belly dance show drew a large festival crowd at noon Saturday at the Cafe Stage.

The women performed in several styles, some from the heritage of the Middle East; others like tribal fusion, an American spin on the dance form.

The founder and director of the school, Soraya Al Musri, has operated belly dance studios for 30 years. Aalim was opened as a nonprofit in Oklahoma City in 1997, Musri said. Her performers have been an annual fixture at the festival for a decade.

Belly dancing has been handed down for generations, Musri said. Its rich rhythms and ancient roots make it an especially beautiful art form, she said.

“It's all about the music,” she said.

And how about the costumes?

Belly-baring is not the tradition of the Middle East, according to Musri.

“But because we are working and entertaining American audiences, we do bare our stomachs in cabaret costumes,” she said.

“These ladies get into it and they enjoy it so much.”


by Juliana Keeping
Enterprise Reporter
Juliana Keeping is on the enterprise reporting team for The Oklahoman and NewsOK.com. Keeping joined the staff of The Oklahoman in 2012. Prior to that time, she worked in the Chicago media at the SouthtownStar, winning a Peter Lisagor Award...
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IF YOU GO

Schedule

Sunday is the final day to catch Festival of the Arts.

Cafe Stage

11 a.m. A Mirage Dancing Company

Noon Mariachi Lopez

1 p.m. Edgar Cruz — classical guitar

2 p.m. The Talk of the Town Orchestra — instrumental

3 p.m. Highland East JH — choral

4 p.m. Charlie Hill — acoustic

5 p.m. Shortt Dogg — variety

Great Lawn Stage

11 a. m. Range of Motion — dance

Noon Gravity Dance

1 p.m. Sugar Free AllStars — variety

2 p.m. Metropolitan School of Dance

3 p.m. Oklahoma Children's Acting Guild — variety

4 p.m. Velocity Dance Center

5 p.m. OKC Symphonic Band — instrumental

Water Stage

11 a. m. Random Order — rock

Noon ONG — rock

1 p.m. Gotcha Covered — variety

2 p.m. At Long Last — rock/pop

3 p.m. Eden — indie/folk

4 p.m. The Refreshing — pop

5 p.m. Howard Brady Band — rock

Art Moves Stage

11 a.m. Multiple artists — jewelry-making demonstration

Noon Hartel Dance Group — modern dance

1 p.m. Albert Gray Eagle — ceramic flute-making demonstration

4 p.m. Mariachi Orgullo de America — mariachi

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