Donni Dances.

The original denizens of the Donetz, having long lost their own language and identity as a people, nonetheless have their own unique musical style, as well as traditional dances distinctly different from those of both the Riverlanders and their Oran neighbours to the east. What is now called Donni music, however, was brought into the region by the nomads who called themselves the Sephardi, and whom the Donni called Gitanos. In pre-feudal times, Gitanos moved around the valley, never staying for more than a couple of months in one place, earning their bread by helping out during the harvest, and as small-time merchants and street-performers. Their exact origin is unknown, but a popular myth says that they have travelled from the South, having found a land route around the Sorrowful Sea. However unlikely that may sound, the Danza Gitana, or the Flamenco, as the Sephardi called it, is vaguely reminiscent of the southern Shikhata and the Zyriab, particularly in the sharp angles of the body and arms, in the splayed fingers, the percussive footwork and the use of finger cymbals and tambourines. However, where the southern dances are soft and fluid, the Danza Gitana is explosive and defiant in character.
Similarly, the primary instrument of the Sephardi, the 10-string chitarra (a kind of lute, early guitar) is quite reminiscent of the southern Oub.
With the introduction of the feudal-manoral system by the Korolys, the Sephardi disappeared; a few went into the river trade, and the rest assimilated, accounting for some of the darker-skinned and blackeyed Donni nowadays. They nonetheless left their legacy in their music, which is now played and danced to all over the Donetz plains, as well as in Neu Ungren.
Unlike the riverlandish dances, each Donni dance is meant to tell a story. The monotonous drill of the riverlandish jig is replaced by musical‘phrases’ and ‘staves’, each representing a part of the story, at the same time giving the dancers cues on how to dance.
Passacaglia: Probably the most popular Donni dance – a dramatic, spring-loaded dance, frequently danced by two men and a woman, or two women and one man, portraying rivalry and jealousy. The partners face each other in turn; however, it is considered inappropriate for them to touch at all during the dance. It has to be said that the seductive nature of the Passacaglia has not suffered at all from that limitation, as expert dancers dance within but an inch from each other.
Zarabande: Slow and passionate, danced more often than not by a young woman, accompanied by her own singing and the sound of castanets, but often includes the sharp percussion of the chitarra in the background. The woman dances with her eyes cast down, singing a rather grave tune, often about her lover’s death.
Tarentella: A bastardized version of the Passacaglia, extremely popular in Neu Ungren, having more than a dozen names in different parts of the city, as well as many variations. It is danced by a couple as a dance of love, coquetry and inconstancy, charactirized by most voluptuous gracefulness of each gesture and animated by accompanying mandolins and tambourines. The two dancers unite, separate, only to fly into each other’s arms again, etc. Unlike the Passacaglia, the Tarentella permits touching, but again, only of the hands and the waist. Traditionally, it was a dance that supposedly warded off spider venom (hence the name), most likely through the severe perspiration it brought on.
Moresco: A fast group dance, often done with the men wielding swords and the women flowers. Traditionally it was used as a game, symbolic of youth, valiance and the conquest of love. The object for the cavalier was to cut off the the bud of the flower, which the girl of his choice held in the air – a conquest thus made had to result in a kiss.
In Neu Ungren it is danced in many of its variations – with sabers and without, at times adding to it elements of the Ferucci jig as well as the Oran Basse. During public celebrations, it is danced on city squares, often during the night, with the girls holding little lanterns instead of flowers.

Dances of Neu Ungren.

