Those different styles of BD.

Ariadne

Well-known member
Tribal Fusion has a foundation in ATS that is then blended with other BD styles as well as world dance (Hip hop, Bahgra, etc) but the world dance is optional so yes it it counts as "real" fusion, ATS is just that different. For that matter so is the aesthetic in Gothic.
 

AyaKara

New member
Tribal Fusion has a foundation in ATS that is then blended with other BD styles as well as world dance (Hip hop, Bahgra, etc) but the world dance is optional so yes it it counts as "real" fusion, ATS is just that different. For that matter so is the aesthetic in Gothic.
By styles being not different enough to make it a 'real' fusion, I meant Gothic Tribal with ATS, not Egyptian/ Cabaret with ATS :) though, by what you wrote, it seems that Gothic Tribal is more of the aesthetic & way of performing rather than a style all of its own. Is that right? If so, then what are Gothic Tribal workshops for if not technique -- costuming & things like that? :think:
 

Aziyade

Well-known member
By styles being not different enough to make it a 'real' fusion, I meant Gothic Tribal with ATS, not Egyptian/ Cabaret with ATS :) though, by what you wrote, it seems that Gothic Tribal is more of the aesthetic & way of performing rather than a style all of its own. Is that right? If so, then what are Gothic Tribal workshops for if not technique -- costuming & things like that? :think:
I messed around a bit in goth bellydance, and I'd say yes, that assessment is correct.

The dancers who (to me) really represent this aesthetic the BEST are really working towards a theatrical performance of mostly a bellydance vibe, but with a lot of styling from contemporary Western theatrical dance. Some of them don't even self-identify as Goth, but are really able to capture the "essence" of the Goth music and subculture without making the performance look like something South Park would make fun of.


However:

At one point it was argued that there was an actual STYLE of dance that could be called "Goth Dance" -- not bellydance, but an actual style of dance. I think this opinion was entirely dependent upon the region of the country you were familiar with, and the timeframe you're talking about. There are still people who hold this opinion and will point you to videos or articles from the 90s on "How to Dance Goth." What is described in those links is usually nothing that was part of my experience in the Goth nightclubs in Atlanta or Chicago or the clubs that catered to Goths in Louisville. Might have been a regional thing. Also might have been a 90s thing.
 

AyaKara

New member
Interesting! I'm definitely going to look all of that up. At least now I know that I won't have to go nuts looking for a Gothic BD teacher in NYC :lol:

I'm going to assume then that workshops for GTS are for costuming, appearance, performance, etc. That's great, because now I know that I can spend time learning Egyptian or Cabaret once I work my way through ATS. Thank you Aziyade! :pray:
 

Ariadne

Well-known member
Absolutely, Gothic bellydancers come from any style of BD. Go with whatever styles you prefer.
it seems that Gothic Tribal is more of the aesthetic & way of performing rather than a style all of its own. Is that right?
Also correct as Aziyade says. Just keep in mind that aesthetic is a big part of style. A tango performed with giggling and broad smiles with teasing tosses of the head might still be technically perfect but I dare say plenty of dancers would declare it to not be "real tango". "How" a move is done is more then the movement itself and does include presentation. The aesthetic of Gothic Bellydance is sufficiently distinct to make it considered by many a style of it's own even though it has no movements that are solely its own.


PS. If you have questions about Gothic BD can I recommend asking Tempest? (Tempest's Teapot) She's a member of this forum in fact.
 
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AyaKara

New member
I've actually read Tempest's website quite often :lol: thank you for letting me know! I'm glad to have so many knowledgeable resources here, I really appreciate it :D
 

LibraRaqs

Member
There is not a Russian style of belly dance...it's a case of Russians belly dancing with a Russian "accent"
Agreed, I'm a big fan of YouTube's expansive content when it comes to belly dancing, and that's how I came across Russian dancers. They are amazing! And once you watch enough of them, you can indeed begin to recognize their unique--if not a little hard to pinpoint and describe--signature they give to their dance routines.
One difference that I have noticed from Russian vs. American dancers, is that although both tend to follow pre-choreographed dances, Russian dancers seem to move with faster, even jumpy movements, with little to no pausing between choreographed sequences. They also tend to dance to more traditional Mid-Eastern music; whereas many Americans who follow the Tribal Fusion path tend to have slower, more fluid choreography, broken up by strategic pauses, and often set to an electronic or Mid-Eastern infused electronic tune. Rachel Brice is a good example of the ATS hallmark of controlled, slow movement that gives the dance a hypnotic effect.
There are, of course, exceptions to the above, and as the internet continues to shrink the world, I'm noticing a lot of dancers on all sides of the globe exchanging and borrowing each other's styles and ideas.
 

Greek Bonfire

Well-known member
I personally think way too many Russian dancers have too much acrobatics and gymnastics, and less of the more fluid style you see in Middle Eastern dancers. I'm just not a fan of that snap, crackle, pop style of bellydancing.
 

Tourbeau

Active member
Former-USSR-flavored Egyptian seems to be the big thing now, with lots of aggressive arms and legs swinging and kicking about. That style isn't my cup of tea personally, but Johara was the top gigging dancer in Cairo before the pandemic hit https://dw.com/en/how-a-russian-became-a-belly-dancing-star-in-egypt/a-51448665, so I don't think their influence is going away any time soon.

