Spanish Infusion

Belly Love

New member
Well, after spending 6 months studying bd and being overwhelmed by the different styles and sub styles, I've honed in on what I would like to study and eventually perform. Cabaret (I can't say specific regions 'cause I'm not quite there yet and I will most likely mix in several) and Spanish fusion.

So, since Spanish fusion is not that common, I'm wondering if any of you on the forum specialize in this style or anyone's thoughts on it. And if anyone could point me in the direction of dancers, sites, music to check out, please let me know. Thanks!

* I'm thinking more of a slight infusion, not full on 1/2 Flamenco 1/2 Oriental ;)
 
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gisela

Super Moderator
I went youtubeing as I thought I had seen something like that I liked but couldn't find the one I was thinking of. Found this though. She is pretty good. She is more bellydance than a lot of other spanish fusion or Flamenco Arabe videos I've seen.

There are loads on youtube but right now somhow I can only manage to find the baaad stuff.

oh here's one more. Although the point of the video is something completely different it is still nice to see a spanish influenced oriental dance.
 
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Belly Love

New member
Oh Gisela, thank you so much! :D That's exactly what I'm talking about and I haven't been able to find it myself. I keep finding vids that are half & half, which are fine, but not what I'm going for and it's great to look at something that's more in my "zone".

I love the sensuality of Spanish/Latin dances, but I want the focus to be more belly dance. I also like the idea of Spanish/Gypsy/Peasant/Earlthy costuming to go along with it... if that makes any sense?!

The following is a pic of my "Spanish BD Style Inspiration Board"
 
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MissVega

New member
I would actually say that flamenco/spanish fusions are pretty common. Every competition I've been to that has had a fusion category has had at least one entry (usually 2 or more) of that nature.

Anjelica Scannura in Toronto, Ontario teaches authentic flamenco bellydance fusion called Zambra Mora. Her father is a flamenco musician/guitarist and her mother a flamenco dancer. She is also an in the Arabesque dance company under Yasmina Ramzy. I was at this workshop. She is awesome!!

YouTube - Arabesque Academy: Anjelica demonstrating Zambra Mora

Omaris (Florida) doing a beautiful fusion. I met Omaris at MBC last year and got to watch her dance live (as she was on before me in the friday night gala) She to me is one of those people that was born to dance. :)

YouTube - Omaris-Ya Msafer Wahdak (Improvisation)

And my favourite dancer, Natalia Fadda. (Also one of my fav performances to Ya Masfer :)

YouTube - Belly Dance & Flamenco Fusion - Natalia Strelchenko - Andalusia

And Natalia's Tango Fusion! SO fun. She has a salsa one too, trying to find it, my favourites list is too big now, can't find anything lol!

YouTube - Natalia Fadda Tango oriental 2010.


BAHAHAH found it:D
YouTube - Natalia Fadda salsa - party
 
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Yame

New member
I don't think there is one specific style called "Spanish fusion." Different people who have training in belly dance plus a Spanish dance might create different fusion pieces, or maybe create their own fusion styles, but I don't think there is like... one single, recognized Spanish and belly dance fusion style out there.

I think in order to find what you want, you will have to decide what kind of Spanish dance it is that you like fused with belly dance. When you say "Spanish" you seem to mean not just "from Spain," but from Spanish-speaking countries in general (I am making this assumption based on this quote "I love the sensuality of Spanish/Latin dances, but I want the focus to be more belly dance"). "Spanish dance" usually means Flamenco, although there are other dances in Spain. Spanish-speaking countries in Latin America also have a myriad of dances, which are very different from Flamenco and often different from one another.

So, do you have any idea what flavor is it that you want? Is it flamenco? Is it salsa? Is it tango? How can you know!?

Well, what brought you this epiphany in the first place? Are there dancers you enjoy who you think have that flavor? Who are they? What is their dance training aside from belly dance?

If you can answer these questions it will help us point you in the right direction... or even if you just answer these questions to yourself, you might be able to point yourself in the right direction.

Whatever it is that you do decide, my advice would be to train in both forms. Even if you are not willing to fuse them 50/50, even if you just want that flavor and not really a fusion style per se, it really helps to get training from both directions.
 

Belly Love

New member
I would actually say that flamenco/spanish fusions are pretty common. Every competition I've been to that has had a fusion category has had at least one entry (usually 2 or more) of that nature.
Oh okay, good to know.

And my favourite dancer, Natalia Fadda. (Also one of my fav performances to Ya Masfer :)

YouTube - Belly Dance & Flamenco Fusion - Natalia Strelchenko - Andalusia
I watched all the vids (thank you, thank you :)) and they are all good dancers, but this was my favorite! I loved her style of dress as well. How do you know so much about these fusion styles? Do you just like watching them or do you ever dance this style yourself?
 