With entire barrios surviving for generations almost solely on providing entertainment for those who can afford it, Neu Ungren has given birth to music and dances of its own, each uniquely characteristic of the barrio it came from. Almost every brothel worth its salt in Neu Ungren has its ‘signature’ dance, or at the very least, its signature variation on the theme. The most famous, as well as the most scandalous of all of them is the Tango. Born in the decadent brothels of the Bank, and perfected by the Bankers themselves, it now is not only a dance, but a way of life for the younger generation of knife-fighters. It takes its roots in the original passionate flamenco tempo, but features frequent changes of pace and stops of the beat, striking poses, as well as very close body contact between the partners. In most social circles it is thus banned and branded as obscene – and yet if one is to enter the Blade at night, he can spot quite a few young navs, each sporting a carnation behind his ear and a swooning young prostitute on his arm; the musician in the corner having way too many empty glasses in front of him, and playing like a madman, striking the strings with the metal “cat-claws” attached to his fingers.
The tango is danced with the man pressing his partner close to him with his left arm, alternating quick and slow steps, and turning abruptly (and sometimes rather frequently) to avoid tables and other pairs. Quite often the knife-fighters of the Bank would use the tango to show off their skills, throwing their knife at the bullseye on the wall with their unencumbered right hand. Unlike its cousin the Tarentella, the dance requires both partners to be precisely coordinated, giving each other clues with their bodies and their eyes alone, as the tango is almost always improvised. It was Thom Friedman, who despite his bulk, is a widely recognized master of the Tango, who once said that he could learn more about a woman by dancing with her once than by listening to her talk for the entire evening.
Last year the Tango made its scandalous debut in the high society of Neu Ungren, when Luca Santoni danced it with the mysterious “genie” at the Carnivale. Since then, a few more attempts were made at the same (including one by his bastard son), at smaller parties, but were met with quite a lot more disdain than Luca got away with. All in all, the Tango is a long ways from shedding its image as the Forbidden Dance.

The Bank’s rival barrio, the Cathedral gave rise to another uniquely Neu Ungren dance – the Fracasso (‘noise’). The Fracasso, which, essentially, is tap dancing, was danced on street corners in the Cathedral district back when Bank was still a part of the swamp, or so its denizens say. It incorporates the percussive footwork of both the Donni Flamenco and the Riverlandish Jig, but features no arm-movements and no musical accompaniment of any kind. It is danced exclusively by men, who attach metal plates to the soles of their shoes (or, in case of hard times, tie metal plates to their bare feet) to make the distinct sound the old priests of the Cathedral found so offensive back when services were still held there, complaining often about the ‘noise’ (hence the name).
Just like the Tango in the Bank, the Fracasso has become an art form in the Cathedral. Most every square or street corner in the city that features decent pavement and acoustics features weekly “challenges”, where Fracasso dancers try to outdo each other in turn. Each contestant dances his best of four measures, challenging the others to top his performance, a practice that is commonly referred to as “trading fours”. It is also common for Fracasso dancers to “steal steps” – that is, to try and figure out how the rival is achieving his particular rhythm by looking (or even just listening) to him dance, and then incorporate those steps into one’s own routine. It is considered extremely bad form, however, to imitate another dancer without adding your own flare. Legendary Fracasso dancers were known to be able to “steal steps” from simply listening to another dance from a block away, as well as to dance so elaborately that no one would be able to steal their steps.

Dances of the Court

Even though the Flamenco style of dancing, with its ease of improvisation and lively music, has taken over most of the festive occasions of the lower classes, the Neu Ungren social elite still considers it indecent and offensive. And so, the court festivities favour the traditional Oran Hoftanz that has been adopted by the Magyr nobility along with the language, and has been danced in Pec and Miskoltz ever since the Koroly ascention to the throne.
Most of the Oran dances feature only five basic dance moves – or the ‘pas’: The Pas Simple (the single step), Pas Double (the double step), the Bransle (change of weight from side to side, swaying gently, as dance teachers insist, like trees in the wind), the Desmarche (same as the bransle, but done forward and backward), and the Reverance, which is a curtsy for the lady and a bow for the cavalier.
Each court dance involves a unique pattern of the above five, done to a specific beat (though usually 3/4 or 6/8) . Most minor festive gatherings of the court feature very basic versions of each dance, but for major gatherings, like the Mayor’s nameday or Fiesta di Patrizii, the court Zeremoniemester constructs unique new patterns for all the dances, taking into account the ballroom that will be used, the amount of people invited, and sometimes even the length of the ladies’ trails. The Orkestrografie is thus drawn and sent to all the guests several weeks prior to the occasion:

Most young nobles at some point undergo mandatory drilling in the basics of the Hoftanz and aesthetics by private tutors, but well-to-do families often hire a dancing master before the big day, to help them learn the new routine. Those who cannot afford extra tutoring either don’t show up at all, or have to spend extra time decyphering and reconstructing the dance pattern themselves.

