22 March 2011

Dance Me Around the World

I have my dancing shoes on today, metaphorically speaking. Actually, I'm wearing an adorable pair of black patent leather, pointy-toed, kitten heels with little bows on the back. Professional. But when I go to the copy room I get my moves on. 

I think the best ways we can learn about a culture is through its music, its dancing, its religion, and its food. I found these videos and they're great because you get two of the four. The first up is belly dancing. The dancer, Sadie, isn't actually from the Middle East, but she does a darn good job faking it with those hips. I really love this video and find it fascinating that people can train their muscles to move like this...

Next up is some dancing from the Punjab region that strattles India and Pakistan. This is from a group of young Indians and Pakistanis that are trained in traditional dance (with a twist) that won best group dance at the Bruin Bhangra competition. I seriously dare you not to clap by the end.

Chinese dancing. *sigh* So beautiful. So quiet. So fluid. I love how the motions never really stop. They dancer may hold a pose but the toes move from point to flexed or the pinky moves just this or that way. It's breath-taking. Here's a chinese dancer performing The Lotus Flower.

We can't talk about Russian dance without talking about the ballet. Just the other day I watched a great documentary that followed students through the years dancing for the Mariinsky Theatre company (previously the Kirov), it's called Ballerina and you can get it on Netflix instant queue. The following is Anastasia Volochkova playing Odette in Swan Lake.

What is your favorite cultural dance? Be sure to leave me a link to a video of your favorites!


  1. Spains flamenco and Irish step dancing have always captured me. Dancing like them was a dream of mine growing up.

    Flamenco in a music video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KHw7gdJ14uQ

    Feet of Flames:

  2. Thanks Ashley! That Iron and Wine video is gorgeous. I've heard the song a million times and never would have imagined flamenco with it. It is perfect!