Greek Bonfire

Well-known member
I haven't seen a Spanish fushion either, but if you stick around in Chicago, you will see dancers doing the kind of fushion you are looking for. I know a few who fuse with Turkish and flamenco, but it doesn't look like these videos - yet. However, one person I know is working on doing just that.
 

Belly Love

New member
I don't think there is one specific style called "Spanish fusion." Different people who have training in belly dance plus a Spanish dance might create different fusion pieces, or maybe create their own fusion styles, but I don't think there is like... one single, recognized Spanish and belly dance fusion style out there.
Yeah, I just kind of used it as a general term and now that I've seen some more videos and you ladies have given me more info, I realize there are different categories within the Spanish/Latin style.

I think in order to find what you want, you will have to decide what kind of Spanish dance it is that you like fused with belly dance. When you say "Spanish" you seem to mean not just "from Spain," but from Spanish-speaking countries in general (I am making this assumption based on this quote "I love the sensuality of Spanish/Latin dances, but I want the focus to be more belly dance"). "Spanish dance" usually means Flamenco, although there are other dances in Spain. Spanish-speaking countries in Latin America also have a myriad of dances, which are very different from Flamenco and often different from one another.

So, do you have any idea what flavor is it that you want? Is it flamenco? Is it salsa? Is it tango? How can you know!?

I was just thinking about that after I looked at more videos. I didn't realize how common it was, which means there are more specific styles out there than just a general one. I'm pretty sure I'm going to go with a Flamenco fusion. Do you think it would still be incorrect to use the term "Spanish" or "Latin" since I only want a hint of the dance in my style? I want the focus to be more on the Oriental side.

Well, what brought you this epiphany in the first place? Are there dancers you enjoy who you think have that flavor? Who are they? What is their dance training aside from belly dance?
Honestly, the skirts! While researching costuming for the different styles of bd and trying to understand it all, I kept coming across these "peasant/earthy/Spanish" looking skirts that I loved the look of, but although I like tribal styles, I found that I wasn't interested in actually learning or performing them myself. I have also always been attracted to the latin culture (including the men :) ). So about a month ago I just kinda came to the conclusion that with all of the fusions out there, I could do a Spanish style one. And after getting all this info, I'm realizing that it's already out there.

If you can answer these questions it will help us point you in the right direction... or even if you just answer these questions to yourself, you might be able to point yourself in the right direction.

Whatever it is that you do decide, my advice would be to train in both forms. Even if you are not willing to fuse them 50/50, even if you just want that flavor and not really a fusion style per se, it really helps to get training from both directions.
Oh, that's a good word- FLAVOR. I wonder if it would be more appropriate terminology to use "Spanish flavor" or "Latin flavor" or if it even matters??? You're right, I'm definitely going to have to take some classes in both forms. I think I will watch vids on the individual latin styles first just to make sure I'm going with Flamenco and then go from there.

Thanks for the questions and info, it helps me to focus :).
 

Belly Love

New member
I haven't seen a Spanish fushion either, but if you stick around in Chicago, you will see dancers doing the kind of fushion you are looking for. I know a few who fuse with Turkish and flamenco, but it doesn't look like these videos - yet. However, one person I know is working on doing just that.
Oh yes, huge latin influence here... now that I think about it, there is quite an influence of practically every culture here ;)

Now I'm obsessed with learning the proper terminology, etc. I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed at the moment... I have so much to learn with Oriental dance, now I'm throwing another one into the mix?! Oh geez... although, since I only want my bd "flavored" with a Spanish style and I'm keeping the focus on bd, I don't think I need to do a whole lot more than learn the history and the basics of the dance and learn to do them well.
 

Greek Bonfire

Well-known member
Oh yes, huge latin influence here... now that I think about it, there is quite an influence of practically every culture here ;)

Now I'm obsessed with learning the proper terminology, etc. I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed at the moment... I have so much to learn with Oriental dance, now I'm throwing another one into the mix?! Oh geez... although, since I only want my bd "flavored" with a Spanish style and I'm keeping the focus on bd, I don't think I need to do a whole lot more than learn the history and the basics of the dance and learn to do them well.
IMO, I can't help but think that Saida of BDSS, who is from Spain, definitely has a Spanish flavor in her dance. Not necessarily fushion but I definitely see that Spanish influence in her style.

 

Belly Love

New member
Yes, I definitely see the Spanish flavor in her dance. I compare this to a Russian or Eastern European style of belly dance- except their movements have a hint of ballet in them.

So, maybe it would be more wise of me to call it "flavored" vs. fusion. I also feel like using the words Spanish/Latin is better because using a more specific word like Flamenco might give someone the impression that the dance is more Flamenco than it actually is... I don't know if that makes sense?

