venerdì 30 novembre 2012

Tribalnatyam 2013 + Tarots Show!

I'm so happy to announce this.
Tarots, an upcoming show featuring Mardi Love, Violet Scrap, Lamia Barbara and many artists from all over Europe! Catania, March 2013 - infos coming soon...

The show will be presented during TRIBALNATYAM, a dancing weekend of workshops and hafla!
See more here:

Read more on Tribalnatyam website!

New videoz

Sooo here are a few new videos from some performance between Rome, Viareggio and Budapest.

Tribal Fusion Express, Rome, last May

Fusion @ the Opera, Viareggio, last September

(first part)

(second part)

Szimpla afterparty, Budapest, last September

giovedì 25 ottobre 2012

It's Samhain time!

which to choose?

now that I have Totoro hat I need the whole costume.

giovedì 18 ottobre 2012

Tribal thoughts #2: traditional and "pure" art

Ouled nail dancer

Hahbi 'Ru Dance Ensemble

I was just thinking about that: so many "traditional" dancers don't like Tribal & Fusion dance, since it is not considered a "pure" art form.
The most frequent criticism that I have heard is something like "Tribal/Fusion is more like a western/american fad that will soon go out of fashion".

Bal-Anat (early 70's)

What about considering dance history and all its contaminations? And above all, what is "pure art"?
I would like to quote an old interview with Rachel Brice (2005):

"Yeah, a lot of people don't feel that it's bellydance. But that's OK. If people need to fiercely defend the tradition of the art form, that's OK. People like to talk about what's Tribal and what's not, what's bellydance and what's not. But when you study dance ethnology, and you see where the intersections are, they're fuzzy. Everything is influenced by everything else, especially when you follow the Gypsies that start in one place and travel around, just picking things up and throwing things out. There is no "pure dance," really. So it's given me a lot of tolerance."

Ultra Gypsy members: Jill Parker, Rose Harden, Rachel Brice

Fat Chance Bellydance

Thoughts wanderings

Today is such a strange day.
Outside the sky is grey and cold, inside the house is warm and sleepy.
Like every time I need to change something in my life, I feel this sense of calmness and expectation, "like a star flashing from the deep"... The weather is changing so fast, we're moving into the chill embrace of the winter, the sun is going to be colder everyday and cats renew their soft fur (that's my favourite part).
Change. Stop, rest, breath. Close with something old, fasten seat belt and jump into the new.

Last weekend one of the tribal bellydance legends passed away: John "The Sheik" Compton, co-founder of Hahbi' Ru Dance Ensemble and Bal-Anat former soloist. I never had the chance to know him personally and I feel so sad I won't never have.
Still, this is one of my favourite video ever...

From Hahbi ' Ru's website:

"Hahbi'Ru: an early term for the Bedouin tribes who wandered the Arabian deserts enriching themselves by taking what they pleased from the many countries they traversed. Like these Bedouins, the Hahbi'Ru Dance Ensemble's performance style has been influenced by the folkloric dances and music of many regions of North Africa and the Middle East.
In 1991, John and Rita reunited and brought together the group of seasoned dancers and musicians that became Hahbi'Ru, including Paula Oxman, Hahbi'Ru's costume designer. Their goal was to recreate the tribal ensemble style of performance begun by Jamila Salimpour, and to utilize the skills they acquired over the last 30 years as professional entertainers. Under their direction, the group built a repertoire based on Arabian folkloric music, dances, songs, and customs. These traditional dances have been fused with modern day technique and performance skills thereby creating a style which is unique to Hahbi'Ru.
Hahbi'Ru captures the tribal spirit of a bye-gone era while entertaining audiences with polished performance pieces that combine humor with precision ensemble dancing, and dazzling costumes."

sabato 13 ottobre 2012

giovedì 20 settembre 2012

I feel addicted

Returned from a week full of Lynch ... I want more.

"I look at the world and I see absurdity all around me. People do strange things constantly, to the point that, for the most part, we manage not to see it. That's why I love coffee shops and public places – I mean, they're all out there."
David Lynch

Zodiac Show in Budapest!

Such a lovely, lovely night! Most of the european tribal talents were there enjoying dance, hugging around and spreading love. Love - a word so apt.
In this Zodiac-based show I played the "Virgo", improvising on a Dead Can Dance song I deeply love.
This is what came out...

Take a look at this playlist and watch all performances from Zodiac show!

lunedì 10 settembre 2012

Back to the future

Well yes, finally back home. I have a bag full of memories and new projects, and so much love into my heart.
These days in Budapest and Viareggio were simply amazing. So many beautiful dancers from all over the world, so much good dancing energy and so many unexpected blessings. I feel inspired in a way that I never felt before, and I'm so truly happy - with a drop of melancholia that always accompanies my returning home...

In Budapest I had the chance to visit and dance in such an inspiring and "odd in a good way" place: the Szimpla club! 

A few pics from that night...

