Political correctness is being promoted to the populace and this new form is being discussed in the dance community. Now, I’m observing that the classic American Cabaret style, popularized in the 1960’s and 1970’s is now under attack.
It’s not authentic. I’ve read that this style is insulting, inappropriate and disrespectful to those of Arabic heritage. All of a sudden, non-Arabic women performing less than a 100% authentic Middle Eastern folk dance are not politically correct. The criticism is often aired by American dancers who are not of Arabic descent, representing a culture that is not even theirs.
Dancers like me, who have performed American Cabaret for over thirty years should not be dancing. We are shaming another culture. Excuse me? This is “American” Cabaret, a style created and performed in the United States, a melting pot of the world. Are you telling me that if it didn’t originate in the country of my birth or from my ethnicity that it is wrong?
So, only Arabic, Turkish, Greek and the like the only people allowed to instruct and perform Middle Easter dance? If so, I suppose that only those from France should dance ballet, only those from Argentina can tango, those from Spain dance flamenco, native Hawaiians hula, and Indians perform Bollywood.
There is a movement promoting “cultural misappropriation” chastising white people for wearing dreadlocks and braids, non-American Indians wearing fringe, non-Japanese wearing kimonos and the like. We are approaching Halloween that must drive zealots crazy with all of the “culturally inappropriate” costumes.
Let’s take this concept a step further. It would only be right that only those of Chinese heritage eat Chinese food, only the Japanese dine on sushi, only Italians enjoying pizza and pasta, Arabs having pita and hummus and the like.
What about music? Members of symphony orchestras can only play music that is part of their heritage. Forget it if you are not Austrian, German or Russian! Opera? Unless you are Italian forget it!
This is getting out of hand! Lighten up, people! My American-style American Cabaret dance is not threatening or degrading you. It is just a form of entertainment that has been performed in this country for decades. The blending of cultures makes this country special and free.
Why not ban everything that may hurt a person’s feelings? Fashion, style and entertainment in America are an amalgam of many cultures. What do you want, a homogenized society devoid of individualism? Are you aiming for a uniform society where everyone and everyone must reside in their own little ethnic circle lest they upset someone outside of it? Heaven forbid should a person’s feelings be hurt! Do you want to live in a bubble-wrap society?
How far is “political correctness” and “cultural misappropriation” going to go? How far is too far?