I do think though, that I need to actually learn a specific Spanish style of dance like Flamenco, to give it authenticity... I also genuinely want to be flavoring the dance properly.

I just figured out what it is I'm trying to do exactly, I want to be able to wear a spanish style of costuming while performing belly dance, therefore, I need to make the dance match the costuming. With that said, I'm not just throwing a dance in there JUST to wear the outfit, I genuinely want to perform a dance I enjoy and I've always been interested in learning some sort of dance like Salsa, Flamenco, etc. I'm just far more interested in bd :)

*Update: Okay, after doing a little research, I don't really think it matters if I use the term Latin or Spanish. They are both very general terms and often times have the same meaning. I've done a little research on this terminology in the past for something different and came to the same conclusion. Soooo, I'm going with the term, "Spanish". That is, until one of you smartypants educates me on why using this terminology would be incorrect, then I may have to change it :D
 
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Belly Love

New member
Dalia Carella - Dance Fusion Arts
Dalia Carella does lovely fusion. I took a Dunyavi Roma workshop with her once. I was out of my style element, but I enjoyed it :)
I will definitely check her out, thanks!

Okay, after doing my Flamenco research, I'm not as overwhelmed and can understand why the fusion with oriental dance is so common - many, many parallels. The biggest difference is in the base of the dance- there is very little hip movement in Flamenco. I also found that most pro dancers are self taught and not professionally trained and it's more about the feeling the dancer evokes vs. precise movements. Technicality and precisness is typically reserved for a more contemporary dance done in big shows. So, I feel much better knowing that I won't have to do years of hardcore Flamenco training along with belly dance just to give my dance a little flavor :)
 

Aziyade

New member
"Flavored" is my favorite word :) And I'm playing with Spanish flavored dance right now too!

Check out Elena Lentini (if you can find video of her) or if you're in New York, take a class with her. Her Spanish flavored dance is amazing.

Also you might check out Faten Munger in Indianapolis. She sells dvds of flamenco for bellydancers.

Oh -- heck, get these from World Dance New York:

http://www.worlddancenewyork.com/catalog/flamenco

Inexpensive and wonderful dvds to give you a sense of flamenco and its music. Also check out Spanish folk dance. That should give you a wide range of ideas to play with.

Spanish fan or fan veil is a fun prop to play with, also.

I'm trying to find some good "Flamenco Arabe" music. Most of the Baila Habibi CDs have a little too much Baila and not enough Habibi for my tastes, but I'm still looking. I'm using Alabina now, which is great but a little dated and I'm getting tired of it.
 

Yame

New member
IMO, I can't help but think that Saida of BDSS, who is from Spain, definitely has a Spanish flavor in her dance. Not necessarily fushion but I definitely see that Spanish influence in her style.

Saida is actually from Argentina, and her dance has not a Spanish influence but an Argentinian influence (tango), plus ballet.
 

Greek Bonfire

Well-known member
Saida is actually from Argentina, and her dance has not a Spanish influence but an Argentinian influence (tango), plus ballet.
That's interesting - I saw on one source that she was from Spain. I will have to check that source again.
 

Yame

New member
By the way, "Spanish" and "Latin" are not interchangeable terms.

When not describing the actual languages, "Spanish" usually refers to something that is from Spain, the country. Sometimes people use that word to refer to things from Spanish-speaking countries in general, but that's inaccurate. That would be like calling an American dance "English" just because people speak English in the US.

"Latin" generally refers to the countries of Latin America, at least in a context like this. Sure, Spain, Italy, etc are countries in Europe whose languages come from Latin, but when people talk about "Latin flavor" or "Latin culture" they usually are referring to Latin America, as opposed to Spain.

As such, flamenco is a Spanish dance, while salsa is a Latin dance. Salsa is not a Spanish dance and flamenco is not a Latin dance.
 

mahsati_janan

New member
I will definitely check her out, thanks!

Okay, after doing my Flamenco research, I'm not as overwhelmed and can understand why the fusion with oriental dance is so common - many, many parallels. The biggest difference is in the base of the dance- there is very little hip movement in Flamenco. I also found that most pro dancers are self taught and not professionally trained and it's more about the feeling the dancer evokes vs. precise movements. Technicality and precisness is typically reserved for a more contemporary dance done in big shows. So, I feel much better knowing that I won't have to do years of hardcore Flamenco training along with belly dance just to give my dance a little flavor :)
I am a little confused by this; do you mean that most pro flamenco dancers are self-taught? Having worked with flamenco musicians, dancers, and instructors in 3 different states, I have never met a professional that had not spent years in classes. Flamenco is a very demanding and challenging form (or set of forms) on its own. There are different types of flamenco, but I have not ever heard of a style where most of the pros had not studied formally.
 
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