Linking your favorite traveling artists across the globe
A Woman's Book of Power lists four basic forms called the sacred shapes of dance. Each figure connects to different emotions and symbolic meanings
Different shapes convey a variety of messages. Straight lines do not have the same feeling as rounded shapes. In belly dance, the dancer is creating various shapes in space with her body. She has the ability to get her audience to feel particular emotions as they view her dance by selecting certain moves over others. In A Woman’s Book of Power (Berkley Publishing Group, 1998), Karen Andes lists four shapes that she calls the sacred geometry of belly dance.
Andes suggests that dancers consider how linear moves “feel like fighting. With them we cut through space, define or conquer it.” Envision a dancer performing the sharp hip moves and shoulder thrusts of a drum solo. These moves are powerful and dramatic and the music that accompanies these moves gets the audience’s heart pumping.
On the other hand, she says that rounded movements “feel like caresses. With them we curl through space and simply move around any obstacles.” These moves capture the audience’s attention with their hypnotic qualities. The music complements the dance moves. Envision a slow hip circle to a fast drum or a shoulder shimmy to an oud – it doesn’t work as the dancer and the musician contend for the audience’s emotions.
For the belly dancer who performs (or even practices privately) from a viewpoint of the sacredness of belly dance, she can use the four shapes to connect her spirituality to her dance. Women can learn how the movements that they make in dance can convey different symbolic meanings as they add a deeper intention to their dance.