Dancing at the Fair

The Introduction of Belly Dance to the US

The 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago, Illinois is undoubtedly the first big splash made by this dance form in this country. The Fair, itself, was an amazing spectacle that also gave us the ferris wheel, Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit gum, and spray paint. But dance du ventre, what we have translated to “belly dance,” was one of the most popular attractions on the Midway of the Fair. Join Kalila Indivar for a survey of belly dance's introduction to the US.

Your Instructor

Kalila Indivar
Kalila Indivar

With a background in art history and international studies, and a lifelong love of dance, Kalila Indivar brings her unique perspective to the history of bellydance in America. She stumbled across belly dance in 2004 and hasn’t stopped yet. She was inspired to start studying the history of this dance form several years ago by a homework assignment for a workshop with the inimitable Mira Betz. She actively continues her research today and is happy to share the fruits of her labor with the dance community, or random strangers willing to listen. Kalila has studied several styles of belly dance, including Egyptian cabaret (raqs sharqi) and folkloric, ATS® where she is certified as a Sister Studio, and her true love, Transnational Fusion. She has produced and choreographed several shows at the Minnesota Fringe Festival. Want more? Visit kalilaindivar.com or follow kalilaindivar on Instagram.

Course Curriculum

  Dancing at the Fair
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Thanks for joining me! Want to learn more about belly dance history? Another lecture with is coming soon. In the meantime, you can always check out my bibliography at artistplusathlete.com/bibliography. I add more items periodically, so feel free to check back.

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