The young navigators are better off in that respect, as the education in the College includes a comprehensive course of all the proper dances, courtly etiquette and appropriate conversation topics with the fair sex. The Captain’s Council spared no expense in hiring Miskoltz’ finest dance teachers to educate the future of Neu Ungren elite, which ironically places the best dancers of the “noble” dances amongst the navigators.
The traditional sequence of the courtly dance always begins with the Bassedans, which consists of three main parts: the Basse proper, the Retour and the Tourdion. The Basse begins as a ceremonious procession of pairs around the floor, one after another, the cavalier and the lady holding inside hands. The leading pair is established by a silent agreement as the most elegant of the couples; (in case of a wedding, it is the wedding couple) the rest are customarily arranged by status, birth and marriageability (with the debutantes usually going in the front, although it is bad form to have a debutante in the lead). The Basse is a solemn dance, with small gliding steps, danced very slowly on the toes, sometimes executed to acapella singing with quasi-religious overtones.
The Basse is immediately followed by the Retour, although during parties of lesser caliber, this part is often sadly skipped altogether. The leading pair leads the procession into the Retour (which is when it becomes important for them to have studied the Orkestrografie), and the dancers arrange themselves in a “checkerboard” around the floor, alternating men and women. The Retour is danced to the same beat as the Basse before it, but it is a group dance, featuring complex geometric patterns that change from year to year. The pattern used at this year’s Fiesta di Patrizii, for example, involved the participants dancing several beats while holding hands with the persons to their left and their right, side-stepping to the side and back, but then letting go of the hands, reverance with a 90-degree turn and join hands with those that used to be in front and behind them for the next several beats. Every twenty four beats, the adjacent couples switched places, until the “checkerboard” arrangement was reversed to its “negative”, where men ended up in the place of women. The current scandal on the tastebuds of the Neu Ungren rumour-mongers is that young Marco Santoni used this routine to his advantage, switching places in the wrong order, and thus forcing Jagod Benedec into the other side of the room, and dancing alongside his daughter Mikolina for the rest of the Retour.
The Tourdion marks the end of the Bassedans, and usually comes as a relief from the mental strain of the Retour. It is a lively, quicker dance, danced to the 6/8 beat, which excuses most of the older dancers from the floor, as the pas double is replaced by moderate leaps. The first few beats of it are still danced in the Retour’s “checkerboard” (allowing some of the couples to leave), but then the leading couple once again leads the others into the procession which started the Basse for the Tourdion proper. This energetic conclusion to the ceremonious Bassedans means for most of the young participants the beginning of “real” dancing.
This “real” dancing starts with the Branle, an even quicker dance, compared by some of its critics to a “mule kick”, as its defining characteristic is the anterior kick, swing of the leg forward and outwards, and a subsequent fling to the side. It is, nonetheless, a source of great entertainment for the younger dancers. In more confined ballrooms, the Branle is replaced by the Quardenaria, composed of smaller skipping steps and shuffles, with a high leap replacing the kick. From this point on, the dances get faster and more elaborate, most of them essentially amounting to a more vigorous Tourdion – but in the best tradition of the Hoftanz, the partners never face each other (except for the final reverance, where the young women are encouraged to keep their eyes modestly cast down), the gentleman holding the lady’s hand, only occasionally supporting her elbow, and definitely not coming any closer than two feet from her.
All that was changed with the introduction of the Volta (Illona’s favourite dance) by a Zeremoniemeister from Pec roughly eight years ago. Simply scandalous at the time, it nonetheless made it into the ballrooms of Bernandino’s. During the Volta the partners face each other(!), and hold each other reprehensibly close: close enough for the man to place his hand on the partner’s waist (!!). The leader turns the lady around several times, and then helps her take a high leap, effectively lifting her high in the air by her waist, leaping himself immediately after her. Old-fashioned fathers like Lord Imri, Lord Benedec, and, until recently, Lord Serwosy still do not allow their daughters to dance the Volta, saying that the dance brought forth “many murderzh and mishcarriagezh”, and blaming it for the general moral degradation of the younger generation. Bravd—who never understood what the big deal was—in Serwosy’s absence laxed the rules governing Illona’s behaviour severely, and inadvertedly brought down the last defence Jagod Benedec had against the pleas of his own two daughters. Lord Imri, however, remained unwavered in his resolve, especially after Bravd has married Lady Illona off to a navigator.
Another newcomer dance, this time originating in the Stagyri court in Miskoltz, has made it into the Neu Ungren repertoir with slightly less pomp. Unlike the Oran Hoftanz, which features exagerrated positions and large steps, the Stagyri Minuet means “small steps”. Some of the sharper Neu Ungren tongues joke that this dance was invented to spare the poor little feet of the fragile Stagyri in a Magyr court, who couldn’t keep the pace and got trampled over during the Hoftanz. The powdered and curled little Stagyr dance teacher that currently teaches the Minuet to the young noblemen insists that the dance takes at least a year to learn to execute it properly, and that he is yet to find a dancer in Neu Ungren who can do justice to the delicate and gentle nature of the Minuet. Despite this truly tragic fact, the Minuet caught on like a wildfire – primarily because it also features the partners standing close to each other (and the kiss in the end that it encourages!), but surprisingly wasn’t met with the same disdain as the Volta. This phenomenon has a curious explanation, however: because of the nature of some under-arm turns of the Minuet, the cavalier has to be at least a couple of inches taller than the lady. Thus, seeing as the Minuet precluded most lowborn navigators (who average at 5’8”) from dancing with Magyr girls (who tend to be 6’1” and taller), it was chosen as the lesser of the two evils by papa Imri and like-thinkers.
The annual Masque of the Carnivale always gets special attention from the Zeremoniemeisters. The dances have to be engaging, though not incredibly vigorous, as some costumes can get heavy and cumbersome, and having one’s face sweat all night behind the mask can result in poor complexion later. The dances are spaced farther in between, with a troupe of actors and jesters performing a scene of a light-hearted play at every intermission. These intermissions also give the guests the opportunity to flirt, share and create rumours, and in the past several years, served as the time to show off the yearly pranks of the navigators (Espieri two years ago, and Santoni last year). The Basse of the Masque has the dancers stand in a “horseshoe” pattern and dance more of less in place, with the exception of the leading pair at the time, who dance the gap of the horseshoe towards the end of the procession, thus giving their costumes the public attention they deserve.

