Hinimel watching the gypsy dancers
He watched, fascinated. The women looked like snakes, smoke, or sex, no, all and more. They seemed to shimmer without the limits of human structure, flashing wrists and ankles dripping with jewels. Somehow, they made those subtle movements even more erotic than the oscillation of their bodies clad in flowing near-sheer cloth. The music was more alive in them than in the air it penetrated, echoed so quickly and perfectly that at first Hinimel was sure it must be magic. He glanced at the musicians once, then a few moments later had to look at them again to be sure that the sound came from them, and not the movements of the dancer’s bodies. Growing a little more accustomed to the dance, he studied each woman in turn. All had long hair flowing down their backs, wore veils over the lower part of their faces, and had glistening rich brown skin, except one. He looked more closely at that one, trying to decide what else made her different.
Suddenly the music stopped, and all the women froze, perfectly in reflection of each other. After a seemingly interminable silence, a single shtak hit a tom. A long pause. Another boom. Slowly, the beat picked up. Slowly, slowly, the women moved until they were all facing outwards, their palms stretched toward the audience. The tom was beating steadily now, still the only sound. The women were still, but their intensity seemed to increase with the speed of the tom, and the audience was rapt. Hinimel found himself caught in the gaze of the pale one. Her stare pried at him, but in a singularly pleasurable way. He became increasingly uncomfortable, but could not bring himself to look away, until necessity demanded distraction. The tom was gradually joined by the others, and the beat became intricate and demanding. In step, gypsy men emerged from the audience, one for each woman dancer. The onlookers drew breath, not having expected this. Hinimel expreienced a flash of irritation when the man who had been standing next to him made his way to the pale one.
Hinimel’s attention narrowed to the two. Her body did not move, but her eyes carressed the gypsy’s body, as he placed his hands on her waist and leaned in and back with a fluid motion. He slid one hand around her waist as he tantalizingly walked a circle around her, his free hand slipping over her shoulders and down her arm. Back in front of her, he slid his hands to her waist and stepped toward her. In concert, all the women stepped back, feet in beat, but the men snatched and spun them out of the circle. Now the women came to life, and the toms were joined by shashas, whispering the same beat, and the wailing kananas. The beat rose slightly as the women circled the men, slipping closer and away, their feet aflash, their hands glancing over the men’s skin, each couple in a locked stare. As the beat became irregular, Hinimel felt his breath do the same, and fell into the music like he’d never done before. He watched the pale one, becoming the gypsy she flirted with in her every movement, her ankles slipping in to brush his, her hands gripping his arms, her hips moving to the music as his did, her eyes drawing him deeper. The beat and the dance grew wilder, abandoned, each couple an extention of the music, breathing it, giving it substance. The pale one and her gypsy moved as one, back, forth, her leg between his, his between hers, both bodies moving sinuously together. She arched back, and his body followed hers as if attached. He pulled back, and she curled upward against him. Faster, faster they moved. More! The beat demanded, and more they gave. Their bodies got closer, their movements more sensual, building. The tom-beat became a throb, the shashas a harsh breath, the kananas a moan, and the music climaxed, the dancers falling in pairs to the ground. ©Belenen