Dance Around The World – Marrakech, Morocco
Marrakech is a wondrous and unique city with a bit of restrain. As I walked through the souqs and the main plaza, I was surrounded by beautiful art, smells, and music. It seemed to have all the right components for dance.
My husband and I stayed in Medina, the historical area of Marrakech. This area was bustling with people and even some street performers. A young girl performed aerobic tricks to some music. It was similar to what you might find on the television show, “Dance Mom’s.” I also came across a few hmmm… how should I put it… annoying street dancers. They were men dressed quite decoratively, shaking a cymbal-like instrument, while wearing a hat with a tassel on top. The men would skitter up to you smiling, shaking their instrument, and shifting their body in such a way the tassel would fling around in a circle over their head. If you paid them any attention, they would take off their hat, and try to put in on your head for you to mimic their tassel spinning dance. Then of course they want you to pay them.
I’ve got to say, now that I’ve been traveling for close to four months straight, I’m onto these street performers. For a street performer to earn a little cash from me, they have to be talented or introduce me to something I’ve yet to see. Needless to say, none of the street performers in Marrakech earned any cash from me. Therefore, you won’t see them pictured in my blog.
As we strolled around and met people, I began to see and feel many cultural differences. With so many women covered in full burkas, I began to doubt I’d see dance because of the religion. I also began to worry that filming my dance might be seen as inappropriate. In the end, I did end up filming my dance in a few tourist areas. I figured I wouldn’t stick out too much if we filmed there. Luckily we didn’t have any problems, and I found dance!
While my husband and I enjoyed a meal, we were entertained by belly dancers. Out of all the places, it seemed like an oxymoron that we were seeing half-dressed dancers in a place where so many women are covered from head to toe. During their performance, one dancer was adorned with a plate of candles on her head as she danced. I was so impressed. She even came over to our table, taught me a few steps (surprisingly similar to a basic salsa step), and let me try to dance with the plate of candles on my head. WOW! It was way more difficult than I thought. Funny, I remember watching an episode of Tyra Bank’s “Top Model” where the contestants had to try this task. I remember laughing at the models as they cried and complained about how hard it was to balance a plate on their head. Now, I have a little more sympathy for them.
I wish I had more time to discover dance in Morocco, but my time is limited. My sampling of dance around the world just may have to be an ongoing journey. For the next month, I’m heading to Europe to see, learn, and continue dancing.
So much to see, so little time,
The Offbeat Ballerina