Dances of the Riverlands.

Although Neu Ungren is home to a sizeable Riverlandish population, the Riverlandish dances are not popular in the city, even amongst the Ferucci. In fact, if one wishes to see a genuine Riverlandish Jig in Neu Ungren, he has to go to The Dryad and enjoy the “outsider” price of the hazelnut ale, waiting for a few hours for the River Rats to get sufficiently drunk to party. The Jig is also often danced on River Rat nameday parties, but since they are celebrated exclusively among the family (and usually on the barge itself), one can only hope to watch the festivities from afar, while the noise of such merrymaking is keeping all of the Docks awake.
The Jig, however, when danced properly, is quite a sight. It is surprising, considering the stocky build of most River Rats, to see such display of agility among them. It is generally danced with one’s arms to the sides (as opposed to the Fracasso, where he dancer actually utilizes his arms to keep his balance), with knees kicked up high, and frequent high leaps. In Neu Ungren it is danced by just men, either in a line or in a circle, with the most skilled dancer in the middle. However, this arrangement is made only due to the lack of River Rat women in Neu Ungren, as most River Rats like to avoid the unwholesome effect the city has on wives and daughters, (not to mention that in general, it is a bad idea to mix pleasure and family life).
Traditionally, the Jig is danced by two or three man-woman couples at a time (with the rest standing in a circle, clapping, and waiting for their turn), the couples following a complex “weaving” pattern. The patterns themselves are particularly hard to document, as they are many and varied, each “clan” of river traders having at least a dozen dances unique to the family. Some of the most common Jig patterns are The Frolic, The Lacemaker, Whirlybird, Marni’s Big Day, Give it A Whirl Mady, A Wee Diff-oooh-guilty (likely the most diff-ooh-gult of the Jigs), The Three Rivers Reel, Misty Bay Rant, and The Bernie Braes, although one can never guarantee that the names correspond to the same patterns as one goes further up the river. Unlike the Danza Gitana of the Donni, where each dance has its own specific rhythm and musical style, different Jigs are danced to, more or less, the same melody, and are called out at the discretion of the musician.
In the same way as Donni music is centered around the chitarra and the mandolin, the Ferucci tunes favour the pipes – of all shapes and varieties, from the pan flutes and slide-whistles of the lowlands, to the reed clarinets of Waldermark, to the bag pipes of the sheep-herding highlanders. Another instrument, of uniquely River Rat origin is now becoming increasingly popular in the city – and that is the Vihuela, or the Gamba, as the riverlanders call it. The fast fingerstyle technique of the Donni mandolin players is unsuited for the short and chubby fingers of the barge workers, calloused by the ores; thus, the number of strings was reduced from 10 to 4, allowing them to be spaced wider apart. Instead of plucking, the River Rats use a bow, holding the instrument vertically on their lap, in the manner of the southern Keman. Artisans in Neu Ungren now make the Spalla: a smaller, more portable version of the Vihuela, it is more suited for the slender Donni fingers, and can be pressed to the chest or the shoulder.

