I teach TECHNIQUE. Not Choreography.
To attempt a choreography with no prior knowledge
of the movements that make it
is like reading a book written
in a language you do not understand.
You just skim the surface.
Learn the language, learn the technique.
~Speak From The Hip, 2013.
My second set of the night, dancing to my go-to song at the time: ‘Le Toi’ by Mitsoura. This was a filler, unrehearsed and spontaneous. One of my favourite dance moments of 2011.
I am a dancer who is proud and passionate about her work. I have put years into honing my skills and I will continue to do so with a happy heart. I consider myself lucky to be one of those people who find their true passion in life and even more lucky to be in a position to share it with those who are curious and willing to learn.
I have assumed the responsibility of teaching this dance form to others and I have to say that sometimes its not easy, I have wonderful students, I have a beautiful dance space – that aspect is fine – but I sometimes struggle with trying to define American Tribal Style Belly Dance® and Tribal Fusion to a wider audience.
A couple of articles have been published recently that will help me with this particular little mission.
The first is an account of a workshop with Jamila Salimpour. Asharah, the voice of Bellydance Paladin was lucky enough to be at that workshop with the 84 year old ‘Mother of American Tribal Style®’ in September of this year… Asharah gives great insight into the true origins of ‘ATS® Old School’ moves and there are a couple of choice links at the end which are well worth checking out by anyone interested in finding out more.
it is especially important to treat the genre [Tribal Fusion] with a level of professionalism, or else one runs the risk of discrediting the work of dancers who have dedicated their lives to creating and elevating Tribal Fusion Belly Dance.
Meanwhile, in the land of La
My classes are winding down as the Silly Season approaches and plans for afoot for even more classes in the New Year. If anyone out there would like a free taster, come along to the Dublin Holistic Centre Christmas Open Day on Dec 18th where I’ll be hosting a workshop. Info on upcoming classes, performances, workshops, and general happenings will hit the network as and when the adventure unfolds!
For now, I wish you all a Happy, Peaceful and Love filled Christmas and an Excellent New Year!
Inspirational Nuggets: The wonderful world of dance, music, alternative arts and sparkly things brought to you by the interwebs….and me.
Go have a look see. You’re welcome to bring snacks if you want.
It will all be magical, it will make you smile, it might even make your day. Enjoy ~
One of the things I love about being a performer is that you never know what opportunities are lurking around the corner. Sometimes, taking advantage of those opportunities pulls you out of your comfort zone. In a good way. Well mostly in a good way… if it was a bad way then would you do it? Maybe some people would… whatever floats your boat
But I digress…
I’ve been invited to dance at The Creepshow, a new showcase for alternative performers in Dublin.
I got the call last night. The show is tomorrow night.
48 hours to get a set together….
Yup, definately outside my comfort zone.
And I LOVE it.
Fri 16 Jul 8pm @ The Turks Head, Temple Bar – if you feel like a night out with a difference. This is NOT your normal Temple Bar hooley. Dress code: Fancy, fantasy, freakshow, fairy… no football shirts allowed.
I love dressing preparing for a performance – its the girl child in me who loves pretty things…
There is the decision on which underskirt to wear with the basic costume… and indeed if the underskirt should be worn as an overskirt for this gig…. oh and maybe I’ll wear Melodias instead of pantaloons…
Then comes the coin bra, necklaces, bracelets, armlets and cuffs, the rings and hand ornaments; a decision on which type of belt – coin or shell…with tassel or fringe, and maybe a scarf underneath? Then flowers, sticks and other various ornaments for hair, the dramatic make up, the tribal dots and the all important bindi…. and not forgetting the sari, veil or one of Kathleens gorgeous Ghawazee Coats for a cover up between sets….
Call it elaborate dress up, call it armour, call it a fulfilment of fantasies, call it vanity – whatever. Its the love of creating a look for the stage, as well as presenting an art form that I am passionate about that makes every gig – no matter how small – an occasion for me.
My latest gig was a little different however. Last weekend at The Zoryanna Autumn Hafla, I took the floor wearing my trademark black and red with no decoration or pagentry aside from a few hair flowers…. and of course the all important bindi. There was no need for more – it wouldn’t have felt right.
I was nervous, as I normally am, a little more so this time as I felt more than ever that I was baring my soul… and my belly, 7 months pregnant.
It was what I wanted it to be, a return to me. Touching centre as I near the end of this part of my life and prepare for the next. I felt amazing afterwards – connected again with an energetic force that has been so much a part of my life over the past 7 years. With the changes and turns my life has taken in the last 12 months, this performance was what I needed to reconcile the new with the old.
The best part of it was communicating with the little one – who was in constant movement from the first note of the night. As I danced I was aware of little feet and hands exploring and creating a dance of their own…
Yayy!! Finally my videos of the Winter Hafla came through. I danced two sets, the first to ‘Intertwine’ and the second to ‘Nau Asta’ – both beautiful tracks from Beats Antique.
These clips are not straight up ATS® technique as some of you already know. These are my attempts at Tribal Fusion, of which my technique is still very much a work in progress. But I can say I had alot of fun dancing to these tracks and I hope you enjoy the results!
I’m teaching a workshop in the lovely Phoenix Yoga Studio in Mullingar on 30th May from 2pm – 4pm.
In the first half of the workshop participants will learn a little of the history of this beautiful art form and will be trained on basic technique incorporating gentle stretching, posture and a series of slow and fast moves with drills and combinations.
In the second half, participants will learn about the concept of Improvisational Choreography and the art of dancing within a group using cues and formations to create a unique and beautiful dance!
The workshop costs €40, payable on the day. If you need any more information please contact me!
‘Imagine being able to walk into a room of dancers, people you have never met before, some who don’t speak your language and to be able to stand up and dance as one… communication through movement.’
On Saturday 2nd May 2009, Cultivate are hosting ‘Being Human’ – A Day of Dance and Movement at their Temple Bar headquarters. An all day festival where teachers will hold workshops on many different styles of dance.
I will be holding two workshops on basic technique for American Tribal Style® Belly Dance where I will teach a series of slow and fast moves in the FatChanceBellyDance® format along with the basics of Improvisational Choreography. Participants will come away with an understanding of ATS® in an exciting format which is recognised by thousands of dancers world wide.
My workshop times are 3:00pm – 4:30pm in Classroom 6 and 5:45pm – 7:15pm in Classroom 1/2. I will incorporate some light warm-up stretches, nothing to strenuous so please don’t be nervous! Please bring lots of water and wear comfortable, loose fitting clothing and bring a scarf for your hips.
Other dance workshops include (deep breath) TANGO, CAPOEIRA, SALSA, FLAMENCO, CÉILÍ, 5RYTHEMS, EMBODIMENT, SYNERGY, INDIAN CLASSICAL,SHAMANIC,TAI CHI, YOGA and more…
I have some tickets still available at €20 for a day pass to the event. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to purchase one. You can pre-register for workshops you would like to attend after you purchase by visiting www.cultivate.ie.