Lebanese Belly Dance
Like other styles of Eastern bellydance, Lebanese belly dance is very ancient, most likely going back at least as far as to the Phoenicians. Today it is considered an artful blend of Egyptian belly dance (Raks Sharki) and Turkish belly dance (Oryantal Dansi). Lebanese belly dancing is generally more energetic than typical Raks Sharki, yet softer than the Turkish bellydancing style. Lebanese belly dance has been made famous by such bellydance stars as Nadia Gamal and Amani.
The Moves: The same belly dance moves and core belly dance techniques are used in Lebanese bellydancing as in Egyptian, Turkish, or classic American styles of bellydance. Like Egyptian style belly dance, Lebanese belly dance may have subtle influences from other genres of dance like ballet (which itself was originally influenced by Persian court dances of the eighteenth century). The use of finger cymbals and props are common.
Music: As with both Egyptian and Turkish styles of bellydance, both traditional and modern Arabic music is predominately used by Lebanese bellydancers. One popular Lebanese composer of belly dance music is Raja Zahr. He has produced a number of albums of modern belly dance music by blending Arabic rhythms and melodies with Western instruments and interpretations. His recordings have been used by thousands of American bellydancers since the 1970s. Listen to a sample of Raja's belly dance music
Costume: Lebanese belly dance costumes are usually elegant nightclub styles, consisting of the typical two-piece belly dance outfit of a decorated bra top and a matching belt (usually beaded) over a skirt. Using rich fabrics and jewelry, the costuming of Lebanese bellydancers is similar to the Egyptian belly dance costume style. However, Lebanese bellydancers are allowed to uncover their abdomen in public performances and usually do so.