As one travels further north, to the villages of Waldermark, it becomes apparent why so few riverlandish dances made it into the Neu Ungren culture, as most of them are remnants of a centuries-old tradition of Goddess worship. However, even in the “converted” villages, dances like the Reel and the Maypole, although having lost their religious significance, still play a major role in the celebrations of the different Church holidays.
Maypole dancing, likely the oldest of the traditional dances of the riverlanders, exists to this day virtually unchanged, despite the influence of the Church for many generations. On the day prior to the Vernal Equinox, a tall birch tree is cut down for the Maypole. Its branches are cut and distributed amongst the members of the community, who decorate their homes with them, as well as plant them in the fertile spring soil (it is a common custom for young men to plant birches under the windows of their sweethearts). The birch juice is also collected – a pale, slightly sweet watery substance – it is believed to help young girls conceive their first child. The trunk of the birch, stripped of its bark and decorated with wreaths of spring flowers, is erected in the middle of the village, long ribbons attached to its top. The dancers each grab the end of a ribbon and dance around the pole, changing places and directions to create an ornate weave to be enjoyed by all. In the villages by the river, the Maypole is set to float down the Tiertz at the end of the day. In the Goddess-worshipping villages the custom is almost exactly the same, with the additional detail of the chosing of the Queen and the King of Mabon to rule over the day’s festivities – with the obvious consequences frowned on by the Church.
The Reel is a dance that is quite a bit more obscure – and, as a result, persecuted in Waldermark, and unjustly so. It is danced in a grove or a spinny by the women of the community – a slow dance in a spiral, winding and unwinding, accompanied by solemn singing of what sounds like a lullaby. Even though it is firmly believed by the Waldermark Rangers to be a sacrificial ceremony for the Goddess, the Reel is nothing but a thanksgiving dance performed at the end of the harvest to “soothe” the earth as it goes to sleep during the winter. Because of the dangers associated with dancing the Reel in Waldermark, it has been changed to now include men as well as women, and is now danced on the village square on St.Miklos Day.

Dances of the South.

