Dance and entertainment
Modern dance and entertainment
“I wanted to create a new form of art, an art completely irrelevant to the usual theories, an art giving to the soul and the senses at the same time complete delight, where reality and dream, light and sound, movement and rhythm form an exciting unity.” (Loie Fuller)
Among the cultural innovations of the Arab and Ottoman world in the 19th century were the European-style vaudeville theatres that staged a variety of performances including dance and operetta. Local cultural life was able to absorb some European genres according to the specific style and theatrical traditions of the region, such as ortaoyunu (Turkish folk theatre) and tuluat (improvisational theatre). European-style musical instruments and singing, in addition to French and Italian operetta, became part of the Arab and Ottoman cultural landscape. As well as the new theatre venues, the ballroom became fashionable among the elite as a place to practise dancing the waltz, quadrille, polka and foxtrot. In late 19th- and early 20th-century Europe, as a result of the meeting between the “Eastern” and “Western” cultural traditions, the Orientalist art scene provided modern dance performances and entertainments that gave symbolic expression to an era; eccentric and mystic shows that made extensive use of the bare feet and bent knees seen extensively in dances of the “East”. New entertainment venues that appeared in the Near and Middle East during this century include music and cabaret halls, opera and theatre houses, and bars.
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Dance and entertainment

Traditional folk dances
Traditional entertainment
Modern dance and entertainment
Loie Fuller: the serpentine dance

19th century

National Library of France , France

The work of Loie Fuller (1862‒1928) provided a bridge between Romanticism and Modernism, between ballet and multiple forms of “new dance”.

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Dance and entertainment