The Town Hall Bellydancers (A Dialogue)

Aug 6th 2011

“Are you here for the Selectmen’s meeting?”

“Nope, I came to read a report to the ConCom. Just waiting to go in.”

“Hi, I came by to drop off something for the Planning Board.”

“We’re supposed to wait here until we’re called up. Well, would you look at these pictures! They usually have art exhibits at Town Hall, but this is something else.”

“Hmmm--- Here’s a guy playing some kind of guitar thing – and this one’s a bellydancer, isn’t it? And there’s another one over here.”

“Why would they have pictures of bellydancers in the Town Hall? This area is supposed to be for art exhibits!”

“This is art, isn’t it? They look like paintings to me, most of ‘em.”

“Well, they usually have pictures of, you know, sailboats and bowls of fruit, stuff like that. Not pictures of bellydancers.”

“Oh come on, Degas painted pictures of dancers, and he’s a famous artist. Everybody knows his work.”

“But those paintings were of ballet dancers, that’s a real dance. Bellydancing, that’s not a real dance. That’s just shaking around. You can’t call that art. It’s inappropriate. And look at those outfits.”

“That short guy, the Frenchman, what was his name - he did pictures of dives and cafes and cancan dancers.  Those girls had their legs up and flashing their underwear. Pretty nifty, I’d say. They called that art.”

“Toulous-Lautrec. I saw loads of them in the Musee Dorsay in Paris. They were beautiful! I loved his pictures. Singers, dancers, hookers, drunks – he painted them all. He sat right in those places and painted them all.”

“Well you can’t put stuff like that in the Town Hall. Everybody comes in here. Look at this one in the black dress, with her stomach all exposed.”

“Like the teen-agers I saw this weekend down at the beach? She’s got a lot more on then they had, let me tell you.”

"It’s an art, bellydancing. I’ve seen it. There’s nothing wrong with it. And who cares, anyway? I like having something different in here. Who painted these, somebody local?”

“Here’s the name – look, she lives right here in town. I remember now, she’s the one who danced at the big retirement party they had for Jimmy Sullivan when he left the post office. Was he surprised! She comes by every few days to pick up her mail and say hi. He had no idea."

“Well, no wonder these look like they’re really dancing.”

“They’re not sailboats, that’s for sure, but I love the colors. I’m okay with them being here."

"I think they’re quite beautiful, and that’s all I care about when I’m looking at art. Hey, check out this one……“

“We’re getting a signal, we can go upstairs now.”

“I guess these pictures are okay to be here. It is a bit unusual, but they look all right and they do kind of make me feel good.”

“Yup – me too. Make me feel like dancing.”

“Well, don’t start up now.”