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