Middle Eastern Dance
Iranian Raqs e-Bandari

Bandar in Farsi means "harbor" or "port" and is used to refer to the region of southern Iran which is on the Gulf coast.  This area had the most exposure to trade because trade ships from Africa, India, and other Gulf countries would come to port here.  Many Arabs and Persians intermarried in the region and elements of Persian, Arab, African, and Indian dances mixed.  Bandari is often referred to as "Persian Bellydance."    Bandari contains elements from gulf khaleegi dances such as hair tossing and similar stepping paterns.  It sometimes uses manipulation of the tunic similar to how a khaleegi dancer manipulates the thobe.  Bandari is often done as a group.  Dancers often travel around in a circle and occasionally encourage one dancer at a time to go to the center for a brief solo to show off their moves.  Common movments to this style are small crisp shoulder shimmies, hip lifts and drops, hip circles, hair tossing, hand shimmies, and leaning the torso forward and back while doing shoulder shimmies.  It is a lively dance and has a natural bounciness to it.

Costuming Elements
Dancers traditionally wear a loose dress which is similar to a smaller thobe or a loose baladi style dress.  This is tied with a scarf around the hips.  Many dancers have used coin scarfs or fringe belts but traditionally it would have been more of a plain cloth or decorative cloth scarf.  Underneath a pair of salvar (pants) are worn.  It is also traditional to wear a veil on the head often decorated with coins in a way to hold it in place.  In film and on stage it is not uncommon to see bandari performed in a bead and sequin style bedlah similar to what would be worn for a raqs sharqi performance but this is not traditional.  Usually shoes are like a chinese slipper or some other type of a flat.

Key Dancers
Jamileh, Mohammad Khordadian

Video Examples

Additional Resources
Online Articles and Websites
Persian Style Belly Dance Bandari - Atlanta Belly Dance
Helene Eriksen - Traditional Dances from North Africa to Central Asia

Under Persian Skies: Dances of the Iranian World featuring Helene Eriksen
Persian Dances by Mohammad Khordadian (may have been rereleased as a DVD otherwise is a VHS)

Bandari Music samples on Iranian.com
Bandari dance at the International Dance Festival 2011 photo by by Megan Long.
Alex Bida.  Egyptian dancer. Circa 1860.  Watercolour.  Victoria & Albert Museum, London