How to Choose a Belly Dance Face Veil

By Bellydanceplanner - September 02, 2019

How to Choose a Belly Dance Face Veil

Although it may not seem like it, the veil is a very popular element in the world of Arabic dance, regardless of style (which varies by country and region). You can add that drama and mystery that not only many dancers like to use, but it is typical of folklore in some regions of the Middle East. Choosing a face veil will depend on the type of belly dance you are going to dance. In this article, we will explain the different types of dance that includes them so you can know how to choose it.

1. Khaliji.  In the area of ​​the Arabian Gulf (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates) there is a folk dance called Khaleegy or Khaliji (from Arabic خليج, which literally means gulf). This dance was named after the Egyptians, and designates the area where it is danced, covering various traditional and folk dances of Saudi Arabia. In this dance, the dancers use the face veil as an element of coquetry, since the costume is a robe (or tunic) called Khaleeji abaya, made with embroidered garments that does not leave much in sight, so the eyes and hair are the only elements that dancers have to “play”. So much so, that it has even been designated as “the dance of the hair”. The face veil of Khaliji usually mixes fabrics, embeds and embroidery.

 (The abaya)

 (abaya with face veil)

2. Melaya Lef. It is a personified dance, danced by Egyptian folk groups known as "Melaya Lef" (piece of rolled fabric), where a "piece of black color" is used as an accessory. The dancer in this dance plays to be very flirtatious, while she slowly shows parts of her body that the blanket covered. The face veil is a typical element of this dance, and they are usually a bit more elaborate (long, made of crochet and coins).


3. Tribal Belly Dance. A modern style of American-created dance. It is divided into two branches, the "American Tribal Style" and the subsequent "Tribal Fusion" styles. Since it includes elements from different regions, face veils can vary quite a lot, although they are usually elaborated. They can even mix chains, chiffon, embroidery and coins.

4. Harem Belly Dance. The harem or harim is nothing more than the part of the traditional house of the Middle East in which Women reside, although it also designates the set of women who live under the dependence of a head of household. Therefore, this type of dance is more sensual (“dancing for the head of the household”) and distills genie-like vibes. The veil is usually made of chiffon, and can be simple or have ornaments.

5. General folklore. Bedouins and Egyptians also use face veils of coins, but each has its own variation. Bedouins use colored gemstones while Egyptians stick to just coins.

                        (Bedouin coin face veil)                               (egyptian coin face veil)

Indian Belly Dance’s face veil is usually from chiffon and has lots of ornaments and embeds, and sometimes it’s used for tribal choreographies too.

Face veils are also used when dancing with swords, candlesticks (or any other luminous element) since it adds a touch of mystery. In Qatar it is also a typical element: they can use the face veil throughout the dance, or remove it as the choreography progresses. As you can see, choosing them will also depend on the instructions of the choreographer or teacher.

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