What Is Cabaret Style Belly Dancing?
Cabaret style belly dance is also known as Oriental, Contemporary (not to be confused with modern contemporary dance) Fantasy, American nightclub or Restaurant belly dancing. Cabaret oriental style belly dancing is the popularised version featured in the media. Think of modern movies like sex & the city or old Hollywood movies like 007 James bond. Cabaret is inspired by Middle Eastern, African, Medetaranean and western dance and culture. These styles are either fused together or performed as separate belly dance styles...ie American cabaret (ussually all fused), Turkish Oriental or cabaret, Egypt Cabaret oriental etc. Lots of props are used like silk veils, Candle and trays, Swords, Finger cymbals, Cane and others. A cabaret Oriental belly dancer may do an artistic floor dance or her drum solo performance may be sharper, hitting lots of accents in the music, or her take on a cane dance may be more elegant. This said there is always a strong pull to authentic belly dance. A cabaret dancer has elaborate costumes, She ussually wears shoes and lots of beautiful makeup. She is also a great entertainer. Cabaret style belly dancing is the most dynamic style of belly dancing because it is just more interesting to the veiwers who are new to watching belly dance. This style of belly dance is the most popular because it's suitable for the whole family and great for all celebrations. 99% of the time bookers wether western or Eastern always want a cabaret dancer. The dance is dynamic attractive non discriminatory and interesting to watch and take part in.
How it all started - in the west
It started with the influx of immigrants to America and the UK in the old days soon after buisnnesses popped up the Medetaranean and Middle Eastern people mixed their music dance and culture thanks to socialisation. Soon western people wanted to learn. With the growing popularity of restaurants featuring live music and dance there where openings for western people to learn and gain employment. It became popular in American first than later in the UK. In the old days dance sets where longer so the dancer had to make her set more interesting. These days with modern technology our attention span are shorter therefore as dancers we have made our sets shorter to keep veiwers interested. This is why props and floorwork and participation are often performed. Cabaret oriental style wins in Entertainment value because it is focused on upbeat performance and not restricted. It's more laid back which is great for parties and celebrations here in the UK.