|Author||Laura Cooper and Sarah Skinner|
It is a beautiful introduction to a beautiful dance! The book offers cultural and historical perspective on Danse Oriental, or "belly dance," it describes various styles of dance - historical and modern fusion, provides costuming and performance advice and tips on improving one's showmanship and interaction with the audience. I wanted to have this book as a teaching reference (it is definitely a must-have for a dance instructor's library), and I will also recommend it to any beginner student of belly dance who is choosing a creative direction, curious about various aspects of this dance. I loved the sections on dancing with props - cane, sagat, wings of Isis, tray of candles, sword. From its excellent description of dance movements step-by-step, to transcripts of full show routines, the book is rich in learning and creative material. One disappointment was that I hoped to see the photos of the author herself (an amazing dancer) demonstrating the movements; instead there are about a dozen models in the book (all very good), but no pictures of the author.I enjoyed the elegant writing style and the inspiring focus on the artistry of dance. This book is definitely among the best in its field, written by an acclaimed dance instructor with a powerful artistic vision.