Babooshka grew out of a class project on the various female archetypes in Arabic dance. The two Egyptian personae of Babooshka were recognised as the boss woman and the shy country girl. The lyrics describe two personae: the introvert, jaded wife, the “Little Lady” and the extrovert, sexy, flamboyant alter ego: Babooshka
The dance reflects this duality, with constant switching between the two personae, using veils to suggest the cover /uncover motifs. There are some overlaps to suggest the Little Lady’s shy coquettishness and, in contrast, Babooshka’s overt tartiness. Costuming is black, with purple and silver, and a hint of hot pink.
The glass-smashing sound at the end of the song reminds us of the disaster warning at the beginning: “she couldn't have made a worse move”. No, it can’t work of course; it backfires. Babooshka has to be banished, she's sent back into the subconscious mind. The fantasy is destroyed, the Little Lady is defeated and must cover up again; she shivers with fear… it all ends in shimmies. Kate Bush has a different reading... involving domestic violence!
" She sent him scented letters...
Uncanny how she reminds him of his little lady... "
Babooshka by Kate Bush