Travellers from the Empire to the South bring back amazing stories of their unforgettable experiences in the divans and harems of Bardia; of the seductive belly dancers, scantily clad in turquoise silks; of the hypnotizing sway of their tanned hips, the melodious chiming of their anklets and the delicate semi-transparent veils accentuating their nudity… It is a shame, really, that the South is given credit for this splendid form of entertainment, as it originated almost entirely in the nightclubs of Neu Ungren.
This isn’t, of course, to say that Neu Ungrenites didn’t have anything uniquely southern to work with. However, dancing in the south traditionally has never been used as a means of seduction, or placation of men: rather, in the same way as the folk dances of the Riverlands, the Raks Sharqi (Meita-na-Salhim name for belly dance) takes its roots in the religious rituals of the southern spirit-worshippers further inland. Despite the copious amounts of available “authoritative” materials on the “exotic ways of the southerners”, the only reliable documentation on the predecessors of Raks Sharqi around is a series of travelogs made by Gaius Chervez-Tervelie roughly fifteen years ago. (Now a part of the private collection of his father Isaac.)
The most widespread (or possibly simply the most public) authentically southern dance is, according to the diaries, the Guedra – the cleansing and blessing dance of the nomadic Tuareg. Also known as the Blue People, for the indigo powder they use to dye their clothes that also makes their skin blue, the Tuareg worship primarily the four elements. The name of the dance and the dancer, however, has nothing to do with the worship – in particular, “guedra” is what the nomads call their cooking pots, which make good drums when skin is stretched over their top. The primary physical movements of this dance are hand and finger flicks, each sending out a blessing to those present in body or spirit. It is danced by one woman at a time, although during one such session (which can go on for many hours) several women could take turns at being the guedra. The drumming and chanting that accompany the dance are based on the human heartbeat; those repetitive background noises, along with the heat and the intensity of the movements send the guedra (and sometimes some of the onlookers) into a trance. In his diaries, Gaius describes the hand movements themselves as ‘surreally graceful and spellbinding, making the rest of the body merely a superfluous detail, as life’s energy rushes to the fingertips’.
A close relative to the Guedra, the Sema is also used as a means to communicate with various spirits. The Sema is used to perform a cathartic sort of emotional healing on behalf of the dancer (usually a woman) who has been “possessed” by the spirit. It is danced to strong rhythms, each specific to the spirit it invokes, sometimes accompanied by sing-song chanting and, on rare occasions, animal sacrifices. It begins, like the guedra, with just the hand and finger movements, but slowly evolves to include the entire body. The distinct feature of this dance is that the upper and lower body dance to different rhythms, moving, it seems, almost independently, thus drawing attention to the midriff of the dancer and making it truly the dance of the belly.
Danced at homecomings, weddings and celebrations of the birth of a son, the Shikhata is a dance of joy and well-wishing. The more secular version of the Sema, it is meant to be first and foremost ornamental in nature. The delicate lines and angles of the body, the proportions of the dancers, the graceful, fluid shifting from one form to the other, the chiming of bronze jewelry – all are meant to please the senses and invoke festive spirits. However, it must be said, that the dancers of the shikhata are dressed with the same utmost modesty as all other respectable women – in long flowing garments, exposing no skin whatsoever, and opaque veils protecting their faces from the prying eyes of the onlookers.
The traditional dance of the southern harems, the Zyriab serves primarily as a preparation means and aid in childbirth. It is, in fact, one of the duties of the First Wife to instruct young concubines in the Zyriab. The dance features little footwork, the movement consisting mainly of the rhythmic rocking of the hips and contained, fluid motions of the arms and the fingers, designed to distract the dancer from the pain of childbearing and help her control her breathing. The Zyriab is accompanied by rhythmic chanting, intended to produce a hypnotic trance, which also effectively serves as an analgesic. Contrary to the stereotype popularized by the hungry northern minds, tantalized by the idea of polygamy, the Zyriab is hardly ever performed in the presence of men. Moreover, some wives expressly forbid their husbands to watch the Zyriab, as that distracts the young women, and undermines the authority the First Wife needs to establish over her younger “sisters”, as well as over all things in the household relating to childbirth and child-rearing.
Historically, the means of seduction in the civilized south has never been dance, but rather poetry. To this day, the most valuable bed slaves are well trained in the art of recitation and composition of love poetry, as well as playing the Oub (a string instrument, similar to a lute). The Bardian Vizier, who is rumoured to have the best (if not the biggest) harem quality-wise, is even known to preserve the virginity of the most talented such slaves, lest, as he mentions, “the poetry of the body mars that of the mind.”
Still, the mystique of the graceful, veiled southern women and the position of utmost authority that southern men were (wrongly) believed to have in their household continued to be the source of numerous fantasies of northerners – and it is those fantasies Neu Ungren has been expertly cashing in on for generations. Uniquely northern art of striptease found great inspiration in the fluid motions of the torso characteristic of the southern dances; motions which were hardly possible in the restrictive corsets of the northern women. Thus, the festive southern costumes were stylized and severely reduced in size, introducing the ever-beguiling exposed midriff, body jewellery, and bellybutton rings. Veils have ceased their existence as guardians of modesty; no longer opaque, but transparent and breezy coverings, they were now meant only to leave the occasional this-and-that to the overworked imagination of northern men. Naturally, of course, the fans of the “exotic southern” nightclubs in Neu Ungren, upon their getting to the fragrant shores of Bardia, expected nothing less from the coffee houses… and Bardians, faced with the opportunity to make an extra scud, were quick to oblige with the “authentic southern” counterpart. Even now, the best “authentically southern” belly dancing costumes are ordered from Neu Ungren by the now “authentically southern” Bardian nightclubs. In fact, the “authentic southern” name for belly dancing is ‘Raks Sharqi’, which in Meita-na-Salhim strangely means ‘exotic dance’.
Now, several generations later, in the severely “Neu-Ungrenized” Bardia, and, to a lesser extent, Harid, the entertainment of Raks Sharqi dancers has become a distinct part of the local culture. The Bardian Emir prides himself in the abundance of belly dancers in his personal harem, often entertaining his northern guests (and northern members of his entourage) with dazzling performances of his concubines – performances at times so ostentatious, that some northerners thank the heavens for the modesty and good sense of Neu Ungren women; as clearly, only the dirty minds of those polygamists down south could come up with something like this…


Uneasy Lies the Head bramadan bramadan