Looking for my belly
Looking for my belly is a performance/lecture in which I propose a postcolonial and feminist rewriting of the history of Arab dances. It is based on a study of archives and colonial texts that weaves together ‘lived experience’ and historical sources. What remains of ‘belly dancing’? What remains of ‘North African dances’? What is a ‘contemporary Arab dance’, and who decides on the ‘contemporaneity’ of Arab artists? Beyond its aesthetic and artistic dimension, I hypothesise that the Arab dancing body is a construction linked to heterogeneous and sometimes antagonistic discourses, whether they be nationalist, colonialist, or conservative. This lecture/performance is a polyphonic rewriting of the history of belly dances, combining the voices of western colonial texts, the voices of the indigenous and the colonised, and the voices of contemporary dancers.
is an associate professor at Université de Paris Cité. In addition to being a performer and dancer specialising in Arab world dances, she has been the artistic director of the Carthage Choreographic Days (Tunisia) 2018–2022. She is the author of several academic publications which scrutinise the socio-discursive constructions of the artist’s/performer’s body in Arab and Muslim countries. She is a performer and dancer seeking to combine her theoretical knowledge with her dancing practice.