March 22, 2010

Ultra Gypsy

I've been really pining for bellydancing this last few weeks, because after a particularly strenuous dance class about a month ago (in addition to terrible posture from too much drawing and tattooing) I put my back out and have not been able to dance. Luckily for me I have my lovely friend Jerome, who's a remedial massage therapist among other things, to fix it for me and I should be back at class next week. In the meantime I thought I'd share a few more clips of ladies who have contributed to my obsession with Middle Eastern dance. This one is an old video of Jill Parker's Tribal Style troupe Ultra Gypsy performing a beautiful choreographed piece for television.

Tribal Style is a modern fusion style of bellydance that hailed (like so many things I love) from San Francisco, beginning with Jamila Salimpour's incredible Bal Anat troupe in the late 1960's. This format is based on the idea of performing in a group, or 'tribe' as opposed to the solo style more commonly seen in traditional bellydance. It also incorporates some influences from folkloric Middle Eastern dance and from other styles like Flamenco, in its movements as well as the music and costuming. As you will see, these qualities along with the synchronicity of the tribe creates a much different visual impact than that of a soloist, and it's one that I personally love, both in practise and as an observer. This clip gives me shivers every time I watch it.  Enjoy.

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