Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Pledge your allegiance?

Do you have to? Choose a style, that is. Can you be a bellydancer and dance both tribal and cabaret styles? Some students of mine recently took a tribal workshop and expressed the fact that it seems difficult to learn both styles, since they are so similar yet have distinct ways of doing the same moves.

It sort of reminded me of trying to learn Italian in college, after taking four years of Spanish in high school. I had always wanted to learn Italian, and I thought that my background of Spanish would help me, since the two languages are so similar. What I learned, however, was that the similarities actually made it sooooo much harder. The two languages actually merged into one, completely incorrect, language in my head. I lost the ability to put a sentence together in Spanish, without throwing some Italian in there, and I could never have a conversation in Italian without it being part Spanish.

Is this similar to the the tribal and cabaret conundrum? I have to admit I have no experience with tribal, so I'd like to hear your thoughts. Ladies who have crossed over to the "other" side - what do you think? Can you do both?

5 comments:

kara :) said...

As one of your students who have "crossed over"..for me your example described how I was feeling during the workshop. There are many similarities with both styles but definitely devilered differently. I think to a certain degree you can be a bellydancer and do both tribal and cabaret styles but each requires a different frame of mind and different disciplines. To me cabaret seems more prime and proper and tribal felt like taking a cabaret move and being mischievous with it (like a child that knows they are not suppose to be doing something). It was like take a cabaret move and putting an urban twist to it. As much as I enjoyed tribal bellydancing and would like to take more workshops, the girly girl in me will always love performing cabaret

Ciara said...

Tribal is very intriguing. My first experience with
Tribal was at the Bellydance Superstar show. I was like "WOW. this is Crazzy!!" The bass in the music and the precision in their movements had me drawn in. Its alost like the darkside of bellydancing...but as Kara stated, Im a girly girl, I'll stick to my glittery and colorful cabaret. However I def. have a lot of respect for tribal bellydance. I wouldnt mind taking a few classes to help have more control of my movements.

Gloria said...

This Tribal belly dancing sounds
like the thing for me. I love to
do bomba, plena, African dance,
salsa, merengue (like I said before
I never took dancing classes) I just watch and go home and try it
myself. Unfortunately I am no longer in my 20's, 30's, 40's, or
even 50's, and every once in awhile
my body lets me know. But I will
not stop trying. To all you young girls do everything you love to do and don't let any one stop you, life is very short. See you all at the Show and "Break a Leg" (Hope not)

Toya said...

Hi all! I'm Makeda and this is my first visit to this blog (found it through Bhuz - my screen name there is Toya).

As a dancer who currently performs both as a cabaret troupe and solo performer and tribal fusion soloist and who has been trained in Lebanese, Egyptian, tribal fusion and American Tribal Style, I felt I could contribute a bit to this discussion.

Tribal and cabaret are indeed similar in many ways, but yes, they are "delivered" differently, so to speak. Posture is different, weight distribution is different, the names of some moves differ, the "feel" of the dance is different, etc. It can be a bit difficult to separate the two forms of bellydance in your mind. I, for a while, was a member of both a cabaret and a tribal troupe and my troupe members would often laugh at me, saying I had a bit of "cabaret in my tribal and tribal in my cabaret" (LOL). Still, if one is committed to truly learning and delivering each dance in its true form, it becomes easier. It becomes much easier to interpret the music through the different forms of dance - for me, some of it came with truly finding music that said "tribal" to me (or "cabaret"), part of it is wearing the costume (it helps you get into character) and a lot of it just comes with serious study.

I have to say, though, that I am so happy that I've studied both forms of the dance since the beginning of my training. As a soloist, both tribal and cabaret styles have influenced my style and I have found my own niche as a result. I am proudly tribaret!

Daniela said...

Hi Toya!

Thanks for your comment! It sounds like you have really been successful in using your knowledge of both forms to your advantage. Makes you a more well-rounded dancer, right?!

I've never taken a tribal class, but I am looking forward to Spring Caravan. I'm going to venture into some "fusion" and tribal workshops then. ;-)