Belly Dance Fashion – An article on AND magazine
Belly Dance Fashion:
in AND magazine
Several of the featured performers with the Bellydance Super Stars troupe recently appeared in an article about belly dance costuming over in AND Magazine. Accompanied by a smoking hot collection of gorgeous photos of these talented dancers, the text of this brief article breaks belly dance fashion into two main categories, Oriental and Tribal. Although this breakdown might seem overly simplistic, it does reflect one of the great stylistic divides in the world of belly dance costume.
Oriental – This term, which I think is a great replacement for the now outmoded term “Cabaret” or the cumbersome “Show Girl,” features beads, sequins and rhinestones. The goal of this style is glitter and flash, shimmer and shine. For many people, this is the image that leaps to mind when you hear the word belly dance.
Tribal – Built on the same formula of bra, belt and skirt, the tribal style chooses heavy-metal embellishments pulled from a variety of old-world, indigenous cultures including coins, chains and jewelry components. Even though the term tribal is a relative newcomer in the belly dance world, this type of cultural pastiche has existed since the early part of the 20th century.
In my personal view of the belly dance world, I personally believe that in order to be more inclusive and have a more complete breakdown of costume and fashion, two more broad categories need to be added.
Ethnographic – Ethnographic or folkloric is an essential category of costuming which plays a vital role in the world of belly dance performance. Costumes in this category allow dancers to bring to the stage authentic presentations from distinct parts of the globe. Dancers wear ethnographic costuming to create a culturally specific story using regional movement, music and costume.
Fusion – This is a handy catch-all term that I would like to extricate from the exclusive domain of Tribal dancers and bring back into general use. Throughout the long history of belly dance in the US, dozens if not hundreds of costuming styles have been “fused” to bring different flavors and vibes to match any music or performance needs. From Bollywood-Fusion to Afro-Fusion, the whole world of fashion is used by designers to create a myriad of distinctive and unique styles.
The Bellydance Super Stars show is a well crafted piece of dance theater. It’s a show-girl show featuring beautiful star dancers, a lovely chorus line all clad in gorgeous costumes and dancing to fantastic Middle Eastern music. The show is structured to showcase the skill and beauty of belly dance at its highest, and most polished level. From early on in the Super Stars shows, the producers chose to contrast and highlight the Oriental vs. Tribal dichotomy.
Read the original article on AND that inspired this post here – and be sure to take a long look at the lovely photo album included with the piece. http://www.andmagazine.com/content/and_3605.php
Find out more about the Bellydance Super Stars - http://www.bellydancesuperstars.com/