Dance in the Culture of Baalbek, Lebanon
- Author(s): Afra Haddad, Maha
- Advisor(s): Terricciano, Alan
- et al.
"Dabke is manhood, existence in life," is how dabke, the line dance of Baalbekdance of Baalbek, a village in Lebanon, was described to me. Traditional dabke dances of Baalbek are for men only: and only '"real men'' do these dances. The women's place in this society is only to bear children. Yet these traditional male dances are becoming a stage vestige. In addition to belly dance, another traditional Middle Eastern form, only the dabke danced by both men and women is performed, and only at celebrations. My thesis investigates the role of dance, especially dabke. in the modern Baalbek culture. My observations of male and female behavior in this society, as well as the relationship between the genders, and the effect of television on the culture, were instrumental in helping me draw conclusions about the evolution of the dabke. The stories, along with an understanding of the political and economical situation in the area, provide necessary background to fully appreciate the role of dance, the dabke in particular, in this culture.