Part of the fun of being involved with belly dance is learning about the cultures from which it originates - the Middle East, North Africa, and Turkey and Asia Minor. Besides dance, there the costumes and jewelry, food, music, history, and so much more. I wanted to share with you a gem of a source for highly consumable cultural nuggets - Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts. It is quite the treasure trove when it comes to Middle-Eastern dance and culture related activities (other ethnic dance, too!).
For example, this Sunday, April 22, just for the price of admission, you can catch a lecture titled “The First Egyptian Revolution: The Rise of Kingship and Monumentality in Early Egypt”. Upcoming events include:
- The Boston Turkish Film Festival, on now through April 28th.
- Mal Barsamian, one of our legendary local musicians, will be giving a talk and demo on that most Middle-Eastern of instruments, the oud (or ‘ud) on Wednesday, June 6. Barsamian is a master oudist, among many other things. Again, just for the price of admission!
- There will be a classical Indian dance talk and demonstration on Sunday, June 10.
In addition to special programs and lectures, there are, of course, the collections - ancient Near Eastern, Egyptian, Greek, and Nubian art and artifacts, to name a few.
Boston not easy to get to for you? Check out the MFA’s Giza Archives, an online comprehensive resource for research on the area surrounding the Giza Pyramids, which contains thousands of ancient tombs, temples, settlements, and artifacts. The archives contain photographs and other documentation from the original Harvard University - Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition (1904 to 1947), from recent MFA fieldwork, and from other expeditions, museums, and universities around the world.
We'll post interesting events (like the ones listed above) on the BDNE events calendar, but do check in on the MFA site from time to time. You'll never know what you'll find!
P.S. Not an MFA member? Check with your local library - they often have museum passes you can check out for free.