This past Friday evening, I banded forces with Melissa from my weekly belly dance class, and went to see the advanced class perform at a festival set in the local art gallery. We had a fabulous time. The whole thing made me nervous to an extent, this anonymous gathering of random people who will someday watch me parade around in a sparkly costume. But I loved the opportunity to see belly dancing without simultaneously being nauseous about my upcoming class number.
The advanced class did 2 very good numbers, and our instructor, Claire, did 2 solos, one with a live drummer, which was incredibly cool. She was experiencing a costuming issue that was making me project my powerful rays of nervous energy her way. And powerful it is, believe me, honed by a lifetime of insecurity and Type A personality disorder. Anyway, she kept clandestinely hitching up her skirt-with-a-mind-of-its-own between hip circles, and I was downright sweating for her after a few minutes. Luckily, costuming disaster was averted.
After we waited through a piano player who was good but did about 6 numbers too many, another local belly dance studio performed. I have to say, I was impressed. The group as a whole was made up of several different troupes, each specializing in a different type of belly dancing. One did classic Egyptian style dance, using those freaking adorable little finger cymbals, called zills. *LOVED* those. I was captivated by their happy little sound for the whole performance. Another group performed in the tribal style, which is a form of belly dance I'd characterize as "earthy." Darker colors, heavier costuming fabrics, and traditional movements associated with a particular ethnic culture. Yet another group, and this was my favorite, performed in the tribal fusion style. This style will feature a variety of dance forms melded together, usually Middle Eastern dance combined with something like hula or flamenco. In this instance, the troupe used a Bhangra style, and it was very, very good. I had never seen these forms of belly dance before, and I loved the opportunity to compare such different styles of the dance.
The last duet used wings of isis, which I have no desire to learn. Those things make me dizzy just looking at them. Google Image them, you'll see :)
I left the gallery very happy, kicky Middle Eastern music swimming in my head...