Bal Anat Karshilama Dance

When she performed in the West Coast nightclubs, Jamila Salimpour worked with many Turkish dancers from whom she learned and studied the Karshilama.  She also studied about this dance in books and in whatever video she could find.  For Bal Anat, she choreographed a Karshilama based on the common and consistent movements and phrases from her Turkish counterparts in the nightclubs. While pelvic locks are definitely a part of Turkish dance and the Karshilama dance, Jamila’s Turkish dancers peers were encouraged by club owners to not perform pelvic locks as they were considered too vulgar for the American audiences in the 1950s and 1960s.

When Suhaila revived Bal Anat, she re-choreographed the Karshilama adding her own cultural research of the dance including the addition of pelvic locks that had been missing from the original Bal Anat choreography.

Bal Anat Karshilama Dance at the Renaissance Pleasure Faire in 1974. Photo from collection of Ghanima Ghiditana.
Bal Anat Karshilama Dance at the Renaissance Pleasure Faire.
Bal Anat Karshilama Dance in Berkeley, CA, 2013. Photo by Pixie Vision.
Bal Anat Karshilama dancer in Belgium 2016. Photo by Alexis Bertrand.
Bal Anat Karshilama Dance in Belgium, 2018. Photo by Guillaume Dedeurwaerder.
Bal Anat Karshilama Dance in Florida, 2018. Photo by James Keith.