Description

Oriental dance (or baladi) comes from the Near East, Middle East and Maghreb and is mainly danced by women. However, it slowly spreads among men all over the world as well.

It is known as one of the most ancient dance of the world. One would think that its origins come from ancient fertility rites associated with religion and esotericism. It developed particularly in Egypt in Xth century with the arrival of Indian population. Oriental dance, which comprises of various strong folk different dances (Saidi, khallegy, chaabi, milaya, tzar, cifteteli, hagalla, berbere dance, Persian dance etc.), is mostly known by its distinguished name raq sharqi (name used by Egyptians and Europeans) or cabaret (name used by Americans) or by another very popular name baladi.

It exists in various styles, depending on the country of its origin, and various emerging fusions. In general, it is characteristic by dissociation of the parts of the body (isolations) that can move independently from each other. This art also comprises of discontinuous slow and fluid rhythms. While dancing, a dancer can use accessories like veil (single or double veil), Isis wings (pleated veil), fans with feather or veil, cane, stick, Melaya Leff (big piece of fabric separated in the middle by embroidery and decorated with gold or silver glitters), sagattes (finger cymbals), Shamadan (candle holder for head), sword, etc..

Contrarily to what people may think, oriental dance does not only concern movements of pelvis. In reality, it requires flexibility and strength of bust, shoulders, arms and hands, pelvis and belly and legs as well. It helps to strengthen thighs, relax joints, strengthen and evolve abdominal muscles and sustain back muscles. Some wide movements require flexibility, however the main principle lies in muscular contraction, so it can be danced at all ages according to limits of each dancer.

Tribal dance, also called Tribal ATS (American Tribal style) is a dancing style created in California in the 60s and 70s by Jamila Salimpour

During the Renaissance time "Pleasure Fair" in Berkeley, Jamila Salimpour, a teacher of oriental dances, together with her troop, scandalized the organizer of the festival who was searching for as much antique and authentic space as possible. As a response to the organizer's request, she dedicated her following year in working on origins of oriental dances, Gypsy roots as traditional styles and by means of taking a small piece of each dancing style, she created a new style: tribal. This style consists of two specific elements: In the broader sense, it is the use of movements from traditional oriental and gypsy's dances. On the other hand, it is the the costumes made of traditional features of various cultures (skirt, choli, turban, ancient jewellery, finger cymbals).

The notion of tribe, i.e. of guided improvisation ("lead and follow"), was only created by years and students practice. In the end, it was Carolena Nericcio (who founded Fat Chance BellyDance - FCBD in 1987) who codified the moves. The last stage enabled creating common vocabulary necessary for proper synchronisation during guided improvisation.

This style progressively developed in the United States and later, it started to arrive in Europe.

"Tribal fusion" dance is based mainly on the characteristic features of the American Tribal Belly dance style (or American tribal dance), from which it derives. It is characterized by different themes and techniques of various traditional and contemporary dances such as flamenco, kathak, Bharata Natyam or breakdance.

While the tribal ATS style lies in improvisation and concept of group, the "tribal fusion" dance is made as choreography and can be trained as a solo dance.

In general, the costumes are hand-made according to the taste of every dancer. It mixes hip-hop, breakdance, Egyptian or belly dance "Cabaret" as well as traditional styles as flamenco, Kathak, Bahngra, Balinese and other folk dancing styles.