Santiago Essential: The New World of Belly Dance

The smooth snake-like movements of the belly dancers capture your attention the moment they first walk on stage. Elaborate costumes are covered in coins that jingle and rattle with each twist of their hips; they shake and move their bodies to the exact rhythm of the music, mesmerizing the audience.

Santiago Chile
Photo by Rebecca Gaulin

On July 30 Santiago Essential, Tribal Dance and its Influences performed at the Auditorio Telef├│nica Chile (see photos). This performance was created in order to bring together the belly dance community from Chile and abroad. It incorporated many different styles of dance, such as contemporary, hip-hop, Arabian and Indian.

Photo by Rebecca Gaulin

Santiago Essential featured dancers from all over the world, including Mardi Love of the Indigo Belly Dance Company, the company which first popularized Tribal Fusion. This modern form of belly dancing incorporates techniques from popping, hip-hop, break dance and Egyptian belly dance, while drawing from folkloric dance styles such as flamenco and kathak.

Ranging from slow and sensual movements to fast and upbeat dances, the dancers enthralled the audience with their diversity of styles. Performances varied from an interpretation of a snake charming to modern reggaeton hip-hop, with many combinations of all styles in between. Some of the performers were dance teachers for the Community of Tribal Dance, like Maxine from Argentina who danced eclectic, feminine and contemporary belly dance.

The music that the performers danced to was not always traditional Middle Eastern style, but rather modern hip-hop songs that held the same essential beats.

Santiago Chile
Photo by Rebecca Gaulin

There was even live music incorporated into the performance; Mack Yidhaky played the Didgeridoo, a wind instrument developed by the aborigines of Australia.

The performance did an amazing job of bringing together elements of many cultures and introducing a modern form of a traditional dance. To those who thought there was only one form of belly dance, this performance proved quite the contrary. There is a new world of belly dance to be discovered and Santiago Essential, Tribal Dance and its Influences brought a small taste of that world to audiences right here in Santiago.

The Community of Tribal Dance is a website that was created as a place to share and spread the art of tribal belly dance. They offer connections to belly dance teachers and various workshops and performances, as well as lessons in belly dance, tribal fusion belly dance, and Arabic dance. Belly dance lessons given by Maris├║ Parada come in packages of four classes for CP$20,000 and eight classes for CP$25,000.

http://www.danzatribal.cl/index.html

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