Middle Eastern Dance Vs Native American Dance

1377 Words6 Pages
Native American dance versus Middle Eastern dance is obviously very different culturally and for other reasons as well. However, through research and my basic understanding and knowledge of the two different dance forms I came to realize they do share a lot of similarities and commonality. Both dances are a large part of the lives of people who perform them, for both enjoyment and duty. I discuss in this paper the purpose of the dances and their influences, the costumes of the dancers and their evolution, the music that accompanies the dance, and finally the most important aspect of the dance the movement. Firstly, Native Americans and Middle Easterners have always had a purpose for dancing, whether it is for fun or a religious ceremony. Native…show more content…
Almost every Native American tribe has their own unique style of dress and because of this members can see each other’s identities by looking at their clothes, headdresses and adornment. Native American regalia is specific to each tribe and person, but what remains the same between each tribe is the basis of their dance wear. The men typically wear breechcloths paired in colder climates with leather or hide leggings and buckskin shirts. Women usually wear shirts with leggings or dresses, the length and material varies. As well, almost all Native Americans wear a form of moccasins. The basis of the costume is then decorated and embellished and is very complex and elaborate. Native Americans who possess the ability in making and decorating the apparel are very respected. They are decorated with bright geometric and floral patterns adorned with shells, animal bone and teeth, quills etc. One headdress called a trailer that is made with rows of eagle feathers is worn by men so that in combination with their flowing movement the feathers flow as well. Some dancers fasten bells or other objects that make a slight noise to their regalia adding another level of appeal to their performance. More often than not the outfits or aspects of the outfits have been passed down from generation to generation. Middle Eastern costuming differs as well…show more content…
It is the physical embodiment of their different cultures. Native American dancers traditionally always dance in a slightly tilted forward movement involving flat footed stomping, and forward raising knees. Of course the style and movement of dance vary from tribe to tribe and area. Because of this I have chosen one dance to focus on. The Hoop Dance which is one of the popular Native American dances today and is performed by both men and women. The dance is a trial of physical stamina and balance, it requires the dancer to dance in and out of hoops while at the same time making figures with the hoops all while keeping rhythm with the drummer. The dance begins with the hoops placed on the ground the dancer then uses footwork to make the hoop jump up and in one swaying motion glide over the dancer’s body. The revolving motion of the dancer’s body and the hoop portray the obstacles that must be overcome in life. In contrast to Native American dance Middle Eastern dance revolves around torso and hand work rather than footwork. The arm and hand movement is delicate and draws the audience's eye to the torso. The dancer expresses rhythm lifting and dropping her rib cage, the belly moves with the hips in a rippling motion. Even though the movement of both dance forms are very different they both show the dedication to embodying the music they’re dancing to

    More about Middle Eastern Dance Vs Native American Dance

      Open Document