Enjoyed creating this improvisational piece after class on Wednesday so thought I’d share it here. Enjoy! ♥︎
You can join a bellydance class at Little Egypt with Bellydancingbarbie or commission a performance here or at your own chosen venue. Visit the “Learn” and “Hire” pages of the website for info and some of the currently available options.
Tribal Fusion creatively combines bellydance with one or more other dance genres whilst some of it’s movements are completely unique! Highly stylised costumery and a good helping of mystery are the cherry-on-top of a truly mesmerising evolving art form.
Tigerlily has just returned from the very prestigious “Tribal Fest” in California with a whole load of new content to share with y’all!!
Her new 4 week term of BellyFusion starts tomorrow and surprisingly there’s still some spaces left!
It’s open to beginners+ and at £29 why not secure your space to join the fun? You can book on the class HERE
This is one of Tigerlily’s group performances on the Tribal Fest 14 stage. Can you spot her?
Before this review I had never heard of Tribal soup. They’re fairly new on the scene and still building their core audience. The most enjoyable element of the music produced by Tribal Soup is, in my opinion, by far the drumming.
The jazz influenced songs I personally did not enjoy. I found the musical elements took away from the drum rhythm and, for me, did not mesh well. I found it difficult improvise to these songs. I also found it difficult to get a sense of place or feeling. Is this something that should be considered important or should a dancer be able to just dance?
My favourite songs from Tribal Soup included Lolo, Masmoudi Dub and Moroccan Strut. I loved how the fusion of different musical style did not take focus away from the drumming. I felt the beat to these songs was much easier to move to. I was able to get into a rhythm and enjoy the music.
Overall I thought that Tribal Soup were unique and enjoyable to listen to. Look them up and see what you feel.
Raquy and the Cavemen
The second artist I have chosen is Raquy and the Cavemen. A dynamic duo who are known for fusing Middle Eastern drumming with hard rock energy and melodic tunes.
Not only is the pace of drumming and ability outstanding, the variety of songs is amazing. Each song takes me to a different place. The instruments and rhythms used are very influential.
My favourite songs include The Green Lover, Kurdish, Cabaret Macabre and The Mad Marionettist. I feel their music is quite theatrical and could be interpreted through ‘dancing a story’ as well as improvising choreography, a key aspect in belly dancing.
The various instruments and rhythms in their music not only give scope for variation in style but also how a dancer interprets the music. Each of their albums is one I cannot listen to without having to get up and dance.
It is so easy to get lost in the music, in fact, if I do get lost don’t come and find me
Some footage of Bellydancingbarbie improvising in the studio to two different tracks.
The first, a fun mashup of Shakira’s “Shewolf” with egyptian music and the second, for my parents who gave me a heart and filled it with love.
It’s by no means the best footage ever but I liked the flow and on a personal level it documents my steady recovery from a mystery illness which has baffled Cambridge medical scientists (and subsequently led to us having dinner with Stephen Hawkin!!) but that’s another story…
Did you know, in sports psychology, “Flow” is the name given to the phenomenon that is the passage of time when it feels like no time has passed at all! This is apparently what happened in BellyDance class this week whilst we were learning how to dance with double veils. Of course, in class we now refer to this phenomenon as “veilwarp” So in fact, there’s some grounding in the saying “time fly’s when you’re having fun”
The names Tsiftetelli, çiftetelli and chiftetelli can all refer to the same rhythm. Translated from Turkish Çiftetelli means “double stringed” which may be derived from the accompaniment of a 2 stringed instrument, strings being tuned an octave apart. Traditionally the rhythm is characterised by a pattern of 2/4, long drawn-out beats often left unfilled but more increasingly filled with a flourish.
The Chiftetelli was originally a deeply sorrowful rhythm but has shifted in more recent years to express joy and a modern pop style Chiftetelli is growing in popularity in Turkey and Greece.
This rhythm has an interesting relationship in the history of both Turkey & Greece and indeed throughout the whole Ottoman Empire.
In Greece today Bellydance is often referred to by the word Tsifteteli and Greek Bellydance also takes some influence from the lively Turkish folk dance called Ciftetelli. This refers to the dance and not the rhythm. Modern Greek Tsifteteli (Bellydance) uses 3 different rhythms – Maqsoum 4/4, Ayoup 2/4 and Taksim 8/4 and in Greece, just as in the UK and US, Turkish and Egyptian bellydance is also taught, to either the corresponding music or to the ancient chiftitelli rhythm…
…There are also referencing crossed wires for musicians. Some drummers call the ciftitelli rhythm taaqasiim because it’s sometimes played as a base for an improvisational melody and this sounds like the Arabic word taqsim which means split and often refers to a maqsoum which is a different rhythm.
So you can see where the confusion comes in for people! These rhythms and dances weren’t recorded for preservation until very recently, instead they were passed on simply through observance, play and practice which of course then leads to the merging and crossover of description…
..but what’s in a name? What matters is what something is, not what it’s called. What’s really important is that we continue to observe, drum & dance!
We’ve been enjoying studying this rhythm in BellyDance class, looking at its history and origins, accompanying bellydance style and the specific moves used in Greek Bellydancing…
Next term we’ll be creating choreography sequences to the Çiftetelli before leaving ancient styling and moving bang up to date to take a closer look at a very modern style… Tribal Fusion Bellydance!
To join us in BellyDance class next term book your space HERE
Twenty minutes before my arranged arrival at the back door of this exclusive department store I had a phone call from the Harvey Nichols marketing manager to say I had a large crowd anticipating my arrival and with that I knew it was going to be an awesome gig…
I arrived incognito and gave the codeword to reception before being shown round. There were some lovely things back there including a staircase lined with gorgeous black and white photographs. Each and every member of staff. Like a family. A tribe. If you know me at all, you’ll know how much I liked this! I was treated to some fabulous hospitality and shown into one of the executives offices to change into costume. It was swelteringly hot in there so I didn’t need much of a warmup. I stood behind a security door, giving the signal that I was ready, my music began, the door swung open and there I was entertaining in the main mall of Harvey Nichols…
My appearance there drew a diverse crowd and as you can imagine a pretty big one at that! I danced entirely improvisation, my preference as ever in my solo performances. I work with the energy in the room, as the energy flows and shifts, so too does the dancing. The audience become one with the performance and a rapport is often felt.
I love nothing more than sharing the joy of bellydancing! I especially enjoy challenging stereotypes and awakening new ideas in a largely mainstream audience.
…Afterwards I was shopping for some lovely new Mac makeup. The girls at the counter were chatting with their clients very enthusiastically about “how amazing the bellydancer was” Being back in my civilian clothing, I just nodded in agreement “yeah”
That’s when you know you’ve fulfilled your role as a Professional Bellydancer!