Desert Spirit Films
Monique Monet
Ideas of Dance
Art of Costuming
Rev. Dance Film
Kay's R.D.Review
Mata Hari
Nobody's Puppet!
Free Spirit
Tramps & Thieves
Got The Message
Video Baladi
Review by Taaj
Last Stand by Kay
Sacred Surprise
Video Op
Dancing For Love

     Hello, this is Monique Monet. Thank-you for visiting Desert Spirit Films' website.

     My focus here is primarily contemporary Middle-Eastern Dance (and World Dance); and secondarily, all aspects and influences of the outer world -- as they affect the modern dancer.

     Like a magical poem, like the most pure love, Dance is a beautifully intense expression of life.

     I am aware of no other experience that encompasses more of life than does dance. Life, as expressed through the physical, mental, emotional, and intuitive channels, most nearly fulfills its ultimate potential through dance.


     The word dance means many different things to countless different people.

     To some it can be a path to liberating self- expression, to others, just a way of getting out and meeting people. There are those who use dance as a means of seduction, as a business activity, or as a form of aerobic exercises.

     And, all too often with serious but deluded students, dance becomes a trap in which the dancer struggles frantically with arbitrary technique in desperate hope of gaining someone else's approval and acceptance.

     Without specific clarification, Dance is an extremely broad and complex word.

     Trace Middle-Eastern Dance back 7,000 years to its earliest beginnings in ancient Sumer and you'll find it was practiced as a very personal ritual; often as a form of worship of the God Inanna. But whether as prayer or empowerment, each woman's dance was her own unique expression of herself.

     Over the centuries dance became increasingly "regulated". Some moves were "acceptable" while others were not. Certain combinations were "required" in each performance if the dancer was not to be scoffed at by her peers.

     Feet, legs, hips, chest, shoulders, arms, hands, neck, head, face -- each part of the body came to have certain prescribed roles (movements) in the dance. The ancient wild dance of freedom had slowly become chained and controlled by a myriad of dance technicalities.

     By the 1970's what had begun, millennia ago, as the free-flowing Dance of Inanna had been restricted, and regulated, and commercialized into a very polished repetition of carefully programmed intricate technique.

     But as the expression of genuine creative human energy within the dance diminished, and as commercial Middle-Eastern Dance became increasingly viewed as outdated, audiences began looking elsewhere for entertainment.

     "The dance is finished here." So said one of the world's most acclaimed dancers, Fifi Abdou, in 1999 following a show at the Cairo Meridian in Cairo, Egypt (as quoted from page 32 of the December issue of Habibi Magazine, Vol. 17, No. 4). Her dance was finished. As the younger generation of Egyptians and Arabs became more and more attracted to the broad offerings of Western entertainment, commercial Belly Dance was increasingly viewed, in the Middle East, as passe.

     But while the dance of Fifi Abdou was finished, the ancient Dance of Inanna is now reemerging, phoenix-like, from the flames of restrictive tradition and the ashes of commercialism.

     Once again, as was the case thousands of years ago, we are recognizing a Middle Eastern Dance that belongs to the dancer.

     As a means of creative entertainment, as an art form, as prayer, or magic ritual, the ancient and free dance (born in the Middle East but at home in the world) is once again on the rise.


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[Desert Spirit Films] [Monique Monet] [Ideas of Dance] [Art of Costuming] [Rev. Dance Film] [Kay's R.D.Review] [Tee-Shirts] [Mata Hari] [Nobody's Puppet!] [Free Spirit] [Tramps & Thieves] [Got The Message] [Video Baladi] [Review by Taaj] [Last Stand by Kay] [Sacred Surprise] [Video Op] [Chorihani] [Dancing For Love] [Spellbound]