belly dance, istanbul

Belly Dance, Istanbul, Turkey

The **belly dance**, along with with other Anatolian dances and a three-course Turkish meal with wine (which I wouldn't drink) was the portion of the ‘cultural’ experience that I could take. When it was over, what was left for me for the evening was to floss and brush of my teeth and drink the nightly glass of water. And afterward, to settle on the clean white bed, and read, and sleep.

The young lady from the Anatolian dance troupe who performed on my side of the stage laughed gaily with every twist of her body and each turn of her slender hands. When her turn was over she sat back and laughed silently as she watched other troupes perform. Her costume made her seem younger than her young self, and I stared unashamedly at the pose she struck, amazed that one can be so stranded in happiness.

A young Indian couple were at my next table (a tiny Union Jack before them; the Indian tricolor before me). When the lady picked up her camera and began to shoot I gathered courage and took aim as well—at this dancer.