Redefining sexy

As I continue to work on The History of (my) Dance, I keep coming back to this image. It is a sketch of a dancer at the Algerian Village  from the 1893 World’s Fair. If you are a belly dancer, especially an American one, you should be familiar with this Fair in particular. It is the one that introduced this country to the dance form. What amazes me about this photo is how modestly dressed she is. Yet because she is uncorseted, and Victorian times being what they were, she was thought to be sexy and a bit naughty. Neither proponents, nor detractors of the art form could see past their cultural lens.  Hubba hubba.

Algerian dancer from the 1893 World's Fair