I am finally reading Beneath the Lion's Gaze, a book about revolution in Ethiopia.  Logan read it a few months ago.  So far it is great. 

On page 10 the author references an Ethiopian dance style called Eskesta...

"His mother had taught him to dance eskesta, had spent hours and days with him in front of a mirror making him practice the controlled shiver of shoulders and torso that made up the traditional Ethiopian dance.  The body has to move when the heart doesn't think it can, she'd said.  She lifted up his arm, clenched his fist around an imaginary weapon, and straightened his back.  My father danced before going to battle; the heart follows the body.  Dance with all your might, dance.  She'd burst into laughter, clapping enthusiastically to Dawit's awkward attempts to move as fast as she was.  You're like a butterfly, he told her, breathless from exertion.  He'd reached out and laid a hand on her fluttering shoulders."

There are a lot of YouTube videos of Eskesta, but this one- taken on someone's cellphone- is amazing.  This is Melaku Belay dancing at Fendika Azmari Bet in Addis Ababa.  This video makes me wish I was there.  After some researching I found one site that says they perform every other Friday night in Addis AbabaThis is something I would love to experience while we're there.
 


Comments

07/16/2011 5:05am

When we were in Ethiopia, Duni and her husband took our travel group to a traditional Ethiopian restaurant where traditional Ethiopian dancers entertain the guests. It was an amazing experience. Be warned though: The dancers go table to table inviting the guests to stand up and dance with them, sometimes escourting them on-stage. Bring your video camera and start practicing your moves!! :)

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07/16/2011 5:49am

Wow! When I was reading about the Azmari Bets in Ethiopia (places where people go to listen to traditional music) they say that they always tease the crowd and get them involved. They say that the teasing is always lighthearted, but to come ready for it!

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07/16/2011 7:14am

You will get to see this kind of dancing and it IS amazing. Be prepared to possibly get picked to dance, though!

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07/18/2011 8:20pm

Cool!!!! Can't wait to go...Humm...but I can't dance like this, think my country square dancing will work? :)

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