Tribal Belly dance: it's origins, it's evolution and it's future...?!


What exactly is tribal bellydance style?

  tribal bellydance
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Tribal bellydance on I-tunes | Tribal bellydance on payplay radio

Is it “American Tribal Style”? American Tribal Style (ATS) definitely belongs to the family of tribal belly dance styles. We could define tribal bellydance as all dances that are indeed tribal and form in one way or another a source of inspiration to oriental dance and modern tribal style dancing in particular. You could define it as a mixture of Egyptian, Turkish, classical Indian and Bollywood style, North African dances and flamenco. Synchronous group dancing is another important aspect of tribal style as well as the use of cues.

Other popular related styles are:

  • Ethnic Fusion: based on folkloric dances
  • Urban Tribal
  • Improv Tribal Style (ITS), a subdivision of ATS
  • Tribal fusion
    Lots of techno, but is can be a fusion of any other musical style
  • Bellynesian: fusion between Polynesian dances and bellydance
  • Bellywood: a mix between bollywood dance and bellydance
  • Gothic Bellydance: black is the predominantly color of the costumes. Original and extravagant outfits dominate the scent. Not too much laugh here :-)
These are some expressions of the ever changing face of belly dance. Does is really matter what defines what is understood under Tribal Fusion or Urban Tribal or Urban Tribal Belly Dance?

Interpretation of the styles vary according to the leader of the tribe. In my humble opinion all those styles are an amalgam of western interpretation of the ancient oriental dance mixed with new influences. And this is exactly what this dance is all about!
Urban Tribal and Tribal Fusion mixes oriental dance with break dance belly breaks or break beats and hip-hop. The unique blend of Occidental and Oriental dance styles creates something exciting new and reflects the true spirit of the dance. Belly Groove is closely related to the Urban Tribal.
Romani Tribal Belly Dance has more Eastern European or Balkan elements. Romani refers to the gypsy or Rom.

What is common that it is not a solo dance but a troupe or tribe dance, the cues and transitions system makes the improv dance a chain of sisters. In fact sisterhood is one of the main features of tribal belly dance as opposed to the solo performances of so called Oriental Cabaret style which is derived from Egyptian and/or Turkish belly dance. (I'd like to thank Ava Fleming kindly for her inspiration on ATS)

"Fusion bellydance" one of Abdel Hazim's bellydance fusion albums.

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The essence of this CD is what the founder of Tribal Style, Carolena Nericcio once said in an interview: "... the true nature of Tribal is improvisation". Oriental Dance Music and Tribal Style Bellydance music with new and ancient tribal rhythms and melodies. Some tracks are rather Urban Tribal Style or Fusion Bellydance.
The CD features differentt tribal musical instruments including a variety of hand drums dofff, riqq, bendir), zurna, mizmar, kavala and string instruments like guembri, yue-qin and dutar. The music on the "Tribal bellydance" album reflects the tribal improvisations which are characteristic for tribal style.



Your questions: e-mail me.