Violet in our dressing room

Mardi and Doriana playing 

beautiful crazy people

Giuliana's awesomeness

More Budapest and Viareggio:

somewhere in Budapest

vintage postcards from the flea market

"the little train of the heart" in Viareggio

Violet and Daria in "that phantomesque night"

still Violet and Daria (but never enough)

mercoledì 29 agosto 2012

lunedì 27 agosto 2012

Weird days

Have you ever experienced when you suddenly find yourself in a place that you had not expected, at an hour that you had not planned on a day that you had not expected doing things that you had not anticipated? That's what happened to me and my friend Violet, shortly visiting Sicily, last friday.


It was a cool summer morning (6 am, more or less) when, after sleeping a little more than one hour during the night, we decided to venture ourselves into a territory so wild as old: "Thapsos", an island near Syracuse that seen in its turbulent history the arrival of the first Greek settlers thousands of years ago and the unfolding of the First World War a few decades ago.

the land

A forgotten land that hosts in its silence ancient tombs and relics of war. An abandoned place caressed by the sea, the soil burnt by the sun ...

violet exploring a tomb

By chance in our wandering we met a dear old man who so kindly guided the exploration: "Ciccio of the island", so he calls himself, has lived his entire life on this land bathed by the sea. 
He accompanied us through hidden tombs and structures belonging to the war, confiding his childhood memories: we had the opportunity to experience the history of the place through the eyes of this man, as if we could travel through the threads of time... Priceless.

our guide

After our careful exploration we salute our guide to continue alone in an area that seems straight out of a post-apocalyptical movie...

rusty stuff

violet and abandoned place (her element)

creepy on the way

still violet

close-up of a very old window

and that was the creepiest

wires, circuits, electronic boards



sabato 25 agosto 2012

Working on...

the book is "Planetary" by A. Cattabiani

Preparing myself for a full week of sewing and dance practice: next stop is "Zodiac" show with Mardi Love in Budapest!

mercoledì 22 agosto 2012

New fabricsssss

Tribal thoughts #1: where are we going?

Woke up this morning with this question in my head.
I just have to quote Colleena Shakti's blog to express my before-breakfast concerns...

"What happened to Middle Eastern music?  I remember that was what initially drew me into this dance… the heart wrenching and uplifted feeling I would get when I heard it.   That is why many of us choose to dedicate ourselves to a 'marginal dance form' - an Oriental dance and not go with a Western dance style.... culture inspires community rather than isolation.

When compared,  Western/Occidental art seeks to satisfy individual expression, Eastern/Oriental art, (or what I have learned in India from my masters I should say), has 2 functions - to celebrate divine union (the heightened state of the dancer when she 'forgets' herself and transcends the individual self) and uplift the spectator to a similarly ecstatic state (what we commonly call 'to behold beauty').    Though not all dance has to be a prayer or follow a tradition, values are what subconsciously manifest as aesthetic choices.  

What are the values of the Tribal community that you saw?  Do you think there is a change of values inside the change of aesthetic choices made by dancers?

[...]  I hope I don't sound too negative, I did see some awesome  technique and innovation and I saw a TON of love and support.  I just want to see us evolve and take it higher in every way or it will just be another fad that passed like disco.

I love belly dance because it is an expression of femininity, oriental thought and I love tribal for the remembrance it offers of women dancing for women basking in their divine sensuality.  It's not an opposition to change, evolution or self expression that I feel... rather a sadness for the loss of Oriental beauty in belly dance."

I will take these thoughts with me to the market: today it's new fabrics day!

martedì 21 agosto 2012

Sardinia: friends, sun, thoughts

After the workshop

Last may I was lucky enough to visit Cagliari. Even if my mom was born there I never had the chance to visit it...

It is amazing to see how Sicily and Sardinia are two sister islands, not only in the color of the sea or the trees - those that remind me so much of "my" land - but also in people... Maybe it is because of my half-sardines origins, but it really was as if I were with close friends, with a not-so-far part of my family.
So, between a visit to the city and a few hours of hard training, I had time to think about an hot topic that I drag behind for a bit of time: improvisation and dancing.
Too often I found myself on stage immersed in the most chaotic thoughts. What is Art? Where the creative act can take place except on a blank page, "the order that comes from the chaos" ... So I finally found the piece I needed to finish the puzzle: improvisation can be a creative act fully and deeply engaging, we only have to "turn off our brain".

As in meditation, when thoughts move no longer unaware but conveyed in a continuously calm stream , so the dance can turn into a "vacuum that fills", a practical meditation, a movement that creates.
The only difficulty lies in trying to curb fears, anxieties and concerns that are transformed into thoughts and chaos ...

A goal complicated, I admit it, but certainly it is worth to devote oneself!

As I continue to work on this idea, here's what came out during Cagliari's Hafla (thanks to Stefania for the video!)

Still Rome

Tribal Fusion Express, workshop and show

Me and Violet teaching our duet choreography (ph. by Shadi Kries)

Hard work, bellydancers!

 Me and Violet Scrap performing during the show (ph. by Urosh Cotman)

(ph. by Urosh Cotman)

Videos coming soon!

Some abandoned

Somewhere in Rome

Burned pages...

Abandoned inspectors at work: Daria and Violet