Transgender belly-dancer argues with other dancers over ‘decency of art’

Illustrative photo

A provocative Moroccan belly dancer, who goes by the stage name “Noor,” and Hakima al-Arousi, a dance teacher at a Spanish institute in the country, recently engaged in a war of words over the decency of the art form.

Noor accused Arousi’s dancing of being cheap, while Arousi in turn described her as “spreading vulgarism and ignorance” in her dance style.

Noor, who was born as a male before changing her gender, said that belly dancing does not merely involve shaking the body in order to excite spectators as is often thought.

Instead, she said, dancing is a movement of “physical elaboration,” and that she “does not usually dance to get money like some of the dancers do, but practices belly dancing for authentic personal pleasure.”

Nour, who was in her childhood a male known as “Noordin” before changing her gender, said belly dancing is not just a simple way of moving the body to excite spectators, but is instead a series of movements of “physical elaboration.”

However, the spat between the two dancers is all part of the art’s “intense competition” in the country, said Mohammad Didi, a professor of expressionist dance in Rabat.

“These accusations reflect the intense competition between the most famous Moroccan dancers, as each one strives to be on the top of oriental belly dancing throne in the country,” said Didi.

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