The Dream City, Paul V. Galvin 
Digital History Collection
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  A DANCE IN THE STREET OF CAIRO THEATRE - "The young woman in the centre of the stage, who is represented in books of travel as an Eastern houri, is about to render the celebrated danse du ventre, and it will be seen that practice in the movement of her body rather than her feet has greatly developed her abdominal region. We are to understand that this development has increased her beauty in the Oriental imagination, as it has certainly lessened it according to Western canons of taste. The music which will accompany this performance will be of a most monotonous character, the drums, particularly, hurting the ordinary ear with their increasing sharp beats. Stamping her foot forward, the dancer will move her shoulders up and down, increasing the contortions of her body, striking the castanets she carries, whirling sometimes, but more often stamping forward, each time to a posture nearer the floor, until, as she seems to expire in the excitement of the rapid music and cries of the musicians, other houris rise from their couch and take her place, or join her, waving long strips of illusion or lace in a graceful and rhythmic manner. No ordinary Western woman looked on these performances with anything but horror, and at one time it was a matter of serious debate in the councils of the Exposition whether the customs of Cairo should be faithfully reproduced, or the morals of the public faithfully protected. All Asiatic, African and some Muscovite dances resembled one another."
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Page created: August 26, 1998