I don't know enough to tease out whether there are significant substyle differences between Russians, Ukrainians, and other ex-Iron-Curtain dancers, though. They and their copycats feel like they are beating their music up to me, and I confess I simply don't care that much, since I don't want my dancing to look like theirs. I'm just happy their Chobi phase has subsided, since I didn't love their whip-your-hair-around-like-a-bobblehead-on-an-off-balance-washer approach to Iraqi dance, either (although at least that apparently had some ethnic authenticity to it).

Yes, I am generalizing about a huge geographic region with lots of individual artists each following their own muse. There are some Eastern European dancers I like (although at the moment, Alexei Ryaboshapka is the only one I can namedrop), and there are Western dancers who've always attacked their music more than I'd prefer (and I won't name them). Sometimes Mona Said and Nabaweya Mustafa have a little too much cowbell for me. I clearly lean toward the more restrained stylists.
 

Shanazel

Super Moderator
I watched the clip on Johara (thank you for including it) and what immediately came to mind was Dina minus a certain je nais se quoi that Dina had in abundance.

Over the years, I've mentioned my preference for elegance, subtlety, and restraint so often that people are probably sick of hearing it from me.
 

LibraRaqs

Member
That was a FASCINATING article, thank you for sharing! Cool to hear her story, but also sad to read of the growing stigma against bellydancers in "home territory". Nothing I didn't already know, I just wish it was different.
 

Greek Bonfire

Well-known member
Former-USSR-flavored Egyptian seems to be the big thing now, with lots of aggressive arms and legs swinging and kicking about. That style isn't my cup of tea personally, but Johara was the top gigging dancer in Cairo before the pandemic hit https://dw.com/en/how-a-russian-became-a-belly-dancing-star-in-egypt/a-51448665, so I don't think their influence is going away any time soon.

I don't know enough to tease out whether there are significant substyle differences between Russians, Ukrainians, and other ex-Iron-Curtain dancers, though. They and their copycats feel like they are beating their music up to me, and I confess I simply don't care that much, since I don't want my dancing to look like theirs. I'm just happy their Chobi phase has subsided, since I didn't love their whip-your-hair-around-like-a-bobblehead-on-an-off-balance-washer approach to Iraqi dance, either (although at least that apparently had some ethnic authenticity to it).

Yes, I am generalizing about a huge geographic region with lots of individual artists each following their own muse. There are some Eastern European dancers I like (although at the moment, Alexei Ryaboshapka is the only one I can namedrop), and there are Western dancers who've always attacked their music more than I'd prefer (and I won't name them). Sometimes Mona Said and Nabaweya Mustafa have a little too much cowbell for me. I clearly lean toward the more restrained stylists.
I'm more with you. After watching many Eastern European accents, I actually feel like it's painful to do that style, and I also do not understand why they do that.
 

LibraRaqs

Member
I'm more with you. After watching many Eastern European accents, I actually feel like it's painful to do that style, and I also do not understand why they do that.
Maybe that's it? Not to sound odd, but ballet is a dance form that can be highly competitive among the prowess of the individual dancer's skill. More extreme, difficult movements could be a (sadly unnecessary) attention grabber.
 

Tourbeau

Active member
Maybe that's it? Not to sound odd, but ballet is a dance form that can be highly competitive among the prowess of the individual dancer's skill. More extreme, difficult movements could be a (sadly unnecessary) attention grabber.
As I remember/understand it, the rise of Eastern European influence in belly dancing corresponded to a collapse of the mainstream dance industry in that part of the world at the same time as Bellydance Superstars was cresting elsewhere. This sent all sorts of former ballet and professional ballroom dancers to the greener pastures of MED.

Then everything went off the rails. The Muslim world, which had been struggling in a love-hate relationship with their own dance culture, had the legs knocked out from under their hospitality industry with the Arab Spring. Belly dance phased into a low popularity cycle in the West. The Eastern Europeans, still experiencing their first huge wave of BD popularity (and more conveniently located near China, who was also in the throes of their first big love affair with recreational belly dancing), were the last ones standing.

If you think about the sorts of students rolling into American BD classes during the last wave of popularity ("I want to learn real belly dancing...like Shakira!"), and imagine that attitude transposed onto a population who grew up watching CGI movies and thinking Dina was what old-fashioned belly dancing looked like, and then expected them to scrum for attention online, here we are.

...And at some point we have to concede that some audiences who hire a dancer do so with the attitude "All dancers are <fallen women> anyway, so we may as well hire a flashy one who isn't afraid to make a spectacle of herself!"
 

LibraRaqs

Member
As I remember/understand it, the rise of Eastern European influence in belly dancing corresponded to a collapse of the mainstream dance industry in that part of the world at the same time as Bellydance Superstars was cresting elsewhere. This sent all sorts of former ballet and professional ballroom dancers to the greener pastures of MED.

Then everything went off the rails. The Muslim world, which had been struggling in a love-hate relationship with their own dance culture, had the legs knocked out from under their hospitality industry with the Arab Spring. Belly dance phased into a low popularity cycle in the West. The Eastern Europeans, still experiencing their first huge wave of BD popularity (and more conveniently located near China, who was also in the throes of their first big love affair with recreational belly dancing), were the last ones standing.

If you think about the sorts of students rolling into American BD classes during the last wave of popularity ("I want to learn real belly dancing...like Shakira!"), and imagine that attitude transposed onto a population who grew up watching CGI movies and thinking Dina was what old-fashioned belly dancing looked like, and then expected them to scrum for attention online, here we are.

...And at some point we have to concede that some audiences who hire a dancer do so with the attitude "All dancers are <fallen women> anyway, so we may as well hire a flashy one who isn't afraid to make a spectacle of herself!"
Very good points, awesome analysis! Thanks for sharing. :)
 
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