Male Belly Dancers Make a Comeback in Istanbul

March 10, 2015 1:38 AM

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Male Belly Dancers Make a Comeback in Istanbul

ISTANBUL—In the dimly lighted and smoke-filled corners of this ancient city, the erotic art of belly dancing is enjoying a masculine makeover.

Dressed in skirts decorated with coins and shimmering tassels, male belly dancers are back in vogue, jerking their hips and trembling their abs to hypnotic Turkish rhythms. Known as “zennes,” the performers were once a mainstay at the courts of Ottoman sultans, but they have been largely out of sigh...

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