Cabaret Loulou is a dance performance that reimagines in order to reclaim the baladi cabaret space and form. By deconstructing baladi dance and its traditional movements, music, costumes and designs, the project pays homage to the form’s legends while also questioning the role of society’s gaze at various moments in history and this gaze’s effect on the evolution of the dance form and Orientalist belly dance representation. The famous “belly dancer” of today is an image stuck within itself, perpetuating the same visuals, form and music.
Why has this dance form been appropriated across the world? Why has this dance form been stigmatized in the Arab world, where it has rich histories? Cabaret Loulou is an experiment in form, music, and aesthetics via a performance that not only sheds light on forgotten histories but creates new possibilities for baladi dance.