Spinoff from "Turkish Bellydance Videos"

Farasha Hanem

New member
:think: My question is, how does Tarkan fit into the Turkish bellydance scene? I know he's an entertainer, a singer to be exact, but from what I've read, he's also a devout Muslim. Are all Muslims totally against dance (Sharukh Khan is also Muslim and a Bollywood star, and he dances)? It's a bit confusing to me. Has Tarkan made any sort of public statement about his attitude towards bellydance? It looks like he learned a move or two somewhere:



So while what he does may not be Turkish bellydance per se (or even bellydance at all), it seems heavily influenced by bellydance. He has a lot of hipwork going on, and his undulations are to DIE for (jealous! >.>;; ), at about 2:09, he does a Lebanese drop (with his own little flair when he gets up out of it), and I think I saw him subtly shoulder shimmy at least twice. From the video evidence, he seems to enjoy dancing. And he has to know that bellydancers all over the world dance to his music. So is it safe to say that Tarkan has a favorable attititude towards bellydance? :think: And how much of an influence is that on his own country? :think:
 
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indrayu

New member
I haven't read the Koran from cover to cover, let alone the texts that have more specific Islamic laws, but seeing as that swathe across the globe from North Africa through the Middle East to South Asia is where most of the world's best dance music has always come from (in my very humble opinion ha ha) and it has mostly Muslim communities, I reckon it would be safe to say that most Muslims don't have a problem!

In fact, the Muslim communities I have been involved with show that you don't need alcohol to have a great party. Music and dancing keep people happy; parties continue late even if there is work and school the next day, spontaneous singing and dancing might be a normal way to while away an hour or so and traditional celebrations like weddings can go on for days, with a series of parties for this and that stage in the process.

The political influence globally comes from where the money is. These days in the Muslim-majority countries, the money is where the killjoy no-fun versions of the religion come from, the interpretations that most people didn't find acceptable and still privately don't like. It just might not be expedient for them to be public about their objections.
 

Farasha Hanem

New member
Thank you, Indrayu, that's very interesting. :D But from what I understand, dancing only becomes a problem when it's taken to the stage and the dancer gets paid for it. Tarkan is not a bellydancer, no (he may know bellydance; I'm just saying he doesn't make a living at it any more than Shakira, he merely incorporates the moves into his entertainment), but he doesn't seem to have a problem including bellydance vocabulary in his dancing (and at the risk of ruffling some feathers, IMNSHO, he does it BETTER than Shakira :redface: ). So does he look favorably upon belly dancing as a paid profession? :think: Folk dancing is in a whole different context from stage performance. :think:

Oh, something interesting. About 20+ years ago, I did read the Qu'aran (?) from cover to cover, but THIS is the gal who can't remember half the time where she put her doggone keys... >.>;;;;;;
 

indrayu

New member
Oh, something interesting. About 20+ years ago, I did read the Qu'aran (?) from cover to cover, but THIS is the gal who can't remember half the time where she put her doggone keys... >.>;;;;;;[/QUOTE]

I'm impressed :clap:

I believe the anti-dance rules come from the additional books of customary law and interpretation, written in the early days of the religion, rather than form the Koran itself. (I'm taking the easy way out with spelling)

I don't know about Tarkan himself, but it is normal for artists to support each other's rights to perform/exhibit/screen, from the points of view of freedom of expression, healthy cultural life etc. What is good for one is good for all. Just guessing here, but it has happened in other circumstances, that Tarkan could be using a bit of dance in his video as a subtle statement against the anti-dance movement.

When it comes to cultural acceptability, there's always shades. If I had become a ballet dancer, my parents would have been so proud. If I had been a dancer at the Moulin Rouge.... the international status, competitive skill level etc would not be enough to get over the shame topless dancing.

From news reports from Turkey, I get the impression that there is currently quite a dynamic situation, with conservative forces against moderates. Hopefully, someone who lives there or has been there recently will be able to tell us more :)
 

Farasha Hanem

New member
I hope so, too; I'd like to hear from someone who lives there, or at least has spent some extended time there.

Didn't a similar movement happen in Egypt a few years ago? I seem to remember having read an online article about a conservative movement forming there, trying to promote conservatism in film and other forms of entertainment. If I remember right, the Arab Spring was heavily involved in it. Wonder if what happened in Egypt had an effect on what's going on now in Turkey (or if it was the othe way around)? :think:

I also wonder how the conservative movement will affect bellydance in Turkey? :think:
 
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Ariadne

Well-known member
:think: My question is, how does Tarkan fit into the Turkish bellydance scene?
Well, he lists dancing, singing, and marbles as his favorite things to do when he was growing up. He actually grew up in Germany till he was 14 when his family moved to Turkey and has lived in New York off and on since his career took off. He has used his popularity to speak out against religious prejudice in Turkey where I understand he's considered their equivalent of Elvis.
While he hasn't spoken specifically about BD that I know of I would say it's safe to say he's not likely to have any issues with it and man can the guy flutter.

Tarkan: Belly Dancing Poster-boy
 

Farasha Hanem

New member
That's right. But I'm asking if Tarkan has a problem with dancers who perform bellydance on the stage, since the Middle East considers it "harem" (even though apparently they don't mind the tourism it attracts?). :think: After what's been said already, I'm inclined to think he doesn't. I was wondering about it, though, after reading in another thread here that a well-known Egyptian teacher expressed his dislike of bellydancers. It's all very confusing how someone who teaches, promotes, or performs professionally would still consider stage bellydance to be harem.

I hope I'm not confusing anyone. I know I'M confused. :confused:
 

indrayu

New member
I was wondering about it, though, after reading in another thread here that a well-known Egyptian teacher expressed his dislike of bellydancers. It's all very confusing how someone who teaches, promotes, or performs professionally would still consider stage bellydance to be harem.

I hope I'm not confusing anyone. I know I'M confused. :confused:
Let's hope that kind of hypocrisy is rare.
 

Farasha Hanem

New member
Let's hope that kind of hypocrisy is rare.
I hope so, too. :( I can't remember which thread I read that in, but it IS rather upsetting that a person who makes money teaching people to bellydance would consider his students to be sluts and whores. Why bother teaching if that's his feelings? To me, it would be more shameful to teach something I was against, so how does he justify what he is doing? :wall:

I want to understand the people who's culture I love, because loving a culture cannot be separated from loving its people. There are just some things I can't wrap my mind around. :confused: But of course, there's a lot about Western culture that is confusing, and you could make SEVERAL threads on that alone. :confused:
 
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Tiziri

New member
(I have been very remiss in reading and lurking a lot and not posting yet...)

Muslimah dancer, not speaking for anyone but myself or as any kind of authority, but:

I haven't read that Tarkan is particularly devout, although he is Muslim. But he has had bellydancers perform with him at concerts. I was just skimming YouTube looking for one of those...also the video for "Acımayacak" which features a rather nice dancer. It doesn't seem likely he has any problem with it.

The issue of whether or not music and dancing is haram is widely debated. There is a whole spectrum of Islam, and on the more conservative end, they are often considered haram (as a rule Salafis don't dance or sing -- although singing devotional songs unaccompanied is permissible.) However, if they were across the board and unequivocally considered so, there wouldn't be long and institutionalized traditions of music and dance in any Islamic societies. And also...it is very easy, but not always right, to conflate "fundamentalist" or "most conservative" with "most devout." Some very religiously devout people are not necessarily the most religiously conservative, and there are very good scholarly arguments made for the permissibility of both...at least if certain conditions are met. Then others believe it to be haram, but are uneasy with condemning it wholesale. So it might be "haram...but..."

This is a very nuanced thing.

P.S.: I've never seen it argued that music and dance haram only if performed onstage/for money -- there might be someone who interprets hadith that way, I just haven't seen it. The argument is generally whether or not they are haram in and of themselves.
 
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